You may not have heard about Waze Local before, but if you have any interest in location-based advertising, you will undoubtedly find out more in 2020.
In fact, Google purchased Waze back in 2013, with the intent of enriching some of the functionality of Google Maps.
Features such as camera notifications and better driver advice on route performance changes made Waze an attractive proposition.
But, until a few months ago there was no paid advertising opportunity for businesses to maximize, and that has all changed.
It is the Waze Local paid marketing prospect for businesses that this post explores in more detail.
More About Waze Local
Waze Local is a stand-alone paid marketing solution, separate to the broader Waze business.
The goal of marketing on Waze Local is primarily to target drivers within any given region of your business premises.
The hyper-local element of Waze Local, with being able to prompt people passing by with a relevant ad experience, means that this could become the new and powerful tool for businesses to explore.
Competition at present will be far lower than traditional location-based paid advertising so the chance of being an early adopter and receiving the associated rewards is high.
Is Waze Local for You?
As it stands, entry levels are low for test-driving Waze Local:
- You can get started from as little as two dollars per day.
- Even if you have a single location you can still use the platform.
- There is self-service support to help people get going.
- For larger monthly fees (one hundred dollars per day) you receive a dedicated account manager.
The ROI potential is impressively high, due to the laser-focused targeting you get right out of the box by targeting drivers who are in your immediate vicinity.
Prices will naturally increase as Waze becomes adopted by more businesses but this platform is geared towards smaller businesses so we’re hoping future CPCs will reflect this. In most cases, the local aspect of advertising on Waze levels the playing field with the possible exception of Promoted Search ads where food establishments could be outbid by the likes of McDonald’s.
The Cost of Waze Local
Here are the pricing details promoted through the Waze Local website at the time of writing this article.
At present the pricing options for companies are divided into two options:
The Starter Package
The Starter package is applicable for 1-10 business locations and has the following features:
- Starts from two dollars per day.
- Has branded pin options.
- Promoted search.
- Self-service email support.
The Plus Package
The Plus package is suitable for 1-50 locations and has the following features:
- Budgets of one hundred dollars per day.
- All advertising formats (for example Zero-Speed Takeover).
- Enhanced advertising (including time scheduling).
- And more.
Advertising Formats to Explore
There are currently four types of advertising options on Waze Local for companies to utilize:
1. Branded Pins
These are not too dissimilar to the pins that you will most likely have experienced with Google Maps.
These brand pins are visual triggers which are used to update and prompt drivers that your company is with a set region of the current vehicle location
2. Promoted Search
This can be seen in the same way as sponsored ads appear at the top of search results (but in this case, they are based at the top of the Waze Local results screen).
Arrows act as notifications to drivers that your business is nearby. This arrow points out that the company is coming up based on the direction and route you are taking, and provides an earlier indicator to impact the user action-taking.
This is useful as it enables your brand to become visible over a broader distance than the brand pin alternatives
4. Zero-Speed Takeover
Akin to traditional billboards, this advertising format dominates the screen in a larger canvas format that appears when people are driving through your specific business area.
The overarching purpose of these it to disrupt the user and gather their attention and lead them to act.
Here is an example of a branded pin in action.
When a user interacts with the branded pin (clicking on it), they have additional options and information presented to them.
This includes “Drive there”, “Save location” and getting extra business details.
Here is an example of this in practice.
Types of Businesses Most Suited to Waze Local
In theory, any company that has an active location which intends to use the premises for footfall can benefit from effectively marketing through Waze Local.
As you would expect some industries are certainly more suited to expected fast wins from this form of advertising.
Retail, leisure, food, and entertainment certainly stand out, however, with the low cost to entry, I would not rule Waze Local out without a decent trial being completed with specialist staff.
For any small to medium-sized business new marketing platforms, and niches to explore outside of those that your traditional competitors are established should always be considered.
Waze Local being tied to Google will extend the anticipated commercial value, as well as the future potential for marketing growth and business importance.
When you combine the potential marketing returns and the low monetary investment needed to get started, I would urge any business with commercial premises to trial Waze Local, and find out the marketing value directly.
I would encourage companies to set aside enough marketing budget to provide the level of data to make informed judgments on the value as an ongoing marketing exercise.
It is also important to have the expertise required to give the experiment a fair chance of success.
Whether this is external agency project support, or in house PPC staff who are able to take on this new challenge, the importance should be placed on having the ability to enable the channel to work and assess it objectively.
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All screenshots taken by author, January 2020