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How geo-targeted Spotify ads give a new dimension to paid search and social campaigns

With the introduction of geotargeting on Spotify’s ad platform, your options for delivering multimedia, multichannel ad campaigns to people in specific moments and locations just increased massively.

 

Very few businesses need their digital marketing ads to be seen by everyone on the planet. Most of us are hawking our products and services to people in a limited number of countries, counties, cities or even streets. This makes geotargeting essential if we want to get the best possible return on our digital advertising spend.

Geotargeting is a digital marketing feature found on most ad platforms that lets you target your ads so that they’ll only appear to audiences in specified geographical locations. Using geotargeting to restrict the display of your ads to certain postcodes, cities, regions etc means you won’t waste precious ad budget collecting clicks from people outside the area that you serve.

For businesses that need to be visited in person, like restaurants and furniture stores, or ecommerce businesses that only ship to certain locations, geotargeting is a no brainer. And organisations with universal appeal, but who find that their most valuable audiences tend to congregate in certain geographical locations, can also use geotargeting to dramatically improve the hit rate of their digital ad campaigns.

I said above that most of the big ad platforms offer geotargeting – Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads), LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc. The latest to join the fray is Spotify Ads.

 

Geotargeted ads are now available in Spotify

Well, okay, Spotify Ads did offer some geo-targeting from the outset, but they’ve now added the ability to target by postal code in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, and also massively increased the number of cities, states, counties etc available to target.

I’ve written about the value of Spotify Ads for creating contextually-relevant marketing moments before, due to its reach (supposedly much greater than commercial radio) and the ability to target users based on their interests, mood, and even in the middle of specific activities. But the increased granularity of the geotargeting now on offer means the potential for optimisation of ad spend is much greater. 

Layering geotargeting for maximum effect

Because geotargeting is available in such a wide variety of different digital marketing channels – Facebook, Google and Bing search and display ads, Instagram Ads, and now Spotify Ads – we can now serve a user a cross section of locally-relevant, timely and informative visual and audio content to meet the current need of their decision process, no matter where their attention happens to be fixed at the time. 

The power of this layered, multi-channel digital approach is that it helps savvy marketers with geographically-determined audiences shift advertising spend from traditional offline campaigns to more measurable and accessible online channels. You might do this to exploit key seasonal or topical trends and uplifts in demand/interest, or for always-on year-round marketing targeted at people in geographical areas that are known to convert at the highest rate.

It can also help us break out of the silos which have been built in digital marketing over the last few years. We can now combine long-form content and web experiences (pointed to by search ads) with the visual creativity of Facebook and Instagram, and now a whole new realm of audio possibilities through Spotify, traditionally reserved for radio only.

 

What’s the future of geotargeting?

Delivering location-specific ads to people isn’t a new thing, but combined with the power of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, geotargeting opens up previously unimaginable vistas of ad personalisation.

“Marketers can provide just-in-time, context aware offers to anyone with a smartphone,” says Tarun Gangwani, CEO of Grok, an artificial intelligence company. “Predictive analytics algorithms can be used to forecast a user’s location, sending an offer before a user leaves the house, or during the week based on their routine.”

Many of us will have experienced Google popping up in our notifications to offer help with our daily commute, even though we’ve never told Google explicitly where we work – it’s just spotted that we tend to make the same journey pretty much every day. It’s this kind of artificial intelligence, used to spot patterns in our current behaviour and make predictions about our future behaviour, that can be used to tailor ads that arrive at just the right moment in just the right place.

 

This kind of specificity should help to bring the cost of digital advertising down (as ever less budget is wasted on irrelevant audiences) at the same time as reducing the workload of marketers who will no longer have to manually analyse and optimise individual campaigns. The real value add of marketers in the future will be their creativity.

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