Geomarketing for Your SM Business

by | Mar 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

Anyone who shops regularly at Target has interacted with geomarketing. Once you download Target’s app and accept their terms, every time you pull into the parking lot (or pull into the drive-thru next to it), your smartphone will light up with their signature Cartwheel app. It’s also been hugely important during the pandemic. Once we’ve loaded our app and told Target we’re on our way, we expect our items to be ready for us when we pull into the lot.

Target’s geographical marketing strategy is fairly complex and relies a lot on its customers’ trust and a little bit of intrusion, but yours doesn’t have to. In fact, you can leverage geomarketing to boost your local reach and see an increase in traffic without intruding on your customer base – or at least, without them knowing it. Google’s been tracking us all for decades now, so many users are okay with it.

What Is Geomarketing?

Geographical marketing, or, as it has come to be known, geomarketing, is a marketing strategy that uses location to reach customers when they are near a business’s location. Marketers do this by leveraging the digital data they already have about a business’s consumer base. When it comes to certain types of purchases, shopping is a little like politics – it’s all local. And politicians for national and local elections are already taking advantage of this tool. Targeting where customers are and when they tend to buy are the basic aims of geomarketing.

But are people willing to give up this kind of personal data for a better shopping experience? It would seem so since nearly 63% of smartphone users engage with apps that require their location. Your customers are giving this kind of data away; it only makes sense that you’d use it to make their shopping experience more productive and user-friendly. You’ll likely already have some of this data from your social media marketing strategy, so you’ll be taking that data and expanding its usefulness.

At this stage, the convenience of having a grocery pickup ready has made people more open to the idea of sharing their location, so it’s a great time to consider this opportunity.

Why Leverage Geomarketing?

In a world of Amazon, eBay, and Zappos, you may wonder at the importance of such a marketing plan. Consider, however, that nearly half of all Google searches have local intent – meaning customers are looking nearby for results. Hopefully, they are riding in the passenger side when they check, but people tend to do these searches on whatever smart device is at hand. And it’s usually the smartphone they have in their hand.

How you leverage geomarketing depends on your product or service, but consider this when determining why geomarketing matters – 61% of all smartphone users prefer to shop from apps and mobile sites that customize their experience, including location.

Why Use Geomarketing in Your Marketing Strategy

Using location data can help increase your conversions. The Denny’s restaurant chain saw a 34% increase in in-store visits when it started using geomarketing to reach customers. No business would mind that kind of jump, and it happens just by leveraging the data you likely already have.

Geomarketing includes two categories, geotargeting – showing content to users based on their location or region, and geofencing – which uses a GPS to target messaging to users when they are near a location (like Target).

How to Leverage Geomarketing

Here are some strategies for implementing geomarketing in your overall marketing strategy.

  • Know who you’re talking to. If you’ve invested in SEO content marketing at all, this is a bridge you’ve probably already crossed. You can discover how many visitors come from specific locations using Google Analytics. Find Audience, then Geo, and finally Location to see what country most of your traffic is from. From there, click on the country to get data on which states traffic your site, and then click the state to see cities and towns.
  • Know where to focus your energy. Now that you know where your audience is, it’s time to gather data on even more specifics. Fortune calls this focal clustering, which tells marketers where consumers are looking. With this level of specificity, your business can target certain areas for localized events and even expect what kind of response you’re likely to get. What may be more important, however, is that you can gain insight into what locations to exclude – helping you stretch your marketing dollars.
  • Optimize your content for local marketing. At the top of this, I mention that marketing is like politics – it’s all local. While local might not be your overall ambition, it’s a smart step. There’s a reason marketers talk about “expanding your reach” – you have to have a place to start. Take steps to optimize for local, but with an eye toward larger SEO tactics.

Geomarketing for Your SM Business

One of the easiest ways to boost your local business is to claim your Google My Business page. Before investing in complex services, make sure users can find you when they are simply searching for something “near me.”

Your outcomes for geomarketing depend on your goals – are you looking to increase foot traffic to your brick and mortar store or boost your online presence? Do you want to promote a product or service with a temporary “special deal,” or would an investment in localizing your evergreen content writing make sense?

Decide What Options Are Best for You

Answering these questions can drive your marketing strategy to the next level – a level ahead of the competition. However, geomarketing isn’t for every business. If you have a more national outreach, then spending your dollars on a local market doesn’t make sense. If your target audience is of an older generation, then be cautious. People older than Gen X tend to distrust technology. Similarly, they aren’t always able to use it effectively.

For a team who understands the trick of geomarketing, call Better Content Matters. Our content writers craft content to fit your long term plan. We start where you are.

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Kimberlee Henry