The mobile evolution forced marketers to expand their views on marketing. Location has become one of the most important focus points and most marketers realize this and adjust their strategies to accommodate. But what does location-based marketing actually mean? Some call it “geo-location marketing” and others simply refer to it as “geo-marketing.” Either way, they both share the same meaning; it basically means your marketing strategy targets potential consumers by specifying their locations and monitoring their behavior.

How do marketers know where these potential consumers are? We’ve got smartphones to thank for that. According to ScreenWerk.com, 90% of smartphone users search locally. This means that local retailers rely heavily on the growth of number of smartphone users and the development of apps that allow consumers to ‘check in’ as soon as they enter any location – this could be a bar, a restaurant, a book store, etc.

Why does location matter? It matters because it allows marketers to focus on locations that assuredly drive traffic to local businesses, instead of focusing on random locations without knowing if they actually reach their target audience. This approach will also save in expenses because marketers are now aware of the most engaging locations.

Location-based marketing offers numerous possibilities. Each company or retailer needs to determine how to effectively use this approach. The following are some points and tips that may help:

–          You can offer alerts: Whenever a consumer is near your store or check in, they receive alert messages that contain current campaigns, discounts and other offers. Consumers should always be allowed to opt-out at any given point, because you don’t want to force yourself on them.

–          Decide the area you’re planning to cover. Where does your marketing start and where does it end? Think this through, because it will affect your reach.

–          Ask loyal customers for feedback, they may come up with concepts that have never crossed your mind. They look at your business from a consumer’s point of view, which is valuable.

–          Offer high-quality service. This is what keeps customers coming back and these are also the experiences they share in their social networks. Websites like Yelp, which allow people to rate any restaurant or bar, have a big influence on consumer decisions and behavior. Don’t hesitate to ask a satisfied customer to write an online review.

–          (Mobile) SEO: This is probably the most important factor, because without proper optimization, your business is likely to stay unnoticed. For example, make sure you use relatively simple keywords and add your complete location. By “complete” I mean you have to include not only the city, but also the name of the street and neighborhood of your location.
Another tool you can use is Google Places. It’s free and it helps customers find you.

–          Build a community on social networks by finding potential consumers based on their location. Approach them and offer things like coupons to get their attention and ultimately get them to visit your store.

Finally, remember to reward those who regularly check-in, so you can build customer relations and stay up-to-date on apps that provide check-in options. As the number of smartphone users grows, location-based marketing is bound to evolve as well. Hopefully this post has been useful and if you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below.