What is a Google Beacon?

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Google wasn’t the first tech giant to introduce beacon technology to today’s connectivity craving world. Introduced in 2013 by, who else – Apple, the iBeacon was the first iteration of “proximity” or “location intelligence” technology. However, in what seems like an ongoing quest to connect the digital dots of technology and to take beacon technology to the next level; Google introduced its’ Eddystone Beacon Project. The good news is that Google is sending beacons to some businesses who are currently advertising with Google at no cost, as a part of their new program to help small businesses connect with more customers. But before we explore all things Google beacon, it’s important to understand the basic premise of the technology itself.

What is a beacon?

The beacon moniker is fitting because it accurately represents what the device actually is. (albeit, with a few extra features.) Similar to a lighthouse shining a beam of light to guide nearby ships to shore, a beacon is a small battery powered transmitter that is used to precisely mark a location. The device sends a one-way signal that is picked up by our smartphones & tablets that are located within a certain proximity of where the beacon is installed.

Why would my business use a beacon? 

Google’s beacon technology allows businesses to expand their digital marketing & advertising ability by broadcasting targeted messages to smartphones in the vicinity. In other words, it provides an opportunity to deliver relevant, contextual information to a geographically nearby audience. Businesses can utilize a beacon, or a number of beacons to engage customers in close proximity in various ways – from sending targeted marketing and special offers to prompting customers to leave a review or to notify them of a special event. This could generate leads and inquiries for your business that you may never have experienced otherwise.

There are other tangible benefits to a using beacon technology, because the data essentially – flows both ways. Your business’ location on Google Maps appears when your customer is nearby and you are able to market to that customer who may not even be aware your business exists. You can further engage them through a strategic ad that may result in conversions. It can also track the number of customers who viewed your ad and visited your store. The value of the conversion tracking data is huge, when you consider it can help you gauge the effectiveness of a particular marketing strategy or AdWord campaign , providing the opportunity to strategically adjust it.

For the customer, it means access to improved information or access to information in general, that would not necessarily find its way to the customer otherwise. Being able to effectively gather relevant information on your mobile device via beacon technology has the potential to impact the consumer experience is so many ways. Visitors to your business do not have to pair their phones to the beacon which allows for an easier experience to customers or visitors. From helping you choose which restaurant to dine at based on reviews and wait times obtained through your device’s communication with the beacon at that restaurant, to making sure the item at the hardware store is in stock at a particular location.

How do I set up and start using my beacon?

If you didn’t receive a Google beacon, you can fill out and submit an online request form. However, if you did receive one, setting it up is super simple. Open the box and attach it to a surface using the beacon’s adhesive strip. There is no need to power it on and it comes with long-lasting batteries. You’ll want to be sure not to attach it to a shared wall or external wall, so the ceiling or a shelf are good options. There will be an activation code included on the address label of your beacon package but Google can activate your beacon with your company name and zip code as well. You can click here to activate your beacon.

There are clearly a ton of potential benefits to using Google’s beacon technology for businesses and marketers alike, not to mention the potential for enhancing the consumer experience across so many spectrums. And Google predicts the benefits and potential of the beacon platform will continue to evolve and improve in the future, making it a powerful tool to maximize your digital marketing power.

If you’d like to learn more about incorporating beacon technology into your marketing strategy, give feel free to contact us via email at info@celsiusmarketing.com or fill out our online contact form by visiting us at www.celsiusmarketing.com. And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!

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