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Location-based marketing is one of the newer trends in marketing. If you run an offline business or a business that tends to do a lot of volume in local markets, using location-based marketing can help boost your sales.
Review Sites: Yelp, Google Places, Citysearch
Review sites are one of the newest additions in the realm of internet influencers. If you run an offline business, there’s a good chance that someone’s going to use a site like Yelp to check out your reputation before visiting.
Using both paid and unpaid methods of getting your rankings up in these sites is a great investment.
Try to incentivise users of these sites to rank you well by offering gifts and discounts for people who post reviews.
Negotiate with the sites themselves to see if you can pay to promote your listings higher in their search engine.
Google Places, Google Local, Facebook Pages
Another place you might want to look at is Google Places and Facebook Pages for local businesses.
There are two reasons to pay attention to. First, you want your business to appear in Google Maps. When someone searches for “coffee” on their iPhone, you want your coffee shop to pop up.
The other reason is that local Google results often appear higher than organic results. This allows you to rank highly for relevant terms for much less work.
Facebook Pages allow you to provide important information to people interested in visiting your establishment. It also makes it easy for your fans to share your events and promotions.
Foursquare is yet another location-based service that uses a unique “check-in” mechanism to help incentives people to frequent a certain location.
If you have a business that people would visit often, then Foursquare is probably a good idea. Places like coffee shops, bars, laundromats, etc. can do really well on Foursquare.
Low-frequency physical locations, such as passport shops or real estate agents, probably should give Foursquare a pass.
Groupon, LivingSocial and Group Buying Sites
Group buying sites are another possibility to consider.
The most important thing to remember with group buying sites is that they’re very expensive to participate in. Usually, you have to give a significant discount, then on top of that give the group-buying site a cut.
For example, let’s say your normal monthly Yoga pass costs £150. For the group-buying site’s users, you offer a three-month package for £60 a month. On top of that, you need to pay the group-buying site £25 a signup.
That means that instead of £150, you’re now working with just £35 to cover your costs with. You won’t make a profit, but you’ll get a customer through your doors.
To use group buying well, you need to know for sure that you can monetise a customer once they’re in your sales funnel.
These are a few of the most common location-based marketing tactics. If you have a local business, you almost definitely want to be using reviews and Google Places. Foursquare and Groupon depend on your business model, as detailed above.