The Multi-Location Marketing Handbook: 14 Strategies to Grow Your Business
Businesses with multiple locations have a unique advantage in reaching wider audiences and tapping into new markets. However, harnessing the full potential of multiple locations requires a nuanced approach through multi-location marketing that can effectively engage diverse audiences and optimize each location’s unique attributes.
In this article, we will delve into 14 strategies that will help you to navigate the complexities of multi-location marketing, enhance your brand’s visibility, drive customer engagement, and ultimately pave the way to sustainable growth.
Multi-Location vs. Single-Location Marketing
Your marketing strategy will be different for a multi-location business vs. a single-location business. Why is that?
A multi-location business has the challenge of catering to diverse audiences across different regions, each with its own cultural, demographic, and competitive landscape. This demands a localized approach that takes into account the unique characteristics and preferences of each location, all while maintaining brand consistency.
Multi-location businesses also have a larger scale and wider reach, requiring a more comprehensive plan to effectively manage and coordinate efforts across multiple locations. This includes centralized brand messaging, standardized processes, and streamlined communication channels both internally and externally.
The Power of Multi-Location Marketing
In a nutshell, multi-location marketing is a targeted promotional strategy designed for businesses with multiple branches or franchises spread across different geographical locations. Campaigns are tailored to the specific needs of local customers in different areas.
By tailoring your marketing efforts to specific localities, your business can tap into the unique characteristics and preferences of each target market. Taking a personalized approach enhances brand visibility, customer engagement, and ultimately drives conversions.
Here’s a great example of a location-specific promotion by Dunkin’ Donuts that the company ran in multiple cities:
Here we see the same promotion strategy used in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, among other locations across the country. Dunkin’ Donuts capitalized on football season by offering fans a free coffee every time their team won a game. They were able to demonstrate an understanding of local sports culture, aligning with the passions of sports fans and winning their business. Dunkin’ Donuts ultimately established itself as a trustworthy, generous, and dependable brand in every community they serve.
14 Tips to Build a Multi-Location Marketing Strategy
- Location-Specific Social Media Pages
Create separate social media pages for each of your business locations, including a main page for your homebase. This helps you establish a strong online presence while avoiding duplicate content.
With individual social media pages, you can provide localized content and engage directly with the local community. It enables you to tailor your messaging, promotions, and updates to cater to the specific interests and preferences of customers in each area. You can foster a sense of connection and relevance, strengthening your relationship with your audience.
Location-specific social media pages help build a distinct identity for each branch or store. This is especially important if your locations have different offerings, target different demographics, or have unique features. By highlighting these specific aspects on individual pages, you attract the right customers and drive foot traffic.
Keep in mind that you should avoid posting duplicate content across your social media pages. Develop an overarching social media strategy that includes main content themes and guidelines that will be shared across all locations. While maintaining consistency in your brand’s voice, customize the content for each location. Highlight specific promotions, events, or features that are relevant to the local audience. Utilize location-specific hashtags and geotags to increase discoverability and help users find the content related to their specific area.
By implementing this strategy, you can connect with local customers and maximize the impact of your social media presence.
- Geotargeting Ads
Geotargeting delivers targeted advertising and content to specific geographic locations. Once the user’s location is determined, businesses can deliver location-specific advertisements, content, or promotions. This can include displaying ads on websites, mobile apps, or social media platforms that are popular in the targeted location.
Geotargeting increases the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns. You can get the most out of your ad spend and drive conversions through reaching the right audience in the right place. You meet customers where they are, delivering more personalized experiences that are more likely to capture their attention and trigger desired actions, such as visiting a storefront.
Creating messages and promotions that resonate with the local audience also allows you to establish deeper connections and foster brand loyalty. Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency that compels customers to visit their nearest store and make a purchase. Here are two examples of brands that do exactly that:
Here, Planet Fitness uses geotargeting to promote the grand opening of a new location, delivering ads to people who live in the nearby area. Starbucks app users receive offers and discounts with push notifications for locations in their proximity. The company reported that this campaign increased the chances for a user to enter a store by 100%. Both of these ads offer incentives to get people through the door, and cast a narrow net to contact those who are most likely to respond.
- Optimize Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business (GMB) allows businesses to claim and manage individual profiles for each location, improving local search visibility and providing a centralized platform for customers to discover and engage with the business.
To optimize your GMB profile, make sure that business information is accurate and consistent across all locations, including address, phone number, and operating hours. Regularly updating your profile with relevant content, such as photos, posts, and customer reviews, to enhance visibility and attract potential customers.
- Consistent Branding and Messaging
Maintaining consistent branding and messaging across multiple locations is crucial for establishing a strong and recognizable brand identity. Inconsistent branding can lead to confusion and dilute the impact of your marketing efforts. Here are some examples of common inconsistent branding mistakes:
- Using different logos: This includes using variations with alternate colors or proportions. It makes it difficult for customers to identify and remember your brand.
- Incoherent messaging: Without clear brand guidelines, one location may emphasize affordability while another focuses on quality, leading to mixed perceptions among customers.
- Different tone of voice: If one location uses a formal and professional tone, while another takes a casual and friendly approach, this can come off as confusing and weaken brand identity.
- Divergent visual identity: This includes using different color schemes, typography, or design elements.
- Varying customer experience: When one location provides exceptional customer service while another offers subpar service, it can create a disconnect and erode customer trust.
- Disparate online presence: Inconsistent online presence makes it difficult for customers to find accurate information or know where to reach out for help or engage with your brand.
- Different store atmosphere: Even store atmosphere, such as interior design, music, or overall ambiance, can lead to a lack of brand cohesion.
Ensure that all marketing materials, both online and offline, convey a cohesive message and visual identity. This helps build trust and recognition among your target audience.
Learn from Coca-Cola’s mistake: In 1985, the company attempted a rebrand, changing the formula of its most popular product and releasing it under an entirely new logo as “New Coke.” A large percentage of the U.S. population immediately decided to boycott the new product and sales plummeted. They quickly had to pivot to return to the original branding and formula. The moral of the story: honor who you are as a company and keep your branding consistent.
- Create A Personalized Experience
To truly resonate with local customers, businesses should go beyond generic marketing campaigns and focus on creating a personalized experience. Tailor your advertising efforts to align with the unique characteristics, preferences, and cultural nuances of each specific location. By speaking directly to the interests and needs of the local audience, you can establish stronger relationships and drive engagement.
You have the opportunity to engage directly with the community. Local customers feel a sense of appreciation when their culture is recognized. For example, a restaurant chain might create location-specific menu items that reflect the local cuisine or partner with local food artisans to offer limited-edition collaborations. This both creates a sense of exclusivity and demonstrates a commitment to meeting the specific needs of local customers.
Take a page out of the McDonald’s playbook. The fast food giant localizes their menu items for all 101 countries in which they operate, tapping into the traditional cuisine. In Japan, the menu features seafood-specific items like the Shrimp Filet-O sandwich, a Samurai Burger made with Teriyaki sauce, and a McRice burger that replaces buns with white rice. In India, they offer a more vegetarian-forward menu, while in France you’ll find an extensive selection of pastries and macarons.
McDonald’s alters its offerings to fit any culture, adding or removing food items based on consumer demand and local trends. And guess what? It works wonders.
- Collaborate with Local Partners and Influencers
Forging partnerships with local businesses and influencers can be a powerful strategy to enhance brand visibility and expand reach within each target location. By aligning with trusted local voices and leveraging their networks, businesses can tap into existing customer bases, gain access to new segments, and benefit from the credibility and endorsement of local influencers. Joint marketing campaigns, co-hosted events, and cross-promotions can generate excitement and foster community engagement.
- Get Involved In The Community
Highlight your connection to the community by sharing updates about local events, sponsorships, and partnerships. Encourage followers to participate in community initiatives, volunteer work, or charity drives. By supporting local causes, sponsoring local events, or engaging in volunteer activities, you can build strong relationships, enhance your brand reputation, and create a positive association with your brand in the minds of local customers.
Consider supporting causes or charities that resonate with your employees and customers, giving them a voice and allowing them to participate in shaping what your brand stands for. This initiative by Stumptown Coffee is a down-to-earth approach–instead of trying to pander to the LGBTQ community and capitalize on Pride Month with limited-time merch or promotions, they’re pledging to actually make a difference.
- Be Approachable and Accessible
You’re more likely to win repeat business when you can build deeper relationships with customers, and part of that is appearing approachable and accessible. Your social media page is the best place to foster that personal connection and remind customers that there are real humans behind the brand.
Engage with customers in real-time by responding to comments and answering DMs. Share customer testimonials and encourage people to tag your brand in their posts. When they do, repost their content. Share behind-the-scenes footage and introduce your staff to create a sense of familiarity. Encourage an open dialogue by asking questions, seeking feedback, and actively participating in discussions related to your industry online.
By being accessible, responsive, and engaging on social media, you can build strong connections, establish trust, and create a positive perception that extends across all your locations.
- Utilize Local SEO Strategies
Optimizing your online presence for local search is crucial for multi-location businesses. Conduct keyword research to identify location-specific keywords and incorporate them into your website content, meta tags, and URLs. Create individual landing pages for each location to enhance local relevance and improve search engine rankings. Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and industry-specific directories to boost your local credibility.
- Manage Your Online Reputation
It’s important to maintain a positive online reputation–even just one bad review that gets a lot of attention can steer away potential business, driving customers to your competitors. Have a strategy in place to actively manage and respond to customer reviews and feedback across different online platforms. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews and address any negative feedback promptly and professionally. By proactively managing your online reputation, you can build trust and credibility in each location. Listen to what your customers have to say and make changes when appropriate, whether it’s in the atmosphere of your store, the quality of your product, or the way your employees are trained to interact with customers.
- Monitor and Analyze Performance
Tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns is essential to measure their effectiveness and make data-driven decisions. Utilize analytics tools to monitor key metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, engagement levels, and customer feedback. By analyzing this data, you can identify trends, pinpoint areas for improvement, and optimize your marketing strategies for each location.
- Adapt to Local Trends and Seasonal Opportunities
Stay attuned to local trends, events, and seasonal opportunities in each location. By aligning your marketing campaigns with local festivities, holidays, or events, you can tap into the heightened consumer interest and engagement. This also showcases your business’s responsiveness and relevance.
For instance, a restaurant could introduce themed cocktails around the holidays, drawing on the festive flavors of the season. They might also work with local suppliers to source seasonal ingredients to create fresh, limited-time dishes. Retail stores could decorate to create a festive and welcoming atmosphere and immerse customers in a sense of celebration.
- Foster Internal Communication
Effective communication and collaboration among your locations are essential for a successful multi-location marketing strategy. Establish regular meetings or digital platforms for sharing best practices, successes, and challenges. Encourage open dialogue and feedback between different locations to foster a sense of unity and shared goals. By leveraging the collective knowledge and experiences of each location, you can continuously improve your marketing efforts.
- Embrace Change
The marketing landscape is dynamic, and consumer preferences are constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the competition, foster a culture of continuous innovation and improvement. Encourage experimentation with new marketing tactics, technologies, and customer engagement strategies. Monitor industry trends, competitor activities, and customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and implement iterative changes to your multi-location marketing strategies.
Multi-location marketing offers businesses with multiple branches or franchises the opportunity to reach diverse audiences, tap into new markets, and drive sustainable growth. Remember that each location has its own unique characteristics, preferences, and customer base. Embracing this diversity and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly will allow you to forge meaningful connections and establish a strong, positive presence in each community. These strategies enable businesses to tailor their marketing efforts to each location’s unique attributes, preferences, and cultural nuances, ultimately leading to stronger relationships, increased foot traffic, and improved business outcomes.
At KARMA jack we’re passionate about helping businesses grow with a tailored strategy that aligns with your goals. If you’re ready to finally get real results from your marketing efforts, schedule a call with us to get started.