How to Build More Effective Local Presence: 6 Tips for Multi-Location Restaurants

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With many different routes available in the digital marketing spectrum, the road to effectively reaching your intended audience can be difficult. For multi-location brands, this challenge multiplies per unit. And with consumers’ increasingly limited attention spans, it’s up to local franchisees and operators to figure out how to step up and stand out from the competition. Just like any trend, successful marketing is most effective when done on a local level. Location-based marketing not only targets your customers more directly, but in turn, is also more cost-effective, creating more return on your investment.

Below are some tips and strategies that multi-location concepts can implement to build a more effective local presence online.

1. Start with the basics. When it comes to building local market presence, one of the first (and easiest) things a local operator should do is to make sure their business information is complete, consistent, and accurate to ensure better search results, says Manish Patel, CEO at Where2GetIt and Brandify. Every location should include business hours, menu items, phone number(s), and locations. If these things are not complete, you’re likely to lose business because you won’t yield high in search results, making it difficult for consumers to find you. These basic steps have become even more crucial as more and more people now search via their mobile devices to find restaurants.

2. Understand that no two markets are the same. “I think a lot of brands end up treating every market like a homogenous market, where if they have 1,000 locations, the logistics are the same,” Patel says. This is what Patel and his team refer to as the War on National Advertising. It is crucial to remember to not treat any two stores the same, as each has different demographics, market characteristics, and location needs. A fast-casual chain in Arkansas, for example, will not have the same market needs for the chain’s Los Angeles location. For starters, menu items and ingredients (especially if sourced locally) will probably not be the same across the board. Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be, either.

3. Get more bang for your buck.

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