PPC's Fall From Popularity

Why Multi-Location Businesses Are Moving Away From PPC
Emily Harris

Emily Harris

Emily specializes in SEO, content marketing, social media strategy, and PPC campaigns. She is particularly skilled at analyzing market trends and adapting strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s talk about the changing landscape of digital marketing and why many businesses, particularly those with several locations, are moving away from PPC advertising.

If you’re looking to grow your online presence and attract more customers, it’s important to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in your industry.

So, let’s explore what type of marketing channels muti-location brands are now investing in and dive into the reasons behind PPC’s fall in popularity.

Navigating the stormy waters of recent times, brick-and-mortar businesses have faced their share of challenges.

From health crises to economic swings and political shake-ups, the landscape for physical stores has dramatically transformed, reshaping how consumers stick to or stray from their favorite brands.

Despite a bounce-back in the physical economy post-pandemic, a notable shift has occurred: brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be.

Now, the name of the game for consumers is convenience, value, and how close they are to the store, leading to evolving buying habits.

Current Trends

While each industry grapples with its own set of hurdles, those managing multi-location businesses in a high-trust industry are playing a complex game, balancing brand trust, consistency, and appeal at local, regional, and national levels.

Diving deep into the heart of multi-location business challenges, Bright Local hit up 200 marketing maestros from brands sprawled across the USA, Canada, and the UK.

Their mission? To sketch out the multi-location marketing map, digging into performance metrics, investment flows, and strategic plays, all to unlock the secrets of top-tier performance in 2024.

Their findings were quite interesting!

Current Trends1

As you can see, almost all brands are now investing heavily in social media.

That’s a whopping 99%, with 88% investing a medium-high amount in this channel.

Following closely behind is SEO at 91% and Local SEO at 93%.

That’s 71% investing medium-high amounts in SEO.

And 74% invested medium-high amounts in local SEO.

What’s more surprising is where PPC stands in this list.

Only 56% of multi-location brands are investing a medium-high amount in PPC.

PPC has fallen right at the bottom of the list, sitting lower than traditional forms of marketing (direct marketing and radio advertising).

So this brings us to the question: Why are brands moving away from PPC?

Rising Costs and Diminishing Returns

In the past, PPC was a go-to strategy for driving traffic and increasing brand awareness.

However, as the digital landscape becomes more competitive, the costs of running PPC campaigns have skyrocketed.

Rising Costs and Diminishing Returns

With bidding wars driving up the price of keywords, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve a positive return on investment.

And with ad fatigue setting in and consumers becoming ad-blind, the effectiveness of PPC is diminishing.

Potential clients are scrolling past sponsored listings in search results, opting instead for organic listings or other forms of online content.

This shift in consumer behavior has forced multi-location businesses to rethink their marketing strategies and explore new avenues for reaching their target audience.

This has led many businesses to conclude that PPC isn’t the most cost-effective way to raise consumer awareness and trust in their brand.

As a result, many are reallocating their marketing budgets towards channels that offer better ROI and engagement.

From social media marketing to SEO, businesses are exploring a diverse range of options to connect with their audience in a more meaningful way.

Shift Towards Local SEO and Online Reputation Management

Another key reason why multi-location businesses are moving away from PPC is the growing importance of local search and online reputation management.

With consumers relying heavily on search engines to find local brands, businesses are investing more resources in optimizing their online presence for local search.

This includes building citations, optimizing Google My Business listings, optimizing for “near me” searches, and securing positive online reviews.

Shift Towards Local SEO and Online Reputation Management

Local SEO has become a critical component of a multi-location business’s marketing strategy, as it allows businesses to appear in local search results and attract customers who are actively looking for their services.

By prioritizing local SEO over PPC, businesses are able to increase their visibility in relevant search queries and drive targeted traffic to their location.

Additionally, online reputation management has become a top priority for those looking to build trust and credibility with their target audience.

With online reviews playing a significant role in consumers’ purchasing decisions, SEO can help manage and improve online reputation by optimizing positive reviews and testimonials and by creating content that counteracts any negative information.

By managing their online reputation effectively, businesses are able to enhance their brand image and attract more customers to their locations.

Shifting Towards Building Trust

For those in a high-trust industry where your brand’s value lies in trust, PPC is not the best tool to cultivate that trust.

Instead of bombarding potential clients with paid ads, businesses are focusing on creating valuable, engaging content that resonates with their target audience.

From blog posts to videos to social media posts, businesses are leveraging content to educate, inspire, and entertain their customers.

By investing in high-quality content, these businesses are able to establish themselves as a trustworthy authority and thought leaders in their industry and build a loyal customer base.

Through storytelling and compelling visuals, they connect with their audience on a deeper level and drive engagement across multiple touchpoints.

Businesses are also leveling up their game with SEO by snagging top-tier backlinks from the big leagues of their industry.

It’s like getting a seal of approval that shouts credibility and trust, both to the all-seeing eyes of search engines and the discerning gaze of potential clients.

Shifting Towards Building Trust

So there you have it.

By leveraging SEO, multi-location businesses in high-trust industries are not just boosting their online visibility; they’re pulling in the right crowd and laying down the trust tracks to turn casual clicks into a loyal client base.

So, it’s not surprising that more and more businesses are abandoning PPC in favor of SEO and other marketing channels.

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