Opening up multiple branches of your business is always an exciting step. The more locations you have, the more revenue comes in. It helps you to reach new customer pools and even new target demographics. However, you might find unexpected challenges when it comes to marketing.
You may find that you need a different marketing tactic to reach the customers closer to one location than you use at the other location. How do you manage this while still keeping your branding consistent? Here are a few tips:
Your marketing approaches should differ from location to location to effectively reach your local customers. But your brand should stay consistent. To that end, it can help to create a brand guide that includes all the imagery, culture, and brand elements that you want to be the same across all locations. Ensure each location and team has your brand guide so they can adhere to it. This will also help loyal customers to find your business when they’re traveling.
Let’s say you have a coffee shop located near your city’s major university. Your target audience is likely students who want a place to study or need a caffeine fix in order to face their morning classes. But then let’s say you open a location downtown and then a location in the suburbs. These are all likely to have vastly different audiences. Downtown, you’ll probably serve more working professionals than college students. In the suburbs, you might serve freelancers who work from home or families.
These are all vastly different target audiences, and you will need different marketing to reach each demographic. You might need different hours for your suburbs location compared to downtown, which usually clears out when the workday ends. Segment your customer list based on each location, and then think about the steps you might need to do to reach those customers through email marketing or social media. For social media, what platforms are they using? What does each audience want most out of your business?
You must always review marketing data to see what’s effective and what isn’t. However, lumping all of your marketing data together might not be helpful. Instead, monitor data based on location. How effective is the summer punch card marketing strategy in each of your locations? There might be one where it is significantly more or less used than the other locations. Going back to the coffee shop analogy, what about promotional emails for seasonal drinks? Are they making more of a splash in one location than another?
You can create a landing page for each location of your business in order to boost your local SEO for each. However, it is important not to simply copy and paste the content from one location to the next and then change the names. Google’s algorithm does not like duplicate content and will likely penalize it by lowering it in search results. Instead, create unique content for each landing page. They may have the same form for consistency, but the words should be different.
Local directories are a great way for locals to find your business and a great way to boost your local SEO. If your business is in multiple locations, however, you will want to add it to multiple local directories. Ensure the address and hours information stays updated so people always know where to find your business.
Local reviews are the lifeblood of businesses. It’s easy for customers to leave a review on Google or Yelp in order to tell other customers whether or not they recommend your business. You may not be able to control how your customers feel about your business or what they say — nor should you. A review that looks paid or biased is likely to reflect poorly on your business. But you can show off when you get a positive review.
Google allows you to reply to reviews, so you can thank customers who leave five-star reviews. This may encourage them to come back even further, and it could draw more eyes to the review. You can also take screenshots and post them on social media. These reviews are coming from people in the communities that you serve, so your target audience is more likely to trust them.