by Christopher Burres, owner of eWebResults
If you own a small business, you should know that internet marketing is essential to your company’s success. There are so many great marketing strategies out there, like SEO, Local SEO, PPC ads, and more.
But have you heard of geofencing?
Why Geofencing Is a Great Choice for Small Businesses.
Imagine this: You’re out running errands and you drive by your dry cleaning place. Your phone buzzes and you get a message saying something like:
- “Don’t forget to pick up your dry cleaning! It will be ready at 1 pm!”
- “Your order is ready for pick up!”
- “Hey, do you have anything to drop off? We’re ready for you!”
You’re out shopping with some friends when you get a notification that there’s a sale at your favorite store, so you run on over there to score some great deals.
Say you’re trying to find an Uber, and you get a notification that there’s a driver nearby.
That is all geofencing. Pretty cool, right? So how does it work?
Basically, you throw out a virtual “fence” over the area surrounding your business. When customers enter that fence, you’re able to market to them and send them messages. Not only is this convenient for you as a business owner, but it’s also very convenient and helpful for customers. Those notifications can definitely save time, and remind people of things they might have forgotten about! So it’s a win-win all around.
What Is Geofencing?
- Location-Based Marketing tool
- Uses RFID/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/GPS/Cell Data to determine location
- Sends ads to people in a specific location
Geo-fencing allows you to target a unique group of people by their specific location at a certain date and period of time. Basically, an app (or other software) uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when your mobile device enters or exits a virtual perimeter set up around a geographical location. This geographical location is known as a geo-fence. We like to thinking of geo-fencing as extremely advanced mobile advertising based on physical location. This technique is great for events, works in real time, easy to customize audiences, and can go back up to 6 months prior in terms of collecting data.
In other words, this direct marketing strategy uses a smartphone’s (or other mobile device’s) location to alert the person who owns the device about an offer from a nearby business.
Geofencing: An Excellent Strategy to Beat Your Competition.
Here’s another cool way to use geofencing. As a business owner, you know you have competitors, and you’re always looking to beat them and be seen as the best. Geofencing can help you do just that.
For example, say you own a wedding venue in Chicago. You can draw a geofence around your competition – all the other wedding venues in town with comparable pricing. Most importantly, you implement this geofencing campaign during the time that brides tend to take tours of wedding venues in the area. When they enter your competitors’ venues for tours, they enter your geofence. At that point, you can start showing them ads and driving them to YOUR business!
The Billboard Strategy.
Location, location, location. It really is important.
Say you’re an engineering company looking for more business. So you throw up a billboard right in front of Halliburton, where you know people are already flocking for engineering.
Maybe someone just left Halliburton disappointed with what they were offered. Then they see your billboard and think to themselves, “Hmm. Maybe I’ll give them a try!”
It’s yet another genius way to beat your competition.
Is Geofencing Right for You?
It’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you consider geofencing, such as:
What kind of business do you own? Think about your industry and what could help your customers and your business at the same time.
Who is your competition? Think about your competitors. How, where, and when do they market? How could you use geofencing to compete?
What legalities are involved? Unfortunately, some places do not allow geofencing. For example, Massachusetts doesn’t allow geofencing near medical facilities. Make sure to look into your state’s laws before diving in.
All in all, geofencing is an excellent marketing strategy that allows business owners to hyper-target their customers, compete with others in their industry, and assist their customers.
Christopher Burres is the owner of eWebResults. He has been an entrepreneur since 1991 when he started a Carbon Nano-Materials manufacturing company, SES Research. In 1999 with a graphic design partner he opened E-Webstyle (now eWebResults) a website design and development company. Chris co-created and is currently the co-host of the most popular SEO Podcast on iTunes The SEO Podcast – Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing”.