Location, location, location!
As the old saying goes, location is everything. When it comes to local business marketing, this is especially relevant to your customers! What is their location right now? More importantly, which of your potential customers are near you, at this moment? And how can you target them and promote to them without standing out front of your business twirling a ridiculous sign!? In the past, we've talked about geo-targeting your Google PPC ads. Now, let's look a few different channels which allow for geo-targeting.
Local Facebook Ads
Facebook has long offered pay-per-click or CPM advertising opportunities to suite any budget. I think many local businesses don't take advantage of facebook because they don't know the ad filtering possibilities. That is, they don't realize how targeted a business can get with their ad.
Let's use a small restaurant called Joe's Pub as an example. Joe's Pub could utilize facebook's ad network to show their ads to all people within their city. This allows them show ads only to individuals who could possibly be customers within reach. If businesses like Joe's Pub wanted to get even more targeted, they could utilize some of the other facebook ad filters in conjunction with location to target people who:
- Live locally and are also celebrating a birthday today - This is a great demographic to target prospects with an ad which offers a free birthday drink or meal with the purchase of... anything.
- Live locally and are also interest in [insert your niche] - Own a local bike shop? Simply run an ad to locals interested in cycling and triathlon to promote this weekend's clearance sale.
- Live locally and are engaged - Use these filters to promote this weekend's bridal show to all engaged females.
- Live locally and are fans of your business on facebook - What better group to advertise to than the one who already knows who you are?
And the list goes on. The point- Just knowing that a person is local will make your advertising much more effective, with the right application. Facebook is just one of many social networks offering this type of targeting.
Mobile Advertising Opportunities
Smart phones have paved the path for improving the consumer's ability to stay connected in many new ways. At the same time, a variety of smart phone applications continue to make it possible for businesses to target users based on their locations. for the consumer, the tradeoff to using a free application is that they will be periodically shown ads.
Foursquare is an example of a mobile application that seems to be catching on. Simply put, foursquare is an application which allows users to tell their friends where they are at all times. For example, a foursquare user sends a notification to his/her friends that he/she has arrived at a particular location such a park, restaurant or sporting event. While checking-in to a location, users also share tips and advice with other users about that location
From a marketing standpoint, foursquare gives businesses the opportunity to promote a special offer to individuals who are in the immediate area by offering a special of some type. For example, if you just arrived downtown and checked-in to foursquare, you'd be able to easily see all nearby business information, including any specials. For business, adding a special offer is fairly simple to do and currently doesn't cost anything which is what makes this a good tactic for almost any local business.
Down the road, we can definitely imagine foursquare offering a variety of other advertising opportunities which can be targeted to users based on their locations. In the meantime, offering a special foursqaure coupon is pretty much the only thing that most local businesses will benefit from.
Please stay tuned for Part 3 of our local marketing series!