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Marketing

How best practices for localized marketing strategy help restaurants win

Localized marketing is essential for running successful multi-location businesses. For the restaurant industry, specifically, localized marketing is more important than ever. Localization came full force as COVID-19 swept across the world, forcing many consumers to shift their buying behaviors to digital.

A special report from leading software innovator SOCi looks at the top restaurants in localized marketing, offering insights into which multi-location restaurants lead in localized marketing as well as best practices for restaurants to implement these winning tactics into their localized marketing efforts.

Why localized marketing matters

Data from SOCi’s recent report found that nine out of 10 consumers use local search when they are looking for a restaurant. Nearly 100% of these searches are dominated by Google 3-pack results. If a potential customer searches for "restaurants near me," or “restaurants” without local intent, the Google 3-pack would display three restaurants near the user's current location.

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A robust localized marketing strategy can also help restaurants communicate with their consumers at the local level. Restaurant chains can no longer speak to their audiences the same way across different locations. Sharing local offerings and service differences is essential. If a restaurant’s consumers feel connected to their restaurant locations, they will be more likely to return.  

With the importance of localized marketing in mind, practical applications can help restaurants win in their industry.

Top restaurants in localized marketing

When ranking the restaurants in localized marketing, SOCi used its 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report to score the audited 50 top restaurant chains based on the following criteria:

      Company sources: Nation's Restaurant News' Top 200 Report on the Top 50 Chains

      Locations: On average, 85% of the restaurants' locations were audited.

      Scoring: Examination of a local business's presence, ratings & reviews and community engagement across Google My Business (GMB), Facebook and Yelp. 

When looking at the scoring criteria, SOCi asked: Did each of the locations have a good presence in localized search results across the top three platforms? What was the response rate like? Were locations posting localized content and engaging with consumers?  

This information should help restaurants better understand what it took for restaurants to place in the top 10. On a scale of 1-100, Longhorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse tied for the lead with a score of 88.

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Although no restaurant scored a perfect 100, these top brands are enjoying their fair share of local search visibility and, as a result, local traffic and sales.

Getting started with localized marketing efforts

Seeing what it takes to become a leader in localized marketing, how can restaurant operators make the list? Here are a few recommendations to follow.

      Claim and optimize all local pages.

      Respond to local reviews in a personalized and timely manner.

      Capitalize on the desire for consumers to go local.

      Optimize ranking factors across the three big platforms.

For more insight on taking localized marketing strategy to the next level, get more tips from the full report here.

This post is sponsored by SOCi

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