Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
March 20th, 2019

Using Geofencing to Hyper Target Your Ads

We have all likely heard the song “Don’t Fence Me In.” It’s been used in numerous television commercials by major brand names recently. However, when it comes to doing your advertising, fencing in your target audience might be exactly what you want to do. This type of advertising is called geofencing. I wanted to share how you might use it to help promote your business.

So, let’s start out with defining what geofencing is. Simply put, geofencing is the practice of drawing a very tight geographic boundary and marketing to a particular group of people from only within that boundary. Depending on the digital marketing platform you’re using, you can narrow an area down to a 1-km radius and even smaller, as I will explain later.

Ok, now that we have a basic definition, what are some examples of how you could use it? For this article, we’re going to use a scenario where you own a restaurant near a professional baseball stadium and you wanted to attract pre- and post-game patrons via Facebook and Instagram. We’ll pretend your restaurant is in Cleveland next to where the Indians play.

You’d like to offer people attending the game a 50-percent off appetizer deal if they show their ticket after the game.

The first thing you’d do is design an ad specific to the offer. Maybe use a picture of a ticket or the stadium you have and create a graphic. Then, write text that explains the offer in detail and where you’re located. Once you have that together, you’d post it onto the company Facebook and Instagram pages.

Now, it’s time to integrate the geofencing. From within the Facebook ads manager, you can create a promotion around that post. The first thing you’ll want to do is create the audience. Select “Everyone in This Location” as you begin to build the audience. Now, you can easily Google the address of the venue and enter that in for the target. Facebook will typically give a 10-20 mile radius, but you can adjust that down to 1 mile. One mile would still be a large area, especially in a downtown market, so we want to get narrower than that. You can then drop pins around the 1 mile radius and exclude those areas (see graphic). This enables you to narrow down the area to the exact spot of the stadium.

Now, we can provide a budget for the promotion and set the time to correspond to the hours the game would be played. By doing this, you’ll be showing your post promoting an after game deal to anyone in the stadium checking out Facebook and Instagram during the game (which will basically be about everyone there!).

I don’t have space in this article to get into the step by step of setting this up, but hopefully you can see how this would be beneficial as you could target all ad money directly to a small audience with a targeted piece of content. This could be used to target a home related product by geofencing in the local spring home show during show hours. It could be used to geofence in the local sports complex to promote your sporting goods store or private coaching business at exactly the hours that you know games are being played there. You can also promote a business like automotive window tinting by geofencing in the area auto mall or dealership complex on a busy weekend with a special deal for getting your new vehicle purchase tinted.

The opportunities to use geofencing to really target in your marketing budget are almost endless. Hopefully this article gets you thinking about ways you can use it to help grow your business. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.

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