Three Reasons You Must Invest in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is more important than ever before. Seventy percent of internet users want to learn about products through content versus traditional advertisements. While many multi-location businesses already have some digital marketing tactics in place, there’s always room to improve. Your multi-location business must ensure it’s investing in the right areas of digital marketing to stand out as an industry leader and crush the competition.
Localized search and social are critical to a brand’s digital health and visibility and map to key stages in the consumer journey. Although the two marketing strategies have a symbiotic relationship, they are not two sides of the same coin. Each of these areas of digital marketing is unique and requires a specific focus to leverage fully. Within this blog, we’ll reveal which areas of local search and local social your business should focus on to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts.
1. Higher Online Visibility Results in Leads to More Conversions
An investment in digital marketing, specifically your local search efforts, will help your business rank higher on Google, increasing your online visibility. As expected, the more people see your business in relevant online searches, the more conversions your business will get. Search results on the first page of Google generate a whopping 92 percent of organic traffic. In fact, the first result in the Google 3-Pack enjoys an enviable 34 percent CTR (click-through rate). Consumers are less likely to engage with results that show up underneath the Google 3-Pack. So how exactly do you boost your online visibility through local search? An emphasis on your Google My Business (GMB) profile and your local listings that go along with it will help.
Over the past few years, GMB has increased in importance when looking at Google’s ranking factors. This means that your multi-location business must ensure that its GMB profiles provide as much information about your local stores as possible. From updated and accurate local listings to utilizing Google Q&A and Google Posts, there’s a lot of ways your business can optimize its GMB profiles. For instance, local listings are an excellent way for consumers to get information about your business without going to your website. From a local listing, a potential consumer should be able to find your local business name, address, and phone number. While those are the basics, there is additional information your business can include in its local listings, including links to your social media channels, images, and CTAs.
Google Q&A and Google Posts are features you should invest in as well to win more conversions. Recent data shows that only 23 percent of businesses are currently using Google Posts. Similarly, the average multi-location company has 2.5 questions posted per location on Google Q&A, with 96 percent of questions going unanswered. Of the answers posted, just 7 percent of the responses are coming from business owners. This leaves an opportunity for others to answer questions about your business with inaccurate information. If your multi-location business takes the time and effort to post on Google and answer questions in its Q&A, Google will recognize this, therefore improving your overall ranking.
2. An Improved Online Reputation Increases Revenue
When considering whether or not to invest in digital marketing, reputation management should be considered as well. Online reputation and reviews are key components of a successful localized marketing strategy. An improved online reputation leads to an increase in revenue. For instance, more than half of consumers have passed up a business due to their local ratings and reviews. On the other hand, a star rating increase of just 0.1 percent could increase the conversion rates of a business location by 25 percent. If your multi-location business isn’t investing in reputation management efforts, you’re likely missing out on new leads and ultimately losing sales.
When it comes to which efforts your business should focus on to improve its online reputation, responding to reviews is at the top of the list. Fifty-three percent of customers expect companies to respond to negative reviews in less than a week. Of those consumers, 63 percent say a business never responded to their review. If your multi-location business isn’t monitoring reviews at the local level and prioritizing responding to negative reviews, it will likely impact your business’s online reputation. For more information on the importance of responding to reviews, especially negative ones, check out our blog on the topic.
Your average-star rating is something your local businesses should aim to improve. Only 53 percent of people would consider using a company with less than four stars. If your business has less than four stars, focusing on improving your online reputation should be a top priority. To do so, your business can look through the ratings and reviews it has already received and see if there are any common complaints or suggested improvements from previous customers. Taking the time to invest in reputation management will be well worth the time and money spent in the long run.
3. Social is the #1 Discovery Engine
With social media now being the number one place for new product discovery, it’s a no-brainer that your business should invest in local social. Social media also influences 78 percent of purchase decisions. Local social media is here to stay, and if your multi-location business wants to win more sales and dominate the competition, a solid local social strategy is necessary.
Again, you may be asking yourself what constitutes a solid local social strategy. Localized content is one of the most significant factors. Our recent Localized Social Content Guide found that localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized. Localized content includes, but is not limited to:
- Community-based stories
- Local customer testimonials or customer success stories
- Information about upcoming events at your local business
- Local promotions or giveaways
- Photos of your local store or team members
Sharing localized content across local social channels is a crucial component of a winning local social strategy. Data from our 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report provides insight into how often your local locations should be posting on social media as well. The report found that leaders in localized marketing posted an average of nine times per month on Facebook and once a month on GMB. Your multi-location business should be meeting or exceeding these averages if you want to get the most out of your local social efforts.
While it’s clear that digital marketing is well worth the investment, managing it across 100s or 1,000s of business locations makes many marketers hesitant to take the leap. That’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi has various tools that can help your multi-location business manage its digital marketing efforts across all your business locations. For instance, if your business is looking to improve its online presence, SOCi Listings can help. SOCi Listings will help your business take its local search authority to the next level. From syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits and profile recommendations, SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to launch your listings to the top of search results.
If reputation management is the area your multi-location business needs the most support in, SOCi Reviews is available too. SOCi Reviews allows your business to leverage key review insights to command better business decisions and improve local business reputations. Through SOCi, users can view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Now, your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect.
SOCi’s Social Solution can help your business master its local social strategy as well, resulting in more leads. SOCi’s Social Solution enables multi-location businesses to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the enterprise and local levels. Through the tool, users can organize and share content libraries and pre-scheduled social media calendars that empower you to deploy winning content in just a few clicks.
It’s time to take the next step towards investing in digital marketing, and SOCi is here to help. Request a demo today for more information on how SOCi can help you crush your digital marketing goals and beat the competition!