Running a successful franchise in multiple locations and optimizing each one for maximum engagement and recognition in their local markets is definitely one of the most difficult tasks for a business leaders. Yes, you should trust your franchisees to do a stellar job and manage their branches in an efficient and effective way, but only if you have done your part of the job beforehand.
So, what is your job? As a franchisor, your job is to create a strong overarching marketing strategy that will help every branch maximize its marketing potential while ensuring brand consistency every step of the way. To that end, here are the most effective ways you can create a winning franchise marketing strategy.
Ensure brand consistency across the franchise
Building a brand is at the very core of smart marketing. After all, what is there for your marketing plan to portray to your target demographic if you don’t have a strong brand identityÂ and a compelling story to tell? Remember, your marketing strategy serves to disseminate your brand and all that it stands for across the online and offline realms, so you first need to create something worth sharing, an identity that will strike an emotional cord with your audience.
One of the biggest concerns for franchises, though, is the lack of brand consistency in local markets. Franchisees tend to want to do things their way, and oftentimes they will step out of the branding parameters to try something new and different. While there should always be room for innovation and progress, this should be driven by the team at the headquarters only. Focus on creating a comprehensive brand book every branch can follow with ease, and you will have ensured brand consistency and given your franchisees the tools they need to craft amazing marketing campaigns.
Use content to grow your local franchises
Content marketing is the name of the digital marketing game. Not only is content marketing important for audience engagement, but SEO-friendly content is also the gateway to the top spot in the SERPs. Needless to say, every one of your branches should take content marketing seriously in order to rank higher in local searches and position the brand as the authority in the local market.
To help your franchises craft amazing content, focus on the following:
- Source keywords relevant to each local market.
- Create article headlines that are relevant to the local demographic.
- Incentivize local franchises to craft compelling and in-depth articles that will benefit the local readership, with SEO in mind.
- Make sure all branches diversify their content offering by creating written content, audio content, video content, as well as compelling imagery and infographics with proper optimization.
- Your local franchises can use all of these content types to fuel their email campaigns, social media profiles, and of course, blog pages.
Emphasize word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools every marketer and franchisor should have in their arsenal. Incentivizing and inspiring people to spread the word about the brand is a foolproof way to raise brand awareness and recognition, and most importantly, create a trustworthy relationship with the consumer market. And you should already know, the modern-day consumer needs to trust you in order to make a purchase.
What’s more, potential franchisees researching how to choose a franchise will base their final decision on a myriad of factors, of which honest testimonials from customers and franchise employees will be the most important one. Rest assured that potential customers and franchisees will seek out your employees in search of honest opinions about the brand, so better make sure that they are satisfied with their work environment in every possible way.
Building a strong word of mouth marketing strategy will boil down to the quality of your products, your customer service, and your company culture both internally and externally. Complement these winning traits with smart influencer marketing, and you have yourself a solid WOM marketing campaign to take your franchise to the next level.
Every branch should have a unique email strategy
As the digital revolution started to gain traction in the last couple of decades, many marketers and business leaders predicted that email would eventually die off and give way to new, more refined forms of communication. Little did they know that email marketing would not only survive, but that it would rise to become one of the most promising marketing tools of the modern era.
Email is your direct line of communication with your target demographic. It’s a powerful way to establish a relationship with your existing customers, but also attract new ones to your brand. Here’s how to make your email marketing strategy even better:
- Every branch has a unique opportunity to craft their own email strategy.
- Your franchisees should use local market insights to create email content that is relevant to their demographic.
- By using relevant data from social media, every branch can tailor their email campaigns to appeal to the local preferences, and support the local culture.
- Using retargeting tools, every branch has the opportunity to reestablish communication with their potential customers, and incentivize them to come back and complete a purchase.
Email has great potential for franchise growth across the board, and it should become an integral part of your overarching marketing strategy.
Solidify your position on social media
Lastly, it’s important to recognize that social media is a gateway to a global audience. More importantly for a franchise, social media is a gateway to many local markets ? a way to discover and understand the subtle nuances that make a market unique, and drive the local trends.
As you can tell, a franchise can benefit from social media marketing and management more than any other business structure. With that in mind, incentivize every branch to run their own social media accounts within the overarching brand parameters. This way, you will have created a vast network and increased your reach in a cost-effective way.
Franchise marketing can differ greatly from typical business marketing, as there are many factors to consider and many tactics to implement in every location. Make a single mistake, and the entire brand might suffer as a result. You can use these marketing tips to create a comprehensive franchise marketing strategy that will help grow your franchise as a whole.
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