Being a franchisor has some inherent perks. A location franchise will generally provide marketing materials or at the very least some guidance on how to go about earning new customers. Combine that with the brand recognition that comes with being a franchisee, and you’ve got a nice setup for success.
Here’s the issue, however: Not every franchisor knows how to market. It’s a skill that takes years to cultivate, and one that makes all the difference when it comes to your bottom line.
5 Franchise Location Marketing Tips
Your business is part of something bigger, sure, but it’s also a local business that needs to connect with your community to truly find success. Here’s a list of the top 5 ways to get started in making that connection between marketing and your location franchise to succeed on the market.
Build Up Your Online Reviews
Online reviews for a local business are more important than you might expect. Not only are they something that customers routinely check before they enter any business, but they are also important to your business’ search engine optimization. Positive reviews will make it easier for customers to find you online and will help you to build trust with potential customers right away.
The first thing to know is you can’t take anything personally with online reviews. There will be positive and negative reviews for your franchise as a whole, and there will be the same for your location. No business will please everyone. It’s also true that the one person who has a negative experience will be more likely to complain online than the loyal customers who love your business.
So in the face of all that, how are you supposed to get positive reviews for your franchise location?
This might seem too easy, but the answer is to simply ask. You may have seen stickers in the front window or at the cash register for other businesses, encouraging customers to write a review. Beyond having a sticker or some other signage, you can also train your employees to mention this when they’re talking to a customer they think seems happy with their transaction. If possible, offer a reward to those who take the time to review as well. It can go a long way in establishing a lasting relationship with your customers.
Use Social Media to Connect With Your Customers
When people come to follow your franchise location on social media, it’s because they want to know about your specific store. That provides you with an excellent opportunity to connect with them and make them feel loyal to your business. The key is to post things that matter to your followers. If temperatures have dipped, talk about your products that will help customers to warm up – whether that’s a new jacket or a steaming cup of coffee. You can post about local sporting events and other current events happening in your area as well. Your location is more accessible than the franchise as a whole; capitalize on that.
Build A Website For Your Franchise Location
Customers can find basic information about your franchise location on the franchise’s website, but relying on the company’s main website to refer customers to you is unwise. By building your own website, you will be able to connect with your customers with specific, relevant information. You can become more accessible by creating a branded website specifically for your location. This website should have all the necessary information that customers usually look for in a business website. Like contact information, store address, and store hours. You can also include things like local events or other things relevant to your business.
Build Up Your Local SEO
You don’t need to build your search engine optimization (SEO) to appeal to major, global search terms. Instead, focus on local SEO. If your business sells hats, look for keywords about buying hats in your town. These keywords will be easier to compete for and more relevant to your business. One benefit of being part of a franchise is that customers are more likely to trust you. Another way to compound trust is by having your business show up for these terms. You want to meet customer expectations, and they expect to find your business when they search this way.
To get started on your local SEO strategy, find keywords relevant to your local business. Build them into your website with content useful for your customers. Learn how to rank your business on Google Maps, and network with local businesses. In addition, discuss link exchange opportunities with them.
Franchise Location Marketing Tips: Use Press Releases
What can you highlight about your business this month? Do you have fun events or specials happening? At least once a month, possibly bi-weekly, you can write press releases to send to your local newspapers. This is free publicity and another way to connect with your local community. The more your franchise location cements itself as an accessible. Friendly, and important part of the local community, the more affection customers will feel for your location.