3 Mobile Advertising Options Perfect for Small Businesses

If you’re a local business with a brick and mortar location, driving foot traffic is vital.  Advertising is expensive when you compete on PPC as well as in media buys including local print publications.  You also cannot track it as easily if you don’t have a good marketer working with you.  However, if you get creative there are some affordable ways you can still bring people into your business and convert them into sales.  The trick is making sure that you target the right people and have something that is directly relevant to them.

Below you’ll find three options to target tourists using games like Pokemon Go, dating apps and even maps like Waze.  This can be applied to everyone from tourists to locals and even people passing through.

advertising small business on apps

Pokemon Go

This app is taking off like crazy.  It’s a geocaching game based off of the popular TV series.  Advertisers are able to pay for a Pokemon to visit their store for about 30 minutes at a time using incense and lure modules.  How is this good for small businesses?

If you’re a fast food restaurant, retailer or even a museum, you can bring in players with these.  It’s cheap and something that people are actively looking for.  Soon enough we’ll be seeing a short term trend of poke-bar crawls where groups of gamers, college students and fans will go to bars that have Pokemon and pokestops nearby.  From there it’s up to you to get creative and convert them into paying customers.  Here are two possible options.

Create discounts based on their Pokemon and how rare they are:

  • Squirtle – 10% off
  • Charmander – 15% off
  • Mew – Free shot or buy one get one

how to advertise with Pokemon Go

Another option is to do a buy 1 get 1/2 off if the products match the name or color of your first Pokemon or the Pokemon that is lured in by the incense or lure module.  If your Pokemon is blue and you’re a candy store, blue candy becomes 1/2 off on the second pound.  If you’re a bar, the first drink is full price and if you buy a second drink or shot whose name begins with the same letter as the player’s first Pokemon, they get it half off.

There are a ton of ways to reward Pokemon Go players for coming to your retail location as well as hopefully getting them to shop.  The best part is that you can “lure” them in for very little money by making in app purchases.

Waze App

If you have a restaurant, a gas station or even small hotel, competing for the attention of vacationers is hard.  Why should they stop at your store if there are trusted brands and fast food options all over the highway?  That’s where you can jump in with reasonably priced advertising on the Waze app.

As people are driving and come across large amounts of traffic, bathroom breaks and gas stops become important.  If you have Waze turned on, you can see when traffic is starting in your area and run ads for your business while people need a break.  The same goes if you’re on one of the alternate routes to avoid the traffic.  By making yourself visible so people have a place to break, you may be able to bring them in.

If you’re a hotel and it’s late at night, you may be exactly what a tired driver is looking for.  I haven’t tried this so I don’t have data, but think about when you normally get people coming in at off hours or for short naps and use those as starting points.  Early morning for people who drove all night or just need a shower could be good too.  If you’re able to, try advertising half day rates or hourly rates for short naps for truckers.

advertising on dating apps

Dating apps

These are awesome for reaching local and niche audiences for cheap.  The best part is that you can break it out by your audience.  If you’re a gay establishment or want gay patrons, use Grindr, Growler, Scruff, etc…  If you have a Latin night at a club, Amor, LatinAmericanCupid and others are ready for you.  You can reach a very niche group of people, as long as the app has active users, and many of these apps have interests and demographic information to further help you target.

First download the apps and see where ads show.  Some let you send messages to all users within a XY mile radius.  Others have push notifications as users log in.  Many have interstitial ads that show when you block users or want to access specific features.  All of these give you a way to reach your local audience (since they are mostly trying to meet other local singles) and many are extremely affordable.  Just make sure you give an appealing reason that they should come to you.

Offer a deal if you’re a restaurant for people to have a safe space for a first date or first time meeting.  You could even set up a pre-fixed dinner for first dates if they show they met on the app.  If you’re a bar, set up a networking or speed date meetup, you could even advertise your drink specials or themed night.

Maybe you do late night delivery and it’s a weekend.  People get hungry and if it’s 1am or 2am and they didn’t meet anyone at the bar, food could be a great option for them…especially if they’re spending time searching through profiles on a dating site.

Local businesses have an advantage with mobile advertising.  They can reach people affordably and bring customers to them.  Think about who and where your audience is and then look at which types of apps they’re using when they may need a service like yours.  That doesn’t mean at some point, it means at the time or around the time they’re using the app you’re advertising on.  Because they are using these apps when they need a service like yours, you can be in front of them as they’re searching and hopefully drive more business for your company.

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