When online marketing first became a substantial trend among businesses in North America and abroad, it appeared as though its greatest utility was the ability to dramatically increase visibility in a broader range of regions than ever before. However, as advertising trends continue to shift rapidly amid greater attention to detail and increased competition among firms, globalized marketing campaigns are losing ground to expertly crafted local strategies.
Geo-targeting is a fine art within the greater scope of online marketing, and has become one of the more complex, but critical aspects of a modern advertising strategy. Business leaders should consider integrating geo-targeted marketing strategies into their overall advertising approach to ensure they are getting the highest returns possible on their investments.
To geo-target, or not to geo-target
Decision-makers might need a clearer understanding of the benefits of geo-targeting, as well as the dangers of neglecting this trend, before they start a related strategy. Here are some of the biggest reasons why companies should start geo-targeting:
- Organic results: Strong geo-targeting practices have been found to help companies reach only relevant and local customers, which in turn translates to higher search rankings.
- Conversions: Although the face of marketing has changed dramatically in the past several decades, the intrinsic motivations and goals of advertising remain the same. Companies need to focus on conversions to excel in marketing, and localized, geo-targeted advertising works to maximize the rate of viewers who engage with the firm.
- Mobility: The rise of mobile devices has had a profound impact on corporate operations, from bring your own device (BYOD) programs and electronic payment processing to specialized ads. Geo-targeting will help businesses reach consumers through their beloved mobile devices.
In short, failing to leverage geo-targeting might begin to hinder other marketing efforts, including search engine optimization and social media advertising. Relevant content is the focal point in modern marketing, and targeting the desired consumers is the only way to ensure this requirement is met.
Introduction to best practices
When first launching a geo-targeting marketing campaign, decision-makers should consider some of these best practices:
- See the target: The first step is to identify the geographic locations that will be most beneficial to an advertising campaign. This is not always the easiest process, but market research and adequate analysis of consumer behaviors through the lens of localization can reveal where the ads will be best received.
- Feel the target: Leaders should have a robust understanding of the locations they are targeting, including culture, preferences and behaviors of their inhabitants. A consistent attention to detail will help sustain relevance in geo-targeted local ads.
- Take the shot: Once the target has been clearly identified, companies will want to make sure that the ads delivered are relevant, engaging and quick. This is especially important for mobile targeting, as consumers will have a shorter attention span.
- Measure, measure, measure: Just as practice makes perfect, measurement of advertising campaigns is critical to improvements. Businesses should have evaluation frameworks in place to clearly identify which geo-targeting practices are working well, and which are in need of refinement.
At the end of the day, many companies will benefit from using a firm that specializes in geo-targeted advertising campaigns, as it can be a complex undertaking.