- Harnessing the Power of GPS-Enabled Digital Marketing, By Adam Wilensky
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Harnessing the Power of GPS-Enabled Digital Marketing, By Adam Wilensky
Location-based marketing incorporates online search to influence offline decision making. Today’s digital customer journey is highly complex, multi-faceted and rapidly shifting, so it’s helpful to begin with the most basic question:
How will my prospects utilize differing platforms such as search engines, social media, web browsing and more to make an important purchase decision? In addition, we must also ask ourselves what kind of technology will enable their path to purchase: is your prospect using their smart phone or desktop, or a combination of both? Are they relying on text search or voice search, if so, at what point in their customer journey?
If your prospects are relying on their mobile phone, the odds are that their physical location will change rapidly, whereas desktop queries typically indicate that our prospect is most likely at home, or work.
Given that mobile search is now the dominant method to initiate the digital customer journey, queries that include “near me” have increased at an exponential rate. For example, if a prospect is searching for a CCRC or AL facility, they will probably include that information during the search and discovery process.
The explosion of “near me” queries have been powered by GPS technology. Without this invaluable tool, digital marketers would struggle with the creation of one-to-one relationship marketing that utilizes optimization, targeting, attribution and brand loyalty to establish a clear path from initial query to sale.
The ability to implement effective, hyper targeted location-based ad buys is also reliant on ranking in local search (e.g., visibility) followed by matching your prospect’s trust indicators which can include reviews and testimonials.
The following factors will go a long way in establishing your community as ideally suited for your prospect’s needs:
- Ranking: your brand is present on the varying platforms where your prospects are searching for your specific service
- Location-based data: managing your Google My Business profile and landing pages will help you stand out from your competition as well
- Data accuracy: updated and current location name, operating hours, physical address, social media handles and more
- Reviews: the vast majority of prospects want to validate their selections by seeing first-hand how many reviews a community is featuring on their varying marketing channels. In addition, current testimonials indicate that you are focused on regular content updates (if your testimonials aren’t current, you should remove the date)
- Local SEO: the vast majority of searches are local. As an operator, you will likely attract prospects who are looking for a community that is between 15-30 miles away from their current location. This is another scenario where GPS marketing will prove to be surprisingly cost effective
Maintaining maximum visibility on search engines and relevant social media channels will help your community rise to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), but achieving this goal requires that your website perform exceptionally well (think of Core Vitals such as loading speed or removing broken links) in conjunction with updated Google My Business profiles. Again, your rankings will be influenced by the quality of your reviews, content, local SEO links and more. These rankings will directly impact the effectiveness of a GPS, or location-based campaign.
To summarize, an optimal location-based marketing strategy should feature:
- Presence: prospects can locate you on multiple platforms
- Consistency: your information is accurate, up to date and relevant
- Visibility: your community is “above the fold” so your prospects don’t have to scroll to find you
- Brand reputation: some reviews will be out of your control, and in instances where you receive negative feedback, it’s valuable to reply in a courteous manner. Most prospects will appreciate that you took the time and effort to address any specific criticism head on
- Contextual Relevance: make sure to provide your prospects with exactly the information they are searching for. Avoid clutter and lengthy copy (most prospects are skimming, not reading in depth)
- Conversion ratios: make sure to monitor your CRM closely for online to offline sales. Understanding why and how online curiosity leads to conversion will inform your current campaign budgets and future strategy
Interest in GPS enabled marketing has increased dramatically year over year and shows no sign of slowing down.
So what comes next?
The future of location-based marketing is bright. Your prospects and their families are on the move. Gone are the days when a billboard, magazine ad or mixer were enough to secure attention. While those tactics build trust, so does a hybrid approach combining analog marketing with digital tactics.
At Canopy, we believe that leading with a location-based strategy is the most effective method of ROI positive nurturing and sales. Success requires adapting to a shifting landscape, and that’s why we are obsessed with measuring customer outcomes.
Thanks for reading,