We live in a digital world; a world of seamless global communication and continuous interaction. So naturally, the online world is the perfect place for growth-oriented businesses to advertise in an effective and efficient way, while at the same time saving thousands of dollars that would have been wasted on traditional media channels such as TV or billboards. In fact, according to a 2016 survey, 42% of franchise experts believe that traditional marketing methods are no longer worth the investment.
What this should tell you is that lucrative opportunities lie in the world of digital marketing, especially if you consolidate your franchises under one single, comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will boost brand awareness and authority, and drive new business to your website(s). Here is everything you need to know in order to improve your digital marketing strategy for your franchises.
Use social media to solidify brand cohesion
The number one concern for every franchise is brand continuity and cohesion across the board. This means that your brand needs to portray the same values, the same identity, and the same appeal no matter the market, no matter the local socio-economic trends. With that in mind, what better way to ensure brand continuity for all your franchises than to effectuate a calculated social media strategy across all relevant platforms?
From getting organic Facebook likes and followers, to building a loyal Twitter following and portraying a professional image on LinkedIn, building social media presence is one of the best ways to make sure every franchise under your wing is portraying your brand the right way. Through scheduled posts containing a unified brand voice and visual identity, you will be able to build customer loyalty and trust, while improving the sales rate at every franchise location.
Deliver a powerful content marketing strategy
Without a shred of doubt, content reigns supreme in the digital world. Having a content marketing strategy in place is not only important for your SERP rankings, but it’s also vital for your brand’s recognition, authority, and trustworthiness in the field. After all, how else do you expect to become the leading authority in a competitive industry if you don’t focus on providing your audience with informative, creative, and data-driven content?
Your focus here should be for every franchise to dish out stellar content on a regular basis. This content needs to be diverse, highly informative, and most importantly, it should be tailored to the preferences and inclinations of the local consumer market. The local audience needs to feel that the franchise is catering to their specific needs, and that it acknowledges their unique way of life and culture. Never try to push the same content into every marketplace, because the negative feedback might put your entire brand in jeopardy.
Establish direct franchise-consumer communication with email
Up until a couple of years ago, experts all across the digital marketing world were predicting the inevitable fall of email marketing. Nowadays, though, email stands tall as one of the most powerful communication tools every marketer worth their salt should have in their arsenal. Building an appealing email marketing strategy will help dispel the myth of the franchise itself and answer the question: what is a franchise and how can it help me as a consumer? But beyond that, an email strategy will help every branch establish communication with their consumers in a unique way, while at the same time preaching the values of your brand as a whole.
This is an excellent way to build brand awareness, inform consumers of your services, products, and special deals, and drive traffic to your online presentation. Given the fact that every location should manage its local marketplace in order to connect with the local community, it’s important that every branch creates its own email strategy, led by the overarching brand guidelines.
Evolve and improve your online presentation
When it comes to on-site customer experience, there is always room for improvement. Keep in mind that Google will rank your website (and every one of your franchise sites, for that matter) based on a number of key factors, or which UX will be one of the most important ones. From page loading speeds, to the visual design of the websites, their navigation and transparency, all the way to communication features such as live chat, all of these aspects of your main website and franchise websites will play a vital role in shaping your online reputation.
Every branch should focus on optimizing its website for the local market and sourcing and integrating keywords that are relevant to the local audience. Each franchise should conduct thorough A/B testing in order to discover what works and what doesn’t work in the local market. Lastly, there is a constant need for improvement, so stay on top of consumer trends, and make sure your franchises are monitoring website KPIs in order to make data-driven improvements that will boost the brand as a whole.
Motivate your franchises to advocate your brand
Some of your most powerful brand ambassadors are your employees. Scattered across the map and influencing their local communities, your employees have the power to shape the perception of your brand in their marketplace, and thus improve your overall brand identity. If you get them to work in unison to achieve this common goal, you can skyrocket your brand’s reputation in the competitive arena in a very cost-effective way.
So, how do you get your employees and franchises to advocate for your brand? By providing excellent work conditions, first and foremost. If the employees, managers, and franchise owners under your wing are satisfied with your leadership and management, you can rest assured that they will feel motivated to spread the good word across the online realm. Motivating them to talk about the brand on social media, for instance, is an efficient way to boost word-of-mouth marketing and reach the hearts and minds in every community equally.
Digital marketing is your gateway to a vast online audience. For a franchise, it becomes even more important to invest in building a comprehensive digital strategy for their franchises in order to boost local brand awareness and feed the mother brand as well. Use these tips to help your franchises build the recognition and reputation they deserve.