6 Ways Franchises Can Leverage the Power of Local Digital Marketings | Global Franchise
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Tuesday 16th August, 2022

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6 Ways Franchises Can Leverage the Power of Local Digital Marketings

Insight

6 Ways Franchises Can Leverage the Power of Local Digital Marketings

How franchisees can implement smart strategies to exploit local business potential

How franchisees can implement smart strategies to exploit local business potential

According to the International Franchise Association, the franchise industry is set for another year of strong momentum – with the industry expanding for the eighth year in a row. More specifically, franchise establishments are set to grow by nearly two percent to 759,000 locations, while employing more than 8 million workers.

As franchises have grown in numbers, so has the competitive landscape. But, while the priority for the corporate franchisor is to build the overall brand, it’s up to franchise owners to increase reach, drive in-store traffic, and ultimately, boost sales. Thus, the onus of local marketing is on the local franchise owner. So, how can franchise owners and marketers master their online and in-store marketing efforts?

Franchise marketers face unique challenges. Not only do they need to entice customers to their locations, but they also have to drive brand consistency and user experience across a large number of local franchisees. This is no easy task, especially with limited time, resources and expertise. However, by leveraging the right digital tools, along with a local marketing expert, implementing a broad, omnichannel marketing strategy is possible. The key is to leverage the power of local digital marketing to connect online and in-store experiences.

It’s never too late to implement smart local strategies and the franchise experts at SweetIQ by ReachLocal have compiled a list of must-do digital marketing solutions that can be executed now, with proven positive results that last.

1. Perfect local listings

Listings are the foundation of any local marketing plan. A franchise’s local data, which includes online listings, social media pages, website copy, etc., has to have the correct information. In the ultra-condensed timeframe of today’s buying journey, one misstep and a potential sale (and life-long customer) is gone. Local Listing technology helps franchises manage their listings on one platform – enabling a comprehensive view of all of their listings coverage across the most important directories in real-time.

2. Leverage customer reviews

Half of adults under the age of fifty routinely check online reviews before buying or visiting a store location. Customer reviews are a critical influential sales and marketing tool. Acknowledging and leveraging consumer feedback is an effective way to recruit new patrons. Plus, reviews provide a wealth of data that can be integrated into other existing campaigns.

3. Optimized and localized content

Franchises should focus on delivering unique, localized content for their sub domain pages – avoiding duplicate content and using location-specific language and images. You can include content unique to each franchise, such as the local customer experience, time in business, and team bios. Avoid taking short cuts and make it useful and relevant to your consumers.

4. Improve SEO Rankings

As with all other businesses, high organic search engine rankings resulting from search engine optimization (SEO) can be a profitable driver of traffic for franchises. There are a few ways franchise marketer can increase their local pages’ ranks in the local search engine results. The first is to claim your local directory listings for each location on sites such as Google My Business, Facebook and Bing, and keep them updated regularly. Another tactic includes leveraging social media profiles for each location since having a social media presence is a strong signal to Google that a given business deserves to rank well. Most franchises have policies on the use of social media, so check with your corporate office to see what resources they can provide.

5. Clear Site Structure & Brand Guidelines

Franchisors should set clear rules and guidelines to avoid franchisees creating competing domains and “rogue” websites. Establishing authority is important for organic optimization, so it is best to discourage franchisees from creating new domains that are outside the brand. Alternatively, franchisors should create subdomains inside their own site structure and allow franchisees to create unique pages with localized content and information to drive traffic from local searchers. Having your site structured in this manner will also allow your brand site to gain more authority, as well as create a consistent, quality brand message and user experience.

6. Put consumer data to work

It’s never too late for franchise marketers to use the valuable consumer data they’ve aggregated from their previous marketing campaigns. That arsenal of information can transform into actionable insight they can put to work to fine-tune their digital marketing efforts and micro-target consumers. Fresh consumer data gathered on search engines like Google and on social media sites like Facebook offer a treasure trove of information that franchise marketers can put to work immediately.

7. Clicks-to-Bricks

A franchise has to provide a consistent brand experience throughout the customer journey. That journey may begin with online search, then move to a website and hopefully end in new business. However, if any of those consumer touchpoints don’t match perfectly, the experience falls flat, the customer loses trust and a potential conversion opportunity is lost. Brand consistency across all channels and at every consumer touchpoint must communicate the same experience and brand culture.

In addition to the local digital marketing solutions franchise owners and marketers can leverage immediately, they should also be looking ahead to what’s coming next and prepare accordingly. Emerging trends like voice search and virtual assistants will continue to grow in adoption and franchise brands will need to look at ways to build these new touchpoints into their marketing mix. Knowing what’s coming and taking a proactive approach to local marketing will set franchisees up for lasting success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liz McConomy is a seasoned marketer with over 12 years experience. After being in charge of running our reseller program and building our internal and external trainings, Liz became SweetIQ’s Director of Marketing. Here, she uses her training in psychology and professional experience to streamline and distil messaging, strategize for lead generation, and oversees tactical approaches to events, social and PR efforts. Liz leads her team under the precept that personal successes are as critical as team success.

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