Want to find out how to promote your franchise?
The success rate for a franchise is the lowest rate of any business as it sits at greater than 90%.
But that doesn’t mean you should sit back, relax and let the business run its course naturally.
Every business requires a marketing strategy to be the driving force behind its success.
You need to have marketing goals in place to determine just how well, or not, your franchise is performing.
Find out how to create a winning franchise marketing strategy and grow your franchise with these tips.
What is Franchise Marketing?
It seems a fairly simple question with a straightforward answer: franchise marketing is the marketing strategy and tactics for franchised businesses.
But it is one of the hardest business types to crack because you will have different locations, different demographics and potentially even different timezones that you will need to market to.
This means, that a franchise marketing strategy will have a high-level tier of marketing goals and outputs and that each franchise itself would tailor these for their specific customer base.
What works in one neighborhood may not work in another because of a different type of customer.
For example, you may have a particularly young customer base in one town, and just a few miles down the road you’d have another franchise where the medium age is around 60.
You wouldn’t market the same way to these groups of people.
1. Launch an Amazing Website
We know that the umbrella organization for your franchise will have a great website, but it’s not a good idea to rely solely on leads to come from their website.
Yes, they will have a listing there for the location of your franchise, but they won’t be focused entirely on driving traffic to your branch.
It’s a better idea to create your own website that stands apart from the main corporate website.
Having your own website for your franchise will broaden the marketing opportunities.
It’s a good idea to create your own website separate from the business’ corporate website.
Owning your own website also allows you to stay in control of the tracking and lead generation, so you are able to shift strategy based on data gathered by yourself.
2. Focus That Website on Local SEO
Now that you have your own website, you’ll want to focus your SEO effort on the potential customer base in your immediate area.
This means that if your franchise is able to serve a 50-mile radius, then the people in that target area are your potential customers.
So your SEO strategy needs to focus on getting ahead of the search results for that local area.
Your website needs to do the following:
- Your website needs to be fast and secure.
- It needs to be mobile responsive and tailor-made for searches on mobile.
- Your SEO needs to make you relevant to local searchers, so keyword research is paramount in forming a sound SEO strategy to achieve this.
Once you’ve got your keyword research in place, and what you want to achieve with your SEO, then you can start to implement the plan to make it work.
Make sure that your franchise’s website is everywhere it needs to be, online and in front of the searcher’s eyes to gain maximum results.
3. Go Local With Your Content Marketing
You need to have a local content marketing strategy. If something is happening in another state or country, it may not be entirely relevant to your target customer.
Your content should be relevant to those in your area, think of it this way: is there’s something controversial happening globally, and you can use that information to gain traffic, then do it.
But if a local celebrity is doing something pretty amazing, then your audience will be searching that person’s name, so try to jump on the bandwagon and ride the trending wave.
Your content should do 3 things:
- Educate your audience.
- Interest your audience.
- Answer your audience’s questions.
The power of social media should not be underestimated.
Create yourself a Facebook page, or choose a social media platform where you know your target audience is hanging out. And get your content out there.
Post as often as you can, with relevant and informative content, and you won’t go wrong.
4. Be Aware of Your Competition
We all know that competitor research is paramount in creating an all-inclusive marketing strategy.
You need to know what the other major pizza player is doing just down the street, and why he has people lined up outside his door at lunchtime.
The key with this tip is knowing what your competitors offer and being able to do just that, plus some.
Find out if they sponsor any local events, have a look online and see what their digital presence is like, delve into their advertising and see how they present themselves in local publications.
The more information you can gather, the better.
That way, you’ll be able to be where they are and be where they’re not, making you front of mind when people are searching for your services and product.
5. Be A Part of the Community
This tip is very important. For a large franchise to be a small part of the community, goes a long way in the eye of the consumer.
It may seem trivial to you, but gaining loyalty from the community means you have to participate in things that mean something to them.
By giving back to the community, your target audience will be well-impressed.
They will know that by spending money in your franchise, they’re doing their small bit for the community too.
Consider running a small drive once a week where homeless people can grab a snack.
Or assist in rebuilding a community member’s home if they’ve suffered a tragedy.
Something as small as hosting a small food event at a local old age home or children’s home will also pull the heartstrings of your target audience.
6. Participate in Local Events
Participating in local events is a surefire way to get your franchise in front of the eyes of your potential customers.
How many little league teams have members that are part of families of four members or more?
The answer is many of them.
Sponsoring a team kit for a children’s sporting league with your logo on is one of the greatest ways to do it.
If you’re a restaurant franchise, then putting up a small stall and serving cold drinks or snacks with your branding plastered everywhere is also an option.
If not, there are plenty of ways to get involved in your local events.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers, ask them where they hang out when they’re not in your franchise store, what events they attend over weekends, and then ask around for organizer’s information and see how you can get involved.
The best way to generate buzz about your new franchise is to sponsor a local event.
This is a great way to create an instant connection with the local population.
7. Prioritize Your Customer Review Process
This is an area where many businesses fall short. Keeping abreast with your customer reviews is extremely important.
Make sure you’re in the know with websites like TripAdvisor and other review websites.
Create yourself a profile and make it a daily task to analyze the reviews you’re receiving, and prioritize responding to the reviews you’re getting.
Even more important is responding to the negative reviews, don’t just roll your eyes and sit back.
Truly read and listen to what the negative comments say, and make sure that you respond.
8. Be Consistent
The key to your franchise marketing strategy is to remain consistent. All of these steps will take time to work and show results.
So you need to remain consistent and keep at it.
Nothing will show an overnight result or bring you overwhelming success within the first few days.
Keep on going.
Once you have a few weeks of data, you can slowly start to make small, strategic changes if you’re not reaching the right people or getting the right response.
Franchise Marketing: Final Tip
Consider using Rallio.
It’s the ultimate solution to maximize your local social media engagement and improve your local search results.
Rallio is SaaS platform that combines cloud-based social media technology, artificial intelligence and employee advocacy.
They have a understanding of the franchise space, and solution of choice for hundreds of franchise brands across the country.
The difficult thing about the media though, is that you will not be able to control the message that they decide to publish, so make sure you’re ready to maintain your level of service when you make this move.
Stay on top of your goals, and keep measuring your progress as often as you can.
If you need more help with digital marketing, then work with one of our agency partners who specialize in all aspects of Digital Media.