Marketers are confused regarding where a multi-location local business should focus their energies on, and how effectively they can deploy martech tools.

Industry experts agree that up-to-date, accurate business location data is the lynchpin for the success of all local marketing initiatives. Enterprises must initially assess the health of every local data point. From there, more effective local landing pages, monitoring of online reviews and ratings, search optimization, and engaging in social advertising and paid search should follow.

When executed as a five-step process, these major marketing elements can deliver an effective local marketing strategy for local brands with multiple locations.

Reputation management

BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2019 says that user-generated ratings and reviews continue to have a huge influence on potential buyers, with around 76% of consumers trusting reviews online as much as recommendations from known people.

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As more businesses strive for positive, user-generated reviews, it’s critical to ensure that these are authentic. Consumers have, over the years, growing more skeptical largely because of the publicity around businesses who have stooped to using fake reviews. Negative reviews are inevitable and should be smartly managed.

Listing management

The foundation of all successful local marketing is accurate listings and clean data – including maps, photos, NAP, and business hours. National brands lose a large amount of local business each year due to inaccurate online listings and the not so impressive SERP rankings

It is critical to claim the local listings by providing accurate information to search engines and online directories. There is a range of local data or presence management and third-party data aggregators and services that will manage listings for multi-location brands.

Claiming the listings also gives the site publisher a verified, direct relationship with the organization. It establishes the brand as the listing’s owner and gives complete control over all content and updates. Several LMS vendors also claim listings on their clients’ behalf as part of their services.

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Once claimed, listings must also get regularly monitored. Further, the listings should be distributed equally to the leading online directories, search engines, and social media networks. Beyond the major sites such as Facebook, Google, Yelp, and Apple Maps, there are particular directories and vertical sites that remain critical.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a regularly evolving discipline with its own specific rules and best practices that are distinct from general SEO. However, local SEO and listing management are very closely linked: complete, accurate, and consistent listings improve the search engine rankings. As search algorithms continue to drive extremely relevant results based on elaborate user locations, it has become more crucial to optimize landing pages with local information. Google is constantly updating its API to allow more efficient SEO.

Local landing pages

Each brand location needs to have their own mobile-friendly landing page. It is crucial to capture consumer demand, streamline marketing efforts, and provide metrics for future marketing campaign optimization, which is very important when brands have to rely on thousands of local websites.

Incorporating trackable local phone numbers and store locators can help to capture the expanding audience of mobile phone users who want to contact local businesses to measure campaign performance.

Local paid search/social

Paid media – namely display, search, and social – are core components of a successful digital marketing strategy. Native social advertising that can be effectively targeted geographically is now commonplace across networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Customizing messages for users from a particular geographic market can communicate the right promotional information and communicate offline sales digitally. Local search and social media is used to capitalize on regions where the business is best at or used as a lever to supplement marketing in the underperforming areas to enhance awareness and improve sales.