Franchise marketing is a marketing method exclusively designed to help franchisors and franchisees grow their business actively.
Over the last few decades, the franchise industry in the United States has seen significant growth, and competition has skyrocketed among franchise chains and multilocation industries.
While it is rewarding to face new challenges and marketing endeavors, keeping with your franchise marketing is easier said than done, as franchises feel the heat more than other businesses, and without effective planning, your franchise marketing strategy can fall apart.
So, what is the best way to make your franchise stand out and drive high-quality leads to your franchise locations?
In this article, we’ll share the top 15 marketing strategies you can start using today to take your franchise brand to the next level, no matter where you’re in your marketing journey. Let’s get started!
Must Read: Why Do Most SEOs Fail To Produce Results?
Top 15 Must-Know Franchise Marketing Strategies
Here are some most powerful strategies you can implement to create a pull-proof marketing plan for your business:
1. Find A Way To Brand Yourself
To make your franchise succeed on its own, you must establish your brand outside of your parent company.
Though you have to use the same logo and color combination followed by the parent company, you can find out other ways to make your franchise stand out, such as using slightly different color tones and incorporating other elements like a catchy tagline, font choice, and more.
2. Set Clear Brand Guidelines
To make an effective franchise marketing plan, you must set clear and easy-to-understand brand guidelines and make them a part of your franchise manual.
Your brand guidelines must include a brand overview to give your franchise a good brand identity, a mission statement, appearance guidelines, and operational instructions.
To ensure there’s consistency among all your franchises, your franchisees must have access to everything that makes your brand.
3. Know Your Target Audience
You can’t build an effective franchise digital marketing strategy without knowing your target audience and what they want.
As a franchise, you’ll have to deal with various categories of customers with different demographics and preferences, and some of them may not even be interested in your brand.
To create a successful franchise marketing plan, you must know your target audience’s location and lifestyle and then adjust your strategy accordingly to offer a more personalized experience.
The best way to do it is by conducting surveys or focus groups with your prospective buyers and current franchisees.
4. Restructure Your Website
Since most franchises are under the safety net of the parent company, they think that their website can be the ditto copy of the parent’s company website, except for some local references or mentions of franchises.
However, we strongly recommend redesigning your website. A well-designed, well-structured and responsive website with eye-catching graphics and plenty of CTAs is one of the biggest facades of franchise marketing that can help you reach your target customers more efficiently.
5. Your Website Should Reflect Your Brand Identity.
As a franchisor or franchisee, you may think of your website as a copy of the parent company’s website because you have the parent company’s safety net.
But it’s not recommended. One of the hallmarks of franchise marketing is a well-designed, responsive website.
You can use the parent company website as a determination and inspiration, but feel free to reach out and create the type of design that resonates with your target audience.
6. Use Local SEO Marketing
Local SEO marketing is imperative to the success of your franchise as it provides all the resources required to succeed locally.
According to statistics, 46% of all Google Searches have local intent, and with the help of local SEO strategies, your franchise can be more visible in the local search results on Google and reach more local customers.
Since franchises operate in multiple locations, they can benefit from local SEO tools such as Google business profile that shows up at the top of the SERP, along with all the relevant business information, including your address, number, operational hours, reviews, and a call-to-action button to make it easier for the consumers to contact you directly.
7. Optimize Your Google Business Profiles For All Locations
A franchise has multiple locations, and your challenge is to optimize your Google Business Profile for each one of them to attract more customers.
Google Business Profile is the key driver of SEO success for local searches, and your final goal is to secure a spot in Google’s coveted 3-Pack for each of your franchise locations.
The 3-pack is the group of three business results that show up when a consumer performs a local search like “best pizza near me” or “hairdresser near me.”
The business that gets the best ranking in the 3-pack is those that optimize their Google business listings according to the specific locale, proximity to search, keyword use, and category selection.
8. Use Social Media Marketing
No franchise marketing plan is complete without the presence of social media.
Social media is ideal for building and developing professional relationships, posting content across the board for a whole new look, converting customers, building brands, and establishing brand awareness.
You can even take clients behind the scenes to see what makes the franchise special.
Social media advertising allows you to create customized messages only visible to segmented groups.
9. Boost Web Traffic With PPC Advertising
PPC is one of the fastest methods to engage a larger audience with minimum cost, boost website traffic, and generate revenue for your franchise.
Here are some tips you can follow in PPC advertising:
- Start with keyword research
- Create high-quality ads
- Optimize your PPC landing pages
- Assess and optimize your campaigns
10. Be Consistent
Establishing a brand requires not only consistency in your products and services but also in your digital marketing.
No matter which platform or approach you are using, consistency is the key to franchise marketing.
Be consistent in all your branding efforts, post regularly on social media, and focus on maintaining consistency with your logos, fonts, colors, and tones to catch your audience’s attention.
Consistency not only helps in building a strong brand identity but also helps in building trust and overall credibility.
11. Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective strategies for creating and distributing content to attract and engage your target audience and generate leads online.
Content marketing strategy focuses on developing a viable content marketing plan, which is the roadmap of all content your business plans to create.
Examples of content marketing include videos, online guides, podcasts, and newsletters.
To develop an effective content marketing strategy, you must research your audiences, create a content calendar, and monitor your content is performing regularly.
12. Manage Your Online Reputation
In this digital world, websites, social media platforms, and review sites are not enough to build an online presence, and you must build and maintain a credible online reputation.
Similar to any other area of your business, your online reputation needs to grow for you to get more customers.
The majority of customers check online reviews before purchasing any product or service, and your franchise’s online reputation can have a huge impact on consumers’ buying decisions.
Franchise owners should also come up with different reputation management tactics to manage their online reputation.
A positive reputation can help generate brand awareness and attract high-quality leads; on the contrary, a negative reputation can harm your bottom line.
13. Stand Out From Your Competitors
Franchises have to face competition not only with other franchises but also with their own franchises.
For instance, if you have two franchise locations located in different areas, both of them would be competing for the same customers.
You must carefully run your marketing strategy for each location without stepping on one another’s toes.
As far as standing out from the competition is concerned, geotargeting is the best way to identify your competitors and target their locations.
Another way is to bid on competitors’ branded keywords to ensure your franchise will appear in the SERPs whenever a user looks for your competitors.
14. Educate Your Franchises
Most franchisees are busy running a national brand at the local level and don’t spend enough time learning more about marketing technologies and best practices which can be detrimental to their business growth in the long run.
Try to hold different pieces of training on franchise marketing for your branch managers or create and distribute training materials, leveraging a market partner to facilitate training.
15. Communicate With Your Marketing Partners
Another great franchise marketing idea is to communicate with your franchise partners. Your franchise may have different marketing partners working on different parts of your marketing goals.
For example, you may have one team to help with social media marketing and another team to manage the paid search using different approaches.
Likewise, each of your franchise locations may have a different team or consultant, so how would you keep track of all your marketing solutions?
We’d recommend having one marketing partner that can house all your needs, channels, and reports under one roof to make performance tracking easy and maintain consistency.
Amit Gupta is an experienced expert in digital marketing and co-founder of DrFranchises. With more than 11 years of knowledge in franchise digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, Amit has helped many brands achieve incredible success online. As a passionate entrepreneur and owner of 7 franchises, he continues to study franchise models, looking at costs, revenue, and profitability to guide brands toward profitable growth. When he’s not working on digital marketing, Amit enjoys spending time playing with his beloved dog.