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We are well into the digital age and that rings true for the world of advertising as well. It seems as though everyday salespeople and agencies alike are educating themselves on the newest and latest digital marketing strategy. We’re sure you’ve all heard of banner ads, SEM and SEO, but have you heard of geofencing and geotargeting? These are also great ways to advertise a business or brand digitally; but what are they, exactly? And is there a difference between the two? To answer the latter question: yes. While geofencing and geotargeting are both location-based forms of marketing, they serve different purposes.

Geofencing, by definition, is a virtual fence perimeter for a real-life geographic area and can be dynamically generated or match a predefined set of boundaries. Geofencing can result in a larger target audience and can provide a hyper-relevant ad experience based only on location. Also, this method of advertising uses a specific, narrow location such as a neighborhood. You’d want to use geofencing if your services appeal to a wide demographic, if your goal is to increase conversions in a time-efficient manner or if your goal is to lure consumers away from competitors. There are also many advantages to geofencing. Through geofencing, you can increase local sales, reach customers, personalize advertisements, and also influence your competitor’s customers.

Geotargeting uses an individual’s current locations (and additional data) to personalize the ads they see browsing on the internet and/or scrolling through their social media. This method of marketing is more specific than geofencing; digital marketers may first build a customized target audience by using data about their interests, behaviors, etc. They then select the geographic area where they want to broadcast their ads. Geotargeting is best used when your services/products are for a niche group of people (i.e. a vegan café or a restaurant that wants to boost their new pescatarian menu) if your services aren’t necessarily location-specific if you’re looking to scale your business or you want to optimize your ads to improve your ROI (return on investment). Through geotargeting, you can expand your business, optimize future campaigns, improve your ROI and retarget potential customers.

Whether it is geofencing or geotargeting, you should always use clear and concise language, make your ads actionable and track your progress when implementing any location-based method of advertising.


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