Did you know that 63% of franchises find generating quality leads to be their biggest marketing challenge? If you feel like you’re struggling to generate quality leads for your franchise, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll help you discover marketing ideas for franchises that will grow your business.
On this page, we’ll provide you with 14 marketing ideas for franchises that will help you obtain more valuable leads for your franchise location. If you need help setting up a digital marketing campaign that works for your business, call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.
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1. Get to know your brand to see how you can localize your strategy
When you own a business that's part of a franchise, you already have an established brand image. Franchises have an established brand, so you'll want to spend time getting to know the brand.
You probably did some initial research when you first decided to become a franchise owner, but now you’ll want to look more in-depth into the company’s brand, from their target customer to their tone.
First, get to know their ideal target customer. Franchises typically know who they’re trying to target and they’re successful at it, hence why they have multiple locations. You’ll want to get familiar with who they’re trying to reach so you can integrate that into your marketing strategy.
You also want to ensure that you are clear of what you can and cannot do. When you are a franchise owner, you are still a part of the larger corporation. You must maintain an image that matches the corporate image.
Franchises are typically strict about changing colors or only using parts of a slogan or name. You need to ensure that you are clear on what your franchise does and does not allow so you can be clear on what you’re able to do.
When you know what you can and can’t do with the franchise brand, you can start to shape your local marketing strategy. You can see what you can do to reach more local customers and drive them into your store.
2. Research your competition on a local level
Franchise owners know who their competitors are on a bigger scale. Franchises like Dunkin' Donuts know that Starbucks is one of their biggest competitors. It’s essential, however, that your franchise analyzes competition on a local level.
A great marketing idea for franchises is to research your local competition.
Let’s say you’re a franchise owner for Dunkin’ Donuts. In addition to Starbucks, you’re going to have other coffee chains, like Tim Horton’s, that have stores in your area and are direct competitors. Aside from coffee chains, you’ll also have competition from local coffee shops.
Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts’ competitors aren’t just coffee shops. They’re also competing against places that offer quick breakfast services. Franchises like Panera Bread and McDonalds are across the country and provide breakfast foods and coffee to patrons.
On top of that, you also have more regionally-based franchises like Duck Donuts or Wawa (on the East Coast), that also serve breakfast in competition with Dunkin’.
That’s an abundance of competitors you have to take into consideration when you’re trying to get local customers into your store!
If you want to create a campaign that successfully reaches local customers, you must know your competitors. You can do this by analyzing your competitors to see their strengths and weaknesses.
This analysis will help you see opportunities where your franchise can shine.
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3. Create locally relevant content
One of the best ways to reach your local customers is through locally relevant content. Content marketing is an excellent way for you to drive traffic to your business.
This strategy allows you to provide your audience with valuable information. You help your audience become more knowledgeable about a subject, and they get to know your business. It enables you to build a positive reputation with your audience.
When you create localized content, you’ll want to focus on local topics that matter. Think about your local customers and what type of information they want to see from your industry. You can localize this content further by using local keywords.
Local keywords help you connect with your customers better. These keywords help your audience feel more connected to your business because you understand the local culture and community.
For example, let’s say you’re opening a Subway in Eastern Pennsylvania. You want to connect with your local customers by using keywords that fit with their local dialect.
A great way to do this would be to write content that uses the word “hoagie.” Many local communities in Eastern PA refer to “subs” as “hoagies.” If you were creating a blog about the best subs, swapping subs out for hoagies would give your content more local relevance.
It’s a simple integration, but it has a massive impact on your audience. Your audience doesn't see you as part of a more prominent company, but rather, as a local business that knows the community.
Again, when you create your content, be sure that you’re adhering to your franchise’s branding guidelines. You don’t want to step out of bounds with the company. If you aren’t sure what you can do, always ask before implementing any strategies.
If you’re looking for great marketing ideas for franchises, start by creating a local content marketing strategy. It’s an excellent way for you to reach local customers in your area.
4. Create social media pages for your specific location
Every franchise has its main corporate page that represents their business. They use this page to connect with customers, promote new products, and resolve issues.
The biggest issue with these corporate-only pages is that they can’t always handle local matters the best.
Someone who is in the corporate office hundreds of miles away from the store in question won’t know the situation or the environment to assess issues or ideas accurately. The local franchise owner, however, will know.
By creating a local franchise social media page for your specific location, you can better connect with local customers. It’s a smart marketing idea for franchises to help you better serve your guests.
When it comes to franchises, many people have a go-to location.
Whether it’s a location that makes their coffee just right or has friendly owners, people tend to go to the place that makes them feel welcome and produces a quality product. By creating local social media pages, you'll provide your audience with the chance to connect to your location.
Again, you'll want to check the franchise branding guidelines to ensure that you can make your local page and know what you must include on your page. The branding guideline will help you adapt corporate messages to have a more local feel while staying in line with their brand.
You can create a local page on any social media platform. The most popular platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Once you’ve established your page, you can create content that helps you grow your audience. You can promote different specials or events to get people to interact with your business. It’s a great way to engage your local community better.
You can address issues and take suggestions from your local community too.
A simple recommendation like “add more seating” can dramatically impact your local community’s perception of your business. People want to feel heard, so creating a local social media page will help you better understand your community’s wants and needs.
5. Get involved with local events and market your participation
When you have a business, it can be beneficial to connect with your community. One of the best ways to do that is to get involved with local events. You can show your support for the community by helping sponsor events.
People want to see your franchise as more than just part of a corporation. When you get involved with the community and help out, it builds a positive perception of your business. That positivity can go as far as the corporate level too!
To get involved with your community, listen to your customers. Learn about your community and the events that matter to them.
Your town may hold 5Ks, basket raffles for improvements to the community, or a community fair. When you know what’s happening in your city, you can get more involved with things that matter to the people in it.
It’s as simple as getting involved with another local business in the area.
As an example, a local Chick-Fil-A in Whitehall, PA shared a social post detailing how they donate their unused food to a local food bank every week. This particular Chick-Fil-A shows how they connect with the community, which helps build a positive reputation for them among local customers.
This Chick-Fil-A is a prime example of being involved in the community. They host their events, like Trunk-or-Treat and Coffee and Cocoa with a Cop, as well as participate in local activities in the community, like blood drives and parades. They do all this and market it on their local social media page.
Your involvement in your local community has lasting impacts. It establishes you as a pillar in your community and helps you build a connection with those people. Your participation in the community is one of the most compelling franchise marketing solutions to help your location connect with locals.
6. Claim your local listing on Google My Business
As a local franchise owner, you want to ensure you have a local presence on Google. The first step to having a local Google presence is to claim your Google My Business listing. Your Google My Business listing is how people find your business.
When users conduct local searches, they use phrases like “in [city]” or “near me.” Your franchise will appear in these search results if you’re local to the search area.
When people find your Google My Business listing, you want to ensure your listing has all the information about your business. People want information about your company, so fill out your profile completely. Ensure that you have contact information, like a phone number and email, as well as the correct address.
You can also add photos of your business to give people an insight into your location. You'll want to add any relevant information to your listing while remembering to keep it brand specific.
In addition to adding information, you’ll also want to manage reviews for your location.
Google allows people to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, which strongly influences whether people visit your location. Even though you have an established and trusted brand, people are still wary of visiting a lousy franchise location.
By managing the reviews you receive, you'll have more control over how people view your location. You can address any issues or concerns to help resolve them for your client. It will be more efficient for you, as corporate may take too much time to deal with problems or they may not understand the validity of the issue.
Owning your local listing will help you connect better with local customers and get them to visit your business. If you’re looking for marketing ideas for franchises that are effective, claiming your local business listing is a great marketing idea for reaching more local customers.
7. Create a website or webpage outside of the corporate website
If you want to help your franchise-based business connect with locals more, create your site. You will need to check with franchise branding guidelines to ensure that you're allowed to do this, but having a separate, local website is a great way to connect with a local audience.
Chick-Fil-A Whitehall has its brand-specific website that allows them to connect with local customers. If someone searches for a Chick-Fil-A in Whitehall, they will come across the individual page for that independent franchise.
This website is an excellent example of having a website separate from the corporate site. It’s still brand-specific, but it’s local to the community in the area. People can get in contact directly with the local owner for any reason.
Creating a website or webpage creates opportunities for you to connect directly with your local community. As an example, Chick-Fil-A Whitehall provides visitors with the opportunity to sign up for their email list.
As you fill out the information for the email sign up, you get to a portion of the sign up where you check off that you would like to receive offers and promotions from the local owner. Email marketing establishes a personal and local connection with your audience.
When you have the opportunity to create your website or page for your franchise business, you create the opportunity for you to connect better with local customers. It's a great marketing idea for franchises that want to drive more shoppers to their location.
8. Invest in local search engine optimization (SEO) to help more locals find your business
If you can establish your website, you'll want to invest in local search engine optimization (SEO). Local SEO is one of the best ways to help your website reach local customers.
With local SEO, you focus on using local keywords to help your audience find your business. Using keywords like “best burger places in Harrisburg, PA” or “burgers in Harrisburg, PA” are great local keywords to attract leads to your website.
You’ll want to integrate local keywords on different pages of your website to help local customers find and visit your business. It will help you attract the right traffic to your site.
9. Obtain emails and send valuable content to locals
Email marketing is one of the most effective methods for businesses. In fact, for every $1 spent, companies can earn up to $44 in return! Not only is email marketing effective for driving conversion, but it helps you connect with locals in your area.
If you have your website, you can add an email sign-up to get locals to sign up to receive information from your independently-owned franchise. It’s a great way to send users information about your specific location.
Once you earn a list of subscribers, you can start sending them relevant content. You can share information about local events and exclusive deals. It's a great way to connect with leads and get them into your business.
Each time you earn a new subscriber, you’ll want to send them an email welcoming them to the email list. Make them feel welcome and essential to your business. It’s a great way to build an immediate positive perception of your franchise.
A great way to help your welcome email stand out is to tell your story. Tell them about your background and why your location is unique. Make it personal and help your audience understand what’s different about your business.
By investing in email marketing, you’ll connect with locals and help drive them to your store by sending them valuable content and information. This marketing idea for franchises will help you establish a relationship with members of the community and get them to visit your business.
10. Invest in online reputation management
People share their opinions and experiences online.
A positive experience can drive more people into your location, but too many negative reviews can deter people from revisiting your business. It’s vital that you stay on top of what people are saying about your business, so investing in online reputation management is valuable.
Online reputation management is one of the most valuable digital marketing solutions for franchises. It allows you to keep track of what people are saying about your business. You can better manage reviews to build a positive impression of your business.
Reputation management will help you manage Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and monitor social media for mentions. This strategy makes it easy for you to see if there are any negative experiences you need to address.
If you aren’t sure where to start with reputation management, WebFX can help.
We have a team of over 200 experts that will help you manage your business’s reputation to help you provide positive experiences to your audience. Check out our reputation management packages to see how we can help you manage your business.
Want to speak with an expert? Call us at 888-601-5359
11. Take advantage of marketing software and tools
When you’re trying to appeal to local customers and drive more of them to your location, it can become challenging to manage your campaigns. With marketing software and tools, you can better manage your campaigns.
As an example, you can use a program like MyEmailFX to take care of creating, sending, and monitoring the success of your emails. This program makes it easy and efficient for you to manage an email marketing campaign.
You can also use social media tools, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to manage your social channels. These tools make it easy for you to schedule social content, monitor engagement on your social channels, and see what people are saying about your business.
There are also all-encompassing platforms, like MarketingCloudFX, that allow you to track leads, calls, personalize user content, manage reviews, and more. This type of tool makes it easy for you to build your online presence for your franchise location.
When you’re doing digital marketing for franchises, consider investing in marketing tools to help you manage your marketing load. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to a marketing campaign, you can always invest in digital marketing services from a local marketing company.
12. Use geofencing advertising to get people in the door of your franchise
Geofencing advertising is an excellent way for you to target people and get them into your franchise's door. When you use geofencing advertising, you create an invisible barrier around your business or a competitor's business. After leads leave the barrier, they get added to an audience where your business can serve ads through mobile apps and web pages.
With geofencing advertising, you can target competitors to get leads to choose your business over the competition.
Let’s say you’re a Chick-Fil-A owner. You want to use geofencing to build fences around your competition and get leads to choose your business. In this case, you’d want to target any fast food restaurants in the nearby area.
These fast food restaurants include McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's. You would want to set up a fence around these restaurants to get people to come to your business instead of going to your competitors' business.
Geofencing advertising is one of the great marketing ideas for franchises that gets people to visit your franchise. By harnessing this strategy, you’ll drive more leads to your business.
13. Use voice search optimization to reach people search through voice search devices
Did you know that over 55% of users use voice search to find local businesses or explore the local area? With the development of voice search devices, it’s crucial that you optimize your SEO campaign for people who conduct voice searches.
Voice searches are even more critical for franchises. Many people use voice search devices, like Google Home or Amazon Echo, to find local businesses. They also use voice programs on their phone, like Siri, to find places to visit.
Many people conduct verbal “near me” searches to find relevant places near them. For example, someone may ask Google, “Where is a burger place near me?”
As a franchise, you may even have people searching directly for your business. People may conduct searches saying, "Where is the nearest Chick-Fil-A?" or "Where is there a Chick-Fil-A near me?"
Aside from “near me” searches, you can also appear in searches when users are looking for information. If you’re creating content, Google might read content from your page to provide users with the answer they need. When this happens, they get exposed to your brand and think more about your franchise.
So, how can you optimize to reach people in voice search results?
To appear in voice search results for local businesses, start by claiming your Google My Business listing. Voice search devices read information from your local listing to provide users with the most relevant information their search query. By claiming this listing and filling it out completely, you’ll help your business appear in more locally relevant results.
As for your content, you can help your business appear in more voice searches by creating content that Google can easily pull information. Google wants to deliver a direct answer to their audience, so creating content that has paragraphs with immediate answers will help you appear in these search results.
Creating paragraphs with information helps your content be more likely to appear in the featured snippet. The featured snippet is where Google typically pulls information to answer voice search queries. By optimizing your content to provide your audience with direct and relevant information, you’ll help your business appear in more voice search queries.
14. Use page speed optimization to provide your audience with information fast
When users go to your website, they want to access information quickly. If your site takes too long to lead, you’ll lose leads to your competitors.
Your audience expects your site to load quickly too. 83% of users expect your website to load in three seconds or less.
If you want to please your audience, you must invest in improving your page speed. To get started, you’ll want to know how quickly your page loads currently.
You can find this information by using Google PageSpeed Insights. With this tool, you can see how fast your page loads on both mobile and desktop.
Google Page Speed Insights allows you to see where you can improve your site. It will provide you with suggestions on how to make your website better to improve your page load time.
These optimizations include:
- Cleaning up code on your site
- Reducing redirects
- Optimizing image file sizes
- Utilizing browser caching
You can utilize these optimizations to help you improve your site’s load time.
It's essential to have a site that quickly loads because people want information fast. If someone is trying to check out your menu, hours of operation, or products, they want to access that information so they can make a decision.
By investing in optimizing your page speed, you’ll keep leads on your page. They will remain on your page and learn more about your franchise.
If you don’t have time to optimize your page, you can rely on a digital marketing company to optimize your page speed. At WebFX, we offer page speed services to help you get your website running in top shape. Call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about improving your page’s load time.
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Start marketing your franchise to obtain more local customers today
When you invest in your franchise, you want to do all you can to get people to come into your business. While franchises have an established reputation, it’s up to you to uphold that reputation in your local community. By leveraging these marketing ideas, you can create a marketing campaign that helps your business grow.
At WebFX, we have over 20 years of experience helping clients create marketing campaigns. We will help you compile marketing ideas for franchises to build a custom campaign that drives results. You can rely on our knowledge and expertise to guide your business.
If you’re ready to start marketing your franchise to local customers, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about creating an effective digital marketing campaign.
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