In this article
- Franchise networks: Why invest in local digital marketing
- Digital Local Marketing: Challenges Facing Franchises
- Digital Local Marketing: 7 tips to perform as a franchise
Franchise networks: Why invest in local digital marketing
Local digital marketing is the set of online marketing actions that aim to generate traffic at the point of sale. These actions include local search engine optimization (local SEO), e-reputation management, social networks and local advertising campaigns (local SEA).
Let’s focus on these 2 key figures:
- 46% of Google searches are to find a local business (SEO Expert Brad, 2019)
- 76% of local searchers visit the location of the found business within a day (Google)
So digital marketing provides online visibility to franchisees at a key point in the customer journey: researching and choosing their purchasing options.
The other significant advantage of local digital marketing for a franchise network?
All actions are measurable and quantifiable. This means that based on actions (visits, clicks,…) you can estimate the number of visits to the point of sale, and the ROI generated by the digital marketing actions.
Discover more about why franchise networks should be involved in their digital marketing in our article 7 reasons to invest in digital marketing for franchises.
Local digital marketing: challenges faced by franchises
Most franchise networks face 4 main challenges when it comes to local digital marketing:
1. Brand consistency between physical outlets and their digital presence (website, social networks,…)
Although franchisees are independent owners, customers expect a consistent brand experience, both in physical and digital.
2. Consistency of the brand image between national and local franchisee pages (website, social networks, …)
Names, hours, photos, response to reviews, publications,… When franchisees create their local pages, they are not always equipped to follow the brand’s guidelines.
3. Duplication of content between national and local pages
What content strategy should be implemented between national and local pages? Between keywords, articles, posts,… how to make sure to create relevant content, that respects the brand image and that performs?
4. Roles in digital marketing management, between franchisor and franchisees
The head of the franchise network has a marketing department that is expert in SEO, SEA, Social, Analytics, etc… and the franchisors know their customers as well as the local news. How to combine the expertise and knowledge of each, while ensuring the integrity of the brand image?
In this article, discover how to turn these challenges into strengths, in order to perform as a franchise network.
Local Digital Marketing: 7 tips to perform as a franchise
1. Website: Ensure a consistent brand image for a great customer experience
One of the goals of a franchise network is to offer a similar customer experience across all franchise locations, whether physical or digital.
Ensure a consistent brand image by using the same branding across the national website and franchise pages.
Ideally, as a brand, you should integrate a store locator page into the national website and offer local pages associated with each franchisee.
This allows to guarantee a coherence in the brand image (theme, font, logo,…) as well as to format the names, schedules,… according to the same model.
2. Website: Integrate franchisees’ specificities in their local pages
Each franchisee has its own specificities, whether it is obviously the address, but also the hours or the products and services offered. Here are 5 recommendations:
Optimize the pages in terms of local searches: add the name of the district, the locality, the region, according to the catchment area of the franchisee. This will stand out for these search terms, if they are well structured in the structured tag scheme of the web page.
Insert an interactive map (Google Maps or other) in each local page. This allows users to easily locate the store.
- Describe the accessibility options (public transport, road,…)
- Add images of the store, products and staff
- Include customer reviews specific to each franchisee
- Some media like Trustpilot, Google,… can be automatically integrated into website pages through a plug-in.
3. Tap into local Google pages, Facebook, GPS and industry directories
Create or claim existing pages for your franchisees on the media that generate the most traffic: Google (Business Profile), Facebook (Places), Bing, GPS, and relevant industry directories.
Be careful, each media has its own specificities in order to organize and link the national and local pages. Think upstream about how to structure the accounts as well as the accesses, between network head and franchisees.
👉 Having pages on these different media allows franchisees to reach a wider audience and gain visibility.
4. Standardize data across different media
Once the pages are created/claimed, make sure that the information present is consistent across the different media.
Imagine, between the website, Google and Facebook, the opening hours are not up to date, especially for a holiday.
The consumer doesn’t know what information to trust and decide and is slowed down in his buying process.
5. Highlight the specific products and services of each franchisee
Franchisees, although globally offering similar items, have their local specificities according to regions, seasons,…
Take advantage of the local website pages, as well as Google, Facebook,… to promote them.
💡 It is interesting to change the flagship products according to the seasons and occasions, events and promotions.
6. Encourage local content strategies
Local pages have two goals: to give visibility through SEO and to create positive engagement (customer reviews, comments, photos,…) in order to convert other internet users.
Depending on the size and awareness of the network, as well as the authority in the sector, various communication strategies on local pages can be applied.
🔍 Each media (Google, Facebook, Instagram,…) has its specificities of course.
On social networks like Facebook or Instagram,… content specific to the location’s news (promotions, events, teams,…) generates on average 9x more interactions (likes, comments, shares,…) than national “branded” content.
💡 Focus on local content, for a local audience.
7. Boost franchisee visibility with local Google and Facebook ads
Looking for little extra visibility? Boost your Facebook posts and invest in Google Ads local campaigns.
These campaigns are specifically designed for local merchants who want to promote their business, easily, and on a budget they can afford.
This can allow franchisees to easily gain visibility in a given radius around their establishment. However, for them not to compete with each other and overspend, franchise head should organize the global campaign strategy.
Local digital marketing is a powerful activation lever for a franchise network that is organized to take advantage of it.
Centralize or decentralize the day-to-day management between the network head and franchisees, depending on the network is structured.
Collaborate within tools in order to manage in all serenity, an effective online presence.
Ensure a harmonized communication, putting the local at the center, in order to generate more traffic, and revenues, to the franchisees 🎯
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