I recently came across a short but insightful article in Forbes Magazine on implementing local digital marketing as part of a national franchise brand.
The author Fiona Simpson is an award winning, rapidly growing Franchisor with 25 locations across the UK.
Fiona’s main suggestions in the Forbes Article, all of which we completely agree with, are summarized as follows (paraphrasing her words with my additional comments – after)
A clear set of brand guidelines created by the franchisor for all franchisees to follow and to help them to create their own on-brand marketing materials quickly and easily. -I would add that making this available on line as part of a content library with downloadable templates is particularly effective.
Allowing the franchisee to become the public face of their own franchise branch and giving them the opportunity to tell their story to engage local consumers.
Local content creation
Creating relevant, local content on social media and through blogging will help the franchisee to build trust with local customers and will also help the franchise branch to achieve a high ranking in local search results. – Blogging is a vastly under estimated tool. According to 2015 research by Hubspot marketers that use blogging generate 67% more leads than those who do not.
Being where your customers are
A franchisee should be finding out where their ideal consumer hangs out locally and putting themselves there – whether that be local online community groups or forums, at events and festivals or in local press.
Local Grassroots marketing
Beyond digital marketing, for the franchisee looking to build strong local relationships then back-to-basics marketing initiatives should not be ignored.
In addition to Fiona’s very actionable suggestions a couple of additional thoughts would be to do the following:
Introduce an analytics framework
Introduce an analytics framework that directly measures digital marketing activities to local offline customer actions such as the “Store/Venue Visits”. Tracking how online advertising translates to in-store/venue traffic is incredibly important to both the franchisor and local franchisee. This metric helps quantify the return on investment across digital initiatives and guides cost effective spending going forward.
Optimize each local franchisee Google My Business profile
Google my Business (GMB) was the leading factor driving local search in 2018, as you can see from the pie chart at the bottom of this blog post…
A detailed framework with recommendations on how to optimize your local franchisee Google my Business profile is outlined here: Digital Experteers LaaS services
It is surprising how many of the basics outlined above are often not in place, particularly in small developing franchise systems, when the bottom line rewards can be so significant.
Any observations or suggestion please feel free to add comments below
Until next time..
Paul Haworth, Digital Marketeers