Geotargeting: The Powerful Marketing Tactic Local Business Cannot Ignore

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Aug 15, 2019  /  Solutions |

As a local business, it's key for you to market to customers who are within a few miles of your business because they are the shoppers and clients most likely to visit your location.

The vast majority of consumer purchases (like gas, groceries, or restaurant meals) are made only three miles away from home, and almost 75% of consumers who look up businesses locally searched within a five-mile radius.

So your local business doesn't need to market to the masses across the country, state, or even city if you want to attract customers. You just need to catch the attention of those who are within miles of your business. Geotargeting allows you to do this.

What Is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is a form of pay-per-click advertising that shows ads to users by targeting their zip codes, city, or geographic region. It allows you to hyper-target customers to maximize your marketing budget. You can select specific neighborhoods and areas to target customers who are just a few blocks or miles away from your location.  

Don't confuse geotargeting with geofencing -- another tactic that uses boundaries to target customers at precise locations. Learn more about geofencing in our post: Using Geofencing Advertising to Target Customers at Exactly The Right Place.

Getting Started With Geotargeting

The first step in geotargeting is identifying where the majority of your customers come from.

The Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) is perfectly represented in geotargeting: the vast majority of your sales are going to come from a select few loyal customers. In geotargeting, the majority of sales will come from a few regions or zip codes.  

There are a few ways you can get an idea for who searches for your business and where they come from. You can:

  • Aggregate credit card data to see which zip codes are most common.
  • Look up the information on Google Analytics.
  • Use Facebook insights on brand pages to see where customers come from.  

It's important to conduct research because you may discover that most of your customers don't actually come from the areas right around your business.

For example, a local craft brewery might attract customers from more affluent areas to the north without pulling in customers from lower-income neighborhoods a few blocks away. Your store may not always be the bullseye in the center of the circle for your conversion zone.  

Knowing the top regions and zip codes of where your existing customers come from can help you develop geotargeting marketing plans.

You can clearly see what parts of town to ignore, where to draw the lines of your advertising campaigns, and where you want to target in the future to expand your audience. These zones give you clear insights and a plan of attack.  

Creating Geotargeting Marketing Campaigns

Your customers are already limiting themselves by geographic region when they search for brands. When they look up Yelp or Google Reviews they focus on businesses a few miles away. However, many digital marketing tools and strategies make it easy for you to limit exactly who sees your content and when -- allowing you to even draw exact lines yourself to create your conversion zone.

You can create geotargeted marketing campaigns by:

  • Developing a Facebook ad strategy to target ideal geographic regions.
  • Presenting Google and Bing ads to audiences based on zip code.
  • Presenting Google and Bing ads to people within a certain mile radius of a location or business.

An example of geotargeting could be something as direct as a restaurant using Facebook ads to target customers that live within five miles of the business. Or, it could be more strategic such as a car insurance company showing Google ads to people who are within a mile of a car dealership.

There are many ways to use geotargeting to create campaigns that target your ideal customer while they are in places more likely to drive them to your business.

Geotargeting Isn't Just for Attracting Local Customers

Geotargeting isn’t just for attracting customers down the street. It is incredibly valuable in the travel and tourism industry for attracting customers.

For example, when Norwegian Air announced a new direct flight from Tampa to London last year, the airline targeted audiences in the Tampa area trying to promote tourism across the pond. Plus, it’s not uncommon for tropical tourism agencies to use geotargeting target specific regions that are hit particularly hard by snowstorms and freezing temperatures to convince them to take a vacation.  

Your geotargeting doesn’t have to be your exact region, just the hyper-targeted region you hope to reach.  

Follow These 6 Geotargeting Best Practices to Launch Your Campaign

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in your geo-targeting campaigns. Plenty of business have come before and made mistakes so you don’t have to.

Follow these six best practices to make the most of your geotargeting efforts:  

  • Focus on quality over quantity. It is better to reach a handful of highly-engaged audiences than to broadcast across an entire city.
  • Avoid creating geographic ranges that are too big or too small. If you go too big, you can’t see which areas are most effective. If you go too small, you won’t reach as many people as you want to make an impact.
  • Consider letting customers know you are targeting them. Show that you are reaching out to specific neighborhoods and zip codes with unique copy and promotions.  
  • Don’t limit your campaigns to one message. Test different copy, call-to-actions, and goals with your efforts to see how audiences respond.
  • Don’t look at just sales and conversions to measure success. Also consider insights like impressions, awareness, and perception of your brand.
  • Improve the data you collect. Continue to review your business data and let your audience reaction tell you where to reinvest and what to focus on.

With the right marketing strategy and critical thinking, you should be able to expand your presence in the community and bring more local customers into your business.

Learn How You Can Utilize Geotargeting for Your Business

If you want to stretch your ROI of your marketing budget and better connect with the people around you, consider implementing geotargeting in your next digital marketing plan.

If you are still unsure about how to execute this strategy, reach out to MyArea Network today. Contact us for a free consultation and we can show you how we use geotargeting tactics to help our partners connect with engaged locals living, working, and traveling around their businesses.

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