Geotargeting is very hot right now, but it is a lot like buying a boat: It sounds great, and a lot of other people love it, but is it actually worth the investment for you? Is it actually something that benefits you?
Geotargeting makes the most sense for businesses who are brick-and-mortar, have a precise location they want for customers to visit, and whose customers tend to make decisions on-the-fly, largely based on location. Great examples include restaurants, nail and hair salons, and automotive dealerships. The type of geotargeting in this case is known as radius targeting or local awareness advertising. With services like a Google My Business account or Facebook’s local awareness ads, you can create a x mile (or km) radius around your business, and adjust your bid to make it higher when customers are within the radius of the location. For instance, your keyword bids might be $3 on Google AdWords. However, when someone is within 10-15 miles of your store, you are willing to pay $4-5, and when they are even closer, within 5-10 miles of your store, you are willing to pay even more, say, $5-7 on Google AdWords.
On Google Ads, you can target not only around specific locations, but also around certain demographics, places of interest, or other business competitors’ locations.
On Facebook Ads, you can reach people not only by location, but also by a specific trade area or by features like “emerging markets.” To do this, you can set up a Facebook ad, and choose to “Drop Pin” and slide the radius from 1-50 miles of your location.
If you deploy radius targeting for your business, we recommend varying the visual ads, ad copy, and landing page for varied nearby locations. A more personalized message or a special offer can be just the thing to get customers through the door. We recommend doing surveys of potential customers in the area to discover what they like to buy, at what price point, how often, at which locations, etc. For as little as a $25 Amazon gift card, many locals are often willing to share 10-15 minutes of their time to answer such questions. Often, after 25-50 surveys, strong patterns emerge — and the $625-1250 investment is well-worth it to know more about your local market, as well as to have a better idea of what tone, voice, messaging, and style will entice them to enter your store.
Whether or not geotargeting makes sense for e-commerce businesses without a physical location depends on several factors. First, the universality of the product offering. For instance, you don’t want to sell bathing suits in Alaska in December, so why waste potential advertising dollars putting ads in front of people there? Secondly, you can also vary shipping costs (and even offer free shipping to customers within a certain radius) using geotargeting to determine where potential customers are coming from. Lastly, it can be useful for adapting ad tone, voice, messaging, style and offers for different markets, and for A/B testing the results.
If you want top-notch digital marketing strategy, or have questions about your own geotargeting strategy, reach out to us at AEK Solutions for a free, no-obligation Q&A session. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable growth online by embracing a rapid-experimentation, funnel-based approach. We also utilize creative and technology, such as geotargeting, customer experience management, and moments of influence testing to develop solutions to specific digital marketing issues.