By Chris Paradiso
A deep dive into this location-based marketing strategy
Have you ever wondered how you got a notification when you passed by a retail store in the mall, or a local cafe when you were thinking of buying a coffee? Or perhaps, have you ever received a coupon to buy a phone protection case right after purchasing a new smartphone?
If these instances sound very relatable, then it is due to geofencing marketing. Let’s do a deep dive into what geofencing is and why it works for some insurance agencies.
What is geofencing marketing? It’s a type of location-based marketing (“geo”) that creates a virtual boundary around a predefined location with the aid of Global Positioning System (GPS) via satellite. A user with a smartphone can enter or leave the virtual boundary known as a geofence, location target, or geotarget.
The key to a successful geofencing strategy relies on understanding the audience you want to write.
With an abundance of options available for your agency, it is best to refine the target audience to send out apt notifications and marketing campaigns. The key to a successful geofencing strategy relies on understanding the audience you want to write.
How does it work? This type of marketing campaign can be used by agencies of any size. A geofence can be set up with a geographical boundary of up to 1,000 yards. Geofencing marketing is a robust method that allows businesses to engage with their users based on their “hyper-local” location. In essence, geofencing marketing works in the following manner:
- The agency creates a geofence for a predefined area and an ad campaign for that particular geofence.
- A user enters the geofenced area and gets included in the advertising audience.
- The agency starts pushing content to the user via notifications and/or in-app ads.
A geofencing marketing campaign may contain promotion, discount, invitation, or even just a greeting message. You have to be creative and very precise with your messaging.
With geofencing marketing, an agency can choose when the ads can and will appear. If there is consider-ably higher traffic during the evenings, for instance, the ads can be set to appear during that timeframe on apps and webpages to get the best results.
How much does geofencing marketing cost? The price of setting up a geofencing marketing campaign depends; usually, it varies from $4 to $20 CPM (Cost per Mile or Cost per Thousand Impressions). Several factors influence the price: impression volume, features on the integrated app, and other targeting features. The number and size of the geofence affect the cost of campaigns; the larger the geofence, the lower the CPM because the volume is higher. In addition, consider the level of reporting and targeting features to be included, too.
Geofencing marketing campaigns are added to base advertisement campaigns, which can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size and intent of the marketing campaign. The cost also depends on the campaign goals, which can either be a CPM per geofence or even cost per conversion. But typically, a geofencing marketing campaign costs between a few dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Setting up a geofencing marketing strategy may look tedious but in actuality is quite straightforward and easy to troubleshoot. A geofence can be set up around any geographical area. Locations can include:
- Around a mall
- At home shows
- Local businesses
- A competitor’s location
- The Department of Motor Vehicles
- Nearby events
- Shopping centers
- Local grocery stores
With geofencing marketing, you can also measure and manage data-driven iterations. Your agency’s brand can deliver ads and content tuned to its consumers’ behavior and demands. Businesses and marketers can then collect data, fine-tuning their target audience to give their consumers exactly what they want by using an analytics platform.
Our agency uses a company called Beaconstac. Its analytics allows us to measure the number of notifications sent out, the click-through rate of the campaign, and other campaign analytics such as age, gender, demographics, and shopping behavior to modify campaigns with these insights. Measuring is key to having a positive ROI.
Geofencing can also be integrated with Google Analytics, a free tool every agency can use.
You might be asking, how does Paradiso Insurance use geofencing? Our agency uses it for:
- Agency brand engagement. When users download the dedicated app and are prompted with a notification to encourage a purchase after entering the geofenced area, the app-to-user engagement increases.
- SMS (short message service) engagement. When users opt in to receive text messages on their smartphones from our agency, engagement automatically rises. An SMS is sent when the user enters the geofenced area.
- Social media ads. Using Facebook and Instagram’s local awareness, brands send out advertisements to users in the context of social media when they enter a geofenced area.
- Web ads. Users enter a geofenced area and designated agency branded ads are delivered via Google AdWords as and when they surf the web.
What does all this mean? We agents have the ability to target who we may want to write insurance on or brand our agency to existing clients. It might seem this type of marketing campaign may just be for generating new opportunities. I agree; but remember: The power of this technology is in helping your agency’s retention strategy. n
Chris Paradiso is president of Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, headquartered in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. His agency won PIA National’s Excellence in Social Media Award in 2013. He also heads up Paradiso Presents, LLC, which provides social media consulting, seminars and workshops to help agencies thrive in the online marketing world. Contact Chris via email at email@example.com.