How to Use Location Based Advertising With SMS (Examples Included)

How to Use Location Based Advertising With SMS (Examples Included)

location based advertising

Businesses have long been searching for ways to segment their communications so only people who are nearby receive their marketing. You’ve probably heard the buzzword: location-based advertising. Not quite sure what location-based advertising is or how you’d make it work for you? Here’s everything you need to know about this savvy marketing technique, including simple strategies for implementing location-based mobile advertising into your marketing mix right now. 

How does location-based advertising work?

Location-based advertising (LBA) is a strategy for marketing that combines mobile ads with location tracking to show consumers content relevant to their physical location. For example, if you’re walking by a coffee shop, you might receive an ad on your phone with its daily specials. This would be location-based advertising at work. 

Location-based advertising doesn’t have to be that direct. It can also involve sending customers ads based on their general geographic area, such as by zip code or area code. For example, if you have multiple locations for your business, you might want to only target customers who are near Location A with a certain promotion. Location-based advertising works to let you do this. 

Why use location-based advertising?

Simply put: A lot of people own smartphones. In fact, SMS statistics show 3.5 billion people worldwide are projected to have owned smartphones in 2020. Traditional advertising used to work people people were glued to their T.V.’s or radios, nowadays people are glued to their smartphones. You need to meet them where they are and serve them valuable content. When location-based advertising is done right it’s hyper-valuable because it’s deeply contextualized in a person’s unique experience.

Is location-based marketing effective?

Statistics show slightly more than eight out of 10 marketers (84%) are using location-based marketing in some way. The majority of these marketers (525) are using location-based advertising to personalize their customer experience and create hyper-engaged audiences. It’s predicted that marketers will spend up to $38.7 billion on location-based marketing in 2022. This is because it works. MarTech data shows 83% of marketers feel their campaigns are more effective with location-based marketing. The same amount see higher response rates when they use location-based advertising. Also, 74% of marketers see an improved return on investment, and 70% see an increased lift.

Strategies for location-based advertising with SMS

Location-based mobile advertising is most easily accomplished using text message marketing. It’s really easy to set up. Here are four ways you can get started. 

Example 1: Use your web sign up form

If you’re using a web sign up form to obtain consent you can easily add fields to help segment your list by location. These fields could be state, city, or even zip code. Not everyone uses a web form for consent, so this option won’t work all the time, but it’s very simple to create if a web form is part of your strategy. 

After you’ve collected this information, it’s just a matter of segmenting your list based on location. You can choose to send SMS messages only to members of your text list who have a specific zip code or live in a certain city.

Example 2: Create a conversation in Workflows

Our Workflows feature allows ultra control over how niche you can get with your location-based advertising. It’s easy to create automatic conversations that ask your customers questions. Our state-of-the-art platform can read customer sentiment and automatically funnel them into additional streams for you to further segment your audience. 

For example, you could segment customers by where they work and where they live. While their zipcode might give you valuable information about their location in the evenings or weekends, asking a question such as “Do you work downtown,” can help you send them relevant information during the work day. 

Example 3: Use textwords

You can think of textwords like keywords, they’re the word or phrase that people text in to join your text list. If you have more than one location for your business you can consider creating location-specific text words. This would put people from each location on separate text lists.

For example, if you’re a yoga studio, you could tell customers on the south side of town to use one text word, let’s say SOUTHYOGA, and you can tell customers on the north side of town to use another textword, such as NORTHYOGA. You could repeat this for as many locations as you have. That way, customers who live nearby and are most likely to visit your studio will be hearing about deals or promotions specific to that studio.  

location based advertising example

Example 4: Use area codes

Another option for segmenting your list for location-based mobile advertising is to separate your list based on their phone number area code. Theoretically, everyone with a certain area code should be living in the same general area. 

While this technically works, it’s not the best way to do location-based advertising. In fact, it’s somewhat rudimentary and prone to a lot of errors. People often move without changing their phone numbers, which makes this strategy unreliable. 

The best use case for area codes to do location-based advertising is if you have a scenario where your location is very large — perhaps the entire state, or an entire region. Again, it’s probably best to use other data to segment your list, but if all you have are area codes this could be a good starting point. 

Should you start location-based mobile advertising?

Location-based advertising is becoming increasingly popular. Statistics show that nine out of 10 marketers believe location-based advertising grew their sales. The same study found 86% of marketers think location-based mobile advertising fuelled growth in their customer base. Customers are looking for a more personal experience, they want to block out the noise and only receive messaging that is hyper-relevant to them. That’s what location-based advertising can do. At the same time, there are some drawbacks. Here’s how to make sure you do location-based advertising right. 

Pros

  • Relevant ads: You’re adding value to customers by showing them ads that matter or have great relevance to their immediate circumstances. 
  • Build customer engagement: You’re more likely to develop brand enthusiasts when you’re sending them information they can actually use in the moment. 
  • Increase sales: Location-based advertising done right can help you grow revenue. 
  • Easy to start: Using SMS to start location-based mobile advertising takes only minutes to set up. 
  • You can talk to anyone with a phone: Some versions of mobile ads can only be sent to smartphone users, but if you do location-based advertising via SMS you can access anyone with a mobile phone. 

Cons

  • Needs to be specific: If you don’t have the right information to start segmenting your list, you’ll need to begin collecting more data by asking questions and soliciting responses from your current text list. 
  • Ineffective data: If your data is outdated or simply not relevant to your business then location-based advertising will have a diminished impact. 
  • Could feel uncomfortable: Some consumers are uncomfortable when they feel hyper-targeted. 

Common location-based advertising questions

Still have lingering questions about location-based marketing? Great, we’ve got answers.

How do you do location-based advertising?

There are many different strategies for location-based advertising using both digital and physical methods to initiate marketing plans centered around a customer’s physical location. Usually, location-based advertising means taking specific consumer data and using that to send mobile messages or ads based on where a customer currently is.

How can advertisers use location data?

Advertisers can send consumers different messages based on where they are by using data from mobile phones or that was previously provided. 

How is location data used?

Location data helps marketers understand what ads might be relevant to a consumer, and at what time. It helps show consumers more valuable, actionable advertisements. 

How do advertisers know my location?

Using your area code, the text word you sign up with, or by tracking information you’ve provided about your preferences, advertisers can determine your location.

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