Go Local With Places – Location-Based Marketing

I recently looked into  media for a chain of franchised restaurants to help with their local store marketing efforts. Along with traditional tactics, such as advertising in local community newspapers, I suggested that they use location-based media as an inbound marketing tactic.

People search locally on-the-go

People now search “on-the-go” with mobile devices, such as smartphones and iPads, when they want to find a restaurant nearby, or their closest hardware shop. Nielsen predicts that, “We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to  friends, the internet and the world at large.”

As a consumer, depending on where you’re located,  location-based media will deliver content to your mobile device. For marketers interested in driving traffic to their locations, it is a way to deliver a targeted marketing message to customers in a specific geographic location, and therefore, ideal for local store marketing.

Leaders, at this point, in location-based media include:

Using location-based media may help to increase:

  • Website ranking
  • Customer acquisition
  • Loyalty
  • Community building

For this post, I’ll focus on Google Places. Subscribe to my blog so that you’ll know when I’ve posted about Foursquare and other services!

Google Places

Google Places gives you the opportunity to rank higher in search results on Google. Claiming  your space may even get you on the first  page of your customers’ search results – for free!

This will give you:

  • More visibility
  • More traffic
  • Level the playing field with the big guys

To get the best results you’ll want to:

  • Include as much information as possible, including videos and photos
  • Optimize for keywords/phrases
  • Encourage customer reviews – the more you have the higher your rank will be

To enhance your free listing give Adwords Express a try. Adwords Express lets you create an online ad campaign attracting more hits to your website and Places page.

With Adwords Express you:

  • Set up a monthly budget for your ad
  • Google will decide what  keywords trigger your ad, based on the categories that you select
  • You pay for the clicks that your ad actually receives.
  • Advertise different categories of your business
  • Promote multiple locations

Learn more by watching this Google video:

Do you, or will you use Google Places, to enhance your online marketing efforts? Share your intentions or experience by leaving a comment!