The Secret to Scaling Localized Marketing
SOCi speaks about localized marketing all the time, but what does it mean? Localized marketing is the process of localizing your marketing efforts based on the area that you’re marketing to. As a multi-location business, your marketing efforts should vary depending on the location. How you connect with an audience in Iowa is likely different from how you’d engage with your target audience in New Jersey.
While you likely understand the importance of localized marketing, it can be challenging to determine how to scale your localized marketing efforts across 100s or 1,000s of business locations. How much involvement should corporate have? Should your local teams have complete control over marketing efforts? How do you determine where corporate and local teams should be focused with all the different areas of localized marketing? These are some questions we’ll answer throughout this blog and share secrets your multi-location business can leverage to crush its localized marketing goals.
The Importance of Balancing Your Localized Marketing Efforts
Multi-location businesses need to have their marketing efforts balanced between hyperlocal and localized, and the successful strategies combine both the scale and power of enterprise mass management, with the activation and adoption of local teams. Corporate can’t expect local teams to run 100 percent of the marketing efforts, while a fully corporate-run marketing plan won’t perform as well as local strategies. A balance between corporate and local teams across all aspects of your localized marketing strategy is critical. For instance, who is responsible for planning your localized marketing efforts quarter by quarter? Is there a clear breakdown of who is responsible for which efforts? With so many different areas of localized marketing, you must utilize the expertise from both corporate and local teams.
There are a few models your multi-location business can choose between to execute your localized marketing strategy effectively – centralized, decentralized, or hybrid.
- The centralized model is where corporate primarily runs all marketing efforts.
- The decentralized model is where individual business locations run all marketing efforts.
- Finally, the hybrid model is a combination of the two above. Both corporate and individual business locations collaborate to run marketing efforts.
While, as you would expect, the hybrid model is the best option, it can be challenging to achieve. To successfully achieve the hybrid model, your multi-location business must first consider which efforts can be run by corporate and which are better suited for your local teams.
When it comes to local social, corporate can manage the creation of content calendars that include designed assets. The right type of local social will allow your individual businesses to easily localize the content found in the content calendar. Plus, workflow approvals can be implemented to ensure the content stays within brand guidelines, and notification systems can also be leveraged to empower local teams to maximize every engagement.
While using the content corporate includes is helpful, local teams can also provide additional powerful hyperlocal content – think testimonials, store photos, local stories, and more. This is the type of content that must come directly from local teams, as corporate won’t have as much insight in these areas. For more insight into what it takes to build a winning local social strategy, download our Localized Social Content Guide.
Eighty-eight percent of consumers now trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Your business must be managing its online reputation at both the corporate and local levels. For instance, corporate can set up brand-approved responses to reviews, while local is in charge of actually responding to the reviews. Local teams can personalize the brand-approved responses and ensure no engagement is missed.
Often, it can be the responsibility of local teams to analyze the sentiment of reviews with the help of a reputation management tool. For instance, are most of your negative reviews mentioning your long wait times? This is important for local teams to be aware of so they can make local operational changes accordingly.
The hybrid approach works for local listings as well. Corporate can be responsible for mass updating the business’s local listings when things change from a company-wide perspective. For instance, if hours of operation change across the board, corporate can use a listings management solution that updates the change across all local listings.
It’s up to the local teams to maximize the features that listings platforms provide. For instance, your local teams should be responding to any Q&A left on your local listings, add photos of the local business location, ensure all the local-specific information is updated and accurate, and leverage Google Posts. Maintaining your local listings will help boost your business’s visibility on Google. For more information on getting the most out of your local listings, check out our blog on the topic.
With chatbots, it’s pretty straightforward. Corporate can create the commands for the chatbots and set up workflows, while local teams will be responsible for monitoring the conversations coming through the chatbot. This is a lot easier to manage if you select a chatbot that combines advanced machine learning and natural language processing, so the chatbot is continuously learning and improving responses. However, no matter how smart the bot becomes, local teams will still need to respond to additional questions that the chatbot can’t answer and follow up with local leads.
The Data – What Defines a Successful Localized Marketing Strategy
Before we get into what it takes to find this balance and the secret for how your business can implement it at scale, let’s look at some data points that help define a solid localized marketing strategy.
Our 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report guides the way. The report looks at leaders in localized marketing and analyzes how these businesses are performing in local search and local social. For instance, within the report, you’ll find the average star ratings for leaders in localized marketing on Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Yelp. You’ll also find other important metrics like how often they’re posting on local social and what percentage of reviews they’re responding to. Why does this matter? Looking at these metrics will help your multi-location business realize where it stands compared to localized marketing leaders. It will also allow you to track your success as you begin to scale your localized marketing efforts more effectively.
Now that you understand what it takes for your multi-location business to balance localized marketing efforts between corporate and local teams, it’s crucial to find a tool to help you manage everything at scale.
A Solution – The Secret to Empowering Your Business to Scale Its Efforts
For your multi-location business to achieve a hybrid marketing model, you’ll need support from a solution that helps you scale your efforts. With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, corporate doesn’t have the time or resources to go through each local listing and ensure it has the correct business information. Similarly, wouldn’t it be nice to have a solution where you can schedule social content at both the local and corporate levels, all from a single calendar? Finding a single platform that allows you to scale your localized marketing efforts across all business locations is essential. That’s where SOCi comes in.
SOCi is the central command for multi-location marketing and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. SOCi is built to tackle the complexities national teams face in managing and deploying digital marketing efforts across limitless locations and has all of the tools you need under a single login. From reputation management to local listings to local social and more, SOCi has you covered! Request a demo today for more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business dominate the hybrid approach to localized marketing and scale your efforts across every business location!