One of the biggest advantages of buying a franchise business is the national brand recognition you’ll inherit. To improve the awareness of the brand, most franchisors employ a comprehensive national marketing strategy funded by the franchisees.
On one hand, this is a great strategy because it gives franchisees access to high-quality marketing materials they might not otherwise get. On the other hand, these campaigns tend to ignore local channels and directories, and fail to provide the localized messaging critical to your business’ success. By partnering with an internet marketing firm, you can effectively turn national brand recognition into quality leads for your location.
How a Marketing Firm Can Enhance Your Local Presence
Manage Your Social Media Presence
While your franchisor will generally manage the brand’s main social media presence, you can still benefit greatly by entrusting your local business’ social media pages to a marketing firm. An active social media presence will allow you to engage with your customers, receive feedback, and most importantly, generate leads that get your phones ringing.
According to a study from comScore Networks and TMP Directional Marketing, 70% of consumers are more likely to hire a local company if they have information on social media sites.
Claim Your Directory Profiles
This is one of the most important steps in marketing your company online. People may be familiar with your brand, but they might not know where to find you. To help people access information about your business, it’s crucial to manage and update your profiles on directories such as YP.com, Angie’s List, and Yelp!.
A digital marketing firm can ensure that your information is consistent across all popular channels, making it easy for customers to find you online and then pick up the phone and call your business. Marketing experts can also help you identify which sites are driving the most business, which can help you capitalize on these opportunities.
A 2011 Google Mobile Movement Study found that when users perform a search online for a local business, 88% will call or visit that business within 24 hours.
Create Targeted Search Advertising Campaigns
One of the most effective ways to reach today’s consumers is through paid search advertising. If you use the internet, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the “sponsored” results that pop up first in Google or Bing searches. These campaigns can be extremely challenging to manage at a national level, so franchisors often struggle to capitalize on this huge opportunity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a PPC campaign at the local level.
Your internet marketing team can create a custom campaign that targets the specific areas and clientele you service. Almost instantly, your ads will start showing at the top of search results for keywords relevant to your business. When you invest your marketing dollars into paid search advertising, you’re giving your business another opportunity to make the phones ring and the leads come in.
Work With Your Franchisor
While most franchisors won’t have an issue with you actively managing local social media and directories, they may have some concerns about maintaining a consistent brand image. However, it’s important to remember that as a franchisee, you have unique insight into potential marketing opportunities the franchisor may not be aware of. The best marketing strategies fuse national brand campaigns with local marketing tactics.