4 Ways to Bring Waze Into Your Digital Marketing Playbook

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Part navigation app and part social media, Waze has the potential to help advertisers reach consumers at critical moments. As marketers navigate options and platforms to increase exposure and connect with consumers in new ways, Waze may be the right fit to amplify a brand's digital footprint, drive storefront traffic, and promote their business.

Waze Defined

A Google Maps overlay, Waze is a crowd-sourcing and mapping technology used mainly for auto navigation. Its huge social network - nearly 90 million strong - allows motorists to share information on traffic, road construction, or accidents including live route updates, ETA status, and more. The app also learns preferred routes, destinations, and commuting hours for well-rounded travel experiences.

Why advertise on Waze? Waze transforms the way advertisers target consumers and connect with audiences on the move. Brands can effectively use the app to track and analyze real-time data related to user engagement in the form of impressions, navigations, and button clicks.

Ads are purchased on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis and served based on a user's proximity to your location, with user history playing a critical role in determining which ads to display. A combination of individual user data, search history, and social data gives Waze the ability to offer brands powerful targeting recommendations to drive advertising performance.

If location-based advertising appeals to you, these ideas give marketers the play-by-play on how to incorporate Waze into campaign strategies.

1. Branded Pins With Links to More Information

In this direct-response style ad, pins mark a business's location on a map, mimicking the digital billboards drivers see as they're cruising along highways. The pins pop up on a Waze map when the driver is on or near the business's route. Once a pin is tapped, your ad appears with location details. A second tap puts drivers en route to your location.

Advertisers can add options for drivers to save offers or videos, set reminders, or change the app's voice. Links to more information about a specific location, calls to action to reroute drivers to a destination, and the ability to save places to travel to later are added perks as well.

Pins allow brands to target drivers based on whether they are tourists or locals, their intended destinations, and current events including weather, traffic patterns, and time of travel, right down to language and operating system use. You get a clear picture of marketing efforts through report statistics to analyze reach, frequency, impressions distributed by distance, or the number of saves and website visits.

2. Geo-targeting With Voice Integration

Voice integrations allow users to choose a voice to replace Waze's standard option. Advertisers even have the ability to geo-target locations to spotlight calls to action when users are in or near specific locations.

Brands not in the entertainment industry can join in on the fun of voice-overs. Users can swap Waze's standard navigation voice to that of a favorite celebrity, for instance. There's power in a user listening to a celebrity's voice reading directions to them instead of a computerized version.

3. Zero-speed Takeover Ads

Not everything comes to a complete stop when a vehicle does. Unlike the branded pin where the user has to click a brand's logo, this ad format pops up automatically as a "takeover" of the screen. The big takeaway? Drivers are more attentive to a navigation app when at a full stop, which allows you to target these moments.

When a user reaches "zero speed," three seconds or more of non-movement, Waze reveals high-impact ads and promotions about your brand. Action-oriented displays range from "Download App" and "Drive There" to "Download Coupon" for later use. As a precaution to ensure driver safety, ads drop from view once a vehicle is in motion again.

For marketers, this is another approach to the digital billboard model to offer exclusive discounts during promotional offers. According to Waze, Zero-speed Takeover ads reach drivers that are 3.1 times further from a business than Branded Pins.

4. Promoted Search and Ad Timing With Nearby Arrows

Besides Waze's aforementioned core ad formats, pinned locations give brands priority ranking in search results in Promoted Search. It's an effective ad format to reach users when they're actively searching, even if you're not directly on their current route. Since users can add favorite businesses or locations, Nearby Arrows is a huge advantage when combined with Promoted Search.

When Nearby Arrows is deployed, your brand's logo appears when the app is activated, letting the user know you're nearby. Just a click on the arrow directs the map to the closest pin and triggers your ad to appear on the navigation screen. Identical to the Branded Pin and Zero-Speed Takeover ad formats, the "Drive There" feature provides immediate access to your location.

When vetting your digital marketing options, Waze is the way to go. Think about it: An intuitive platform with the analytical know-how to assess when someone might want something — to fill up, a drink, or food — is a powerful marketing weapon. Use it to drive awareness and reach new audiences on a global scale.