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Geofencing: How to Use Location-Based Advertising to Your Advantage

geofencing location based advertising

Are you looking for a better way to target potential customers? Want to grow your brand awareness? Not sure where to start? Geofencing may be for you!

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a type of display advertising in which the advertiser targets people who visit specified physical locations to see picture ads on their mobile phones. Although the purpose of Geofencing is to increase brand awareness, it has other benefits. Not only will you get your brand in front of (in our experience) 50,000+ sets of eyes per month, but you can increase traffic to your website and foot traffic to your store - and see all of these results in one transparent monthly report! There is no other digital marketing product like this.

How Does It Work?

During campaign setup, you will choose the physical locations you want to target then set up virtual boundaries around these locations. These boundaries can detect when a mobile phone enters which will trigger adding the phone’s IP address to an audience pool.

geofencing map locations

Your ad will show to your audience pool for up to 30 days after leaving one of your virtual fences and will be displayed on the mobile apps already installed on their phones! There are over 300,000 apps on mobile devices including Google Chrome and other browsers that have ad space for geofencing ads.

Where Should You Fence?

There are different targeting options for geofencing campaigns. You can target people based off of behaviour, competition, or geography. Depending on the type of business you have, one of these may be a clear winner or perhaps a combination of these will work best for you.

geofence sport locations

For Example: Let’s say your business sells sports equipment.

  • Behaviour – Target soccer fields, hockey rinks, schools. It is likely that the people who are active in sports have use for the products you are selling.
  • Competition – Target other sporting goods stores. It is likely that the people who visit your competitors will have interest in what you have to offer.
  • Geography – Target the area surrounding your store. After all, everyone knows someone who loves sports!

In this case, a mix of all three may work well. If budget is limited and you have to cut back, start with behavioural and competition location targeting. These are most likely to result in new customers!

Should You Be Concerned About Privacy?

Some people have concerns with privacy when it comes to using geofencing. They worry about what information is being collected, if it’s being shared, and if other business owners can tell when their location is being targeted. Here are some facts about how it works:

  • This technology works off of mobile phones and they have to have locations services turned on in order to register as a user and be added to your audience pool.
  • Individual user data is not saved or shared in anyway. All users are completely anonymous. The data that is saved is related to an IP address only – not an actual person.
  • Geofencing does not add or change anything on user devices. It only tracks whether the device entered a 'geofence', whether your ads were displayed on that device, if that view resulted in a click to the website or a visit to your 'conversion zone’.
  • Business owners cannot tell if you are targeting their locations. They are not notified in anyway and there is no tool to check. They may be added to your audience pool and see your ads since they frequent your targeted location, however this does not prove that you are targeting their location. Geofencing ads are not obviously from geofencing. As mentioned above, they are a type of display advertising. There are other types that target people based off of websites they have visited online and more so they could be seeing your ads for other reasons. Maybe they checked out your website online, visited a website similar to yours, or happened to enter another location you targeted.

There are no privacy issues or breaches in security that can result from Geofencing ads.

Can Your Business Benefit from Geofencing?

Geofencing helps businesses target people who are most likely to be interested in the products or services you offer. It is comparable to having a large team of people staking out these locations and handing out flyers telling them to check out your company. Or like a billboard that is only shown to people who care what the message is and instead of having to find the billboard, it finds them!

It is such a neat and stealthy way to target potential customers, increase your brand awareness, and grow your business!  If those goals align with the needs of your business, incorporating geofencing into your digital marketing plan may be a great first step. For more information on geofencing and how it can benefit your business, give us a call today.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Online Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.


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