How to Target Your Audience Based on Location

Geotagging vs. geolocation? They sound quite similar but there’s actually a difference between how the two should be used in your location marketing. Here’s the difference between the two and how you can implement each for success.

Today, location is important in your digital marketing efforts. By segmenting your ads to target consumers in a relevant location, you can increase your ad’s engagement. In fact, 3 out of 4 customers complete an action after they receive a message when they come near a specific location. Not only this, but when you add your business’ location to your own digital content, your content will experience greater engagement.

So how exactly can you implement these location marketing efforts? Here is a detailed breakdown of both geotagging and geolocation: 


The GPS (Global Positioning System) of your electronic device tracks your geographic information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and bearing. This geographic information can then be tagged as metadata or by using a simple WordPress plug-in, to various types of digital media — such as pictures and video — to indicate the location of the media. This is the process of geotagging.

Geotagging provides many benefits for your business:

  • It improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Often, customers will search for businesses by using a location in their search. By geotagging your businesses content, it should improve its ranking when users search for your business category in your company’s location.
  • It will help spread awareness to your customers’ following. For instance, if your customers snaps a shot of themselves at your business and then posts a picture with a geotag, their following may feel inclined to check out your business. Without the geotag, the customers’ following would not have known where they were.
  • It leads to greater engagement. Instagram posts that are geotagged have 79% higher engagement than posts without a location tagged.

Geotagging can be used on several different social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Tweets, status updates, photographs, hashtags and more can be geotagged. For example, Facebook users can create a status that shows they “checked in” to your business. Their following can then click on the status to link back to the location of your business or your Facebook page. On Snapchat, your business can also purchase custom geofilters that showcase your brand and users can use these to decorate their stories when they are at your business. A great SnapChat geofilter success story comes from the Gatorade Super Bowl lens. The geofilter, created for SuperBowl night, got 160 million impressions.


Geolocation is another very helpful tool for your business but different from geotagging. Geolocation uses location data but  to send relevant marketing campaigns to audiences based upon their location.

There are a few different types of geolocation such as geotargeting and geofencing.


Geotargeting sends relevant messages to users based upon their location. Since 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct “near me” searches, this is very useful. Location data can be collected through the use of an IP address or GPS, signal or WiFi connection depending on the specific device. This allows businesses to use geotargeting to send promotions to people who live near them.

Geotargeting provides many benefits for your business, including:

  • It ensures your marketing budget is being used to its full potential. By segmenting your ads to relevant locations, you ensure that the right people are seeing your ads and your dollars are not being wasted on an irrelevant audience.
  • It provides you a platform for test marketing. By only targeting your ads to a specific location, it provides you with a way to test your ad before you launch it to other places.
  • You can also exclude competitors from seeing your ads. By setting up your ads to exclude certain locations, your competitors won’t have intel on your most recent marketing campaigns.

Geotargeting can be used on several different platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, MailChimp and WordPress. For instance, on Google Ads, when you create a paid search campaign, you can actually select to show your ad to people in a targeted location and exclude people in other locations. On Facebook Ads, you can choose the option to target people who live in a certain location.

However, geotargeting is less precise than geofencing and can be used for a more broad area. If you want to have a more detailed target for your marketing campaigns, geofencing is a good way to go.


Geofencing sets up geographic boundaries (“geofences”) or predefined locations.Once a user enters the geofence with their electronic device, specific messages will be triggered and sent to the customer. The great news? Geofencing is compatible with 92% of smartphones.

Depending on which platform you use, the geofence will be created using different steps but overall it will be set up by using GPS and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).

Geofencing provides many benefits for your business:

  • It will increase engagement. By sending a more catered message to your user when they are in the right location, they’re more likely to engage. 53% of shoppers visited a specific retailer after receiving a location-based alert.
  • You can use it to deter people from your competitors. By sending out a message in a geofence around your competitor — such as a special sale that’s happening at your store — you may drive customers toward your business instead.
  • It will increase your local sales. Perhaps you have multiple locations and one of your locations isn’t performing particularly well. By setting up a geofence in this area, you can drive more sales to this area.

Geofencing can be used on several different platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. For instance, on Google Ads, you can target your paid campaign ads to include a specific radius or location. On Facebook Ads, your business can pinpoint an exact location to serve an ad and then select the specific radius you would like for that ad to be displayed in.

The Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) is a prime example of a company that used location-based Google Ads to drive potential homebuyers and sellers to its business. They partnered with Appleton Creative who set up Google Ads — generating 645, 497 impressions and an impressive click-through rate of 3.2%. 

Geotagging and geolocation are two very significant tools that can create more engagement for your business. Setting them up can be easy with the assistance of a marketing agency. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing and advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and digital marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or

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