As entrepreneurs keep opening businesses and franchises continue to grow, the market gets more crowded and you need to find ways to stand out.

And the good news is, this is easy to do with digital marketing! 

However, franchise marketing has obstacles to overcome that other small businesses don’t run in to…. 

You’ve not only got franchise marketing on the corporate level, but you have local franchisees who need to have their own digital marketing strategies.

So today, we want to focus on the best practices in digital marketing for local franchisees.

Today, customers are turning to Google search, social media and online reviews more than ever to discover and trust new and small businesses, so it is invaluable for franchises to leverage digital tools such as easily searchable keywords, digital ads, social media marketing and exposure on other reputable, high-traffic websites.

Research shows that the top lead-generating channels for franchises are referrals, followed by social media, SEO, PPC and content marketing.

Some of the biggest marketing challenges local franchises face are generating quality leads and finding the budget to invest in marketing ideas. However, digital marketing efforts can be both affordable and effective if executed correctly.

Here is a complete digital marketing guide for franchises so you can better understand some of the most effective digital marketing strategies, tips for getting started, how we can help you and more…

Local SEO

More than 80% of people search for local businesses on their phone at least once a week. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for franchises. When someone searches for your service or product in Google or other search engines, they need to easily find you and see your content. 

So, what’s most important for franchise SEO? First, you need keyword research to identify the most popular words and phrases people are searching when they’re looking for you or your competition. The goal is to use these in your content (website, ads, social media, blog posts, etc.) to get you as high in search engine results as possible.

Next, you need a website that is fast, secure, mobile-friendly and coded to make it easy for search engines to find, read and index. 

One of the biggest content obstacles for franchisees is that they rely on the corporate site or marketing material to rank online. The solution to this would be, if you can, to build out a more personalized, but still branded and optimized microsite that is content-heavy. If corporate won’t allow you to do this, invest in other channels like social media. 

Another obstacle you may encounter is dealing with shared assets and overlap in SEO with your corporate site. Investing in a microsite will help this and also make optimization and tracking results easier. 

PPC

When it comes to pay-per-click ads, you’ll want to start with keyword research. Organize your keywords into groups and campaigns and create high-quality ads that perform. If possible, create and optimize landing pages to track and evaluate campaigns. More than 75% of companies focus on Google AdWords for digital campaigns, but we can set up, manage and analyze campaigns on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. As a franchiser, it’s important to remember that each location has to be customized so your ads and relevant and compelling to the local audience. This means using local cities in keywords and ads and knowing the negative keywords in local searches. 

Content Marketing

68% of people read about brands that interest them, so it’s important to personalize your content. Create and maintain a content schedule or calendar to keep it up-to-date and relevant. We can do this for you, using written and visual content to showcase and promote your business online.

Social Media

Over 2 billion people use social media and 74% use social media to make purchasing decisions. This goes without saying, but you need updated local information on all of your social media pages. You need high-quality images in your posts, and you need to strike conversations or interactions with your customers. Use social media to inform customers of sales or to run giveaways or freebies.

Email marketing

With smartphones today, people check their email daily, hourly, or even on-demand. It’s important to not rely on corporate to send emails out, but to create email campaigns specific your location. Make sure you’re consistent in voice and branding with corporate, but you can start creating your own email list with lead form ads from your microsite, social media pages and more. We can help you set up, create, manage and evaluate each email marketing campaign, as well as integrate email marketing campaigns with your other digital marketing efforts such as blog posts, ppc, social media, etc.

Digital marketing for franchises is a little different than the average local business, however, it can be powerful if you know how to execute your budget wisely and how to use corporate marketing to your advantage.

Contact us today to get started on a digital marketing plan for your local franchise!

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