Whether you're just starting out as a local franchisee owner or you have decades experience in the industry, there's always room for improvement. Better equipment, more efficient techniques, and a larger base of loyal customers – these are the components that will keep your business going strong. And they are the same components that must be incorporated into your online marketing campaign, especially if you want to beat out local competitors.
How do people make a decision when choosing your business over another one in the area – or vice versa? Years ago, they might look in the phone book or ask friends and family for a reference, but more and more they're relying on the Internet.
Savvy customers pull out their laptops and smartphones to search their town's name and the service they need. And they’ll likely end up with a long list of search results that includes not only your business, but many of your competitors as well. The big question here is, why should they choose your business over a competitor’s?
This is where your business's online image and reputation comes in. The competition your local franchise faces is a golden opportunity to grow your business's online presence. You can use a number of strategies:
- Construct a sleek, modern website with a clear focus on what you offer. This will make your clients' lives significantly easier. If your website is more user-friendly than that of your competitor’s, you stand a much better chance of getting the phone call your competition is still waiting at the office to receive.
- Create a blog that lets you educate customers on the need for your services. This is also an opportunity to humanize your business and attract customers on a personal level. If a potential customer feels like they can relate to you online, then they’ll be much more likely to contact your business over another nameless, faceless competitor in the area.
- Incorporate SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) strategies into your online campaign. Paid search advertisements from PPC campaigns ensure your business ranks at the top of search results in Google. SEO efforts like blogging and appropriate use of keywords build long-term authority for your website and help with organic (or natural) search engine rankings over time.
- Build and manage your online reviews to set yourself apart from other similar service providers in the area. If your business has a number of positive ratings on review websites like Yelp, people will trust you more than a competitor who have no reviews at all.
A franchise isn't an army of one. To run your business successfully, you may already utilize additional resources such as equipment suppliers, a mobile bookkeeper, and many other entities. It may be time to think about another piece of this puzzle: a company that can create a strong online presence and compelling marketing campaign.
Your money is valuable and so is your time. Sure, you could take a shot in the dark and create your own website. You could even try to manage your own campaign on Google Adwords. However, if your efforts don’t work, the reputation of your local franchise branch could take a significant hit (and your competitors will look a little – if not a lot – better). There are no sure things in business, but the better bet is to consult with experienced professionals who solve problems like yours every day.
Contact Scorpion to learn more about our franchise marketing platform and how we can help you stand out from the competition. You can also download this free guide for more helpful tips.
About the Author
Jordan Wilson is the Senior VP of National Brands at Scorpion. For nearly a decade, he has worked with businesses of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to franchises at the local level. Professionally and personally, Jordan fosters the relationships he develops with his clients, always striving to exceed their goals and expectations. Jordan graduated from the University of Mobile where he played college soccer and won the National Championship in 2002. He is an avid traveler, and he loves a good Irish Pub, LSU Football, and spending time with his family.