Leverage Paid Media to Promote Your Location-based Campaign

By Aaron Strout, Mike Schneider, B. J. Emerson

There are three types of media that you can use to spread the word about your location-based marketing campaign — paid, earned, and owned. Paid media has pros and cons, and a few companies that have leveraged it well in the location-based (LBS) space.

Paid media is something that takes very little effort on your part. You hand over your money, and your ad gets placed. Your money goes toward leveraging a certain channel. Examples include

  • Display ads on a web portal like Yahoo! or news site like TheNewYorkTimes.com.

  • Paid search results on Google or Bing.

    Paid search results for coffee shops on search engine, Bing.
    Paid search results for coffee shops on search engine, Bing.
  • Sponsorships at large sporting events or conferences.

  • Radio ads.

  • Print circulars in the Sunday paper.

  • Outdoor ads.

  • Mobile advertising, Facebook ads, and sponsored tweets.

Before you hand over your money, keep these things in mind:

  • Paid media is diminishing in popularity.

    Though it still earns a big share of marketing dollars, it’s becoming increasingly less relevant. People generally get recommendations from people they trust, rather than random advertising.

  • Paid media has a lot of competition for people’s attention.

    There are billions of pieces of content — videos, pictures, updates, podcasts, blogs — on the thousands of social networking sites.

If you run a small business and want to consider affordable paid activities to drive customers to your location-based marketing campaign, here are a few to think about budgeting for:

  • Place ads in local or national newspapers (print or online) depending on your size.

    BW3 incorporates SVNGR into its paid advertising. [Credit: Courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings®]
    Credit: Courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings®
    BW3 incorporates SVNGR into its paid advertising.
  • Buy paid keyword buys with Google or Bing.

    Paid keyword campaign is the buying of search terms that fit your business through a bid process. The highest bidder on a certain keyword like “computers” gets an ad displayed at the top or side of the results page.

    If you want more information on how paid search works, the major search engines like Google and Bing provide tutorials and FAQs on their sites. Start with Google’s tutorial and FAQs since they are the largest and go from there.

  • Offer extra inventory to your local cable or radio station.

    Sometimes, in-kind exchanges (food for airtime, for instance) can work, especially for less desirable time slots like the late-night shift.

  • Rent an outdoor billboard.

    If your business is big enough, a billboard might be a reasonable way to let your local market know that you’re participating in a location-based marketing campaign. The New Jersey Nets incorporated billboards into its location-based marketing. You probably don’t have the budget of the Nets, but if you shop around, you can find many local billboards that are much more reasonable.

    Add a location-based promo to your billboard campaign like the New Jersey Nets.
    Add a location-based promo to your billboard campaign like the New Jersey Nets.