Using Beacons For Local Marketing

Beacons are entering the world at a fast pace. A few months ago Facebook started shipping beacons to select businesses and just a couple of weeks ago Yext introduced their Xone program which brings them to qualified Yext subscribers.

This post is just a basic introduction to beacons and what they can be used for. If you’re not sure what a beacon is, I’ll explain it below:

What Are Beacons?

A beacon is a small device that is placed at a physical business location. These beacons work on Bluetooth technology and serve a radius. In the case of Xone it’s a small wireless device that should be placed in the middle of where customers enter or hang out at your location. Since it’s small its easy to place. If you’re a law firm you might ensure that the coverage area overlaps the waiting area and other locations where potential clients might be waiting in your office.

How The Xone Beacon Works

This is where it gets interesting. The way the Xone beacon works is that it sends a low frequency bluetooth signal. When someone who is visiting your office walks within range of the beacon and then pulls up a partner application they will be served a message of your choice.

So to be clear you can serve messages actual visitors of your store or office location if the criteria are met:

  1. They are in range of the beacon
  2. They open up an app on their phone that is within Yext’s partner network (They will not disclose the apps in this network)

At this point the user can choose to click on the message or decide to ignore it.

Potential Uses at Your Location for Beacons

The potential for beacon use is really exciting for me. You can really use these messages to drive current customers to an action you want them to take. While brainstorming I came up with just a few messages you might serve to your clients.

  1. Reviews: How hard is it to get reviews? What if the customer was reminded on their own device (Which has their own IP Address, Logged in Apps, etc.) to leave a review for the business they’re currently visiting. I am going to be running a live test on this theory but I imagine it will have great results.
  2. Deals and Offers: What better way to get clients to participate in deals and offers when they’re at the business itself?
  3. Email Subscribe: Have actual customers subscribe to your newsletter on the spot for discounts, etc. Build your database of actual customers.

Those were just a few quick ideas that came to mind for me off the top of my head. You could even potentially partner with like minded businesses to drive traffic accordingly. Either way these devices are starting to see a bigger rollout with this new integration so can be sure change is coming.

How Will You Use Beacons?

There are a lot of potential uses for these. How would you consider using them in an ethical manner? Tell us your idea in the comments below:

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Casey Meraz

Casey is the founder and president of Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital based in Denver, CO. Casey's specialties are in organic and local SEO. He is a regular contributor to the Moz Blog and the author of How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit. If you have an SEO question or need advice please feel free to reach out by email: cmeraz@jurisdigital.com. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyMeraz.