Doing anything multiple times can be difficult, but what about marketing for more than one location? It can seem almost impossible.
Creating a solid marketing plan for one business is a feat, but how can you create one that spans multiple locations in multiple markets?
Marketing for multi-locations can get complicated quickly. It is best to build a foundation and iterate upon it.
Whether you are starting in a multi-location industry for the first time or your company just expanded to become multi-location, these three tips can help keep your marketing on track no matter how many locations you grow to.
Use the Power of the Collective
The same thing that can be overwhelming when it comes to marketing for multiple locations is the same thing that can give you power - more than one location!
When you have one location or business, you have one budget, which can sometimes be limiting depending on your resources. But, when you have multiple locations, you can use multiple budgets, which gives you more power from a buying perspective.
But how does that make sense? If you have 50 locations, doesn’t everything cost X times 50? Sometimes, yes, but other times, no.
With digital marketing, you can create efficiencies when doing something multiple times that will save you money. You can also use these funds to test things and see if they will work across your portfolio before entirely investing (more on that in just a minute).
Budget isn’t the only thing that gets more powerful as you grow your locations; a big thing to consider is your SEO power.
I first examine the website when looking at competitors for my multi-location clients. A big difference across many multi-location companies is how they structure their websites.
I recommend putting all your websites on one domain as soon as possible.
Why? The power of the collective. When Google views a website, it looks for its authority. Many things go into authority. Web pages, content, page speed, backlinks, and more that we mere mortals are not privy to.
When you have only one company on a domain, all of the above will, by nature, be smaller than if you have all your locations on a single domain.
This is a perfect example of the collective benefiting the individual location. All locations can still have their own “website,” but when they live on the same domain, they enjoy a more authoritative website (read: ranking higher!).
These are two quick examples of pooling resources for an even more powerful marketing machine. Brainstorm other ways to use your collective power to benefit each location.
Test, Test, and Test
I already alluded to this, but in my marketing process - testing is critical.
This is even more important and beneficial when marketing multi-location businesses.
When managing a marketing strategy for multiple locations, you typically juggle many balls (and opinions) in the air.
Testing here can be crucial because we are always trying to push the envelope and try new things, but what if they don’t work? The last thing you want to do is discover your idea isn’t successful after you have spent money to roll it out to all your locations.
The solution for this? Testing!
When you have a marketing theory, I always treat it like a science experiment. Develop your hypothesis and create a strategic test. You may want to test this in a few different markets to truly know if this will work for all your locations.
I do this process for my clients almost every day. While I am happy to say many tests work, and we roll them out, almost just as many don’t. I am even more delighted to say that because of testing, these clients didn’t waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on something that would be unsuccessful.
So, look at your data, customer research, and competitor research and develop a hypothesis. Test it in a few locations and be on your way to better overall performance for every location.
Create Scaleable Processes
This last tip may seem like a gimme, but it is essential to touch on. Once you have determined that a strategy will work for your locations, you have to be able to scale it out efficiently.
Scaling can look like many different things. It could be software, it could be team members, or it could be a to-do list.
No matter what works best for you and your team, you must consider the scaling process for all your locations and ideas.
For one client, social media was the hardest thing to scale. We were finally able to find software that we could build a process around. We turned to Reputation.com and rolled that out to every location. Those locations can now upload their content, we can review and approve it, and the feeds have never been more full.
When a test is starting to look successful, go ahead and start planning around how you will scale it out to your other locations. Also, be sure to put something in place to continue watching performance to ensure your ongoing investment is worth the time, energy, and money.
With these three tips, you will be on your way to fantastic marketing across multiple locations, no matter your industry.
Topics: Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy