How to Approach Online Franchise Marketing

Franchise marketing in general can be a pretty tricky proposition. How much money, time, and effort should you devote to franchise marketing? How much should you research the marketing plans of other franchises? How much of what they have done is applicable to your franchise? What is the geographic region that your marketing should cover? And how much should you focus on marketing your franchise online?

For the purposes of this post, franchise marketing will refer to the marketing of your franchise location to the end consumer of your product or service.  This is not to be confused with marketing the franchise opportunity so candidates can evaluate your business and look to purchase a franchise and become a franchisee.  That being said, lets get back to the matter at hand.  It’s difficult to know the answers to the questions above because the answers to all these questions will depend on the type of franchise you have, who your customers are and where they are located. But with respect to the last question, online marketing is crucial to the success of your franchise. This article will look at the some of the ways you can approach online franchise marketing.

Your Franchisee Website

Your franchise website is good starting place to examine approaches to franchise marketing. As stated above, it is imperative that your franchise marketing strategy relies heavily on its online presence, and that begins with your website.

Many franchisors have a single page dedicated to each franchise location.  This may be a cost effective strategy to start with, or a strategy that can be useful if the company’s brand is very well known.  It is cost effective because it doesn’t take much to manage a single page dedicated per location.  The content is limited and easy to update and website maintenance can be done system wide fairly easily.  It is good for larger brands because they are already well known and people will often search by brand name.  There is no need to have a more robust local presence because they already have brand equity and awareness in the local market.

Some franchisors, especially service based brands, or new brands that are not well known, may find it beneficial to build out a more robust micro-site for each location.  This helps in having more content that can be customized for the local market and that can help with Search Engine Optimization for more generic keywords that are not brand specific.

Search Engine Optimization

Marketing has changed a lot over the decades. It’s no longer about taking an ad out in the local newspaper for your franchise. It’s not even about pop-up ads on websites either. Far more important is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is a way to design your website and its content such that it makes your website appear higher in online searches for a set of keywords that describe your product or service.  Single page websites per location (talked about above) may be limited in this because there is only so much content you can stuff into one page.  In addition, that page will likely rank for only a few keywords.  Having a multiple pages dedicated to a franchisee location will allow for more content and more keywords to possibly rank.

Social Media

Social media is not merely another platform on which you can advertise your franchise. Social media is more important than ever to franchise marketing because it allows you to monitor and adjust conversations about your franchise. If a disgruntled customer tweets something negative about your franchise, you can address that customer right away and track small problems before they become big ones.  There are great tools to listen to the sentiment of your end customers so you can deal with any concerns quickly.  In addition, a franchisee can benefit from bringing in his/her reviews from the social review sites to display on their franchisee website. This helps user experience and will help in increasing the conversion from visitor to lead.

Mobile devices

As mentioned earlier, franchise marketing has changed a lot over the decades. But it’s also changed a lot in the past five years. Today, 30-50% of the traffic on your website is coming from mobile devices. If you don’t have a site that is optimized for mobile viewing and access, you can kiss those leads goodbye.  Google’s preferred protocol it to build your sites using a responsive design.   This will ensure that you have a site that is attractive and engaging on all platforms and screen sizes.  In addition, if your services are often searched on mobile devices and having that user see your add while they are within a certain proximity of your location is important to you, then ensure you are bidding higher for ads on mobile devices when someone is within a certain radius. This gets users the ads at the ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth).

Clicktecs

All of this can be very hard to keep track of. Franchise marketing is just one aspect of your business, and important though it is, you still have to focus on actually making the product or providing the service that is key to making your business run. At Clicktecs we can do all of the above things to guarantee that your online franchise marketing plan is crisp, efficient, and successful at engaging the highest possible number of leads online. To learn more, please contact us today!

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