What Are Waze Ads and Are They Right For Your Business?

Demi Newlands 21/11/2022 4 minutes

Over the last few years, Waze has been an increasingly popular navigation app for drivers all around the world. But did you know that Waze’s benefits aren’t just limited to its users? That’s right, the app also has a range of unique advertising angles that aren’t offered by other platforms and is worth exploring by Paid Media teams looking to try something new. In this blog post we explore Waze ads in more detail.

What is Waze?

Waze is a community-driven navigation app that was acquired by Google in 2013. One of their key values is to have an engaged community, which helps keep the app running smoothly. For example, drivers all around the world can connect to each other and work together to share live updates which ultimately improves the driving experience.

How does Waze work?

When users drive around using the Waze app, they share real-time information that translates into traffic conditions. These routes are then tracked to help understand traffic patterns, typical route lengths and so on, which then allows Waze to be able to provide optimal routes to its users — this is known as ‘passive reporting’. The more people that drive with Waze open, the better the navigation map will be.

What’s more, the app also gives users the ability to ‘actively report’ by sharing updates on what’s happening on the road around them e.g. whether there has been an accident, if road works are taking place or if there’s a traffic jam. According to Waze, there are currently around 30,000 map editors globally who contribute every month.

Waze ad formats 

When creating ads on Waze, there’s one key aspect that advertisers need to bear in mind — users are always on the go. This means that consumers don’t have the time to sit and digest your content. It needs to be short, snappy and to the point. Luckily, the ad formats provided by Waze overcome this issue and have been built for a ‘spontaneous’ audience.

These ads include:

  1. Search — great for keeping your business top of mind whilst users search for their location 
  2. Pins — put a ‘pin’ (such as a logo) on the map to remind customers that they will drive past your business on their journey
  3. Arrows — help customers navigate to your location by using arrows to indicate you’re closeby
  4. Zero-speed takeover — the digital billboards of Waze which only display when vehicles have come to a complete stop, encouraging users to take a key action, such as ‘drive here now’

Why should you consider Waze advertising?

One benefit of Waze is that it offers a realistic sample of unique data, including the places users like to go and the things they like to do. These insights can then be applied to marketing strategies by predicting user behaviour, such as analysing what routes users frequently take and tailor ads and messaging accordingly.

For example, let’s say you own a coffee shop in Brixton and start advertising on Waze to attract more customers. By using ‘pins’ on the map, you can remind customers that they’re going to drive past your business on their daily commute to work. Perhaps you also offer the user a free biscuit coupon to help convince them to stop. When that customer — who still has Waze open — is nearby, you can then target them a second time using ‘arrows’ which will indicate your business is just around the corner. Not only do you then hit them again with that free biscuit coupon code, but you also include a ‘drive there’ call to action (CTA) in your ad that will easily allow users to redirect straight to your shop.

Here are some additional examples of why Waze may be beneficial to your business:

  1. Getting more customers — advertise to users who are driving past your business on their route 
  2. Brand awareness — increase familiarity with your brand, promotion or location by frequently showing ads on the map
  3. Extend your reach — connect with customers at the right moment on their journey

Waze ads management: recommendations and best practices 

You’re almost ready to get started with advertising on the Waze app. Take a look at some of our top recommendations and best practices for using the platform.

Probably our most important tip is that Waze is a very unique medium with very different user intent to other typical advertising platforms, such as Facebook. When putting together your creative, avoid repurposing digital ads and create something that’s fresh and suitable for users on the go.

  • Create something memorable 

Less is more — keep your messaging short and sweet so that it’s easier for users to read and digest when they come to a stop.

  • Keep it simple and clear

Brand awareness is key. Remember to use your most recognisable logo or icon that clearly indicates what is being advertised at that specific location.

  • Always include a clear CTA 

Choose a CTA button that will strengthen your messaging and not confuse users. Think — what is the most valuable action that the user can take in that moment?

No matter what the size of your business is or the industry it’s in, Waze advertising offers something for everyone. If you’re looking to kickstart or upgrade your marketing strategy, get in touch with our Paid Media specialists at Passion Digital.