Location marketing has evolved into an exciting ecosystem that comprises advertisers, software firms, apps, analytics providers and other players with the consumer at the center. The technological advances of Google Maps alone continues to generate opportunities for businesses to attract consumers conducting near me searches for things to do.
Meanwhile apps continue to build out their location-based services to create closer relationships with customers. Snapchat, for instance, is working on new features that make it possible for users to:
- Share with each other more information about their status when they check into locations.
- Keep track of places they have visited, similar to a feature that Foursquare Swarm launched. The location-based tracking feature will be known as Passport, according to news reports. Obviously we’re in early days here, but as with Swarm, Snapchat Passport could make Snapchat a more effective way for users to search for locations based on their check-in history.
My new column for Marketing Land examines how high-flying apps such as Spotify and TikTok might add location-based services. Both apps are under pressure to monetize themselves even more than they have been doing. Spotify is fighting with Apple Music for paid subscribers. TikTok, on an early growth trajectory, is now looking to capitalize on the fact that it has rapidly achieved one billion downloads. TikTok, the app for creating short-form music videos, has already shown signs of becoming a source of location marketing based on activity we’re seeing in China, where TikTok is known as Douyin. For instance, in China, Haidilao Hot Pot, a popular hot pot chain, challenges users to create their own hot pot dishes and post them on Douyin, along with hashtags that raise awareness for the business.
For its part, Spotify has already made plenty of headway creating location marketing through partnerships. For instance, Spotify partners with Starbucks to make it possible for Starbucks customers to create customized Spotify playlists depending on what users are listening to at different Starbucks locations. This relationship is a great example of what I mean when I refer to a location marketing ecosystem.
In my column, I propose some ways that Spotify and TikTok could really rev up their location marketing services in the United States. For instance, restaurant chains such as Taco Bell could challenge TikTok users with contests to post videos at different locations and tag them to encourage more content creation at their stores. Businesses could offer location-based branded filters as McDonald’s has done with Snapchat.
I urge location-based brands to take a fresh look at your ecosystem of partners, including apps that you might be creating co-branded experiences with. How might you:
- Collaborate with apps such as Snapchat to create new experiences that attract customers to your business?
- Capitalize on advances being made by the most powerful location-based apps such as Google Maps? You can count on Google Maps to continue to add new features that generate location marketing opportunities for businesses, such as new photo filters for amplifying great visual content.
To succeed with location marketing, think in terms of ecosystems. And consider Reputation.com as a key partner in your ecosystem. As part of our comprehensive reputation management services, we help businesses attract customers locally via paid and organic content. Contact us. We can help you attract customers and grow relationships by building a stronger reputation.