Geofencing Advertising Guide For Facebook, Instagram, Google & Snapchat

by | Mar 7, 2018 | geofencing | 0 comments

What you will learn about Geofencing advertising and Marketing With Facebook, Google, Instagram, and snapchat:

  • What Is Geofencing advertising and GeoTargeting in Online Marketing and Advertising?
  • What is Geofencing?
  • How Does Geofencing marketing and Geo Targeting Actually Work in Marketing and Advertising?
  • How Is Geofencing Being Used In Marketing and Advertising?
  • How to Setup Geofencing and Geo Targeting on Google Adwords Marketing and Advertising campaigns
  • How to Setup Geofencing and Geo Targeting on Facebook Advertising Marketing campaigns
  • How to setup Geofencing ads on Instagram?
  • How to setup Geofencing ads on Snapchat
  • How much does geofencing advertising cost?


What Is Geofencing Marketing and Geotargeting in Online Marketing and Advertising?

Geofencing and GeoTargeting are location-based services where an app, browser or other technology service uses location data such as cellular data, Wi-Fi, global positioning (GPS), satellite, radio frequency identification (RFID), when a device, transmitter, or RFID tag enters or leaves location parameters commonly known as a geofence, location target or geotargeting. Once this “location boundary” is set, the location information can be used to trigger a programmed action such as push notifications, SMS message, alerts, display targeted advertising, allow tracking on vehicle fleets, enable/disable certain equipped technologies, or create and collect location-based marketing data. Geofencing and geotargeting are commonly used in online advertising / online marketing as well as other tracking and location services.


Some geofences may simply be set up to monitor activity in certain areas, which alerts when anyone enters or leaves a specific area. Businesses can also use geofencing to monitor employees on or off the work site, automate time cards, or to maintain awareness of company property.

It’s important for businesses and online marketers to use the powers of geofencing advertising to refine the targeting of digital marketing or geofencing and location-based advertising campaigns to restrict audiences based on a more specific location than a city or zip code would allow.

How Does Geofencing and Geo Targeting Actually Work in Marketing and Advertising?

To make use of geofencing, a user must first establish a virtual boundary around a specified location using GPS coordinates or RFID-enabled software. This could be as simple as a circle drawn in a 1 mile or a 1-kilometer radius around a specific location on Google Maps. This virtual geofence would then be able to trigger a response when an authorized device enters or exits that area, as specified by the targeting settings of an online marketing campaign or location service. Some modern software applications using geofencing technology even allow development using modern on-screen graphical interfaces (GUIs), so that more precise boundaries can be established by less sophisticated users.

A geofence is most commonly defined within the code of a web or mobile application, mainly because users would need to first opt-in to app-specific location services for the geofence to work. A retailer might draw a geofence around its outlets to trigger mobile push alerts for customers who have downloaded the retailer’s mobile app and also opted-in to location services.

A geofence could also be set up by people seeking to use geofencing capabilities in their mobile apps. Some “lifestyle” or “productivity” apps may allow a user to choose an address or location where they would want to trigger a specific alert or push notification as a reminder. This is called an “if this, then that” function, where an app is programmed to trigger a second action following an initial desired time, location, or action. Home automation services often allow users to control their home’s Wi-Fi connected devices from a remote location using the app, and increasingly provide automated functions such as automatically locking or unlocking doors, engaging or disengaging alarms, changing climate control settings, or other actions based on desired triggers often using geofencing.

Geofencing isn’t just for mobile apps, either. The technology has been used to control and track vehicles and containers in the shipping industry, livestock in the agriculture industry, deploy drones for various purposes, among other uses. Nearly every drone being made today is pre-programmed to accommodate geofencing, which are usually set up surrounding airports, open-air venues, and even the White House, where the FAA has set up drone-resistant geofence barriers capable of stopping a drone in mid-air, while other triggers may send a warning message to the user.

How Is Geofencing Being Used In Marketing and Advertising?

Geofencing is a very powerful way to engage consumers based on “hyper-local” location, which could do a lot in terms of triggering immediate sales if set up properly, as well as collecting data to understanding the mindset of different shoppers.

Geofencing campaigns can be set up across multiple types of online advertising campaigns, such as search engine advertising, display advertising, remarketing, video advertising, etc.

Here are some examples of how small businesses could use geofencing to enhance their digital marketing efforts and unleash the full power of geofencing:

  • A retail store could create a simple geofence in an area surrounding its physical location. When users pass through the designated area, they would receive a location-based alert or a deal that might make them considerably more likely to stop in and shop at the store.
  • An auto dealer could set up a geofenced ad which is aimed at targeting individuals who are leaving a competing dealership after browsing for a vehicle. If this auto dealer sends a direct message to them with an offer for zero percent financing on a comparable car model, the customer may be very likely to continue their browsing at the advertised location since the deal addressed a particular need they had at the time.
  • Concert and events producers can geofence their venues for art or music events with additional offers for upcoming events which may be relevant to the attendee. Artists and musicians and their managers could also establish geofences around different tour stop ahead of time, promoting upcoming shows for those who are likely to revisit the location. This same process could be used to collect data about people within the geofenced area to understand the mindset of the attendees to predict and prepare future event turnouts.
  • Geofencing for lawyers. An attorney, lawyer, or law firm could set up a geofencing advertising campaign to target specific areas of interest such as hospitals or jails to reach their target client. They could also set up geo-targeting around competitor locations. Also, take a look at these Law firm and Lawyer Marketing Ideas.

Even if a geofenced offer, advertisement, or notification doesn’t actually inspire an immediate visit or a sale, it still can allow business owners to know exactly what location a consumer passed through and where they were when they received the message. This very user-specific data should help in refining targeting efforts in the future based on which types of communications and targeted users were the most successful.

How to Setup mobile Geofencing MARKETING on Google Adwords

To set up geofencing advertising with Google Adwords, select the campaign you’d like to manage, then go to the campaign Settings. Google Adwords allows you to geofencing on, search, display, and Youtube campaigns. With geofencing in adwords, there are quite a few options.

A Country, State, City, DMA, Metro, Zip Code, and Radius. You’ll want to pay attention to the exclusions. In Google Adwords, geofencing and geo-targeting are referred to Location Targeting.

Google Adwords Geo Targeting in Settings_and_Location_Settings_for_Geofencing_on_Google Adwords ScreenShot
Once you select Locations you can expand the geofencing options in the Google Adwords campaign. Your top geofencing and geo-targeting options are the following:

  • All countries and territories
  • The United States and Canada
  • The United States
  • Enter another location

google adwords geofencing options via adwords screen shot by digital logic

via Google Adwords 

For most local geofencing advertising campaigns, you will select the option of entering a location. You can use the search feature to start typing in a location to target. The tool will give you options that match the location you searched for. In this case, I started searching for Dallas and it brought up multiple options that returned a match as well as the possible Reach for each of those geo-targets. Reach in Google Adwords is the estimate of how many people are signed in to the target or excluded location of the geofencing or geo-targeting settings in your campaign based on how many signed in Google users across the internet.

via Google Adwords 

To select advanced geofencing options, select Advanced search. Once you select advanced search, you can select to add or exclude a geography based on your selections. If you exclude a location in your targeting, then your ad will not serve to people in the excluded location settings.

The Radius targeting options in Google Adwords are either by the number of miles or kilometers around a location. When I’m running a campaign that has extremely tight geofencing or geo-targeting settings, I prefer to select a kilometer radius instead of a mile radius to have tighter location targeting.

To select radius targeting, select the radius option on your geo-targeting, then make your selections. In the example in the screenshot, I’m doing a one-kilometer radius around my physical location. Downtown in the small city of Shreveport, LA). For a Lawyer or Law Firm, this type of targeting can be very helpful if you’re running display ads around a hospital, but the number of ways to leverage this tight location targeting is endless.

radius targeting and geofencing on Google adwords options showing by kilometer or by mile screen shot by digital logic

via Google Adwords Radius Targeting Options

GeoFencing marketing on Facebook and Instagram

To set up geofencing marketing and location targeting on Facebook and Instagram, start the campaign creation process and then in Audiences, you can select the location to target or location to exclude.

Facebook geofencing and geo targeting for busiensses setup 1

via Facebook Ad Manager


To drill down to a very specific local area, select the geography that you’d like to target. In the following example, you can select “Drop Pin” on the exact location that meets your targeting parameters, then select the radius to target around the desired location. This screenshot shows a 1-mile radius near Highland Park in Dallas.



To drill down further with your location targeting since polygon targeting is not available on Facebook, additional targeting exclusions can be set to block in your geofencing even closer than a mile around the location pin drop.

Facebook and Instagram geofencing with location exclusions

Once you set the location that you’d like to target, to drill down to closer than a one-mile radius with geofencing, then you want to start building exclusions around the radius that you’ve set to target. In the following example you can see the original targeting with the location pin drop, and then the location exclusions built around the target location to make the geofencing and geotargeting even tighter than the one-mile radius. This is how you build a geofence on Facebook advertising.Facebook geofencing and geo targeting with location exclusions 3

Snapchat Geofencing Ads

Setting up geofencing advertising on Snapchat is a very similar setup to how you set up geofencing ads on Facebook, Google and Instagram. While you’re in the ad account in Snapchat, there are a few different types of geofencing ads you can run. The main story ads, and filters. The snapchat geofencing options go down from country, then down to a specific area like a state, or city.

To drill down in snapchat geofencing, you can drill ads down to 0.06 miles around a radius of a map plot, which is pretty tight.

Screenshot of geofencing on snapchat ads manager



How much does geofencing marketing cost?

The cost of geofencing marketing with Facebook and Google Adwords does not cost anything extra from the normal costs associated with running online campaigns. Bid prices might be a bit higher than blanket location targeting depending on the competition with certain targeting options around certain points of interest. The cost of geofencing is based on either a CPM, CPA or event cost per conversion depending on your campaign goals.

Does Geofencing marketing perform?

Absolutely. Anytime you add more specific targeting layers to local online marketing campaigns, performance will improve. For local businesses, the more locally targeted your message is, the better it’s going to perform when your customers are local.

Geofencing Marketing Services

If you’re interested in our Geofencing services and advertising services from our company, feel free to contact us to discuss your goals. SERIOUSLY GET IN TOUCH. Most of the time with our services, geofencing is just one part of a more comprehensive campaign to help you reach your business goals and acquire customers and the lowest possible price.



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