Geofencing is another modern tool/tactic businesses and organizations can use to understand and reach their target audiences better. Essentially, geofencing is simply a virtual fence around a geographical area, used to gather data and reach a relevant target audience with more precision and accuracy. In an effort to explain, let’s discuss 3 ways geofencing can benefit digital marketing campaigns.

Defining Geofencing

Let’s look at a couple definitions of geofencing; the first from WhatIs.com:

“Geo-fencing (geofencing) is a feature in a software program that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries.”

The second definition is from CIO.com:

“Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location known as a geofence.”

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Overview of Geofencing

For most applications, geofencing is used to either analyze or reach out to a target audience in a certain geographical area via their smartphones. Other common uses are: monitoring employees and vehicles, programming no-fly zones into drones, and for monitoring people on house arrest.

Mainly, GPS and cellular technology make geofencing possible for most applications, yet Bluetooth beacon technology and Wi-Fi can also be used for location-based digital marketing campaigns.

Essentially, brands can use geofencing to analyze and reach out to a targeted audience in a specific geographical area. Through social media tools and mobile apps, brands can geofence specified locations in order to understand and reach their target audience with more precision.

Here are three ways brands can use geofencing:

1. Reaching App Users in Specified Geographic Areas:

Through a brand’s custom mobile app or a third party app, brands can ask their users to opt-in for location-based push notifications and text messaging. This gives brands the ability to reach target audiences within a geofenced area using pre-programmed triggers.

Specific applications for this tactic will vary depending on each brand’s preferences and objectives. For instance, brands can use this tactic to:

    • send push notifications or texts when users enter or exit a geofenced area
    • send targeted ads through Facebook’s local awareness ads
    • send a text link for coupons at a local store
    • send location-based ads later on when users are at home
    • inform users about a local event when in the geofenced area

Again, specific geofencing tactics will vary depending on each brand’s campaign objectives, yet ultimately brands will increase their ability to connect with relevant users with any social media and digital marketing campaign.

2. Generating Geographic Analytics for Digital Marketing Campaigns:

While being able to reach out to target audiences that enter or exit a geofenced area is very useful, brands don’t always have to use geofencing directly. In other words, brands can simply use geofencing to gather and analyze data about target audiences.

Geofencing technology allows brands to understand their target audiences in a deeper way; with user consent, they can track their movements and behaviors in specified geographical areas. This can help brands determine and define digital marketing campaigns with more accuracy and relevance to their target audiences.

3. Utilizing Location-Based Social Monitoring:

The third way to use geofencing with digital marketing campaigns is with location-based social monitoring tools. Geo-specific social monitoring tools can be used by brands to gather data from keywords and user locations on social media.

These tools can be found either on the social media platform itself (search engines, hashtags with Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.) or with third-party tools (Reddit Keyword Monitor, Panoramiq for Instagram, Geofeedia, WeLink, Sysomos, MomentFeed, etc.); either way, social media monitoring is a great way for brands to use geofencing to gather data and reach out to relevant target audiences.

Brands can use geofencing to gather data and reach out to target audiences with more relevance and precision. With some ingenuity and creativity, the three ways covered here can greatly enhance digital marketing campaigns and help develop brand identity and loyalty.