Finding Your Audience: Geotargeting in Healthcare Marketing


Nowadays, everyone lives on their mobile devices. So the best way brands can market to potential consumers is to reach them where they spend a majority of their media time: on their phones. At the beginning of the digital age, targeting audiences based on geography was usually inaccurate. But now with the advancement of technology—specifically the use of GPS-enabled smartphones— healthcare marketers can reach potential customers based on location. 

Using location data, geotargeting allows marketers to send advertisements to smartphone users when they enter a designated location. A variety of geotargeting tools and services exist to help you, as an advertiser, personalize your content and provide you with a wealth of analytical data to utilize in your marketing.


Geofencing marketing is a tool allowing marketers to put a virtual “fence” around a specific area using a series of latitude and longitude coordinates. Advertisers can then send promotions to potential consumers who have location services turned on on their mobile devices and enter this designated space. The geographical coordinates can cover a small section of town like the street corner of your business or capture a whole neighborhood. These ads can be sent to customers eight times an hour for the next 30 days, even after the individual leaves the “fenced” area. 


Geoconquesting is a type of geofencing in which companies can set the parameters of their target zone around a competitor’s location and then serve ads to mobile users who enter that area. The theory behind this location-targeted tool is to attract individuals near your competitor and drive them to your business instead. If a potential patient is sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, your organization can send them an ad offering decreased wait times or faster services and appointment bookings. 

Location-Targeted Social Media Ads

Social media is powerful to use in your healthcare marketing because the majority of mobile users spend their time scrolling on social networks. The immense popularity of social media platforms can help reach a large audience online. With social media, you are able to target based on location data and specific interests. Being able to reach local niche audiences provides extreme value as a healthcare marketer. Using this technology you can reach aspiring parents in search of a fertility clinic or office employees in need of chiropractic services. 

Facebook is one of the preferred platforms for marketers when creating location-targeted social media ads. This is not only because of its large volume of users but also because Facebook offers a plethora of tools for local advertisers to connect to potential customers. One such example is Facebook’s Reach Ads which gives a healthcare marketer the ability to reach nearby users with advertisements displaying company page, information, website links, and action buttons like “book or call now.”

Location-Targeted Search Ads

Location-targeted search engine advertising is the most popular geotargeting method for healthcare marketers. This is because 89 percent of Americans turn to Google and other search engines when looking up health information. And more than half of those health searches are on a phone. More than 60 percent of consumers also make their healthcare decisions based on proximity to them. These factors make location-targeted search ads ideal for healthcare marketers. Healthcare providers and brands will typically use location-specific keywords in pages and advertisements or utilize location extensions so addresses appear alongside the sponsored content. If an individual seeking cancer treatment or procedures in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of New York does a search a list of Lenox Hill radiology locations for providers and clinics will appear along with addresses and office hours.