by Ajay Prasad
The basic concept of location based marketing has been around for years but the internet, social media websites as well as ‘smart phones’, together are set to change it forever.
Simple yet brilliant phone applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla which rely on Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) have made it possible for business to communicate with their customers online. More commonly known social networks such as Facebook, Google Maps and Yelp too are catching up and helping make social media become an integral part of real world commerce.
Social networks and the so called ‘lo-so’ networks are an all new medium for Advertising and Marketing and the quicker do business comprehend them and adapt to take their advantages the better it is for them.
How does it all work?
Everything’s digital. Gone are the days when everyone kept a phonebook and a hefty copy of the Yellowpages directories, most of us today look for services and businesses online. Say it’s your first ever evening in San Francisco and the only thing in on your mind is ‘Sushi’. What do you do? You pull out your smart phone or switch on your laptop, visit a search engine website like Google and type “Sea Food in San Francisco” or perhaps even “Sushi in San Francisco”. Trust me, Google will let you in on thousands and thousands of results and is quite capable of leaving you all confused. What do you do? You click on the new Local Search Result Only feature. This would enable the search engine to provide you with results relevant to your physical location. You can then choose from a handful of restaurants, where you may relish your Sushi.
How does Local Marketing help Businesses?
Anyone on the streets, round the corner or even a mile away can, only with a couple of clicks on their ‘smart phones’, instantly find out about the services and goods your business offers. This new possibility naturally increases the on-foot traffic to your store and also encourages impulsive buying. Being published on online business directories allow anyone in the city to find your goods and services.
Local social media marketing is a form of direct marketing; your promotional material reaches out to real potential customers who are already making an effort to find you. Your promotional material is delivered electronically and on demand. It is, in comparison, an eco-friendly form of advertising as there is no hard copy paper wastage involved.
How do Businesses use Local Marketing?
Business register themselves on local marketing feature of search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing etc, and on Business directory websites such as yelp to gain online visibility. It’s important to fill the business profile on such websites carefully.
Some companies opt for professional search engine optimization (SEO) for their websites. The importance of (SEO) is only to rise in the near future for not only would the website require to be indexed properly so they may be found within the general internet top search engines but would soon also require to be found by physical, geographic, location as well.
Another way businesses are using social media and location based marketing is to engage with their customers. Applications like Twitter allow building an intimidate relationship with customers. They act as an online mouthpiece where a store may talk of a new product launch or an art gallery may speak of a special event.
About the Author
Ajay Prasad is founder of Global Marketing Resources LLC that runs a number of ecommerce websites under its umbrella. Ajay’s functional expertise includes website strategy, marketing management, business development, consumer research, market analysis and strategic planning. SearchLocalHQ is an Orange County Internet Solution company that aims to develop an overall Web Marketing and Local Search Marketing solution for a small local business. For more information visit: http://searchlocalhq.com/