Want to give your franchise’s online marketing plan a fresh start for the New Year? If so, you’re going to have to leave your bad online marketing habits behind in 2015. You don’t want to make the same mistakes all over again, do you? By starting 2016 the right way, you can create a better online marketing strategy that is more effective in generating new business and interest from franchisees.
Here are the top online marketing mistakes you should leave behind in 2015:
Failing to Diversify Your Online Marketing Strategy
A strong Internet marketing strategy includes a healthy combination of both search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising, such as pay per click (PPC) advertising. In today’s world, you need both organic and paid search working cohesively in your favor if you want to gain leverage against your competitors. For your SEO efforts, you will need to have website content and other online content that is informative, relevant to your target audience’s needs, and optimized with the right keywords. You can then supplement your SEO with the PPC ads in order to drive additional traffic to your website and get in front of online users who you might have missed through organic search alone. This, in turn, can drive additional web traffic, which could result in more business for your franchise.
Giving Up on a Marketing Campaign Before It Has Time to Mature
Most effective marketing doesn’t just produce results overnight. It usually takes time before you get a true picture of whether or not a marketing campaign is actually producing the returns you’re seeking, such as calls from prospective customers, new appointments set, and services purchased. It can sometimes take 60 - 90 days to optimize an online marketing campaign so that it creates the right results, as you typically need time for collection of data, adjustments to your campaign, and client input.
Underestimating the Importance of Online Reviews
In today’s world, online reviews play a powerful role in the decision making process for all types of consumers. According to 2015 survey results by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers said they regularly or occasionally read online reviews (up from 88% in 2014). In addition to that, 40% of consumers say they usually form an opinion of a business in just 1-3 reviews (up from 29% in 2014). With this in mind, you should carefully track what people are saying about your franchise business on online reviews sites so you can be ready to do damage control if you receive negative reviews.
Thinking About Your Marketing Team from a “Us vs. Them” Perspective
A good online marketing team should operate an extension of your franchise business. This means your marketers should be working seamlessly to filling you in on what’s working, what’s not, and how you can work together to improve your marketing campaigns across your franchise network. It also means you should make an effort to communicate regularly with your marketers so they have the information needed to help you get the best results possible out of your campaigns.
Failing to Cater to the Mobile Crowd
As we discussed in last week’s blog post, more than half of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices. This means mobile-friendliness shouldn’t be an afterthought for your franchise, but rather an integral part of your website marketing strategy. If you need a little push, just consider the fact that having a non-mobile-friendly website can now officially hurt your ranking in Google search results on mobile devices, thanks to Google’s update that was rolled out in April 2015. Having a lower ranking makes your site less visible in mobile online search results, which is definitely not what you want.
Not Consistently Tracking Your Return on Investment (ROI)
How do you know a marketing strategy is working if you aren’t tracking the results? Simple answer: you don’t. Too many franchises simply go with their gut instead of using hard data when making important decisions about their online marketing strategies. This is a huge mistake that could affect a franchise’s profitability!
To do online marketing the right way, you have to keep track of various metrics that will tell you 1) how much activity your campaign is generating, and 2) how much money you’re actually getting out of your campaign after costs are accounted for. The second point is obviously the most important, because a marketing campaign simply isn’t worth it if it’s not profitable. In 2016, make sure consistently tracking the ROI of your marketing campaigns and to use consistent metrics across the board so you can make meaningful comparisons.
Don’t make the same mistakes in 2016! If you would like to speak with an Internet marketing expert about how you can improve your Internet marketing strategy for the year ahead, call Scorpion.
Download our free guide for more tips on tracking the return on investment for your franchise’s Internet marketing efforts.
About the Author
Stephen Bess is VP of Client Marketing at Scorpion. He is committed to helping franchises attract more customers for their franchisees through competitive digital marketing strategies. Stephen, who is Google AdWords-certified, is a graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas. He has extensive experience in client management, marketing, and writing.
Prior to joining Scorpion, Stephen spent more than 10 years in the print, web, and digital publishing industry as a head editor of several magazines. He is also a former professional baseball player the Detroit Tigers, a foodie, and an amateur chef. He enjoys learning, trying red wines, and traveling to Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, Napa, and Sonoma with his wife and his daughter.