Explore Industries WINERIES & AVAs | NON PROFITS | CONSUMER PACKAGED GOODS | RETAIL
Owning a franchise is an exciting and dream-fulfilling decision.
Often the decision to start a franchise includes consideration into how
much support the national brand will give your newly opened franchise
business. Most franchise agreements include fees being paid into a
corporate marketing fund or co-op marketing fund that will help support
the local brands with national advertising. This obviously has benefits
for a new business: connections with advertising channels are already in
place, marketing materials have been created, and brand recognition is a
key ingredient in jump-starting your new franchise.
Do you need more marketing power?
The easy answer is YES. You do need more marketing support than the
corporate marketing that your franchise business is getting. We work
with franchise businesses around the US in industries including
hospitality, senior care services, commercial and residential
restoration, and coffee franchise businesses. These are the marketing
strategies that we recommend to our clients and the gaps that we often
see needing to be filled.
Owning the experience that potential customers have on your website
is critical – it can mean the difference between a visitor leaving
immediately and a visitor becoming a customer. Many nationally strong
franchise businesses will offer a website page and section on their
national website URL. For example, Servepro.com is the home to thousands
of franchises around the US, each with their own unique page and
‘starter content’ that is not always unique to their location. While
this offers SEO benefits of having a strong domain that can rank well in
the search engines, oftentimes it isn’t enough. SERVPRO franchise
owners may want to drive more traffic to their site with different
content than what’s allowed on the national site, or they may simply
want to try A/B testing of a landing page to see if they can drive more
leads. Either way, a standalone site that you can control and own is
recommended for a franchise owner who wants to own and direct the user
Your Google Local listing is gold. Google’s dominance in the local
search space is hard to ignore – they are the single largest driver of
local traffic for most businesses. The first thing that any franchise
owner should do is to set up their Google Local listing and built it out
as much as possible. The second thing that should be created is a
strategy to obtain more reviews in their Google listing. Local listings
and the reviews are some of the top factors needed to improve your local
Social media marketing is hyper-local, it’s conversational, and it’s a
connection between people and not just a brand. It is important for a
franchise owner to have a strong grasp of their social media marketing
strategies, not only so that they can drive more leads and sales, but so
that they can control the customer experience for their location.
Undoubtedly the national company that you’re working with will have a
Facebook page, and perhaps a Twitter page. You should have one too!
Carefully think about where your audience will be and consider
starting a social media presence in those communities. Not everyone
needs a Twitter account, especially if they’re honest with themselves
and realize that they’re not going to actively manage it. Facebook has a
product called Facebook Business Manager. It’s a spot where you can
place multiple Facebook pages, ad accounts, and users under one roof and
easily manage your assets together. A franchised business should have
this centrally set up for all their franchise owners, but if not, you
can set it up for one or many franchise locations that you own.
Finally, owning your social media experience is important, but being
able to tap into your potential audience with customized demographic ads
is critical for increasing sales leads. One strategy that many local
franchise business employ with success is to use their email address
lists to create Custom Audiences within Facebook, Twitter, and other
channels so that they can target their exact customers when they are
using the social media platforms. These are some of the options that
Facebook advertising offers for creating custom ad segments based on how
you want to reach new people on their platform.
Email marketing serves the purpose of creating new leads, curating
current customers into brand loyalists, and reactivating past customers
to become current customers. These three powerful strategies are things
to think about when you start a franchised business. You should own
your email lists and your email marketing. Whether you choose to use an
email platform like MailChimp or utilize the national company’s email
platform, owning the email experience should be a priority. As mentioned
before, using your email list for social media cross marketing is a
great idea, and you can use your email list building strategy to create
new opportunities for your business. Remember – own your email marketing
so that you can create new leads, expand current customers, and
reactivate past customers.
During the past 15 years, I’ve seen many companies deciding to spend
tens of thousands of dollars of paid search, social media ads, or SEO in
an effort to drive more leads. Choosing your marketing channel is only
half the battle – the lead closing or customer service experience is the
other half, and that has to be tested, monitored, and developed so that
the leads are not wasted.
Finally, using a phone call tracking system will help you tie all of
your marketing efforts together and help you understand what channels
are driving calls.
During the next several years, Google’s importance in driving local
search will likely shift, but they will always be a major factor in
driving leads for local franchise businesses. Channels change, the way
that people search for services change, but the importance in owning
your local business franchise presence will always be present.
Whether you’re starting a new franchise or have many years of
franchise business experience, make sure that your local search
strategies, social media assets, email marketing opportunities, and lead
generation methods are dialed in. It’s the only way to keep the phone