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What A Small Business Digital Marketing Service Wants You To Know About Geofencing

What a Small Business Digital Marketing Service Wants You to Know about Geofencing

The best small business digital marketing services include end-to-end solutions that help your brand succeed on a local level. Geofencing is a powerful technique agencies like Smart WSI Marketing use for generating local leads and sales at the right time and place.

Geofencing is a fast, low-investment way to kick-start contextually relevant conversations with your customers and prospects. After creating a virtual geographic boundary, you can use different types of marketing like texts, ads, and other content to reach local customers and trigger a response when their mobile device enters or leaves a predefined area. 

Adding the power of location to your marketing strategy can make all the difference in how quickly your business scales. Read on to learn everything you need to know about geofencing and how a small business digital marketing service can use it to significantly improve your customer experience and bottom line. Call us today for a consultation!

How Geofencing Works

Geofencing relies on technologies like GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to connect with mobile users in specified geographic areas, including your competitor’s locations. Unlike geotargeting, which uses various targeting factors like customer preferences and shopping habits, geofencing simply draws a “virtual fence” around a particular geographic area which can be as limited as a single brick-and-mortar store.

Small businesses use geofencing to:

  • Drive nearby foot traffic into a location.
  • Advertise at local events.
  • Target people who use related goods and services from other companies.
  • Target competitors’ customers.
  • Remarket to customers after they’ve already visited a locale.

Since you can place a fence nearly anywhere, you get to choose where and when your ads appear. For instance, if your business’s busiest day of the week is Friday, you can personalize and send messages directly to customers’ smartphones on Thursday and Friday.

The Benefits of Geofencing in Digital Marketing

The potential benefits of geofencing are endless, but the three primary advantages it gives you are:

  • Increased local sales. Geofencing can help you significantly improve in-store and eCommerce sales by quickly targeting high-value leads and engaging with them in real-time. You can also promote specials within stores and offer online discounts.
  • Data insights increase loyalty and retention. Geofencing allows you to track customers’ past behaviors so you can create targeted campaigns to keep them coming back.
  • Improved engagement and conversions. Most customers appreciate receiving a valuable offer at the right time. With geofencing, you can generate preference-based coupons and promotions for local customers, boosting interest and sales.

A great example of geofencing getting people to engage with a brand is Dunkin’ Donuts’ Snapchat filter promotion on National Donut Day. Customers could only access the filter by visiting a local store or unlocking it through a “snap to unlock feature.” The reward? Users’ heads were transformed into enormous pink donuts, complete with animated sprinkles. Silly? Maybe, but the brand gained ten times as many followers on that date as its normal daily average!

Examples of Using Geofencing to Increase Sales

Big brands like Amazon, Burger King, Volvo, and Starbucks use geofencing to attract new customers, including those who typically do business with their competitors. For instance, in its Whopper Detour campaign, Burger King offered its iconic burger for just a penny if people ordered it through the brand’s app while visiting a McDonald’s. Starbucks uses the technology to send push notifications to nearby customers about deals like its “happy hour special.”

Now let’s look at some real-world examples of how location-based marketing, aka geofencing, can also help small business digital marketing services assist you reach and engage with current and potential customers.

  • Small coffee shops and cafes can send push notifications for discounts as customers walk by.
  • A car dealer could geofence competitor locations and offer special promotions while customers are browsing the other dealers’ lots.
  • A real estate agent might geofence other agents’ open houses to build an audience of interested buyers and sellers.
  • A sporting goods store can geofence recreational parks to offer deals on equipment, clothing, and other merchandise.
  • A pet supply store might want to geofence local dog parks or veterinarian clinics.

The ways to use geofencing are as numerous as the number of businesses that adopt it. Geofencing is simply one of the best ways to target real-time audiences and serve them with ads featuring your brand.

Geofencing Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered what geofencing is, its benefits, and how small business digital marketing services can use it, all that’s left is to learn which best practices will help you reap its benefits.

Consider the entire customer journey

Every successful marketing campaign starts by thoroughly understanding who your customer is. Geofencing adds the questions, “where do most of my customers go before they come to me?” and “what should my ad include to entice them to ask about my product or service?” The answers to these questions help your small business digital marketing service understand you customer’s entire journey, including why they go to your competitors.

Create ads that resonate

When putting together ads for geofencing campaigns, it’s essential to use different types of creative advertisements that attract and engage your targeted audience. This can mean employing video content, static ads, and even GIFs to catch a customer’s attention.

Choose suitable locations to geofence

Though we mentioned early other areas your small business digital marketing service can geofence, the three best places to put geofences are around your own and your competitors’ locations and inside your business. It’s the ideal approach for increasing foot traffic, luring customers away from the competition, and keeping people engaged while they’re already doing business with you.

Layer geofencing campaigns with additional demographic targeting

If you have a storefront in a mall, it seems logical to geofence the entire location. But what if you sell a product or service that mainly appeals to adults or teens? Adding demographic data lets your small business digital marketing service drill down and optimize your ad budget to ensure you only reach people who are most likely to become customers.

Use search and site retargeting

Keywords are crucial to helping you reach the right people. Search retargeting is a unique way to convert potential customers by creating ads based on keywords they searched for on different search engines.

Your small business digital marketing service can also use search retargeting to have your ads appear on sites that users visit, ultimately convincing browsers who are “just looking” to visit your website or physical location to make a purchase. Because these users have engaged with your brand at least once, a final creative nudge might be all they need to make a buying decision.

Regularly optimize your geofencing campaigns

As with most digital marketing initiatives, there’s no “setting and forgetting” with geofencing. If you want to get the most out of your ad spend, your small business digital marketing service must track which campaigns are and aren’t working. Analytics and A/B testing help you fine-tune your geofencing campaigns so you can focus your budget on those places that are yielding the best results.

Small Business Digital Marketing Services To Grow On

With 80% of consumers saying they’re more likely to buy from a company or brand that provides personalized experiences, it’s an easy decision to invest in geofencing as part of your overall digital market strategy.

A small business digital marketing service can help you use geofencing in the most cost-effective and successful way, creating local marketing campaigns that engage audiences, reduce ad spend waste, and boost conversions. If you’re ready to invest in this proven way to reach more customers and grow your business, Smart WSI Marketing is an award-winning agency that can help. To learn how, contact us today.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital 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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