You may have heard of beacon technology, known for providing indoor location tracking. Since its debut, beacon technology has developed and changed. It can yield promising marketing results for businesses of any size. Since beacon technology is only expected to keep growing, it might be time to consider including it in your marketing arsenal.
So, what is beacon technology and how can you use it to help grow your business? Keep reading to learn what beacons are, how they’ve evolved in the past few years, the benefits for your business, and what’s next.
First, What Is Beacon Technology?
Beacons are one of the most accurate location technologies available and are used predominantly for proximity marketing in stores. Low-energy Bluetooth technology transmits signals wirelessly to smart devices nearby. Beacons are small and relatively inconspicuous. You can attach them to a wall or place them inside something like a mannequin, so once they are up you won’t have to give them too much thought.
How Does Beacon Technology Work?
Beacons broadcast an identifier which is picked up by smartphones. The identifier is a unique ID number that the phone recognizes as being specific to that beacon. Once the beacon has connected to a phone, it will automatically carry out the function assigned to it.
Beacons have dozens of useful applications. They can integrate with an app (which a customer would need to have installed), send coupons to customers as they explore different areas of a store, provide insight to patrons as they walk through a museum, and track a customer’s interactions in your store. We’ll cover this in more detail later.
How Can Beacon Technology Benefit Your Business?
Aside from being able to send people unique in-store offers from your beacon and educating them about your brand, beacons offer worthwhile benefits for your entire marketing strategy.
Integration With Google Ads
If you have a Google Ads account, you can connect your beacon to your account. This can give you more insight into your potential customer’s offline activity and possibly help you track their in-store visits. By tracking how a user interacts with your digital ad, you’ll be able to gauge how effective your current ad campaigns are at driving traffic to your store. If you have a beacon, the beacon can detect which phones have previously clicked on your ads and which ones haven’t. You can view this data in your Google account.
This part of beacon technology has been available from the beginning. As someone approaches your store, you can send them a notification. You could let them know that they’re approaching store’s location, or you could send them something more enticing, like a discount. Some stores send notifications through their beacons to people in their loyalty club. A distinct benefit of this marketing is the ability to make it personalized while easily testing your marketing efforts to figure out which types of notifications give you the best response.
While GPS and Wi-Fi can provide some location data for marketing, beacon’s use of low-level Bluetooth technology is more accurate. You may even use this to study how people move through your store, and where they spend the most time. When you use this information along with the data available through your eCommerce sales, you can optimize your store’s layout and your product listings.
Improve Your Google My Business Listing
When you integrate your beacon with your Google My Business account, you can access more data about your business. The beacon can track which times are most popular for customers to visit your store. You can also request feedback from users by asking them to review, check-in, or upload photos. Google My Business listings are already a huge part of local SEO, so using a beacon will only improve your local SEO efforts.
Personalized Interactions and Increased Trust for Consumers
The benefits we’ve explained so far focus on business owners and marketers, but beacons also offer benefits for consumers. People have become used to customized ads, and beacons offer another level of personalized interactions for consumers visiting your store. Many consumers believe a personalized ad experience helps build a level of trust and familiarity with your brand.
Customers can also benefit from beacon technology when they place an order and arrive in store to pick it up, through wireless payment options, and even indoor navigation through larger stores or other locations.
What’s Next for Beacon Technology?
Beacons are wonderful data gathering tools for marketers, and since their capabilities have grown since their debut, we can expect more marketing capabilities will be found in the future. Beacon technology can also be applied to tracking objects and people, which could be a benefit for the transportation industry.
Beacon technology is still growing and changing, becoming more refined as Google and other developers work on additional programming. As an investment, beacons are relatively inexpensive and can help you understand your analytical data.
That being said, it’s important to know what you want to get out of a beacon before investing in a platform. Different companies have different needs. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss how beacon technology can help your business grow to get you the best results. Please contact us today.