Multi-location businesses are an in-between of franchises and single location businesses, having challenges that both categories experience in their marketing, but having to McGyver solutions.
Never fear because we’re here to help! before starting your multi-location marketing take a look at how you need to set it up for your specific locations (and if you already have multi-location digital marketing set-up, take a look to see if there are areas of improvements). We don’t want you attaching gum to engine parts to make local digital marketing work for you because, frankly, how is piecing together a strategy any easier than managing each location individually?
Create a local page for each location
Similar to a franchise, you will want to have one centralized website to focus search engine traffic to, but you will also want to have separate pages for each of your locations. You want to be able to create a place for specialized keyword traffic to go. For example, if you are a retail shop focusing in children’s toys with locations around the Houston to Dallas, Texas area you would want to make sure the consumer’s searching “childrens toys Oak Forest” can automatically find your webpage for the location nearest to them.
Pages for each location give you the opportunity to optimize your website for more general keywords, like “childrens toys texas” and more specific pages with keywords like “children toys Oak Forest.” This also will make it easier to expand, because instead of re-optimizing your entire site for a new location, you optimize one page.
Create listings for each location
While we’re on the topic of SEO (search engine optimization) with creating optimized landing pages on your website for each location, you will want to create listings in online directories for each location to strengthen your local presence.
A good place to start is with Google My Business which not only lets you create a business listing, but connects it to Maps, Google+ and Youtube, allowing not only your business information to be immediately shared in local search results, but your content as well. And as a multi-location business you can upload and update information for all your locations in one easy step using bulk upload.
Vivial can quickly update hundreds of directory listings online with the click of a button, taking the work out of finding and processing each listing (and updating them with any changes).
As your business grows and you build more locations you need to have a way to tackle social media. Multi-location business can be at a disadvantage here because unlike a one location business they have more places for people to visit them, and unlike a franchise they might not be big enough to warrant social media profiles for all their locations.
The first step would, therefore, be how do you want to tackle it? You can keep everything under one social profile (on numerous channels) and mention all the locations, or you can have each location have a profile with one main profile for the flagship location.
Each business is different so as much as you may like a definitive yes or no, I cannot offer that without knowing more about your business (but don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below). Once you decide you will need a more in-depth social strategy.
Creating a comprehensive local social media strategy may seem like a monumental task that will consume hours of your time; however, it actually takes about 15 minutes.
When you use our social media template (no matter if you’re creating for each location or as a general brand), you can create a strategy that will last you an entire year in about 15 minutes! Simply follow the three steps outlined in our article, “How to Create a Local Social Media Strategy Template,” and you’ll be on your way.
Expand to mobile
Everything in digital marketing lately surrounds mobile marketing. With Mobilgeddon around Google’s algorithm update, all signs point to mobile marketing being the future of digital. Get ahead of the game and start introducing your business to mobile now.
From creating an app (or using an app already created) to allowing mobile payments will help move your locations into the next stage of marketing. Take a look at our article, “Make More Money Out of Mobile” to see what the best option would be for your business.
Stop piecing together bits of marketing from franchise and single location business plans and create a plan specially made for your multi-location business.
By using our getting starting guide, you can be on the way to the customized, McGyver-less strategy that will make your digital marketing a success. Need a tool to help you do it all? Manage all your locations by using the LocalCast dashboard to optimize directories, manage social media and share coupons or deals with your audience and prospective customers.
What do you feel the hardest part about multi-location marketing is? Let us know in the comments below.