In March, SOCi released our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR). If you think back to mid-March, you’ll remember that it was a hectic time with COVID-19 becoming more prominent in our society, and many states issued safer at home orders. With all of that said, we understand if you missed the initial soft release of our 2020 LMBR. Throughout this blog, we’ll take you through the data and highlight localized marketing leaders. As a multi-location marketer, you must ensure that you’re on par with or ahead of the competition, and this blog will help you do so. 

What is the 2020 LMBR? 

The 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report is a collaborative research project conducted by Localogy, the leading global association helping marketers and agencies realize the full potential of localized marketing, and SOCi, the leading platform for “next-level” multi-location marketers. The research examines how top multi-location brands are performing in the top digital channels covering local search, social, and ratings and reviews. 

The first LMBR was created in 2019. It establishes standards for multi-location brand presence and promotion through top local marketing channels that influence modern consumer buying decisions. The report also analyzes who scores above or below an established benchmark, revealing best practices for multi-location brands. Now that you have a better understanding of the report and why it was created, let’s get into localized marketing and how it has been changing. 

The changing landscape 

In the past, Google was seen as a query engine, but it has since changed to provide definitive answers to consumer queries versus driving searches to other sites where the user may or may not find their answer. When looking at online business searches through Google, the search results are now dominated by local listings. With so many businesses focusing their localized marketing efforts on local listings, their appearance in listings can make the difference between a business being considered or not seen at all. 

While local listings on Google My Business are essential, other platforms play a significant role in localized marketing. Google, Facebook, and Yelp are each critically important to a business’s localized marketing presence. Consumers use each of these platforms for local business information. Consistency in presence, care, and engagement across all three platforms mentioned above can have a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” effect. 

Comprehensive local digital marketing strategies across Google Yelp and Facebook translate to a holistic approach that requires optimization in local search, ratings and reviews, and local social. 

A look into the data 

When gathering the data for the 2020 LMBR, SOCi and Localogy audited 250+ top multi-location brands as part of the study. One hundred possible points were awarded based on ranking factors that cover presence, customer care, and engagement across Facebook, Yelp, and GMB. 

  • Presence looked at whether or not each location had a strong presence in localized search results across the top three platforms.
  • Customer care analyzed whether the ratings met an average volume threshold and score, and looked at whether or not a good percentage of reviews were responded to promptly. 
  • Engagement determined if locations were posting content, responding to review, replying to Q&A, and otherwise engaging with consumers across all three platforms. 

The data found that, on average, the analyzed businesses received a 54 score, which is a nine percent increase compared to last year. The data found that the top 10 overall leaders of the LMBR had an average rating of 84. For the second year in a row, the LMBR leaders grew 3x’s faster than their peers. This emphasizes the need for a robust localized marketing strategy and proves it’s importance for standing out against competitors. 

Top performing brands in localized marketing 

Now you may be asking yourself, who are the leaders in localized marketing? Below, the graph highlights the top 10 overall leaders in localized marketings from the 250+ brands we studied. The leaders include: 

  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
  • Amazing Lash Studio 
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Sky Zone
  • CPR Cell Phone Repair
  • Anytime Fitness 
  • Pet Supplies Plus
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
  • Club Pilates
  • The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education 

If you want more information about what the top ten leaders had in common or a closer look at category leaders, download the full report here. 

Improve your localized marketing strategy 

A robust localized marketing strategy is essential for multi-location businesses. Whether you already have a localized marketing strategy implemented that you’re looking to improve, or you’re just getting started, SOCi is here to help. Through SOCi’s platform, multi-location marketers can strengthen and scale their digital presence across hundreds or thousands of local search and social pages while protecting what matters most, their reputation. If you want to learn how to be a leader on next year’s LMBR, email us today at help@meetsoci.com and get started winning your localized marketing strategy. 

If you want to see how your business currently scores on localized marketing and have more than 50 business locations, request your LMBR scores today!

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