Digital marketing for multi-location businesses entails multiple tactics, techniques, and technology solutions to engage your audience. If not done correctly, you’ll be wasting ad spend and forfeiting market share to competitors that do multi-location digital advertising the right way.

After managing hundreds of thousands of campaigns over the past 10 years, we’ve identified five of the most common mistakes that multi-location advertisers make in their digital advertising. By knowing what to avoid and how to avoid them, you’ll maximize the impact of every dollar you invest in your campaigns.

  1. Poor Landing Pages
  2. No Flexibility to Customize Your Budget and Creative to Local Markets
  3. Not Using Enough Channels and Networks
  4. A Lack of Location-Level Analytics
  5. No Brand Consistency Across Locations

1. Poor Landing Pages

No matter what industry you’re in, your customers are in a hurry. Anything that slows down your landing page conversion is inviting your audience to bounce from your page and check out a competitor.

A landing page should be optimized for conversion, where it hits that content Goldilocks zone. You don’t want it so sparse that you come off as amateurish or lacking credibility. However, inundating your pages with huge amounts of non-optimized content can slow your page loading times as well as decrease your ad quality score—which can increase your cost-per-click.

According to research from Google on mobile users, there’s a direct and powerful correlation between page load speeds and bounce rates.

  • Three seconds of delay increases bounce by 32%
  • Five seconds of delay increases bounce by 90%
  • Ten seconds of delay increases bounce by 123%

Page load speeds aren’t the only culprit torpedoing your landing page conversions, though. A lack of consistent, relevant content can be equally as deadly. For example, if you’re a furniture business running a sale on sofas and your landing page focuses on recliners and dining room tables, most people will jump ship before the page even stops loading.

Instead, try to provide a seamless experience between your digital ad and your landing page in terms of content, tone, and design. Consistency is your best friend when it comes to landing page conversions.

Some key best practices to maximize the effectiveness of your landing pages are:

  1. Focus on a single, solid CTA rather than multiple ones that dilute impact or having no CTA at all.
  2. Pay attention to the basics around the customer journey, making sure to put your phone number in a conspicuous spot on the page and using a good, concise, and simple contact form.
  3. Concentrate on satisfying the needs of the largest portion of customers rather than worrying about meeting all customer needs. Place the most important and pertinent information at the top of the page.
  4. Be consistent with your brand, including your URL, sub pages, fonts, and writing style. Assigning a person to pull all of these together is especially important when you have mixed work from segmented teams.
  5. Keep landing page copy simple, remembering that less is usually more when it comes to word count. Simple, strong titles and headings can make a significant difference.
  6. Use solid site architecture best practices. Similarly, be sure to use schema markup so Google and other sites can identify key elements on a page.
  7. Build trust with trust logos and badges, reviews, testimonials, and other elements that reinforce authenticity and reliability.  This was a major issue when PPE websites were flooding the marketplace in real time at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

2. No Flexibility to Customize Your Budget and Creative to Local Markets

Due to the complexity of local digital advertising, we often see national brands resort to running either national or regional campaigns targeted towards their local store or service locations. This means your messaging may have reached the correct local audience, but it’s not customized to the local market. The media plan, CTA, imagery and ad copy should all be personalized to each individual location to truly maximize the number of leads and improve your lead to customer conversion rates.

Without the right tools at your disposal, such flexibility is nearly impossible to obtain with manual workflows and an already stretched in-house marketing team. The only way to customize local media plans at scale is to leverage the right automated technology and partners.

Even agencies struggle in this area since, without help from automated technology to make the customization at scale possible, they face the same constraints as any in-house team. Further, neither agencies nor in-house teams can provide you with the real-time, granular performance data needed to continually optimize your campaign by shifting resources to your higher-performing markets.

3. Not Using Enough Channels and Networks

Marketing teams aren’t lacking for choices in their digital advertising strategies. Despite all of those choices, we still see many multi-location companies strictly relying on Google and Facebook for their advertising.

It’s a big digital world out there that seems to segment more by the day. Your audience uses more channels than just Google and Facebook, but if you’re not messaging them across those other channels—Twitter, Instagram, Microsoft Advertising, and others—then you're only targeting a fraction of your customer segments.

Let’s say you’re a high-end home remodeling company, who's currently targeting high-income families for a special promotion. As you prepare to launch a new campaign, you know that Microsoft’s audience network has a large percentage of high-income earners, making those users valuable to you and your lead generation. However, if you rely strictly on Google, you’ll never reach those Microsoft users and, thus, much of your key target audience.

That’s why an omnichannel approach that leverages a broader scope of advertising channels will help you reach your target customer segments wherever they might be across the digital landscape.

Just remember the previously-discussed mistake on flexibility when using an omnichannel strategy. This is a dynamic marketplace that continually ebbs and flows. Just because a particular channel performs well one month doesn’t mean it will going forward. If you create a strategy and toolset meant to adapt your digital spend to the best performing channels and campaigns, you’ll realize a higher ROI on your ad spend.

4. A Lack of Location-Level Analytics

Local engagement and insights will make or break any multi-location digital advertising campaign. If you’re not engaging local consumers and learning what’s working and what’s not at the local level, then you’re going to struggle to improve leads and sales.

To assess whether your advertising is working the way it should as well as to reliably determine your marketing ROI, you need to compile data locally by individual location for your business. Many corporate brand marketers are driving blind, without visibility into how an advertising campaign is performing in one location vs the next.

However, by knowing the true ROI by location, marketers are armed with the right insights to make better business decisions, apply what's working in one location to another, or stop a tactic that’s falling flat quickly. All of these can add up to a huge amount of savings.

But if you don’t have the tools necessary to capture those nuanced local insights between your different locations, then you have no way of knowing where or when to focus your campaign resources. Likewise, something as essential as A/B testing different combinations of creative, copy, and offers to maximize impact is next to impossible without an analytics platform that delivers the crucial, localized performance data.

5. No Brand Consistency Across Locations

According to our latest report, The State of Digital Advertising for Multi-Location Marketers, staying on brand is the number one challenge when it comes to managing a digital advertising program for local stakeholders. And local stakeholders want to know they’re getting ample support from the corporate to drive sales.

A structured program where corporate develops and owns the brand assets and is customizable for each local market helps solve brand consistency issues. Adopting the right tools and processes can create the consistent framework needed to align goals, easily execute on customized digital campaigns unique to each location, and bolster the overall brand nation-wide.

Brand consistency requires a partnership between corporate and location stakeholders, and with the right enablement tools and turnkey campaigns, you can have localized campaigns that still build your brand equity.

What If There’s a Better Way?

These five mistakes are all real-world challenges that we at Netsertive see every day. Our goal is to provide a solution to these challenges for multi-location marketers that enables localized campaigns at scale that make both corporate and locations happy through increased revenue and a high ROI on ad spend.

Effective digital advertising begins by figuring out where you are, where you want to be, and using the right insights and tools to get you there. Contact us to discuss how it’s done.

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