Waze Local for Small Business Ads Officially Launches

After nearly two years of beta testing and several years of big brands being able to advertise on the platform, the popular navigational app Waze is officially launching their small business ad product. Waze Local is intended to help businesses gain exposure and direct drivers toward their locations. As TechCrunch reports these ad options are also made to fit a number of budgets.

The first Waze Local ad product — and the one they call their core — is the branded pin. This simply means that drivers passing an advertiser’s storefront will see the company’s logo displayed on their map above the location. Although this format might not lead users toward immediate action, the hope is that the impression will help build awareness. For the record, Waze says it won’t display more than three branded pins at any given time.

Other ad formats included as part of Waze Local include sponsored search listings and banners. With the former option, businesses can have their location shown at the top of relevant search results from user queries. As for what Waze has dubbed their “zero-speed takeover” ads, these banners display at the top of users’ screens only when they’ve come to a complete stop on the road. CNBC shared screenshots of the three ad formats seen below.

One of the small businesses that tested Waze Local in its beta phase was Kung Fu Tea. According to the company, a three-month test that included 16 of their locations found 5,500 drivers navigating to their shops. That figure was up more than 20% from before the brand started buying ads.

Speaking to CNBC, Waze executive Matt Phillips said the Waze Local product is intended for a variety of small businesses, saying, “Our target market is truly local businesses — any business that has a store sign in front. We’ve tested with restaurants and hardware stores, shopping malls and movie theaters.” Phillips went on to explain that advertisers will be charged on a CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) basis. As a result he says businesses could run a basic ad campaign with Waze Local for as little as $2 a day.

With the advent of social media, mobile apps, and other platforms, small businesses now have a number of creative, effective, and affordable advertising options. Waze Local seems to fit the bill in all those aspects and may prove to be a good investment for brick and mortar businesses. If you’re interested, Waze has more information on their business advertising page.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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