Welcome to the next level of connecting with customers.
Location-based marketing is essential for allowing businesses to be found by potential customers searching for a product or service in a particular location, explains Sensis senior product manager Jon Stribling.
From being featured in business directories like the Yellow Pages and TrueLocal to Yelp and Google’s business pages, it’s a new level of exposure.
“Location-based marketing also includes new types of marketing powered by new mobile technologies, allowing marketers to target a customer’s context, such as their location and location history. This evolving technology gives marketers the capability to deliver timely and relevant content to consumers,” says Stribling.
In fact, location-aware apps have been tipped as one of the smart technologies that will revolutionise the future of eCommerce in Australia.
“This form of marketing can be as simple as an iPhone user asking Siri where the best coffee is nearby, a Google search for a luggage shop in a particular location, or as sophisticated as a large retailer using beacons to send specific offers to customers as they walk by a product they have previously purchased.”
Your business can reap the benefits
By delivering local consumers directly to a business, you’ll be getting so much more out of your marketing dollars, says Stribling.
“Google research shows that 50% of mobile users are most likely to visit a shop after conducting a local search. This means it can be a very cost effective marketing channel for businesses, since they’re ensuring they can be found by consumers looking for them at the time of search.
“For those SMEs who invest in mobile technologies like apps and beacons, location-based marketing provides innovative ways of engaging consumers with relevant and timely information.”
How to get started
Start by ensuring you’re listed in as many major local business directories as possible, like TrueLocal or Yellow Pages, and that all the listed information is correct, says Stribling.
“SMEs should also set up business profile pages on Facebook to take advantage of the massive audience Facebook has in Australia. Depending on the industry, SMEs should also consider local directories specific to their industry. For example, a café will probably want to make sure they can be found on Urbanspoon and Beanhunter,” he says.
Make sure the local listings are attractive with up-to-date content and high-quality photos and video.
“Yellow Pages research shows that listings with videos see 85% more engagement than those without.”
What details to include
Ensure your business is not invisible online by providing all the information visitors might be seeking, alongside harnessing the power of social media to reach prospective customers.
Consumers looking for local businesses are interested in opening hours, the address and product availability. SMEs should make sure all this information is accurate and available, says Stribling.
“SMEs should encourage their customers to review their business. Consumers trust reviews from real people and the more positive reviews may increase referrals.
“Lastly, if using mobile technologies like beacons for proximity marketing, be careful that you don’t cross any assumed privacy boundaries and respect consumers’ privacy by making sure messages are relevant and not spammy.”