The Ultimate Guide To Geolocation Advertising

April 14, 2023
7 minutes

Geolocation advertising, also called location-based advertising, enables advertisers to segment their target market depending on locations their consumers have visited. It helps them show ads or content to the audience so as to make more relevant interaction with them.

In this detailed guide, we’ll take a look at what geolocation advertising is, how it works, and how you can use it to connect with the right audience.

What is geolocation advertising?

Geolocation refers to the geographical location of a device connected to the Internet. It could be anything from a laptop or smartphone, to a smart speaker or a fitness tracker. Geolocation advertising uses this location data to serve relevant ad campaigns to the audiences based on where they are physically located.

Location based advertising by the numbers | Eskimi
Source: Medium

How geolocation advertising works?

Geolocation technology works in numerous ways, accumulating location info both in an active and passive manner. For instance, some geolocation software can gather real-time geolocation data based on connection to GPS and cellular networks.

When users have location enabled on their smartphones or other connected devices, the geolocation platform can approximate your location with respect to those networks. The more networks you have in a given area, the more precise the general location will be. That’s the reason why you can easily identify device locations in well-connected urban areas than in sparingly connected rural ones.

You can also accumulate geolocation data passively via IP addresses. These are typically linked to physical locations in databases. For instance, internet service providers (ISPs) have info on their users’ IP addresses and their general location. Based on where the data comes from and how often it’s updated, the geolocation data stored in databases may not be completely accurate. But, these databases are beneficial for marketers showing ads based on the nearest region.

Cross-referencing both kinds of geolocation data – GPS and IP addresses – can help you more accurately pinpoint location information.

Who uses geolocation advertising?

Geolocation advertising is an effective tool for agencies or brands of any size. The major advantage of geolocation advertising is the capability to market to a highly-targeted customer segment. The customers that visit a specific location or group of locations are the most relevant audiences accessible. Marketers that wish to serve ads to bring footfall traffic to physical sites, or reach their competitors’ consumers, are the perfect applicants for geolocation advertising.

Geolocation advertising is usually not a good match for businesses with one location because such single-store brands do not yield sufficient data to construct actionable audiences. Moreover, it doesn’t work well for ubiquitous consumer packaged goods (such as soaps, chips etc.). As these items are found in several different stores, advertisers for these products get better results with other strategies, such as demographic targeting. Plus, sensitive locations, like doctors’ offices, can be challenging to construct a geotargeted audience due to confidentiality and privacy issues.

Why do marketers use geolocation advertising?

Today, customers spend more time using their mobile gadgets than watching TV, with the use of smartphone dominating that time consumed. With users on their mobile phones for a daily average of 3 hours 54 seconds, there is sufficient time for ad exposure.

Advertisers find it more effective to gather actionable data about their audiences instead of serving the existing audiences within their geofences. This way, advertisers can learn and comprehend who visits their stores and when. Then, they continue to follow up with appropriate advertising content delivered to their customers’ smartphones. This encourages more store visits and conversions.

Another successful way advertisers use geolocation advertising is through footfall traffic attribution. At Eskimi, we know that signifying true attribution from advertisement to sale is one of the most challenging aspects of contemporary advertising. Voucher codes or digital cookies work for online attribution. However, footfall traffic attribution remains tough to resolve. This is where geolocation targeting can help.

Via a geolocation targeting campaign, marketers visualise footfall traffic and repeat visits while the campaign runs. Moreover, footfall traffic attribution helps you analyse your rivals’ location data. This gives you the competitive edge to geographically conquest these consumers. For instance, if you’re marketing for a café, you advertise to consumers visiting your rivals’ sites.

Google visitor and advertising ROI statistics | Eskimi
Source: Pink Lemonade

Where can you run geolocation advertising campaigns?

Going back to where geolocation targeting initiated, location-based campaigns still work effectively across print, TV, radio, and digital. However, capabilities and complexity levels vary depending on the channel.

When assessing geolocation targeting for online ad campaigns, they are the simplest and most effective when connected to mobile marketing, as long as that’s where the majority of location data comes from.

Social networks also allow numerous methods, with the easiest being their current targeting possibilities. These networks allow advertisers to effortlessly construct audiences that live, work, and visit neighbouring places, towns, zip codes, designated market areas (DMAs), regions, and states. Using social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, advertisers can also upload their own data to produce custom audiences. These platforms match their audiences to a list of mobile advertising IDs that include the location-based users.

To perform geolocation advertising throughout the mobile ecosystem, there are many methods and tools accessible. For example, with Eskimi DSP you can access hyperlocation targeting which allows you to target audiences by geographical area, city district, or any specific building or shape on a map. For footfall tracking, it provides you with the ability to measure how many users that viewed your ad and visited the physical location of your business.

Key considerations for geolocation advertising

If you’re considering to implement geolocation advertising in your strategy, you must first figure out how customised you want your audiences to be. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Are date ranges important?
2. How many locations do you wish to construct audiences from?
3. Are you interested in an audience on a local, state, or global scale?
4. Do you have to target customers based on recent or past visits?
5. Do you only need pre-built audiences?

Existing location targeting tools

For starters, use the tools integrated into social media platforms and Google. You can select where your ads are served depending on where your target audience resides, works, and is close to at that point. You may also show advertisements to audiences created on the basis of location groups, like state, city, zip code, and region, and fine-tune to those who have displayed interest in your brand.

Pre-built audiences

Another way is to buy pre-built audiences from marketplaces like Kochava, adsquare, or ubimo. You can buy pre-selected cohorts of individuals with similar characteristics and visits, for instance, an audience of “McDonald’s customers” or “Apple customers.”  

While using an audience marketplace will give you a more targeted audience, you may lack transparency and customisability into precisely how the enterprises have constructed and determined those audiences. You won’t have as much control over date ranges. Plus, you can’t easily visualise competitive visits or have easy access to attribution measurements.

Mobile audience & analytics providers

You may also choose to work with a mobile audience and analytics provider. This way, you will have more control over the places and dates ranges from which you want to custom build your audiences of real-life visitors. You can even scale your audiences from a single site to provincial, national, or even on a state scale. Moreover, a geolocation advertising platform like Eskimi DSP also analyses footfall traffic so that you can comprehend audience performance before, throughout, and after campaigns.

Wrap up

Geolocation advertising helps you attain your campaign objectives and measure the influence on both your brand awareness as well as return on investment (ROI). It allows you to reach potential consumers within a certain geographical location.

Although this guide discusses numerous factors to consider when planning to implement geolocation advertising, getting started is really just a matter of diving in, testing, learning, and optimising at every step of the way.

Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
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