Franchises are confronted with a much different set of challenges (and opportunities!) than other business models. Managing an online presence is a highly confounding issue as you consider the needs of both the franchisee and franchisor. Given the number of digital opportunities available, it’s challenging to determine what avenues to seek for the highest return on investment. Plus, franchisees must be able to adhere to the guidelines set by their franchisor in how they can and can’t advertise. Staying on-brand is essential, which further contributes to the complexity of advertising within this business structure. Having worked with many national franchise brands, Front Porch Solutions would like to offer its insight for implementing a franchise digital marketing strategy.
4 Ways to Nail Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Franchise Network
The following franchise marketing efforts will help a network target potential customers while keeping their content cohesive with others in their network.
1. Maintain a Presence on Social Media for Franchisees
Some franchisors offer social media marketing services within their National Ad Fund. However, franchisees should still publish content tailored to their local market, as it will almost always outperform posts generated for the masses. Store-specific deals, community outreach events, and employee/location news are always good topics to include. But, franchisees must remember they are representative of the brand at all times, even if they are publishing under their individual page. They need to review any brand and general posting guidelines the franchisor has set for their network. Also, keep in mind that social media isn’t the be-all, end-all of a digital strategy. They can be an excellent tool for generating warm leads, but they’re also great for other objectives, such as brand awareness.
2. Drive Traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
80% of consumers have done a “near me” search in the past year on their mobile devices, which tells us that franchise businesses want to focus their search engine optimization efforts at the local level. SEO allows companies to increase the visibility of their websites by attracting more organic (or unpaid) traffic. In addition to basic SEO protocols, such as keyword research and link building, your team will want to focus on generating original content specific to your location. Simple adjustments can make your website more findable by local search, as well, but these marketing efforts may be carried out at the franchisor level. If your business appears in any Internet listings, ensure the name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent across all directories (especially if you are a multi-location owner). Your website design and readability are also relevant, as Google favors people-friendly sites.
3. Capture Leads for Franchisees with Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Like SEO, pay-per-click, or PPC marketing, is a valuable tool to franchise businesses who are focused on a local market. 65% of high-intent searches result in ad clicks, which makes this a necessity within franchise marketing. Your marketing team will want to conduct some thorough keyword research by devising a list of words and phrases that pertain to your business. They’ll also want to develop a bidding strategy, that caps what you’re willing to spend to have a user click on your ad (hence per-click). By organizing these keywords into ad groups, you’ll be able to monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns efficiently.
4. Keep Your Franchise Top of Mind with Email Marketing
Franchise owners often don’t place nearly enough of an emphasis on email marketing. Unlike traditional direct mail efforts, emails can be highly customized and time-sensitive, which is relevant within the franchising industry. Many consumers would prefer to subscribe to a local business, as they’re more likely to send localized, relevant content. Email marketing can have an ROI of up to 4300%, so this is a business opportunity you certainly want to engage in.
Front Porch Solutions is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps businesses generate more qualified leads, increase brand awareness, and close more sales. We’ve worked with leading franchise brands to fulfill digital advertising needs through social platforms and paid search. Don’t just take our word for it. Our digital marketing solutions speak for themselves! Contact our team of professionals today to learn more about the services we provide.