For franchise and multi-location brand marketers, orchestrating a digital marketing strategy that ensures all of their locations are highly visible and discoverable locally online is a challenging endeavor. While the core strategies that a typical brand may use still applies, multi-location marketers have the added complexity of thinking about how to structure marketing responsibilities across their corporate team, locations, and various digital partners, in addition to figuring out how to analyze and report on it all, to truly understand where to focus resources and attention in the future for the biggest impact.

In fact, according to the 2023 Local Visibility Report, low visibility in the most important digital channels is costing the U.S. retail industry $2.4B every year. Check out these shocking stats:

  • Low visibility in local search costs the average U.S. chain/franchise location $43,644 in lost revenue per year = $18.1M in lost revenue for the average retail brand
  • Non-response to negative reviews costs the average U.S. chain/franchise location $12,000 in lost revenue per year = $4.8M in lost revenue for the average retail brand
  • Neglecting your local social community costs the average U.S. retail location $2,700 in lost media value per year = $1.1M in lost media value for the average retail brand 

Digital channels are the first place people turn to discover new brands and find information before purchasing a product or service, yet the average US business is virtually invisible in two out of three local searches, which makes it critical for multi-location businesses to be discoverable online to beat out their competition. At Netsertive we live for helping franchise and multi-location brands scale their localized marketing and digital presence. Check out the top ten ways brands should be improving their local visibility online.

1. Establish Your Location’s Brand Digital Presence with your Website, Location Pages and Social Media Accounts

While establishing your brand’s website, building out location pages, and social media accounts is a no brainer, how you go about building and managing them as a multi-location business matters. We see many brands who use a local digital agency to build out their website, to later find out that launching new and updating existing Location Pages with relevant product and service information is completely unmanageable. That’s because traditional agencies don’t have the technology or experience scaling a multi-location brand’s digital presence. 

Your brand's website and associated location pages play a critical role in your buyer’s digital path to purchase, and should be built out in a way that is easy to scale and personalize to local consumers. The main website plays a role in sharing the corporate brand story and value prop, with high-funnel, consideration phase content touches and simple routes to finding the location nearest them. Location Pages or Localized Microsites should act as an extension of the brand’s story, with mid-to-low funnel consideration phase content touches and direct calls to action. 

A solution that enables network wide updates and the ability to customize individual location pages is critical for multi-location brands, to ensure simple management of the site and potentially hundreds of local pages that need to be SEO-optimized and built for local conversion.

Establishing this local digital presence (including local listings discussed below) is key to getting ranked higher in all the places people are searching online, which means more organic traffic, leads and business for you. 

2. Claim your Local Business Listings to Show Up in Maps, Directories and Local Searches

Businesses in the 3-Pack receive 126% more traffic and 93% more actions (calls, website clicks, and driving directions) than businesses ranked 4-10, according to SOCi research. Further, with 82 percent of smartphone shoppers conducting ‘near me’ searches, it’s critical for brands with multiple locations to have up-to-date business listings so that they get found by more local shoppers. 

Local Listings Management ensures that your local business location’s information is updated and active across digital maps, profiles, directories and other online citations where people find local businesses, while monitoring and removing duplicate listings, ensuring accurate local images, and providing analytics on your brand’s local listings presence compared to competitors.

If consumers see conflicting information, that can hurt your business. Local listings management gives brand marketers control over local business information to increase awareness and leads at the local level. 

3. Elevate your Search Presence with with local SEO

As the popularity of "near me" searches continues to rise, multi-location marketers understand the power of showing up where their audience is - at the top of the search results page. This is where the pivotal role of local SEO comes into play. 

Brand marketers and locations can use local SEO to improve their online visibility in local search results and drive more traffic to their location pages. These search results appear on platforms like Google and Bing when users search for businesses or services in a specific location. On top of Google’s usual ranking factors, its local search algorithms use three main factors to help find the best match:

  • Relevance: How closely related a Google Business Profile result is to the words a searcher uses in their query
  • Distance: How far Google believes a user is from a business when they search
  • Prominence: How important Google thinks a business is to its potential customers

These three factors underline the importance of ensuring you deploy local SEO strategies on top of any national SEO strategies to ensure your brand gets in front of local customers. Local SEO strategies involve optimizing websites and online directories with location-specific keywords, optimizing Google My Business profiles, and tactics such as:

  • ​​On-page / Meta Strategy: Meta tags (meta title tag and meta description tag) play a huge role in helping search engines understand the content and purpose of your website, enhancing its chances of appearing in local search results. 
  • Link Building: Link building refers to building links from other websites back to your own. These links are known as backlinks and they help to drive traffic to your website.
  • Backlink Profile Cleansing: In general backlinks to your website are good because Google's ranking algorithm considers the relevance and number of backlinks when providing search results. But if your backlink profile contains a significant number of low-quality links, you may be penalized. Backlink profile cleansing ensure this is monitored and bad backlinks are cleaned up.
  • Schema Strategy: A good schema uses tags to mark up names, addresses, phone numbers, opening hours, and other useful local data on your website and location pages, which improves the chances of local businesses appearing as prominent rich snippets in the search results. 
  • SEO Content Briefs and Articles: Developing local content is a great way to boost your relevance and local rankings. This could be blog articles, testimonials and videos, and more.

Using a variety of these local SEO tactics that are specific to your brand can increase your visibility and chance of being discovered in local search results.

4. Reach and Engage with Local Consumers on Social Media

The average US user spends more than 2.5 hours a day on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and 82% of consumers have purchased something they discovered via social media (The Influencer Marketing Factory, Social Commerce Report). It’s where people spend a huge chunk of their day, which means your locations are missing out if they don’t have their social media profiles established and don’t post to them regularly. 

Multi-locations businesses can deploy a social media management program for locations to post their own content or manage the local postings for them. Either way using this owned platform for local customer touch points has many benefits:

  • Improve Your Local Digital Presence: Customers use local social media profiles to make decisions. Ensure you put your brand's best foot forward with local social media management. 
  • Nurture Customer: Use organic social media engagement and paid retargeting to nurture customers all the way from Brand Awareness to Consideration and Purchase.
  • Integrate Paid and Organic Social Media Management: Gain efficiencies by approaching local paid and organic social media in one motion vs silos.
Example of a Social Media Ad with Netsertive

5. Establish a Program for Local Review Management and Response

89% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Many brands leave it up to their locations to monitor and respond to reviews, which, if not done quickly, or worse, not responded to at all, can leave a bad taste in a consumer’s mouth, and negative perception for others who see the review left unanswered. Having a solution for managing this critical engagement point will improve your online credibility by getting locations to respond quicker and to more reviews, helping you influence more customers and boosting local search rankings.

Local reviews monitoring and reputation management allows your locations to stay on top of when new local reviews are posted so they can respond quickly and build a winning online reputation for your brand. 

6. Drive More Awareness and Demand with Video, Retargeting and Display Advertising

According to Google, 96% of time online is spent outside search across websites, mobile, video platforms, email + social networks. Multi-location marketers can increase awareness in their local markets by reaching new audiences across the open web through video advertising, display advertising and retargeting. Netsertive’s localization technology makes it possible to deploy a brand compliant video and display ads with an overlay that dynamically shows the name, address, and phone number of the location that is nearest the viewer. This way, consumers see the power of the premium brand combined with a local call-to-action, which franchisees love. 

Example of a Localized Video Ad with Netsertive

7. Most Faster and Smarter with Integrations and Automation 

To stay nimble and make faster, better decisions marketers must have system-wide performance metrics at their fingertips. Modern marketers have more tools and systems than ever to nurture prospective customers and understand performance analytics, yet getting all of the tools to communicate and work together for one automated and streamlined marketing system is difficult to achieve. 

Integrating and automating your marketing workflows removes manual tasks and connects digital campaigns to sales so that you can understand true digital attribution, make better and faster decisions, and get time back in your team’s day for more strategic thinking and additional priorities. In addition, task automation, real-time lead alerts and lead routing solutions can enable locations to follow up quickly on leads. A variety of integrations and automations exist to allow you to move faster than your competition:

  • CRM and POS Integrations: Close the attribution gap by connecting digital campaigns to sales data, for a true view into ROAS and ROI by location. 
  • Customer Data Integrations: Whether it's customer lists or sales data, integrate a variety of first-party data to securely send sensitive information.
  • Lead Management and Routing: Create and manage lead routing workflows that align with your unique customer needs. Locations receive accurate leads promptly, ensuring that lead details are efficiently stored in the appropriate customer database.
  • Call Tracking and Analytics: Dynamically display trackable phone numbers for each of your locations, while being able to listen to recordings and view a list of all recorded calls

Business Workflow Integrations maximize the impact of your current marketing program by improving speed to lead, reducing manual work, and providing true visibility and digital attribution into what’s working for your business. 

Digital marketing for multi-location brand marketers is complicated. The only way to win in today’s digital ecosystem is to utilize technology to help manage the thousands of moving parts and pieces that need to be done well at the hyper-local level.

Netsertive’s localized digital marketing solutions, centralized analytics, and team of digital strategists give you the tools to control and understand what’s happening with your digital marketing network-wide, drill into location-level data, and feel confident you’re on top of local market trends to capture and win local business. 

If you need help with your localized digital marketing strategy and want to chat, hit us up!

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