How Franchises Can Use Digital Marketing to Their Advantage
You can always trust experienced marketing specialists to help you design the best digital marketing materials, but knowing exactly how to use digital marketing for franchises can be a major advantage. Check out some franchise marketing ideas we’ve collected:
Local SEO is simply search engine optimization for a local audience. A high percentage of consumers search for local businesses via their smartphones at least once per week, and people are always looking up businesses through Google Maps. Franchises can easily implement local SEO in a variety of ways:
- Improve your keyword research, especially if your business is not very used to digital marketing.
- Figure out a crystal clear site structure.
- Create content that is original and will target your location. This can include articles, videos, artwork, digital flyers, etc.
- Earn links to your franchise site from reputable and well-known websites or businesses with social media presence.
- Update your Google business listing. Make sure that the name, address, phone number, and website is consistently listed throughout.
Local SEO optimization is probably one of the easiest ways to implement digital marketing into your existing marketing campaign.
Online Reputation Management
Whether you know it or not, your franchise has an online reputation even if you don’t engage with your customer base online. Your reputation could be poor or successful and you wouldn’t even know it!
Online reputation management is an important part of digital marketing. Everything breaks down to ratings. Customers want to shop at businesses with five stars, not two. And a vast majority of consumers will research a company online before visiting them or engaging with them.
It’s important to opening encourage online reviews. You can do this by offering incentives on social media, such as a coupon or free sample. This encourages your customer base to take about what they like in your business and improve your overall online rating.
You should also make an honest effort to reply to reviews, even negative ones. Especially negative ones. Have you ever seen a bad review for a company online that made you consider not shopping there? What about when a negative review is followed by a response from the business itself, offering an apology and means to make it right? This probably changed your negative perspective of them. Apply this to your online reputation management plan.
Content marketing is a wildly popular way to get businesses some attention. A majority of businesses utilize it, and consumers can feel more positive about a business after they read a piece of custom content from them.
To improve your content marketing strategy for your franchise, consider these tips:
- Make content that is personal and fresh.
- Don’t keyword bloat.
- Utilize and create visual content to really show off your franchise.
- Schedule a consistent upload time and day and try not to deviate from it.
- Always promote your content across social media.
Good content can include a blog post, a video, or pretty much anything else that can be easily accessed digitally.
Social media is such a good source for marketing. It’s free to use, billions of people use it, and it can reach mobile devices extremely easily.
Social media sites one can use for marketing include:
When setting up your accounts, keep a few things in mind. You should update your business information as changes come along across all of your social accounts. You also should use high-quality graphics and photos for your accounts as well.
Social media makes it very easy to monitor conversations consumers may be having about your brand. This creates an opportunity for brand interaction and encourages dialogue between the franchise and the customer. Social media sites also offer analytics tools to help you measure your social media engagement.
It may also be worth your while to consider purchasing ads for networks like Facebook and Twitter. This can help you extend your reach to a broader audience. Trying out an ad or two for a couple of weeks is relatively inexpensive. Just make sure that you create advertising content that is easy to access and has a clear call to action for your franchise. Social media ads are also a great way to study your target audience and track their interaction.
It’s very important for businesses to adopt a “mobile-first” design to their websites. Websites are being accessed through portable devices like phones and tablets at an increasing rate. Because of this, your website has to be optimized for mobile.
It’s not just your website, either. If you’re going to engage in email marketing, your email designs should be optimized for mobile as well. This is usually not difficult to do and there are inexpensive tools online that can help you optimize various digital marketing materials for mobile.
It’s no surprise that a majority of website visitors want to see correct and detailed information about a franchise’ products and services when they visit that franchise’ website. They also want to see contact information and “about us” pages with the information they want. If you don’t have these things implemented into your website, then you may be losing potential customers.
Always update this information on your website. Include your branding and logo and utilize a responsive design with streamlined navigation. It’s been proven that many people who access websites will simply leave them if the content and layout is unattractive or not user-friendly. Make sure you don’t lose potential customers this way.
It’s also wise to include clear calls to action and accurate location information on your website as well. Don’t be afraid to include at least one long-form page your important information about your franchise. Simple and minimal is always the best way to convey information to your target audience without clutter, but some information will need to take up space. Designate one long form page to whatever that information entails. It could be your about me page, your services page, or your products page.
This is another very common type of digital marketing. Email marketing is great because no matter why type of industry your franchise belongs it, it can reach customers that actually want to receive emails from you. By implementing a newsletter or email sign-up system on your website, you can reel in customers that are loyal to the brand and keep them as reoccurring customers. You can do this by sending them emails about new products and services, changes in the company, and any other relevant news.
Make sure that your email campaign is well-designed and attractive to the eye. They should also be well-written. Make sure the content within the email is personalized to your franchise and promotes consistent branding. Never forget a call to action, either. You can easily test and optimize email campaigns as well by paying attention to email analytic tools, which are usually free.
When gathering emails, consider the best method for reaching your audience. Would they be responsive to a pop-up screen on your website that asks for their email? Would they be more likely to engage with an email pick-up via social media? Think of all the locations where you could ask for emails, and brainstorm incentives for your customers. Free stuff usually does the trick.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
This is just what it sounds like. Many businesses utilize this model of digital marketing in which involves advertisers pay a fee for every time one of their ads is clicked on by a consumer. It’s a way to purchase visits to your website, rather than earning those interactions organically.
Depending on who you talk to, PPC is either super effective or disingenuine and useless. The best way to assess if it is worth it is to test it out. Select a low-cost PPC option and roll with it for a few weeks. If your reach isn’t improving, PPC probably just isn’t right for your business.
Take your customer service to a more accessible plan by creating a Twitter account for your business. On one hand, this will make it easier to improve your social media reach if you’re using Twitter in addition to other networks like Facebook and Instagram. On the other hand, you can create a very accessible page for your customers to contact you via the chat function.
Many businesses will exclusively set up a technical support Twitter for this very reason. You’ll need to make sure it is checked several times a day, but it provides a way for customers who may not be keen on a phone call to contact you for help with your product.
How was our guide to using digital marketing as a franchise? Tell us what you think about our methods in the comments below.