Location Based Marketing – How To Reach More Local Customers

From billboards to costumed mascots, companies have been using location based marketing for years. As technology has continued to grow and change, so have the ways that you can reach potential customers.

What is Location Based Marketing?

Location Based Marketing allows a business to market directly to its patrons via social media marketing applications accessed through mobile devices. Simply put, if your customers are using a Smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device near your location, you can utilize this local mobile marketing strategy to get them through your front door.

How It Works

With the prevalence of sophisticated mobile devices, the popularity of location based social media is growing. Smartphones alone accounted for 19% of all mobile devices sold in early 2010. More and more people are getting involved and connecting on sites like:

* Foursquare

* Facebook Places

* Gowalla

* Loopt

* Google Latitude

* Brightkite

These sites let people “check in” to show others where they are and depending on the service, give them access to a variety of digital interactions. Foursquare users for example, can collect badges based on the number of times they check into a particular place. This type of social media marketing involves taking advantage of these interactions to encourage people to visit your location, make purchases, and recommend it to their friends.

Getting Involved

In order to make the most of location based social media, your company must be listed on a location based social networking website. Each site handles listings a little differently, so it’s important to make sure that the information provided about your company is correct. A quick search of location based social media sites will tell you if you have a listing and if any changes need to be made. If the site doesn’t allow you to update the listing yourself, simply contact them to get your listing corrected.

A correct listing ensures that potential clients can find your business when looking for to places to go when they’re out and about. This can draw both local residents and people from out of town to your company, bringing in customers who might not otherwise have thought to stop by.

How Your Business Can Benefit

There are many ways to utilize location based marketing to grow your business. Depending on your marketing goals, you may wish to:

* Offer specialized coupons to customers the first time they check in

* Create a “digital punch card” that gives a discount or free item after a certain number of check-ins

* Post a customized banner ad or icon to catch the attention of potential clients

* Run targeted promotions for users on specific social media sites

Location based marketing occurs in real-time, meaning that the customer will view a promotion, decide whether or not to act on it, and post comments or reviews all while physically present at your location. By keeping on top of what consumers are saying, you can analyze which promotions are working the best for your company and modify your internet marketing strategy accordingly.

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