In a world where traffic may drop, rankings may plummet, and sales may falter, there are some things that are consistently on an upward trajectory: the expectations. If you’re a multi-location marketer, you’ve been there—juggling the tasks of writing riveting website copy for a new product launch, diving deep into data analytics to gauge the effectiveness of your latest campaign, and strategizing a compelling paid ad for an upcoming sale, all before lunch.
Picture this: It’s the run-up to Black Friday. You’re expected to update the website with the latest sales, craft engaging email campaigns, orchestrate a unified brand message across multiple channel, and simultaneously handle customer inquiries flooding in from various locations. Feeling overwhelmed yet? You’re not alone.
The pressures and expectations of multi-location marketing can often feel like navigating a complex labyrinth, with each turn introducing new challenges. But, instead of viewing these challenges as dead-ends, think of them as opportunities to strategize and optimize. Just as every labyrinth has its exit, every marketing challenge has its solution.
In the sections to follow, we’ll share some practical approaches to overcome the constraints of limited resources and help you find your way to marketing success.
Prioritize your time & effort
In the world of limited resources, not everything can get your equal attention. It’s essential to focus on what brings the most impact. Are there certain marketing tasks that consistently yield higher returns? Direct your energy there. The Eisenhower matrix, a time management tool, can be instrumental here. By categorizing tasks based on urgency and importance, you can allocate your time and resources more efficiently, ensuring that critical activities are never left by the wayside.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you’re the Marketing Coordinator for “FitNation,” a chain of gyms in Michigan. You’re tasked with updating class schedules on the website, crafting Instagram posts, scheduling emails about membership discounts, monitoring Google reviews, and responding to a flurry of DMs on Facebook Messenger inquireing about gym hours or the availability of personal trainers.
Given the vast spectrum of tasks, how do you determine where to spend your precious time?
Firstly, employing the Eisenhower matrix, you categorize tasks. Answering real-time queries on Facebook Messenger about gym hours or ongoing classes? Urgent and important. Regular updates to the website about class schedules? Important, but not always urgent, which can be scheduled for specific times in the week. Crafting posts for social media? This can be batched and planned in advance, making it neither immediately urgent nor essential daily.
But here’s a practical way to approach it:
- Immediate Engagement: Reserve specific ‘live’ hours daily, solely for real-time client engagement like answering questions on Facebook Messenger. This ensures clientele feel attended to and valued.
- Routine Updates: Allocate two fixed days in the week, say, Monday and Thursday, for website updates, especially if class schedules or gym hours change.
- Content Planning: Dedicate one day in the week, perhaps a Wednesday, to draft, design, and schedule social media posts. Tools like Buffer or Hootsuite can help automate this process, allowing posts to be disseminated throughout the week without daily intervention.
- Data Analysis: Use Fridays to review analytics – gauge the performance of your paid ads, monitor email marketing open rates, and evaluate the effectiveness of your social media strategies. This analysis not only helps in understanding what’s working but also in refining strategies for the coming weeks.
- Campaign Building: Block out time at the beginning or end of each month to craft new campaigns, be it for email marketing or paid ads for special promotions or new branch openings.
By prioritizing tasks and creating a structured approach to your week, not only do you ensure all areas of marketing are catered to, but you also allow yourself to work proactively rather than reactively.
There’s strength in playing to your strengths. If you excel in certain areas, bolster your team with 1-2 additional resources to supplement areas you might be less familiar with. This approach ensures that while you continue to thrive in your forte, your team doesn’t falter in other essential domains.
Step back into the shoes of the marketing manager for “FitNation,” our hypothetical chain of gyms in Ottawa. Now, you’ve successfully structured your workweek, but you still find some areas stretching you thin. That’s where the power of hiring internally comes into play.
Let’s dissect your responsibilities:
- Website Maintenance: You’re updating class schedules, posting blog articles about health and fitness, and ensuring the site is user-friendly. What if you had a dedicated website coordinator? This person could ensure regular content updates, maintain the website’s backend, and troubleshoot any technical issues. This frees up your time and ensures your website always functions smoothly. Depending on your budget and the responsibilities you’d like covered, this person could also take care of website maintenance, ensuring the site stays fast, safe, and secure.
- Client Engagement: With the increasing popularity of FitNation, the number of messages and queries on platforms like Facebook Messenger is growing exponentially. Hiring a client engagement executive would ensure real-time responses, fostering a stronger relationship between the gym and its members. They can also manage Google reviews, escalating any concerns and ensuring positive feedback gets the acknowledgment it deserves. You can help get this new hire up to speed by building out response templates, ensuring a consistent customer experience.
- Content Creation: While you’ve been juggling between drafting emails and creating social media posts, imagine if you had a dedicated content creator. They could delve deeper, researching and creating engaging posts, videos, or infographics tailored for your gym audience. Whether it’s highlighting a member’s transformation journey or showcasing the benefits of a new Zumba class, having someone focused on content can significantly uplift the quality and consistency of your brand message.
By bringing in specialized team members, you not only distribute the workload but also ensure each aspect of marketing gets undivided attention. The initial investment in hiring might seem substantial, but when measured against the increased efficiency, enhanced member engagement, and potential growth in gym memberships, the returns can be manifold. Remember, in building a strong internal team, you’re not just filling positions; you’re constructing the pillars of FitNation’s marketing success and freeing up your time so you can focus on initiatives that truly move the needle.
Embrace strategic outsourcing
Even the most efficient in-house team might occasionally need external expertise. Maybe your in-house squad can handle most tasks but falls short when it comes to intricate email marketing campaigns or sophisticated video editing. This is where strategic outsourcing or hiring freelancers can be a game-changer. By collaborating with specialized freelancers, you ensure high-quality output without overburdening your team.
Still positioned as the bustling marketing manager of “FitNation,” even with your well-structured week and newly hired internal team, there are projects and initiatives that may be outside your team’s expertise or capacity. That’s when strategic outsourcing becomes an invaluable tool.
Here’s how outsourcing can serve the specific needs of FitNation:
- Professional Photography and Videography: FitNation prides itself on top-notch facilities and a range of classes. However, capturing these in the best light requires professional skills. Instead of investing in expensive equipment and training, outsourcing to a local photographer or videographer can give you high-quality visuals for promotional materials, social media, or the website.
- Email Marketing Campaigns: While your internal content creator can draft engaging emails, the intricacies of email marketing—like automation or segmentation—might require specialized skills. Outsourcing email marketing to experts can optimize open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, ensuring members and prospects receive targeted and compelling content.
- SEO & Paid Advertising: The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and keeping up with the latest SEO trends or paid advertising strategies can be a full-time job in itself. By outsourcing to an SEO specialist or a PPC agency, FitNation ensures its online presence is robust, driving organic traffic and optimizing ad spend for maximum ROI.
- Specialized Software and Tools: Maybe FitNation wants to introduce a mobile app for members to book classes or track their fitness journey. Developing this in-house can be a massive undertaking. Outsourcing to a specialized software development firm can provide a tailored solution without the long-term commitment of maintaining an in-house development team.
Outsourcing doesn’t mean you’re relinquishing control; instead, it’s about recognizing where external expertise can elevate your brand’s presence. By strategically choosing which tasks to outsource, FitNation can ensure it gets the best of both worlds: the dedication of an internal team and the specialized skill set of external professionals.
Partner with an agency
For those times when you need comprehensive support across multiple domains, working with an agency can be the answer. Agencies bring onboard a buffet of experts, each a master in their niche. This means while you focus on driving leads, sales, or traffic, the agency takes care of the nitty-gritty, be it fine-tuning a webpage layout or deciphering the mysterious dip in certain keyword performances.
Let’s once again delve into the hectic world of our FitNation marketing manager. You’ve organized your tasks, built an internal team, and even outsourced some specific projects. Yet, the broad spectrum of digital marketing, with its ever-evolving techniques, demands expertise in multiple domains. This is where partnering with a full-service agency, like seoplus+, can be the turning point for FitNation’s marketing success.
Here’s how an agency partnership can transform FitNation’s marketing landscape:
- Holistic Strategy Development: Agencies come equipped with a bird’s-eye view of the marketing landscape, having worked with diverse clients across industries. This breadth of experience means they can craft comprehensive strategies that integrate SEO, paid advertising, social media, and more, ensuring a unified brand message and optimized results across all platforms.
- Access to a Team of Experts: With an agency, you’re not just hiring one expert; you’re getting an entire team. From graphic designers to SEO specialists, to content writers and ad strategists, an agency brings a multitude of skills under one roof. For FitNation, this means every marketing aspect is handled by someone who specializes in that domain.
- Cutting-Edge Tools and Technologies: Agencies invest in the latest tools, software, and technologies. Whether it’s advanced analytics platforms, ad tracking tools, or content management systems, partnering with an agency gives FitNation access to top-tier resources without the hefty investment.
One tool that is commonly used by digital agencies, Adplorer, is a local digital advertising software built specifically to help franchise brands/multi-location businesses manage local advertising campaigns at scale. Adplorer’s technology enables users to scale advertising campaigns across thousands of SMBs, Franchise Locations, and Enterprises all over the world.
- Flexibility and Scalability: As FitNation grows, its marketing needs will evolve. Working with an agency provides the flexibility to scale services up or down based on requirements. Launching a new gym branch? The agency can ramp up advertising efforts. Want to focus on member retention? They can strategize a targeted email campaign.
- Ongoing Training and Updates: The digital world is in constant flux. Agencies stay updated with the latest trends, algorithms, and best practices. This means FitNation can benefit from the most current strategies without spending hours on research and training.
Every marketing manager, whether at FitNation or any other multi-location business, knows that the challenges of wearing multiple hats can be daunting. Yet, just as every gym-goer has their unique strength and endurance levels, so do marketers in their respective domains. The key lies in recognizing where to pour in energy and when to seek assistance. Remember, you’re never alone on this marathon. With the right strategies, internal hires, outsourced expertise, and agency partnerships, you can navigate the multifaceted terrain of multi-location marketing with confidence and finesse. Keep pushing forward, and soon, you’ll not only hit your marketing goals but surpass them with flying colours.