Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchises

Store owners looking at a laptop

According to data by Statista, there are approximately 750,000 franchises in the United States with an economic output of $760 billion. As the franchise industry continues to gain popularity, so does competition among franchise owners and brands. So how can you maintain a competitive edge in the market? Invest in franchise marketing. Digital marketing for franchises can be complex.

However, in today’s world, it is instrumental to franchise success. Even if you have multiple brick-and-mortar franchise locations, potential customers live online. 

For example, most buyers visit a company’s website or social media page and read product reviews before making a purchase decision. They also search online to find stores that are closest to their current location. 

Even without searching, they come across ads on various online platforms. If you fail to maintain your online presence, you won’t reach a significant percentage of potential customers. 

How to do Digital Marketing for Franchises

Digital marketing for franchisees can be challenging because you have to consider local and national audiences and your corporate partner’s brand requirements. On the flip side, businesses that work with franchisees may develop marketing guidance and strategies on a national level but rely on franchise partners for local marketing. 

At Goodway, we have decades of experience managing digital marketing for franchise businesses. We’ve developed marketing tactics like programmatic advertising, people-based marketing, and more.  

Here are some of the most successful strategies and tips for digital marketing franchises.

Establish a Strong and Credible Brand

One of the most crucial steps in establishing a profitable franchise is creating a solid and credible brand. Franchise owners typically have an advantage, because they work with corporate brand partners. 

For example, if you are a franchisee working with already established national brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’, Anytime Fitness, 7-Eleven, and more, you don’t need to establish brand awareness. 

However, you do have digital marketing considerations at the local level. Although people recognize the brand, they also want to know how your specific location stacks up. 

Online reviews, testimonials, and awards are part of attracting potential customers near you. Maintaining consistency with your brand and service is also another factor. 

If you are a brand that already uses or plans to use a franchise model, then it is important to build your brand awareness. 

Create Full Funnel Marketing Experiences

Franchise businesses have multiple customer touchpoints that are online and offline. For example, you might have multiple physical locations, an online app, a website, digital advertising, and more. How do you bring it all together? 

Connecting all your marketing across platforms will help to create consistency, loyalty and repeat customer purchases. You should consider where your customers are engaging with your business, and how they interact. What stage of the buyer journey are they in? 

For example, top-of-funnel customers are in the early stages of buying–they are researching and looking for information, so they aren’t quite ready to buy yet. Think through ways to move them closer to making a purchase. Some ways would be to offer new customer specials or promotions. Do this with the entire buyer journey and build out your marketing for each stage. 

Invest in Content Marketing 

Content marketing comes in handy in building brand awareness and educating franchisees and consumers. Uploading relevant content on your online pages is vital for sales conversions and lead generation. 

How can you start your content marketing campaign? 

  • Develop a brand strategy and guidelines. If you are a franchisee, you may have guidelines from your corporate offices to build and maintain brand integrity. These ensure that marketing is consistent and matches your style from colors, fonts, primary images, and much more.
  • Use content variety, including email marketing.
  • Create a content calendar to track progress.
  • Add visual content like images, infographics, and videos.
  • Choose keywords relevant to your business.

Use a Location-Specific Landing Page

As a franchisee, you probably already have a corporate website. However, location-specific landing pages differ from websites because they focus on your unique customer demographic–the people that are in your business area and more likely to purchase. 

Using location-specific landing pages is crucial to digital marketing for franchises. They help prospective customers to find you at their nearest location. 

In addition, local landing pages impact search algorithms by informing Google and other search engines that you operate in a specific area. By driving in-market search traffic, you could generate more quality leads and conversions. 

Use National SEO for Your Brand and Local SEO for Your Individual Locations

National SEO involves optimizing your website to improve its search engine rankings across a broad geographical area rather than a specific location. 

To enhance nationwide brand visibility, don’t mention a specific city or town. Instead, you can include your company name, services or products you offer, and your industry. 

Your choice of language also impacts your national SEO. For instance, if you use US spelling in your content, you will be informing search engines that your page content fits US-based visitors. 

On the other hand, local SEO involves leveraging SEO techniques to attract users within a specific location. 

First, ensure that all your locations have accurate and optimized Google My Business Listing. Secondly, confirm that your listing information is correct and up to date. 

Leverage Localized PPC Campaigns

Localized pay-per-click advertising can increase leads and conversions effectively. You can target customers within a specific location using local keywords.

Failure to target customers in a specific location leads to a generally weak PPC campaign. Plus, you could also be wasting your marketing budget on a non-target audience. 

Besides Google and other search engines, you can also run PPC marketing on social media platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

Save Time with Programmatic Advertising

When you manage multiple businesses that have many audiences in different locations, it can take a lot of time to set up effective digital ad campaigns. 

Programmatic advertising allows you to create many versions of your advertising and tailor them to specific platforms and audiences. You can automate parts of the ad buying process and optimize your spending based on ad performance. 

Manage Your Online Reputation and Respond to Reviews

Online reviews from satisfied customers are a great way to build credibility, trust, and a good reputation. For example, you can request reviews through your website or email customers right after they make a purchase to ask for feedback on your product or service. 

Another way to maintain a good relationship with your clients is by responding to their reviews. It’s an excellent opportunity to appreciate your audience and ask their opinion on relevant issues like how you can improve product or service delivery. 

Digital marketing for franchises is crucial and can lead to high ROI and brand growth. However, because franchises tend to operate in different markets, it can be difficult to employ consistent digital marketing strategies that work.

The secret lies in finding a strategy that attracts, nurtures, and retains customers, in every business location. 

Goodway’s team of digital marketing experts can help you build a strategy that works for your franchises and all your business locations. If you’re in need of digital marketing support, request a chat to see how Goodway can help.