What’s the easier sale: screaming your message to a crowded room, or walking up and delivering your perfectly prepared message to one interested person?
That’s a no-brainer.
If you’re in sales, you’d love to have a list of individual people that are interested in what you do, are searching for your product or service, and are ready to pull out their wallets and invest their money with you. But finding that list is what sales is all about.
Welcome to the online world, where everyone makes it sound so easy to create a website, say what you have to say, and the buyers will line up and search for you, connecting with you all the time.
You and I both know it’s not so easy. In fact, because of the accessibility to the tools online, it’s more difficult than ever. And if you’re relying on basic tools, it’s becoming next to impossible. Unless you change your ways.
What Is Geotargeting?
Geotargeting is the practice of delivering your marketing message to a specific audience or demographic based on their geographical location. If you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, why would you want to pay for leads in New York City?
When the Internet was new, many businesses ignored online marketing because they felt like they were shouting in a very loud room. More people didn’t mean more customers. Selling steaks to a crowd full of vegans didn’t increase sales. In fact, it only hurt your bottom line if you were paying for those ads.
Over time, technology has become more sophisticated and has made it easier than ever to target based on just about any characteristic you can think of: zip code, location, metro area, even neighborhoods. With smartphones, mobile devices, and GPS, it’s possible to market to someone in real time, knowing exactly where they are at any given moment. You can even narrow it down to the building.
Why Should Geotargeting Be In Your Marketing?
Have you ever spent the time developing the perfect advertisement, only to have zero leads from it after you’ve released it to the world? Frustrating, right? Not only have you spent the money putting it into your target channels, but you’ve also spent a lot of time and funds developing the ad as well.
In many cases, it’s not because the ad is bad. It’s because it doesn’t reach the right demographics.
In the digital world, you can target your audience in many ways, through both demographics and psychographics. You can also add another layer – geographics – to target your ad specifically by where your target audience exists.
Who is more likely to convert, the person in your community and looking for what you do or the person sitting in a nearby coffee shop checking their email? The person receiving your email might store your message for a later date, but the person actively driving or walking around wants what you do now. They are ready to buy; are you the one they will choose?
How Low Can You Go?
So what does geotargeting mean? What are the geographics behind it? How low can you go?
In traditional campaigns, such as postcards or mailers, we tend to structure our campaigns by zip codes. Select the zip codes most likely to shop your store and send your promotions.
When you advertise on Google, you can adjust your advertisements based on geography. Want Portland, Oregon? You can do that. Want everyone in the United States? You can do that too. You can even exclude certain locations based on your desires – just the continental US, eliminating Alaska and Hawaii.
You can even target your ad to people that show interest in your location, even if they currently don’t live there. That might work well for a businessperson who lives in Chicago but is planning a vacation to your region.
If you’ve never worked with geotargeting before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many demographics you can work with to refine your ad space. In fact, the better you define your ideal client, the better you can reach them through geotargeting.
We do this in many ways:
- With the graphics we create so they’re specific to the person we’re targeting
- With the demographics we send each ad too
- With the trail the searcher leaves behind
Yep, every click, every step, every search a person makes is tracked. And that means they create a very detailed history of what they do online. You can use this to your advantage as a marketer.
What if someone has visited your site several times? Think they might be interested? You can refine your campaigns so that you dive deeper into your content, change the messages that they see.
Being Careful Along The Way
Now that we’ve shown you what’s possible, let us also warn you to exercise caution when using location information to personalize your campaigns. There’s a fine line between knowledge and “creepy”. Offering deals specific to a store in a community can be beneficial to someone searching. Mentioning how many steps it would take for them to take advantage of the deal can set fear into their minds.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t play with geotargeting. You should be playing and testing all the time.
Every single promotion you do should begin by identifying a target market and making assumptions about what they need, want, or do. You should test your theories using A/B testing, moving people around to different lists. Use your lists to further refine your messages. What works? What doesn’t?
Timeliness should also be a factor, no matter who your client or prospects are. Use upcoming events to create localized marketing campaigns. Talk about things that are impacting your neighborhood. Expecting a storm? Create a campaign with flashlights and umbrellas. Surviving a heat wave? Offer free lemonade just for stopping by.
Marketing isn’t a chore if you have fun with it all the time. And when you add geotargeting into the mix, you can get to know your clients and prospects on an entirely new level.
And that’s where the fun truly begins.
How can we help you with your geotargeting needs?