Location-based technology has opened up a world of possibilities for real estate marketers. Along with an influx of data comes new terms and methods for targeting users based on their location. Geo-targeting and geo-fencing are often used interchangeably but they aren’t the same thing and should be used differently in your digital marketing campaigns. Understanding the differences between geo-targeting and geo-fencing can help you decide which is best for your marketing strategy.

What is Geo-Targeting?

Geo-targeting is defined as the practice of delivering content to a user based on their geographic location. In the digital world,
Geo-targeting uses a device’s IP address or, on a more granular level, through global positioning signals (GPS) to determine location. Marketers use geo-targeting to deliver relevant ad content to users based on the person’s environment. The prevalence of mobile devices allows marketers to reach users in specific geographic areas and focus on specific consumer criteria including demographics, behaviors, and interests

Using geo-targeting helps marketers understand consumer behaviors. For example, targeting someone who already searched for a storage unit in Dallas by serving them a local storage facility ad increases the likelihood of generating a quality lead. Ad content targeted specifically for someone based on their location can be more effective in driving leads and conversions.

What is Geo-Fencing?

Geo-fencing uses GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define a geographic boundary. Setting up a virtual zone allows marketers to isolate triggers that apply when a user’s mobile device enters or exits that specific area. Triggers may include the sending of a text message, an email alert, or an app notification. Marketers use geo-fencing to engage with customers based on hyper-local location. This can be especially helpful in triggering immediate sales as well as understanding the user mindset. Ads inside of a geo-fenced area can be seen on any device as potential customers browse the web.

A common misconception about geo-fencing is that once inside, users receive push notifications, text messages, and email alerts. Instead, geo-fencing serves ads to a person inside the barrier to make them aware of a local deal or the distance they are from a business’ location. Even if a geo-fenced offer doesn’t provoke an immediate inquiry or lead, it helps businesses understand specific information including where and when a potential customer was when they received the message. This information helps marketers refine their targeting efforts based on what communications have the most success.

Boost Conversions With a Location-Based Strategy

Both geo-targeting and geo-fencing allow real estate marketers to optimize their digital marketing efforts in order to reach the right people at the right time with the right content. By identifying your ideal customer, you can decide which location-based method of advertising will work best within your marketing strategy. Real estate marketers wanting to advertise to a broad population including all ages and interests should consider geo-fencing. For more targeted, niche demographics, consider geo-targeting. Serving ads based on location can result in boosted leads and rental conversions.

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