Franchise Marketing Strategy – When National and Local Efforts Align
It would strike you as odd if the McDonald’s in your town featured bright green instead of their typical golden arches on their signage. It wouldn’t make sense. You’d be left confused and wondering if you’re actually in a McDonald’s at all.
The same goes for your franchise. However big or small, customers rely on consistency within a company. It’s security. It’s convenient. And it’s easy to do when your national franchise marketing efforts align with the local franchise you own.
Instead of fighting with the national franchise marketing strategy, embrace it, and use it to enhance your own marketing efforts.
That Recognizable Brand
We’ve already touched on the importance of branding. A cohesive and consistent brand affects the way customers see your franchise. But it’s more than using the same colors from location to location.
A solid brand at the national level will mean your job as a franchisee is easier. That’s why it’s important when choosing a franchise company to research the brand and marketing efforts.
With the right support and strong branding power, adapting the national brand will not only be easier but make your marketing plan go smoothly.
Your franchisor should provide you with branding guidelines. This might include information on language style, font face and even specific language you can use to talk about your company.
When the franchise’s national brand is established and given to franchisees to use, marketing efforts are in place much quicker.
National and Local SEO Working Together
Over the past two years, mobile searches for “near me” have grown 3X. Searches for “best” have increased 60% over that time as well. People are searching for local businesses and, as a franchisee, you should capitalize on that.
At a national level, your franchise should be optimizing for those high-level keywords, and as a local franchisee you need to know where you fit in. You don’t want to be using the same keywords as the national team, because that just takes away from their efforts.
Instead, you can use specifics, like the town you live in, to localize keywords and target your area as well as competing with your own company.
Take a look at this website: Roto Rooter’s Traverse City-dedicated page mentions the town eight times. Mr. Rooter’s Traverse City landing page has it 10 times on their dedicated landing page. But it’s not just about amount, as we know keyword stuffing is a bad SEO tactic, it’s about placement of that keyword on the page.
The Mr. Rooter site has “Traverse City” as the title tag, h1 and the h2’s throughout the page, while the local Roto Rooter page has it only in the title and h1. Most of the appearances on the page are in relation to the address, which doesn’t help search engines know what the business does.
Only you know your town. That’s why you’re in charge of your individual franchise – for your local know-how. It’s time to make that work for you, and the brand as a whole.
A Cohesive Web Presence Across the Board
Much like the colors of your uniforms and the logo proudly displayed on your business, you’ll want your website to be cohesive. Working with the national team means you can get the look and feel of your website the way you want it to.
Also, you need to understand that just having a website isn’t enough. You need to know what is happening behind the scenes of your website: What’s working, and what isn’t. The national organization doesn’t have time to keep track of all the individual franchisee websites, but you can manage your own.
Setting up Google Analytics is an easy way to start tracking who is coming to your website, what they’re looking for and why they’re leaving. At the national level, they’re busy worrying about getting the company’s name in front of customers, but on a local level, you need to be prepared for what your customers want.
If you don’t know that, how can you provide it for them?
There are also efforts the national team might be implementing and just haven’t shared with you. Do they have a specific new call to action that they’ve tested? Are they offering a special discount for a service you can’t do? Miscommunications like that can hurt your reputation and as a franchisee it is important to know what the national marketing strategy entails.
Also, you’ll want your website to reflect your business. Anything that personalizes your franchise, such as specific services you offer, or local reviews from the people in your community, will help make your landing page one that sticks out from the crowd.
Paid Marketing That Aligns and Doesn’t Compete
Along the same lines as your SEO marketing strategy, you’ll need to have one in place for paid advertising as well. One that works with the national organization, and not against it.
It would be incredible if you alone could keep with the paid advertising your national brand is doing, but chances are, you can’t. It’s just not realistic for you to know every step of the way when they are planning on running an online advertisement.
But when you work with a digital marketing company, connecting the two becomes significantly easier. You can’t count on the national brand to handle your paid advertising for you. They might advertise the brand as a whole, but you should know when to boost a post on Facebook, or if you should offer local discounts, promotions or specials at your franchise location.
When it comes to paid advertising, it might feel like you’re on your own, but you can hire an agency to help with that.
How Can I Get There?
You’ve already taken the first step. Now that you know your franchise needs to align its local marketing plan with the national strategy, you can get started. Contact PointA today to learn about all our services and how we work with Oneupweb, our parent company, to directly influence national and local results.
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