Hello fellow franchise owners!
As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a strong online presence in today’s digital age. And if you’re running a franchise, this is especially true.
That’s why I wanted to share with you 10 digital marketing strategies that can help your franchise stand out in a crowded online landscape and attract new customers.
First, let’s talk about why digital marketing is so important for franchises. In a world where more and more people are turning to the internet to research products and services, having a strong online presence is crucial for reaching your target audience and driving growth.
And because franchises often operate within a specific industry or location, digital marketing can be a particularly effective way to reach a targeted, relevant audience.
Franchise Growth in the U.S in recent years
According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), the franchise industry in the U.S. continued to grow in 2021, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IFA’s 2021 Franchise Business Economic Outlook report projected that the number of franchise establishments in the U.S. would increase by 1.9% in 2021, while franchise employment is expected to increase by 2.3%. In addition, the report projected that franchise sales would increase by 6.3% in 2021.
The IFA also reported that franchise businesses had a higher rate of survival compared to independent businesses.
In the first year of operation, 82% of franchise businesses remained in operation, compared to just 49% of independent businesses. This trend continued in the second and third years of operation, with franchise businesses having a higher survival rate than independent businesses.
Overall, the franchise industry continues to be a significant contributor to the U.S. economy and has demonstrated steady growth in recent years.
Franchise marketing by the numbers
According to a survey by the International Franchise Association (IFA), the average franchise spends around 6% of its gross sales on marketing and advertising. This includes both national and local marketing efforts.
In terms of digital marketing, the IFA survey found that the average franchise spends around 23% of its marketing budget on digital marketing efforts, such as website design, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.
This is a significant increase from previous years, as more and more consumers are turning to the internet to research products and services.
Now, let’s dive into the 10 strategies I mentioned earlier. These strategies can help you improve your online visibility, connect with your target audience, and drive conversions.
1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
One of the most important digital marketing strategies for any business, but especially for franchises, is SEO. This involves optimizing your website and online content to rank higher in search engine results for relevant keywords. This can help drive more qualified traffic to your website, as people searching for those keywords are more likely to be interested in your products or services.
Here are a few statistics on the effectiveness of SEO:
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. (BrightLocal)
- 52% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a local business if they have a website that is easy to navigate. (BrightLocal)
- 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three results in Google. (Backlinko)
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (HubSpot)
So, how can you improve your SEO? Here are a few tips:
- Research and select relevant keywords: To optimize your website for SEO, you’ll need to identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for. Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to research keywords and determine which ones are most relevant to your business.
- Optimize your website’s content: Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, you’ll need to optimize your website’s content to include those keywords. This can include writing meta titles and descriptions, using keywords in your website’s headings and body content, and including keywords in your website’s URL structure.
- Build high-quality backlinks: Inbound links from other websites can help improve your website’s ranking in search results. To build high-quality backlinks, you can create valuable content that other websites will want to link to, participate in online communities related to your industry, and reach out to other websites and ask for a link.
- Optimize your website’s technical elements: There are several technical elements of your website that can impact your SEO, such as your website’s loading speed, mobile-friendliness, and its use of structured data. Make sure to optimize these elements to improve your website’s SEO.
For example, a franchise of a chain of pizza restaurants could use SEO to improve their online visibility and attract more customers.
They could research keywords related to their industry, such as “best pizza near me” or “pizza delivery,” and optimize their website’s content to include these keywords.
They could also build high-quality backlinks by creating blog posts about pizza-making techniques and reaching out to food blogs and websites to ask for a link.
They could also optimize their website’s technical elements, such as its loading speed and mobile-friendliness, to improve its SEO.
2. Paid search advertising
Another way to improve your online visibility and drive qualified traffic to your website is through paid search advertising, such as Google Ads. With this strategy, you can create and run ads that appear at the top of search engine results when people search for specific keywords.
This can be an effective way to reach a targeted audience and drive traffic to your website, as the people who see your ads are actively searching for products or services like yours.
To get started with paid search advertising, you’ll need to create an account with a platform like Google Ads and set up a campaign.
Here are a few statistics on the effectiveness of PPC advertising:
- According to a survey by WordStream, PPC advertising generates an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent.
- The same survey found that PPC advertising has an average conversion rate of 10%, compared to a 2.7% conversion rate for organic search.
- A study by Google and Ipsos found that PPC advertising has a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other digital marketing channel.
- A survey by Clutch found that 84% of businesses see a positive ROI from their PPC advertising efforts.
Here are a few tips for creating and running effective paid search ads:
- Choose the right keywords to target. Use tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner to find keywords that are relevant to your business and have a good search volume.
- Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches. This can help ensure that your ads are only shown to people who are interested in your products or services.
- Use ad extensions to provide additional information about your business, such as your location, phone number, or reviews.
- Test different ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions to see which ones perform the best.
- Monitor and optimize your campaign. Once your campaign is running, it’s important to monitor its performance and make adjustments as needed. This can include adjusting your bid amounts, modifying your ad copy, and adding or removing keywords.
For example, a franchise of a chain of pet stores could use paid search advertising to reach their target audience and drive conversions. They could choose keywords related to their industry, such as “pet supplies” or “dog food,” and set up a campaign with ad copy that promotes their products and services.
They could then monitor and optimize their campaign by adjusting their bid amounts and ad copy based on the performance of their ads.
3. Social media marketing
With billions of users across a variety of platforms, social media can be a powerful marketing tool for franchises. You can use social media to connect with your target audience, share updates about your business, and promote your products or services.
Here are a few statistics on the importance of social media for businesses:
- According to a survey by Hootsuite, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to their friends and family.
- The same survey found that 49% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
- A study by Sprout Social found that social media can drive website traffic and lead generation, with 67% of consumers reporting that they have clicked on a link to a website from a social media platform.
- A survey by Hootsuite found that social media advertising has an average conversion rate of 9.21%, compared to a 2.49% conversion rate for traditional display advertising
To get the most out of social media marketing, it’s important to choose the right platforms for your business.
For example, if you’re a franchise that sells a physical product, visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest may be more effective than text-based platforms like Twitter. You should also consider where your target audience spends the most time online and choose platforms accordingly.
Once you’ve chosen the right platforms for your business, there are a few key strategies you can use to make the most of your social media marketing efforts:
- Create engaging, shareable content that provides value to your followers. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, or other types of content that are relevant to your target audience.
- Use hashtags to make it easier for people to discover your content and join relevant conversations.
- Engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages and sharing their content.
- Use paid social media advertising to reach a larger, targeted audience and to drive conversions.
By consistently creating and sharing valuable content and engaging with your followers, you can build a strong presence on social media and connect with your target audience in a meaningful way.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing can be a highly effective way to reach your target audience and drive conversions. By building an email list and sending newsletters or promotional emails to your subscribers, you can keep them informed about your business and encourage them to make a purchase.
Here are a few statistics on the effectiveness of email marketing:
- According to a survey by the Data & Marketing Association, email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of $38 for every $1 spent.
- The same survey found that email marketing has an average conversion rate of 3.7%, compared to a 0.6% conversion rate for social media.
- A study by Litmus found that emails with personalized subject lines have a 50% higher open rate than emails with generic subject lines.
- A survey by the Data & Marketing Association found that segmented and targeted emails have an open rate of 29.3% higher and a click-through rate of 41.8% higher than non-segmented emails.
To make your email marketing campaigns as effective as possible, there are a few key strategies you should follow:
- Build your email list: To send emails to your target audience, you’ll need to build an email list. You can do this by offering opt-ins on your website or through in-store sign-ups. It’s important to make sure that you have permission to send emails to the people on your list.
- Determine your goals: Before you start sending emails, it’s important to determine your goals. Do you want to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or increase brand awareness? Knowing your goals will help you determine what types of emails to send and what call-to-actions to include.
- Create a content calendar: To consistently engage with your subscribers, it’s important to have a plan for the types of emails you want to send and when you want to send them. A content calendar can help you organize your email marketing efforts and ensure that you’re consistently creating and sending valuable content.
- Segment your email list: To make your email marketing efforts more effective, it’s important to segment your email list based on factors such as location, interests, and purchase history. This will allow you to send targeted emails that are more relevant to your subscribers.
For example, a franchise of a chain of fitness studios could use email marketing to reach their target audience and drive conversions. They could build their email list by offering opt-ins on their website and through in-store sign-ups, and determine their goals, such as driving traffic to their website and generating leads.
They could create a content calendar that includes emails about new classes and promotions, and segment their email list based on location and interests.
By following these steps and consistently creating and sending valuable content and targeting your emails to the right audience, you can effectively use email marketing to reach your target audience and drive conversions for your franchise.
It’s important to keep in mind that the success of your email marketing efforts will depend on the quality of your content and the relevance of your emails to your subscribers.
Make sure to test and analyze your emails to determine what works and what doesn’t, and continually optimize your email marketing strategy to get the best results.
5. Content marketing
Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This can be in the form of blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, or any other type of content that helps educate and engage your target audience.
Content marketing can be particularly effective for franchises because it allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build trust with your audience. This can ultimately lead to more conversions and sales for your franchise.
Here are a few statistics on the effectiveness of content marketing:
- According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of businesses that have a documented content marketing strategy consider their efforts to be “effective” or “very effective.”
- The same survey found that content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.
- A study by HubSpot found that companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
- A survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that content marketing has an average conversion rate of 6.1%, compared to a 1.7% conversion rate for traditional outbound marketing.
To make the most of content marketing, there are a few key strategies you should follow:
- Identify your target audience and create content that is relevant and valuable to them.
- Use a variety of content types to reach different audiences and keep things interesting.
- Use keywords and optimize your content for search engines to improve your visibility and drive qualified traffic to your website.
- Promote your content on social media and other platforms to reach a larger audience.
By consistently creating and sharing high-quality content, you can establish your franchise as a trusted source of information and drive growth for your business.
For example, a franchise of a chain of home improvement stores could use content marketing to reach their target audience and drive conversions.
They could determine their goals, such as increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to their website, and identify their target audience as homeowners interested in home improvement projects.
They could create a content calendar that includes blog posts about home improvement tips and projects, and promote their content through social media and email marketing.
6. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers or industry experts to promote your products or services to their followers. This can be an effective way to reach a new, targeted audience and gain credibility through association with a trusted source.
To make the most of influencer marketing, it’s important to choose influencers who have a large and engaged following in your target market and who align with your brand values. You should also be clear about your expectations and goals for the partnership and make sure to measure the success of the campaign through metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions.
It’s also important to consider the type of influencer you want to work with. Micro-influencers, or influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following, may be more effective for your business than larger influencers with a more general audience.
By partnering with the right influencers and clearly communicating your expectations and goals, you can effectively use influencer marketing to reach a new, targeted audience and drive conversions for your franchise.
7. Video Marketing
Video is a powerful marketing tool, as it allows you to share your message in a visually engaging and easy-to-digest format. You can use video to promote your products or services, share customer testimonials, or provide educational content.
To make the most of video marketing, there are a few key strategies you should follow:
- Create high-quality, informative videos that are relevant to your target audience.
- Optimize your videos for online viewing by including a compelling title and description and using relevant keywords.
- Promote your videos on social media and other platforms to reach a larger audience.
- Use video in your email marketing campaigns to increase engagement and drive conversions.
By creating and promoting engaging videos, you can effectively use video marketing to reach your target audience and drive conversions for your franchise.
For example, a franchise of a chain of restaurants could use video marketing to reach their target audience and drive visitors to the restaurants. They could identify their target audience as foodies interested in trying new restaurants. They could create videos showcasing their menu items and restaurant atmosphere, and promote the videos through social media and email marketing.
8. Local SEO
If you’re a franchise with multiple locations, it’s important to optimize your online presence for local search. This involves optimizing your website and online content for keywords related to your location and industry, as well as claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing.
By optimizing for local search, you can make it easier for people in your area to find your business online and increase your chances of attracting new customers.
Here are a few statistics on the importance of local SEO:
- According to a survey by BrightLocal, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, and 73% of all online activity is related to local content.
- The same survey found that 87% of consumers use the internet to find a local business, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
- Google’s “Near Me” searches have increased by over 2,000% in the past two years, according to a study by Think With Google.
- A survey by Moz found that local search results are more trusted by consumers than results from non-local websites.
Here are a few tips for improving your local SEO:
- Include your location and contact information on your website and in your Google My Business listing.
- Use local keywords in your website content and meta tags to signal to search engines that your business is relevant to people in your area.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and other review sites like Yelp.
- Use local citations, or mentions of your business name and address on other websites, to improve your ranking and credibility.
9. Online reviews and ratings
Online reviews and ratings can have a big impact on a customer’s decision to do business with you. Positive reviews can increase trust and credibility, while negative reviews can drive potential customers away.
To encourage positive reviews, you should make it easy for customers to leave feedback, either through your website or through review sites like Yelp or Google My Business. You should also respond to all reviews (both positive and negative) to show that you value your customer’s opinions and are willing to address any issues or concerns they may have.
If you receive a negative review, it’s important to take it seriously and address any issues or concerns raised. This not only shows that you care about your customers, but it also gives you the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
In addition to encouraging and responding to reviews, it’s important to monitor your online ratings. This includes keeping an eye on your rating on review sites like Yelp and Google My Business, as well as your overall rating on other platforms like Facebook or TripAdvisor. If you notice that your rating is dropping, it’s important to take steps to address any issues or concerns that may be impacting it.
By encouraging positive reviews and addressing negative ones, you can improve your online ratings and increase trust and credibility with potential customers.
10. Online reputation management
Online reputation management is the process of monitoring, managing, and improving the online reputation of a business.
Here are a few statistics on the importance of online reputation management:
- According to a survey by BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- The same survey found that a 1-star increase in a business’s rating on review sites can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
- A study by Reputation.com found that a negative review can cost a business 30 customers, on average.
- A survey by the Data & Marketing Association found that businesses that actively manage their online reputation have a higher conversion rate and higher average order value than those that don’t.
Here is an example of how a franchise of a chain of hotels could use online reputation management to improve their reputation and drive conversions:
- Monitor their online reputation: The franchise regularly monitors their online reputation by setting up alerts for mentions of their brand on social media and review sites, such as TripAdvisor. This allows them to stay informed about what people are saying about their business and quickly address any negative feedback.
- Respond to online reviews: The franchise responds to online reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely and professional manner. They thank customers who leave positive reviews and apologize to customers who have had a negative experience, offering to make it right.
- Encourage positive reviews: The franchise encourages satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on review sites and social media, as this can help to improve their overall online reputation. They consider offering incentives, such as discounts or rewards, to encourage customers to leave reviews.
- Use social media to engage with customers: The franchise uses social media to engage with their customers and address any concerns or issues they may have. They also use social media to promote positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.
By following these steps and consistently monitoring and managing their online reputation, the franchise can improve their reputation and drive conversions. They can monitor the performance of their online reputation management efforts and make adjustments as needed to continually improve their reputation and reach their target audience.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the many digital marketing strategies that can help your franchise stand out online and attract new customers.
By implementing a combination of these strategies and continually tracking and analyzing your results, you can continuously improve your online presence and drive growth for your business. I hope these tips have been helpful and have given you some ideas for how to boost your franchise’s digital marketing efforts.
If you have any additional questions or need help implementing these strategies, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified digital marketing agency for assistance.
Good luck with your digital marketing efforts!