So you’ve decided to open up a chain business. Congratulations! It’s a big step to take, and a very profitable one too, considering that franchises generate more than $2.1 trillion for the economy. Fast food is the most popular form, but there are a wide variety of opportunities out there for you, from gas stations to bio-hazard clean-up services.
Whether you are giving people hot and tasty food or serving others in some other capacity, Next Level Marketing can help. As South Florida’s premier search engine optimization agency, we know a thing or two about marketing for franchises. Check out our guide to franchise marketing today.
Understanding the Basics
When you are doing marketing for a franchise, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There is some momentum behind you. Chances are, potential customers already know your brand. They have a basic gist of what you can do for them.
That can help you. In some cases, that can also limit you. Some franchise owners give you license to be a little bit creative and spontaneous with your marketing. Other companies rule with an iron fist. McDonald’s has been known to be fairly strict with what franchisees can do, but other companies might allow you more freedom.
It may be a good idea to look into your handbook, so you can make sure you are not violating your contract. An example of this would be Facebook ads. It may be a good idea to look into whether you are allowed to contact a search engine optimization agency yourself, or if you are contractually obligated to use someone in particular. If you can reach out to people on your own, you may be better off for it.
Use the National Brand…with a Local Twist
The most surefire way to lose everyone’s interest is to repeat what the national brand is saying endlessly. People don’t want to eat at Store #4932. They want to eat at their neighborhood restaurant, where the people know their names and what the area is like. This means you’re going to need to put some of your own spin on things, so that people feel comfortable.
Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways that you can stay ahead of the game is through social media marketing. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users. Every single month, more than 800 million people get on Instagram. Users watch more than 10 billion Snapchat videos – per day.
All of these facts combined mean that you need to be on social media, and you need to be using them yesterday. With social media, customers come to you. They can see your quality, your passion, and how much you care about providing top-notch service. Having an active presence on social media could mean the difference in merely surviving, and thriving.
Local geotagging is vital. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all let you use hashtags. If someone is looking for something to do in your area, you will show up on the hashtags. You can find people who didn’t even know they wanted you, which will help send people to your franchise.
Online Reputation Management
When it comes to establishing a presence and dominating the market, social proof is the name of the game. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Considering that 92% of consumers read reviews on the internet, you are going to have to take care of your reputation online.
There are a few different ways you can do this. Certain sites, like Yelp, will punish you if you give discounts for reviews. Other sites, like Google, have some guidelines that you are going to need to know. After you have satisfied a customer, you may want to try and get some positive reviews. Reaching out to them is important for establishing trust in the marketplace.
You will get negative reviews. Even the best franchisees are going to have to deal with customers who are acting somewhat less than rationally. If you own a franchise, you are going to need to deal with it. When you respond, it is a good idea to be polite but firm. Don’t go on the offensive. Responding to rude and crazy comments with ruder and crazier comments is only going to make the situation worse, and might lose you customers. Give your side of the story. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Localized Map SEO
This sort of SEO can put you on the map – literally. 4 billion searches per month have local intent. When sites like Google and Bing know where you are and what you do, customers will find you. After you have set up everything, consumers can see when you are open, what you offer, and reviews. All of these factors combine to many people beating a path to your door.
One of the things that Google punishes companies for is incorrect NAP. No, we are not talking about going to sleep in the middle of the day. NAP is an acronym for name, address, and phone number. What you submit to Google needs to match your website exactly, or you may find yourself plummeting down the rankings. Also, you need to be listed on Yelp and Yellow Pages. This will help people in your area find you.
Depending on the structure of your franchise, check if you are able to blog for your location. Blogging can be a great way to capture local searchers online. Google is always searching for new content, and blogs can be a great way to help you rank in Google.
You can utilize image SEO and get your photos found on Google Images. When people see what you can do for them, they are more likely to head to you. We are visual beings, after all. You can blog about FAQs, tips, testimonials and even share a day in the life of your business via video. If you are not allowed to blog then you can do microblogging on social media or create a YouTube Channel and share tips via video marketing.
If you have any questions about franchise marketing, Next Level Marketing can be your guide. We are an elite search engine optimization agency. Our techniques and practices have already helped hundreds of businesses around the country. The next success story could be you. When you contact us, you can receive a free SEO audit.