Geo-fencing is a location-based (mobile) ad service that lets marketers show ads to users on their devices in a defined geographical radius, such as a health practice. The fencing comes from the fact that you are determining a latitude-longitude pinpoint and creating a radius as small as 20 meters from the point. Simply upload the latitude/longitude and the desired radius. (This process can change for other ad networks.)
An example of geo-fencing 500 meters around multiple Starbucks locations in South Dakota.
As you can imagine, this can be super powerful when used correctly. So we’re here to answer some of the common questions we’ve received about the service and its use cases:
What are the best use cases?
We recommend testing geo-fencing campaigns for your market, especially if you are considering the following:
Piggy-Backing on Traditional Creative: A great tactic to amplify your traditional reach. Placing ads in a train station? Make sure you geo-fence the station so users will also see you on their phones. We’ve also seen it done by impactful billboards where there is heavy foot traffic.
Location – Relevancy: Users commuting on their phone may not realize there is a practice location nearby. Play on this. Having copy that talks about you “being right around the block” can be really powerful when the user is in the area. They’ll look for you the next time around!
Competitive Conquering: Competitive conquering (for the more daring of advertisers) allows you to place your ad around a competitor’s practice. Think about how powerful this is for those experiencing a long wait time and reconsidering their care provider. This may be more impactful around primary care practices where the potential patient is more likely to shop around. You can also try Orthopedic and Joint locations where second opinions are more common. Copy Idea: “Looking for a second opinion?”
Custom Messaging: When you know where your customers are going to be, and how they are consuming your message (mobile), you can customize messaging and personalize the offer. Example:
“West Ashley residents call now to get into our running seminar free!”
How big should our fence be?
Short answer, it can vary. If you are in a rural area you may want to broaden it a bit so that it’s large enough to make in impact. Advertisers in cities can afford to get hyper-focused. On the flip side, going too wide in a city dilutes the location-based relevance you may be going for. It’s all about testing. If data is underwhelming at first, you can always fine-tune your radius and messaging.
How can you tell what area worked?
Using the Evariant healthcare CRM solution, advertisers can tag each ad by their creative name and location (Running Woman 300×250 King Street). As users engage with the ad and convert via web forms, the data will populate in our platform. This gives advertisers near real-time results by location.
How do click through rates (CTR) compare in geo-fenced ads versus normal display ads?
Click through rates can be as high as 5x higher in geo-fenced areas than normal prospecting ads. (.25% to .05%). This isn’t a promise, and it comes with carefully planning where you want to put your ads. Carving out a section outside your typical geo-target and with no real presence will leave you scratching your head at the results. Have a plan, and monitor the results.
Does this only work with display? Can you geo-fence with social?
You can create geo-fencing campaigns with social as well as display. One important note with social sites is this: When you enter the address, it defaults to a 10-mile radius. Obviously, this is broader than we would like so you need to adjust the radius, as of now you can bring it down to 1 mile. This is still broader than the display option of 20 meters but a fence nonetheless.
Can you layer in other audience filters?
We can layer on audience profiles to our targeting, but I would stray away from these. The practice of geo-fencing means you’re really going to limit your reach due to a location preference. If you start layering interests and behavioral targeting your run the risk of ramping down too far. I’d suggest this in cases like Facebook where you still have a broader radius, but not in display.
How does the cost of a geo-fencing campaign compare to normal display?
Similar to the point above, reach isn’t going to be crazy with geo-fence campaigns, so you shouldn’t worry about it burning through your budget like with other display flights. That being said, it’s really a case by case situation. Our Media Strategist helps our clients find what is the right mix for their situation and campaign goals.
All in all, geo-fencing is a powerful form of digital marketing in healthcare – when used correctly. So ask your partner about it. Make sure you game plan around the use case and determine if it truly is a right fit because running it just to run it may not give you the best results.