Digital advertising is a complex journey. With so many online platforms and channels available, finding the right mix and strategy can quickly become confusing. And if you’re a multi-location business, it becomes even more challenging.

For a multi-location business, there is no “one size fits all” solution. In order to achieve the most success from your digital advertising, you have to build a strategy that’s suited to your business type, sales process, audience demographic, and number of locations.

To do so, you need a way to track your current campaign performance, perform audience research, figure out the best keywords to use, and determine which channels will bring the biggest performance improvement. That sounds like a lot because it is. Think of digital advertising like a road trip. If you’re just starting out, you're probably still in the “adrift” phase of things. Without a map or a game plan, you’re just flying by the seat of your pants. Luckily, there’s a simple way out.

For more information, check out our Digital Advertising Maturity Model to pinpoint exactly where you are on the map—and what you need to do to keep moving forward.

How Do I Know if I’m Adrift?

When multi-location businesses lack a corporate-backed strategy for localized digital advertising, they’re typically working through what we call the “adrift” phase of digital advertising maturity. Their central brand and local partners are moving in different directions and are missing out on the best of what a cohesive digital strategy can deliver.

Here are some tell-tale signs that you’re in this phase of your advertising road trip:

  • You’re only advertising on one platform, not capturing using data to guide your strategy, and unable to track your campaign performance across locations.
  • You’re using a brand-level campaign for all of your individual locations, with no location-based personalization.
  • Engagement from your franchisees or local channel partners is uneven and insufficient.
  • You’re lacking the technological component that can help you track campaign performance, adjust individual ads, and integrate your campaigns.

These are common problems for multi-location and franchise businesses looking to improve their digital advertising programs. There isn’t just one location to advertise for, there are dozens or even hundreds spread out across a vast geographical area. Your customers are diverse and spread out, segmented based on demographics like their physical location, age, background, and more.

If you’re currently in the Adrift phase of the Advertising Maturity Model, there’s no need to panic! Identifying your current location is the best way to start building out an effective ad strategy that’s going to target the right audiences and convert them into loyal customers.

How Do I Move Past the Adrift Phase?

Once you’ve pinpointed where you are on your advertising journey, it’s time to get to work so you can move onto the next phase. After the “Adrift” phase on the maturity model comes the “roadmap” phase. In order to get there, here’s what you need to focus on.

Explore Multi-Channel Advertising

Look into implementing a multi-channel approach for your advertising campaigns. Your customers aren’t spending all of their time on one channel. In North America, on average, a person spends about two hours and six minutes on social media every day. That could include Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more. With consumers spreading their time across so many different platforms, your business is losing out on valuable opportunities to engage them if they limit their advertising presence to just one platform.

The right mix of websites and social media platforms depends on your business type and insights from your audiences. In addition, each channel has its own trends, strategies, and best practices. There’s never a “one size fits all” solution for multi-location digital advertising, so it pays off to be well informed and flexible with your advertising strategy.

Advertising on multiple channels at once can yield great results for your business. For example, when we compared paid search traffic between businesses not investing in Facebook ads with businesses operating both paid search and Facebook ads, we saw quite the difference in their performance. On average, at the end of 2019, businesses using Facebook and paid search had 77% more impressions and 82% more clicks.

Find a Data-Powered Technology Platform

The complexity of digital advertising for multiple locations requires an agile and data-powered platform that easily allows you to view campaign insights, learn which keywords are the most effective for your business type, strategize the appropriate budget based on performance, and gain real-time insights into how your campaigns are performing against your competitors.

With the right advertising technology platform, you can easily come up with a plan that’s based on your performance and current industry averages. From there, moving on to the next phase in your advertising journey is easy.

The Right Advertising Technology is Closer Than You Think

Looking for additional resources to help power your digital advertising campaigns? Begin by checking out our Digital Advertising Maturity Model. You’ll find tips and tactics for determining your place in the maturity model and how you can step up to the next level in no time.

Have any additional questions about advertising for your multi-location business? Don’t hesitate to connect with one of our advertising specialists here at Netsertive.

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