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Amid this global pandemic, both consumers and businesses alike are struggling to navigate these difficult times. As a multi-location marketer, localized marketing can help your business survive. If you’re not already using a localized marketing strategy, it’s time to start. On the other hand, if your multi-location business already has a localized marketing strategy in place, good for you! This blog will help your business develop a localized marketing plan specifically for surviving COVID-19.

Connect With Consumers

One of the most important benefits of a localized marketing strategy throughout COVID-19 is that it allows you to connect with your consumers at the local level. Like we mentioned previously, it’s a scary time for both businesses and consumers, and a localized marketing strategy can help you feel connected. In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of empathizing with your consumers. Everyone is going through a difficult time right now, and knowing that we’re all going through this together can make it seem less scary. 

In addition to empathizing with your consumers, a localized marketing strategy allows your multi-location business to provide your consumers with entertainment or essential information as well. If your business is a restaurant or gym, a local employee could create a video of an at-home workout or cooking class to share on local social channels. Similarly, you could provide your local community with different ideas on how to keep themselves occupied during the quarantine. It’s time to get creative and share different types of content that are relevant now during times of social distancing like the example below from Anytime Fitness. 

Maintain a Local Presence 

While it’s great for your multi-location business to be connecting with consumers during this time, you may also be concerned with the increasing barriers around face-to-face interactions. We all know that many events and trade shows are postponed in the coming months, along with temporary business closures. A loss in in-person traffic can mean a decline in sales. However, a strong localized marketing strategy can help your business get creative and not miss out on potential business opportunities. 

For instance, now is a great time to host webinars that your business has been planning for months. While the messaging around webinars may have to adjust slightly due to COVID-19, it’s still an easy way to get in front of your consumers. 

Another great way to get in front of both consumers and potential business partners during this time is through 3D virtual events. If your location wants to hold a virtual cheese-tasting event or happy hour, now is a great time to do so. With so many people currently confined to their homes, everyone is looking for ways to engage with other people – social distancing doesn’t have to mean being socially distant. Virtual events and online webinars can provide them an opportunity to do so. 

While your sales may not instantly increase after hosting these virtual events, it will likely help your brand in the long run. Once everyone can start slowly getting back into their routine, and the economy starts to bounce back, your business will be at the top of their mind when consumers are looking to make purchase decisions. 

Spread Your Messages Across Locations

Like we’ve mentioned previously, a localized marketing strategy would not be possible without the ability to communicate at the local level. Target audiences can vary across locations, which is why personalization and localization is so important. For instance, throughout this pandemic, your multi-location business could be facing different restrictions at each location. It is crucial to be able to communicate your business’s current hours of operation, along with any other changes that have been made. If your business is a restaurant that has switched to take-out and delivery only, you must communicate those modifications to your consumers. 

Now it’s more important than ever to have an accurate digital presence for every one of your locations. Consumers are searching for local business information, and your business’s local search and social pages are providing the critical information needed for a consumer to ultimately make a purchase decision. 

To communicate at the local level with your potential customers, your multi-location business must have all of its local search and social pages claimed. For instance, your business should have a Facebook page claimed for each location. While Facebook is an example, in this case, your business should ensure it has local pages claimed on all social platforms that are relevant to your industry and audience. 

In addition to claiming local social pages, local search pages are a must. On platforms such as Google My Business and Yelp, local search pages provide vital information about your specific business location. Throughout this pandemic, it’s critical to keep information like hours of operation and contact information up-to-date on all of your business’s local search pages. 

Consolidate Your Localized Marketing Efforts 

You may be asking yourself, during this unprecedented time, how am I supposed to keep up with a localized marketing strategy? We know it can be challenging to keep up with communicating across 100s or 1,000s of locations. That’s where SOCi can help! 

At SOCi, we can help you manage a comprehensive localized marketing strategy across all of your locations. From social content to reviews to local listings management to ads, we have you covered all from a single platform. For more information about how SOCi can help your multi-location business manage its localized marketing strategy, and withstand the pressure that COVID-19 is putting on your business, check out our website or email us at [email protected].

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