The Internet changed the way people consume information, from researching the best place for an oil change to deciding where to have dinner. More consumers are online than ever before, and in recent years, mobile has surpassed desktops as the preferred way to search the web. Franchise marketing is all about consistency, which affects not only the products and services offered at each location but also the marketing strategy.
There are many opportunities for franchise owners to implement a digital marketing strategy that meets corporate guidelines while allowing for mobile engagement locally. We have put together some digital marketing tips for mobile to help you get started.
What is Franchise Marketing?
Brand recognition is a critical factor for a successful marketing strategy. Franchise owners often get a jumpstart as the brand is likely already familiar to consumers. However, when it comes to attracting clients to one or more specific locations, it requires a marketing plan different from the broad corporate strategy. Franchise marketing refers to the branded digital marketing strategy for each franchise location. It’s the way franchise owners attract customers to their site based on the local competition, demographics, weather, and other differentiating factors.
Franchise Mobile Marketing Strategies
The franchise industry has grown significantly in recent years, and it’s challenging for franchise owners to stand out, not only among the competition but other franchise locations. Although traditional advertising methods such as commercials on radio or television, print ads, and direct mail are still in use, marketing channels have expanded online. They include SEO, PPC, social media, and local search marketing.
Increase your online presence and capture more local leads by having a website for each franchise location. Although it doesn’t need to be a complex site, it must be professional looking with high-quality content and a clear call to action on the first page. Preferably the CTA is visible without consumers having to scroll down. Your site needs to meet specific criteria to rank well.
Optimize for Mobile
The majority of users surfing the web on their smartphones and tablets, making it critical that your site is easily viewed on mobile devices. This is the foundation for a robust digital marketing strategy. The design should deliver a positive user experience for everyone, whether consumers are viewing it on a desktop or phone. Some users will be using an Apple product and others an Android product. Make sure your site is functional and attractive, no matter what device they are on.
Develop a Content Strategy
Content is king, regardless of the device. A strong content strategy incorporates your location with the franchise’s powerful brand recognition. Build out a micro-site that is content-rich. Include high-quality keywords that consumers use when searching for your products and services. Most mobile customers use local searches, so you’re ahead of the game when you add your location.
For example, if you optimize for your best-selling meatball subs and you are based in Portland, a strong keyword would be Portland meatball subs. This lets searchers know you are local and identifies and what product you offer.
Add Google Maps
Claim your local Google Maps listing so that it will show in mobile searches that include your products and services. Add location and contact details, making sure the information is consistent across all channels. Check the corporate site and online directories to make sure they all have the same name, address, and phone number. If you find an error, take steps to update them as soon as possible. Having uniform information can help boost your search engine ranking.
Social Media Marketing for Franchises
Social media is an ideal platform for augmenting other franchise digital marketing efforts. If corporate prefers to control the franchise websites, investing in social media can help the existing sites and attract more local attention. This is one marketing channel where you can control the content. However, keep in mind that maintaining consistency with brand messaging is essential to improving the customer experience and in optimizing for SEO. The corporate marketing department may have guidelines for the appropriate tone and content.
Depending on the franchise, there may be branding and messaging guidance that helps you develop a successful social media strategy for each of your locations. Before getting started, define your goals. Do you want to sell more products or reach more customers? The purpose of your posts dictates which social media platforms can be most effective. Instagram is all about the images. Memes, trendy topics, and promotions often thrive on Facebook. Choosing the right platform is crucial to maximizing your time and marketing dollars.
PPC advertising is a quick, easy way to boost traffic to your website and bring attention to your products and services. It enables you to get in front of the people looking for you at the precise moment they are looking for you. You can use the city, street, and zip code in ads for each location, differentiate yourself from competitors by developing your offers and adjust for negative keywords. The best part is that you can see results almost immediately and make changes based on ad performance.
Opt-in email campaigns are one of today’s most effective marketing channels for franchises. By opting-in, the recipient chooses to receive them, whether they are current or prospective customers. Users that elect to receive your messages are more likely to engage than if it was unsolicited. Since many consumers view email on their phone, it’s easy to add links that go directly to your site, promotions, or other information with just a single tap of the screen.
Be sure that you comply with email rules and that it is formatted with the appropriate branding and legal disclosure information. Chances are your corporate team has the information you need. Proofread to avoid sending an email with embarrassing typos and grammatical errors.
Dig into the Reporting
Although analytics isn’t technically mobile marketing, it is an integral part of your online marketing plan. The reporting helps you determine if your marketing efforts are working. After running a PPC campaign for a few days, you may realize the demographics of the people seeing your ads don’t match your target audience. You can tweak them for better responses.
Once you set up analytics for your website and social platforms, you can delve into the reporting for behavior. You can see when you get the most traffic, where the users are coming from, and what some of their other interests are to ensure you are targeting the audience correctly. Move beyond the likes, comments, and hashtags. You can use web analytics to measure sales and conversions, page views, and clicks. Focus on the data that means the most to you and use it to grow your franchise.
Contact Us Today
There are many moving parts to a franchise marketing campaign. An effective plan will help you stand apart from the crowd while still delivering the franchise messaging. Having a marketing agency that understands the unique challenges you face can help you overcome obstacles and boost your online presence. At V Digital Services, we’ve got your back. Our teams have years of franchise and multi-location experience. Dedicated account managers work with you to develop a digital marketing strategy that drives results and meet your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our mobile marketing experts.