For local small business owners, location-based marketing allows you to reach your target audience within your community. Before all other attempts at reaching your local audience, be sure to review Get Started with Mobile Marketing – Part 1, in which we looked at why your website needs to look good on mobile devices.
What is Location-based Marketing
Location based marketing delivers multi-media directly to the user of a mobile device dependent upon their location via GPS technology (source)
Types of Location Based Marketing
Traditionally marketing within your local community has been based on contacting the local media outlets, billboard agencies, hanging signs or fliers, and networking or word of mouth marketing. All of these methods are still in play, but now with a few modern twists.
Contact your local newspapers, tv, or radio stations to find if you can advertise on their websites and mobile apps. Additionally, check with local coupon systems like ValPak for similar services. (Protip: also connect with others following these organizations on social media sites).
Where location based marketing has evolved is online everywhere else. Remember with all suggestions below, most of these systems rely upon users accessing content from their mobile phones. What content is delivered needs to triangulate where the visitor is physically located.
Search Engine Results
When people reach for their phones to search for what they are seeking, ideally they find only local results. This happens with a variety of methods.
First, on your website you need to include schema markup that tells search engines where your business is located. This is different than merely typing the address onto your site somewhere, and having the address appear in a graphic or flash image makes it rather useless for search engines. I like using Yoast’s Local SEO for the markup.
Next, on every piece of content that you create, whether on your own website or off site, you can add meta descriptions and often location based information.
In WordPress, add your city and zipcode to the tags on your posts.
In Youtube, include your GPS location (Youtube can help you find this)
And in Flickr, add your location:
And be sure to claim your business listing on every possible page that you can. Many of these are created on your behalf and are waiting for you to verify that you are the owner. Some of these lead in to social media, like Foursquare.
By incorporating location into your content, search engines will display your local results to visitors.
Social Media Location Based Marketing
In many social network platforms, you can create ads or even status updates that are targeted to your location community.
When creating status updates in Facebook, tag your location.
When creating an offer, be sure to specify your location as well.
And if you are creating Facebook Ads, do target your audience.
Likewise, in LinkedIn, your company page can target a status update to a specific region.
Get started with Location Based Marketing
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of of all aspects of location-based marketing, hopefully it has your creativity flowing for new ways to reach your local community.