Franchise Marketing Done Right
With approximately 750,000 franchise establishments nationwide, and growing each year, inefficient marketing is a franchise-killer.
Whether you’re the franchisor or the franchisee, it’s a challenge to generate leads and then convert those leads into customers. It’s also a challenge to have consistent messaging across all channels.
That’s why it’s to your competitive advantage to partner with a marketing company that understands the unique dynamics of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. At Romain Berg, we understand this unique relationship, as well as the obstacles inherent to creating and managing marketing across multiple brand sites.
How All Franchise Locations Can Rank Well Locally and Organically
A consistent, branded marketing strategy is necessary for the corporate side as well as each franchise location. Each franchisee needs a specific online marketing plan to account for differences between each location, including:
- Population demographics
- Local competition
- Market preferences
As a franchisor, your overall online presence should include:
- A secure, fast, mobile-friendly, and easy-to-navigate website
- Value-packed content that’s relevant, timely, and engaging
- Local relevance to searchers
- Your company as a leader and authority in your industry
At Romain Berg, we have the experience and track record to take everything into account when developing and applying a digital marketing strategy for both sides of the franchise relationship.
Let’s take a closer look at specifics.
In general, the corporate website and the franchise locations should include the following:
- Consistent branding and logos
- Clear CTAs (calls to action)
- Easy navigation
- Aesthetic attractiveness
- Quick loading capability
- Engaging About Us pages
As the franchisor, you should not have a massive website or collection of them. Streamline your website infrastructure and support your franchise offices/websites as much as possible.
If you’re a franchisee, it’s in your best interest to develop a microsite. You can control the SEO better, so there’s no overlap with fellow franchisees. You can also manage your own tracking and analytics.
Here are several bits of information to consider about local SEO:
- Smartphones are the leading search tool for local businesses.
- 7 in 10 people look up a business before visiting the first time.
- Keyword research should reflect what local consumers are searching.
- Your original content should be optimized appropriately.
- Your business name, address, and phone (NAP) should be consistent across web listings
The franchisor’s stoutest challenge will be ensuring that all locations are consistently ranking well. Communication is paramount to make this happen, as maybe a franchisee doesn’t understand SEO, has their own strategies, or wants to work with local vendors instead of yours.
Keep your franchisees up to speed on the franchise marketing strategies and best practices. If business still suffers for a particular franchisee, then it may be in your best interest to assume control of all local marketing.
As a franchisee, you know better than anyone your local community or neighborhood. That’s why you may struggle when corporate has control of your SEO, yet doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t know your local SEO. You may want to talk to the head office about the benefits of allowing you control of your own SEO, particularly if you’re savvy about it or have partnered with an agency.
PPC is one of the fastest paths to explosive growth. With expert keyword research, you can create high-quality targeted ads and optimize landing pages with a customized budget of how much you’re willing to pay for each click on an ad.
If you’re the franchisor, you can create display ads and search ads to market and strengthen your brand as well as boost individual franchise locations. You franchisees will benefit from high-quality leads and increased sales.
As a franchisee, your ads can be customized to be relevant and compelling to your given market. This means you may add local city or neighborhood names to keywords and ads, distinguish yourself from the offers of local competitors, and adjust negative keywords for local searches.
Content has become one of the most effective ways to market a business.
- Content builds trust and positivity about your brand because you’re perceived as an expert.
- Customized content leads people to seek out the product or service.
- Visuals make the content more engaging and easier to digest.
- You can promote your content on social media channels.
From a franchisor’s perspective, you want to make sure that each franchise location has enough content that’s optimized to rank well organically with search engines. As a franchisee, you’ll want to build a well-optimized micro-site that has a lot of good, fresh content.
There are several things to keep in mind about social media:
- Keep your business information current
- Add engaging, relevant visuals
- Encourage dialogue with your target audience
- Monitor the conversations
- Measure engagement with analytics
Franchisors should develop a handbook on social media guidelines that specifically outline what to say and how to say it. You’ll want to keep your branding and messaging consistent and emphasize a restriction on personal opinions and other controversial directives that can go viral instantly. Create a corporate page that allows for location pages to spiral off of it.
Franchisees can make the most of these location pages to grow your audience by posting new content and uploading videos.
As a franchisor, you’ll face the challenge of being relevant locally and putting out consistent messaging. It may be a good idea to create e-newsletter templates for each office so that you control the branding, style, and consistency. When you send out a franchise-wide email, make sure it’s relevant to all franchise markets.
To ensure consistency in branding, messaging, and calls to action, the franchisee should seek creative briefs and guidelines directly from corporate. If your goals are unique, communicate them forthrightly to the head office. Build your location-specific email list to personalize the emails and don’t forget to test regularly so you can optimize.
HERE’S WHAT ROMAIN BERG CAN DO FOR YOUR FRANCHISE MARKETING
Romain Berg understands the goals and constraints of working with multi-location businesses. Our tailor-made methods and strategies address franchise locations that are near each other or in the same city. We have the expertise and experience to design marketing strategies that ensure locations in proximity to one another get a balanced share of leads.
We customize packages that fit the ad spending at the unit level as well as that at the national level. If you’re the franchisor, we can drive leads to you to grow the brand to the point that it’s necessary to expand with new locations.
By hiring a single firm with the know-how and track record of Romain Berg, you’ll rest assured knowing that brand standards will be followed and enforced across franchisees.