As you embark on the challenging task of developing and implementing your franchise digital marketing strategy, it can be useful to visualize a traditional wooden wagon wheel. Though it may seem an unlikely comparison, a wagon wheel is strikingly similar to a successful marketing strategy in one critical way: it is comprised of a set of spokes that each play an integral role in maintaining balance, proper function, and the structural integrity of the wheel. Lose or break off a spoke, and you might be able to keep the wagon rolling for a short time – however, the balance can be thrown, the wheel becomes vulnerable to complete destruction, and your journey will likely be cut short.
Much like an old-fashioned wagon wheel, a good digital marketing strategy relies heavily on each of its critical parts. Each element is equally important, and they all come together to solidify your marketing plan and propel your business forward. Leave out one of the important elements and you may be able to get by, but your experience will be far less successful and potentially wrought with frustrating challenges.
All metaphors aside, your franchise’s marketing success relies heavily on your ability to tackle all necessary aspects with equal attention. Here’s everything you need to know about the six essential elements you need to build a solid franchise digital marketing strategy:
1. Local SEO
In today’s world of smartphone-savvy consumers, you can expect a significant portion of your business to be fueled by local search traffic. About 90 percent of the time, a consumer’s mobile search activity leads to action – this means that the difference between gaining their business or not could come down to your ability to maximize local SEO. It’s incredibly important that your business not only has the proper SEO strategy to appear in high-ranked search listings, but also secures a place on popular directories such as Yelp, Bing, Google, Yahoo, and more. In addition to ensuring your presence on these top-tier search directories, you should also consider how local SEO and smart marketing can help users find you on industry-specific directories. As a franchise, it’s also critical that the individual location and contact information of each site is accurate so that Internet users are able to connect with the relevant business that matches their location and search criteria.
2. Social Media Marketing
There’s no debating the value of social media marketing, especially as it has risen to become one of the most important ways that consumers learn about and engage with a brand. Your franchise business should have a strong, established presence across the primary social media platforms, focusing on raising brand awareness on a variety of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Utilizing these social platforms is only the first step; it’s also important to design and maintain a clear brand identity and voice that’s consistent across franchises. Users want to be able to get a sense of your brand’s digital personality, which you can build by posting relevant content, engaging positively with customers, and understanding how to use each individual social media platform as a unique tool.
3. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic buying is considered by many to be a sort of complex science, existing as online display advertising that utilizes software for the purposes of aggregation, booking, analysis, and optimization. Using complex interfaces and algorithms, programmatic marketing is a data-driven approach to smart and effective marketing. For many companies, their programmatic strategy includes RTB (real time bidding), as well as non-RTB elements like the Google Display Network and Facebook Ads API. Using the wealth of information available via data-collecting software, you can develop hyper-focused campaigns that connect with specific segments of your target market, including manipulating aspects of targeting such as timing, content, geographic, demographic, and behavioral.
Odds are, you already have some sort of website for your franchise business – and if you don’t, you’re missing out on a critical element of marketing. However, simply having a website isn’t enough anymore. It needs to be both useful and relevant to your target market, as well as function as a mobile-friendly site. For a large percentage of Internet users, the majority of their browsing occurs on a smartphone – imagine the traffic you’ll be missing if you fail to create a mobile-friendly site. When you’re creating and refining your website, there are several factors to keep in mind. Design and user-friendly navigation are important, as are behind-the-scenes elements like load time and functionality. Your website should not only provide important information about your franchise business, such as contact information and details about products and services, but should also aim to engage with users in a memorable way. This might be achieved through a company blog that utilizes relevant content-based marketing to connect with and eventually convert users into customers.
5. Organic SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, has evolved into an incredibly complex subject that is worlds above what it used to be. With the Google search algorithm considering more than 200 ranking factors (and counting), ensuring the online visibility of your business can be a challenging task. In fact, many business owners are left scratching their heads as to why their website doesn’t appear in search results, because SEO can be an “invisible” element of sorts. Ultimately, your goal should be to develop a tailored approach to SEO that fits your business, utilizing focused research and planning. A well-rounded SEO strategy should include aspects such as targeted keyword research, on-page optimizations, and content marketing. It can be a highly complicated science, particularly as search algorithms expand and shift on a regular basis. For many businesses, partnering with a professional SEO team (who possess both the knowledge and tools needed to handle the work) is the best approach to mastering this element of a successful marketing plan.
6. Paid Search Advertising
Paid media harnesses the power of search engine marketing and secures your connection to potential customers who are searching for products or services that match yours. Essentially, you’re purchasing an advertising slot to guarantee your company appears on Internet search engines. Though it may sound fairly straightforward, there are a number of factors to consider when implementing your paid search campaign. It’s important to find the right ad funnel to fit your company and target audience, keeping in mind campaign attributes such as demographics, services, and seasonality. Ideally, your paid media strategy will balance the human aspect of your target market with the science and data behind the market.
Creating an Effective Franchise Digital Marketing Strategy Today
At V Digital Services, our expert team has the knowledge and tools to develop a successful franchise digital marketing strategy that can bolster your business’ growth. By devising a multi-faceted approach to the complex task of marketing your franchise, we can help you reach the customers and potential talent that best fit your company’s goals. Whether you’re new to franchising or an experienced business owner, V Digital Services can optimize your marketing strategy to the ever-changing landscape of the digital world.
To learn more about how to design and implement an effective franchise digital marketing strategy, contact V Digital Services today.