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A multi-location marketing strategy can be difficult to wrap your head around if you aren’t sure where to start.
Multi-location businesses need to be advertised through local SEO, Google My Business, online reviews, and social media. It can be a complicated landscape advertising for a business with multiple locations. This article will give some advice and reasons as to why use the four channels listed for your digital marketing strategy.
Organic traffic is among the highest converting traffic historically. These users have the most purchase intent. Because of it’s value – organic traffic can be extremely competitive to acquire, and is not an overnight exercise.
In the organic traffic mix there’s a balance between branded and unbranded traffic. Branded traffic is how many times folks are searching the company name. Whereas unbranded traffic are searches focused on products, needs or potential pain-points that your business solves for.
Unbranded traffic is usually the most competitive and difficult to rank for. If you’re a commercial tree trimming service, a search you’d likely want to populate for is “commercial tree trimming” or “commercial tree trimming near (insert location)”.
A staple in acquiring unbranded organic traffic for a multi-location business is knowing your keywords and having the appropriate location pages. At 20North we call these “micro-sites”. If your business has locations all across the southeast (or country), you need corresponding web pages for those locations. Here’s an example of a location specific micro-site. This
Micro-sites tell Google your company has a presence in different locations and greatly boosts organic unbranded traffic rankings (with proper SEO). Building a micro-site is only the first step in capturing organic traffic for multi-location businesses but it’s a critical one that many organizations overlook.
The term “Map Pack” has gained popularity over the last couple years. Map Pack refers to the Google My Business listing and placement on the Google map. In multi-location businesses, this is a critical field to populate for.
We’ve seen Google increase the importance of the Map Pack over the last year. In some instances the Map Pack is ranking higher than organic search and Google AdWords.
To increase rankings for the Map Pack step 1 is to have a verified Google My Business at each location. Then those locations need to be advertised and promoted. Google My Business listings can be promoted through paid advertising, organic content production (blogs) and reviews. All of these are important (especially reviews).
No one wants to engage with a business that has a poor (or no digital reputation).
Organic leads and top Map Pack placement don’t happen overnight. So therein lies the need for advertising. There’s many different types of advertising a multi-location business can engage in. Here are the essentials.
Google Adwords – when a potential prospect searches for a term(s) related to your products or services, or even the name of a competitor – your business needs to show up there. This is an especially effective strategy in new locations. If the local audience doesn’t know your business has a footprint there, this will help.
Map Pack Ads – very similar to Google AdWords, these ads will help you jump to the top of the Map Pack listing for certain keywords. But make sure that your business has a good digital reputation when doing this type of advertising.
Retargeting – this is a staple in all digital advertising campaigns. Make sure to have location specific / branded ads to engage with visitors who navigate to your different micro-sites.
Retargeting help boost brand awareness and, in the instance, someone was looking for a competitor and you came up. These types of advertisements will be a constant reminder that there is another vendor should your potential prospect become disenchanted with their current provider.
Here’s an example of a multi-location business that is advertising in the Map Pack and presents organically.
The use case for reviews in D2C brands is obvious. Your customers and potential customers have more choices and access to more information than ever before. B2B brands have to prioritize digital reputation as well.
For a multi-location marketing, Google My Business reviews are extremely important. Reviews not only impact a brands placement in the Map Pack, but the number review cadence, and quality of reviews play a big part in how customers perceive you.
Multi-locations businesses who have a strong online reputation online can charge up to 22% more for certain products. To put what’s good into context. The average GMB profile has 39 reviews. Aim to get over 100, and depending on your industry your business may need to shoot for 4-figure review numbers.
For folks who don’t buy the review hype here are a few stats you should be aware of pertaining to reviews:
Up to 73% of B2B buyers are now millennials – Merit
Many B2B brands have pushed back against investing in digital and upkeeping reputation management. But the facts are clear. The purchasing audience is getting younger. If you aren’t relevant in a Google search and present yourself well. Your company likely won’t be considered as a part of the purchase process
77% of B2B Researches won’t speak to a salesperson until they’ve done their own – Hubspot
The power used to lie with the seller. Now the opposite is true. All power lies with the consumer or desired end-user. People want to do business with other people and brands who they like, trust and respect. The way to gain someone’s trust and respect now – is to have an outstanding digital reputation and presence. Then make sure you have a great salesperson who can get the deal done.
There’s a ton of wasted effort in business development trying to educate people about a brand or new product. Your online reputation can help cut the waste.
American spend on average almost 8 hours a day online. Younger generations like millennials and Gen Z spend on average 4-hours a day on social media. Having a social media to engage with these audiences in important.
For a multi-location business social media can be tricky. There can be one master account that represents each business location, or in the case of a franchise marketing – there can be several different social accounts.
Whatever the case may be, brand standards and uniformity is important. Make sure that all of your social media accounts are on the same wavelength for each specific location. Tools like Sprout Social can make this type of thing very manageable.
It’s not easy to be perfect at all of these things – especially for small to midsize marketing teams. In an ideal situation your internal marketing team can work with experts like 20North to optimize each of these advertising channels. But not every company has the resources to do this. Advertising for a multi-location business isn’t an inexpensive exercise.
For teams with leaner resources, we recommend (if you have the bandwidth) taking on smaller projects like social media and digital reputation management internally, and using agencies like 20North for SEO and advertising.
SEO and advertising are the most complex and potentially most rewarding of the advertising channels listed in the article. But they have to be done correctly or can be very costly exercises.
20North Digital Marketing Services
Want to bring your marketing campaigns to the next level? And do you want your target audience to know be familiar with your brand identity? 20North can assist your local business! Multi-location business marketing can be difficult, there never seems to be enough time in the day for your marketing efforts. 20North Digital Marketing offers several local marketing services, including search engine optimization, email marketing, paid media, and web development. Call our phone number or fill out our contact form to speak with 20North today to get started on your marketing plan! Create your digital presence with 20North.