There are so many different methods for advertising, from traditional print methods such as with direct mail booklets, online advertising such as Google Adwords, TV commercials, radio ads, and much more. One method of advertising that should never be overlooked for certain small businesses is that of location-based advertising. This method is still a form of advertising that is commonly used. In fact, when used right, location-based advertising can result in a dramatically improved return on investment of your marketing budget.

Location-based advertising involves targeting a specific geographic area for your advertising efforts. For example, you may want to target a specific neighborhood or a business district because this is in the immediate vicinity for your business. Therefore, anything from postcards to flyers to even Facebook ads targeted to users in your local area can be used to reach your local audience.

When Is Location-Based Advertising Best?

Location-based advertising is more effective in specific scenarios, such as for local restaurants and stores that are only located in specific areas, not so much chain stores. The exception might be targeting a specific event in a region that you know is ideal for your products and services.

For example, a local boutique would likely benefit from location-based advertising. It would make no sense to advertise to people in areas aside of the location of the boutique, especially if they do not have the option to buy items online. In this example, the boutique would need to use methods such as mailing postcards to local addresses or handing out flyers at the local farmer’s market to target people local to their store.

Does Location-Based Advertising Tie In with Digital Advertising?

While location-based advertising is considered more of a traditional method of advertising, it actually does tie in with digital advertising as well. With an increasing number of people browsing the Internet with their smartphones, small businesses can take advantage of the opportunity to advertise to these people based on their specific location.

But smartphones aren’t the only way to reach these people. Data is collected as soon as someone starts surfing the web and there are many different ways to take advantage of this information. From email campaigns to targeted ads on Facebook, there are many options for getting your ads in front of people specifically in a certain geographical location.

What about Traditional Location-Based Advertising?

Traditional advertising – such as postcard printing, billboards, or radio – are obvious candidates for location-based advertising. These marketing channels are ideal for very specific geographic regions simply because the more advertising you do, the more it costs. In other words, if you were able to focus a postcard printing campaign on a specific set of neighborhoods rather than an entire town, you are going to significantly cut your costs while improving your response rate. If you want to target a religious audience, you can place ads on your local spiritual radio station only. Or you can target a wider local audience by placing a billboard ad close to the highway exit your business is located.

Location-based advertising is for businesses of all sizes. But for small businesses with a tight budget, careful analysis of the regions in which you want to advertise can significantly improve your return on investment of marketing dollars spent. If your customers are mostly location-based, then targeting your advertising specifically to this location is your best way as a small business to get big results with a low marketing cost.

Neighborhood illistration courtesy of Shutterstock
AvatarTara Hornor

Tara Hornor has found her passion writing on topics of branding, web and graphic design, photography, marketing, and advertising. She is Senior Editor for, and a former writer for