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How Local Marketing Can Go to Work for Your Franchise

Local franchise open sign
Casey Shull

Even with the prominence of large chains and online shopping, people still prefer to shop locally. About 57% of consumers prefer to support local businesses when they can. As a franchise location, it can be easy for people to forget that you’re a local business, too — owned and operated locally rather than by a big chain.

The right mix of local franchise marketing strategies can make sure customers know you’re a local franchise owner and give them extra incentive to do business with you. While you need to deliver brand consistency with the franchisor’s marketing messages, there are opportunities to stand out from your competition.

In this article, we’ll explain what goes into local franchise marketing, how you can develop your marketing plan, and tips to ensure your local marketing gets people in your doors.

Let’s get started!

What Is Local Franchise Marketing?

Local marketing for franchises is all of the ways you reach out to your target market with customized messages to drive sales. From social media and website development to display ads and review management, it’s all part of the marketing mix for local franchise locations to attract customers.

Local marketing aims to get in front of potential customers in your area and make them aware of your franchise brand, helping you gain new customers or increase brand loyalty for existing customers.

Most franchise agreements are allocated specifically for marketing purposes. These marketing fees are generally equal to a percentage of the franchisee's gross sales that are set aside to support various marketing initiatives. By pooling these fees, franchisors use the money to further brand awareness and build out various marketing strategies.

While some marketing agreements carve out money for local marketing efforts, not all of them do. Fees often go to marketing materials that benefit the brand rather than the local franchise, so you’ll likely need to set aside more money in your budget in addition to whatever the franchisor provides.

Benefits of Local Franchise Marketing

With the attitude of consumers shifting toward shopping locally, now is the time to strengthen your brand messaging around local franchise marketing. Here are strategies you may want to consider:

  • Increased brand awareness: Highlighting your business as an attractive option for local shoppers.
  • Customer engagement: Not only can you keep your franchise top of mind with local business marketing efforts, but you can also create deeper connections with your customers to keep them coming back for more.
  • Local community connections: Franchisees can demonstrate their commitment to the local community and help customers remember that your franchise is local.
  • Targeted messaging: Through digital marketing especially, you can target your advertising within your service area. This prevents wasted spending for your local marketing efforts and can improve your ROI.
  • Flexibility: Because you control the message locally, you have more flexibility to match your messaging with community sensibilities and react to local events.

How Can You Implement Local Marketing Into Your Strategy as a Franchisee

The key to implementing your localized marketing efforts is taking a strategic approach. That means everything you do should be filtered through your marketing strategy lens to ensure it aligns with your goals. Many local businesses tend to treat marketing as a series of events rather than a holistic approach in which each component adds up to a bigger picture.

Before you implement your marketing efforts, you need a deep understanding of your service area and local customers and how your business can provide solutions to their problems.

Know Your Market

Although there are some commonalities, every marketplace is a little different. You’ll want a firm understanding of your local customers and their preferences — what they like and don’t like — to focus your marketing strategy.

Two specific strategies include developing:

  • Buyer’s Persona: A composite of your typical target customer, often displayed as a persona with a name, title, age, and motivations
  • Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): The type of customer you want to attract, typically the ones that generate the highest customer lifetime value (CLV)

With the buyer's persona and ICP, you can better target your marketing approach.

Leverage Franchisor Marketing Data

You will want to leverage the data and information from your franchisor and tap into their network to help develop franchise marketing ideas that work. The best franchises constantly share approaches with other franchisees and will work with you to develop successful campaigns. Make sure you find a way to tie in the suggested approach with what your particular community is looking for from your type of franchise business.

Use Digital Marketing Tools for Targeting

Your time and money are precious. Make sure you maximize both by targeting the right customers. It doesn’t make sense to spend money marketing to groups that are outside the areas you serve. Remember, just because digital advertising has the ability to reach people worldwide, if your franchise location doesn’t serve them, you’re targeting the wrong audience. If needed, adjust your marketing tools so that ads are only going to local people in your community.

Budget for Marketing

It sounds so simple, but many franchisees rely solely on brand campaigns at the national or regional level and fail to fund local campaigns. Take advantage of any marketing funds available from your franchisor, consider partnerships with other local brand franchises, and budget money for local marketing campaigns so that you have more than one source of budget.

Have a Local Online Presence

While there may be resources provided by the franchisor, one of the strongest ways to remind your target audience that you’re also a local business is by concentrating your digital marketing strategy on that messaging. Tap into the uniqueness of your local marketplace and embrace your community. If you aren’t able to customize your website under the terms of your franchise agreement, you can still leverage social media, digital advertising, Google ads, or content marketing strategies and localize them for maximum impact.

Utilize Local SEO Strategies

A third of all online searches are local. Local search engine optimization (local SEO) is critical to getting found online.

Google aims to deliver searchers the best match for their query. Your customers are the ones looking for local businesses online. So, you better show up near the top of the page when they search. About 25% of searchers click on the first result they see, and the top 10 listings attract nearly 90% of all clicks.

What impacts how you rank? According to Google, it’s three things:

  1. Relevance

  2. Distance

  3. Prominence

At the top of your list should be optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), which the search engine’s algorithm uses in part to decide which results to show. You also need to ensure your listings are accurate on review sites and local directories. In particular, pay attention to your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Your NAP should be the same on every site. Search engines look for consistency as another one of their ranking signals.

Google recommends you make sure that across the internet, you:

  • Enter complete business data
  • Verify your locations
  • Keep hours and days accurate and current
  • Manage and respond to reviews
  • Add photos
  • Add in-store products (where applicable)

Managing reviews is also a key component of managing your SEO. Reviews can show next to your business listings in the Google map pack and are part of how the algorithm decides where to show your franchise or a competitor.

Host Local Events and Promotions

Participating in local community events, sponsoring events, and offering local promotions is another good strategy to set your business apart. These marketing activities can establish you as a good community citizen by supporting local organizations or events and helping drive brand awareness.

Marketing Channels for Local Franchise Marketing

There are plenty of marketing channels to use. You’ll need to determine which works best for your local franchise. Here are some of the top considerations.

Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media marketing for a franchise business. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn are effective marketing tools for small businesses. If you don’t have a local social media presence, start now! You can connect directly with customers, share special events and offers, and create opportunities for engagement.

Email and Text Campaigns

Putting together a subscriber list of your customers allows you to communicate with them directly. You can use email marketing or text automation to deliver relevant content, such as discounts, sales, coupons, and newsletters.


You can amplify your brand when you create partnerships with other local businesses. Whether it’s a charitable organization, a local sports team, or a local event, it’s a great way to tie your brand with a good or popular cause to create a positive image. If there are any nearby, you can also pool resources with other franchisees that operate within your geographical area to expand your reach.

Pay-per-click (PPC) Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads put you at the very top of Google results. When customers search for relevant keywords, your ads can show above the map pack and organic results. If you’re wondering how much Google ads cost, we’ve put together this guide to Google Ads pricing for you.

Traditional Marketing

While traditional marketing, like TV, radio, and print ads, don’t get the same level of attention as digital marketing these days, they still create results. Combining traditional marketing with your digital campaigns creates a multiplier effect, making both channels work more effectively while reminding people you’re a local business.

Fuel Your Growth With Local Franchise Marketing

Creating a strong local franchise marketing effort requires building and executing a strategic plan consistently. When you can tailor your marketing to focus on the right types of customers you need to grow your franchise business, leverage resources from your franchisor, and use the right mix of marketing channels, you can see significant results.

You should also consider working with marketing services and technology experts with deep experience in helping local franchisees grow and prosper. Scorpion helps scale local franchises to drive more customers and revenue, providing the knowledge and tools you need to manage your digital channels.

Connect with the digital marketing experts at Scorpion today to get started.