Owning a franchise business immediately connects you with other franchise owners and chain managers across a national – or possibly global – market. When starting a franchise for the first time, it is essential that each store keeps in line with the corporation’s overall branding guidelines. This means staying true to the logo, color palette, mission statement, and advertising mottos.
Maintaining a uniform theme regarding the branding characteristics ensures that a particular location receives the benefits that accompany the franchise name. These particular benefits, whatever they may be – customer service, a quality product, competitive pricing – all take years to develop. This is why it’s important that brand loyalty is never compromised and the “secret sauce” that puts a brand on the map maintains its presence.
However, it’s also important to stand out to the locals in a way that establishes a sense of community in a specific locale. It may seem challenging, but there indeed are ways to accomplish both of these goals without compromising either one.
Sometimes when a company puts too much focus on the national or franchise-wide marketing campaigns, the local dynamics can be forgotten. It’s important not to leave your local marketing strategy on the backburner. The following section highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy local marketing campaign.
Why Marketing to the Local Community Is Important
Every market has different tastes, needs, and demographics. Even the area’s geography comes into play regarding your local marketing campaigns.
When you customize a local strategy for a particular location, the franchisee has the opportunity to reach ideal customers and drive larger amounts of local traffic into the location. In the end, this additional local traffic ends up equaling more sales and higher revenue.
You can work closely with other businesses in the area to generate more traffic, as well. Build strong relationships with neighboring businesses in the area. Establishing cross-business promotions will allow you to piggyback off the presence these local businesses have already established.
When you put your name beside a local business that’s been in the area for a substantial amount of time, this can develop a rapport with locals that can’t be duplicated in any other way. Try to find businesses with a customer base that overlaps with the demographics of your franchise location.
How can you navigate your loyalty to the overall brand while also creating a marketing strategy that appeals to the locals? How can you balance your local store marketing while also building an audience for the company’s vision?
Did you know that platforms exist that cater to these needs specifically? These platforms give franchise owners a chance to customize and deploy their own campaigns without jeopardizing the ever-so-important dynamics of the franchise.
Using a marketing management platform to create plenty of assets for each franchise owner is a helpful strategy for ensuring that stores can appeal to their local market while maintaining brand identity. Fusebox One believes in an on-demand solution to creating, customizing, sharing, and distributing your assets throughout the entirety of your franchise. Give franchisees the opportunity to manage their own individual marketing campaigns while you provide the guidelines. Consider the following top methods for giving local franchises a local marketing kit.
Create Strategies Based on Local Audience Behaviors
According to Lucidpress, one of the biggest mistakes most growing companies make is that they spend too much effort trying to advertise across every platform available. While this may be an effective strategy for multi-channel corporations with a global audience, it’s important to help local franchises focus on local audience behaviors.
What social media channel does the local audience find itself on the most? Use these outlets as the stronger methods for pushing effective marketing content. It is also important to learn the time, money, and knowledge capabilities of each franchise before sending out marketing assets that may not be the best resources to work with.
Creating highly optimized, targeted campaigns that cater specifically to the habits and behaviors of locals will make your ads more effective and improve your ROI. Wasting money on inefficiently targeted ad campaigns can be one of the most detrimental spending mistakes for any business owner.
One of the most important decisions to make is whether to use traditional advertising or digital advertising. The main benefit of digital advertising is tied to what we mentioned above. Having the ability to target is the number one advantage to using digital marketing over other traditional methods.
However, having the ability to utilize the effectiveness of numerous marketing channels will put you way ahead of the game. These are the most successful local campaigns to consider that simultaneously allow you to gather large amounts of data to optimize subsequent campaigns.
The Most Effective Types of Local Marketing
Use this section as a “check-list” of sorts to ensure you are taking advantage of the most effective forms of local advertising. Additionally, these can all be tied into the overall franchise theme and incorporate elements of existing success like logos, colors, slogans, and other characteristics.
SMS and E-mail Campaigns - If a store already has an existing customer database or e-mail list, this already provides an advantage. These lists of prospects, leads, and repeat customers can be used to craft campaigns centered on e-mails and text messages.
SMS and e-mail campaigns are extremely cost-effective and can drive significant ROIs by focusing on local-only deals and products only available in certain locations. The most important thing to keep in mind is continuing to grow these lists over time so you can utilize them in the future.
Develop a long-term strategy that allows you to continuously capture the names and phone numbers of customers. Asking at checkout whether they’d like to participate in a weekly or monthly newsletter that extends them discounts and promotions is a great way to develop your list.
Direct Mail - Direct mail has been one of the most effective forms of local marketing for decades. This is the perfect way to reach potential customers in your area with printed advertising. Although sometimes many businesses consider direct mail outdated, data still continues to point toward the effectiveness of these campaigns.
The cost and effort to launch these campaigns are low, while engagement and ROI have the chance to be fairly high. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that testing and analyzing data is the most crucial element to direct mail marketing.
Utilizing a coupon code or some sort of tracker is the best way to identify which customers are coming from particular campaigns. This allows you to narrow it down to only the most effective creatives. Using the advantages of digital reporting is vital when you launch any direct mail marketing campaign.
Social Media and Local PR
These two can often go hand-in-hand, as you can use social media to drive customers to your PR events.
PR Events - Grand opening events, open houses, and sales can be great ways to drum up business and generate buzz among the locals. Local newspapers, radio stations, and other press can be some of your most precious resources. Additionally, receiving a mention or a write-up on the main page of a local website can generate a substantial amount of interest in your event.
This can be extremely powerful when you can generate good press and positive word-of-mouth regarding your business in the local area. Garnering positive attention in a contained area can give any local franchise the boost they’ve been looking for.
Social Media - As we mentioned above, combining social media with your local PR strategy can provide a one-two combination that can be very powerful. Use relevant hashtags surrounding your event and include photos and other media whenever possible. Encourage readers to share to generate organic reach and drive engagement among local customers. It’s important to continue to measure how you’re growing followers, what type of engagement you’re generating, and how much traffic is being driven to your website based on social media accounts.
Different forms of social media are better at accomplishing certain goals. The following list provides some insight regarding the strengths of various platforms.
- Facebook: 2.7 billion users, average ages are 25-34. Most effective for building brand loyalty.
- Twitter: 353 million users, average ages are 30-39. Most effective for public relations.
- Pinterest: 442 million users, average ages are 30-49. Most effective for lead generation in the clothing, arts, and food businesses.
- YouTube: 2.3 billion users, all ages. Most effective for lead generation and brand awareness.
- LinkedIn: 740 million users, average ages are 46-55. Most effective for business development and brand awareness.
- Instagram: 1.25 billion users, average ages 25-34. Most effective for brand awareness, lead generation in the beauty, food, retail, and entertainment businesses.
- TikTok: 689 million users, average ages are 18-24. Most effective for building brand loyalty and community.
Most customers of any business begin their journey on the internet. Presently, building a strong online presence is just as important as keeping a clean storefront and making your retail space presentable.
When the first interaction with your business happens online, it’s important that our digital image helps you win the battle of local searches.
Search Advertising - Nearly 46% of all searches that happen on Google focus on local businesses. This is a massive amount for such a widely used platform.
Luckily, geolocation and searcher data allow you to target your audience more precisely. This allows you to target only users searching for the products and services available at your business.
The only downside is if your website doesn’t exist on the first page of Google search, it may as well not exist at all. However, you can force your way to the top of Google’s search results by using the appropriate keywords on your website and blog posts. This should make SEO one of your main priorities regarding your marketing campaigns.
One of the most efficient ways to navigate search marketing is to use paid ads to display your business on the first page of Google. While you’re doing this, you can optimize your on-page and off-page SEO to make your way to the top of the organic rankings.
Using this strategy can be a great way to bring large numbers of customers to your website, and because of the long-term effects of organic traffic, it can provide a great ROI. Starting with Google Ads can be the most efficient way to start your search marketing campaign.
Keep in mind that most consumers will only travel about 10 minutes from home to make a regular purchase. They will travel about 20 minutes to make a special purchase for products they wouldn’t normally buy on a daily basis. Using local ad campaigns on almost every platform allows you to take advantage of these distance metrics, which are essential.
It’s important to remember that you can’t copy the national website of the franchise word-for-word and expect to get the same results. You need to add that local touch to get local business coming through your doors.
Including the name of the town and state in your headlines and several times throughout the body content of your website pages is the most effective strategy. Optimizing your on-page SEO to include local data is a surefire way to garner results when people in the community search for the services you provide.
It’s also important to use a variation of the keywords that the national level uses. You don’t want to be working against your own team when it comes to search engine rankings. Using long-tail keywords in relation to local searches is the best way to separate yourself and stay out of competition with the primary website.
Getting in front of your target audience as often as possible increases your overall chances of remaining successful and driving consistent revenue. Taking advantage of platforms like FuseBox allows you to stay on top of these digital strategies.
Use Branding Methods that Work Everywhere
While it is necessary to keep in mind what appeals to specific local audiences, be sure that the proceeding marketing method is still on-brand. As an example, if your company typically provides more text-based content rather than written content, make sure that one franchise doesn’t rely too heavily on image-based creatives. If your company is known for making dynamic Instagram posts, push that as a good local advertising method as well.
This is a situation when the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies heavily. While it’s important to place emphasis on being locally unique, it’s also crucial that you don’t wander too far from the things that brought high levels of success in the first place.
If you walked into a Walmart in another town besides yours and the colors were red instead of blue, it would probably be strange to you. You would probably even question whether you were actually in a Walmart store. The same is true for your particular franchise and local operations. However, it goes a little deeper than just using the right colors.
When a franchisee has the right support and strong branding power, it makes their jobs much easier. This can often be one of the primary reasons for purchasing a franchise in the first place. It eliminates the years involved with building a reputable brand name that consumers know and love.
The website needs to be cohesive as well. Franchisees should work closely with the national team to provide the brand’s look and feel to the local website.
Having the website alone isn’t enough, either. You need to have a good feel for what’s working behind the scenes and what isn’t. Most likely, the workers at the national level don’t have time to monitor and maintain the websites at the local level, so that falls on the franchisee.
Using Google Analytics will allow you to monitor what’s working with the local website of the company. You also need to understand what the national marketing of a franchise entails so it can be implemented on a local level.
Adding special touches to your local website can be a great way to stand out without diverting too far from the overall uniformity of the brand. Including reviews from local customers and specials that may only be available at specific locales are a great way to bring a local touch to the website.
Moreover, branding needs to be congruent across all channels. If your company has a catchphrase in a specific font, make sure it is used everywhere equally. Franchises shouldn’t disregard the unique elements that make your brand just because they are focused on local audiences. Bring the big picture of your national or international franchise to each local area through consistent messaging and cohesive visual style.
Here are some tips to keeping your branding consistent across all locations:
- Create a brand guide with policies and examples for maintaining visual consistency.
- Make a “best practices” resource that local franchises can use to their advantage.
- Make digital analytics your best friend. Track your “viewed” or “visited” statistics on Facebook, Instagram, and even email, to get data and relay that data to locals to give them an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Keeping all members of your company up to date through an official brand guide and a list of resourceful examples can help franchises – and franchisees – appeal simultaneously to local and global audiences.
For more tips on how to Achieve a more Cohesive Brand click the button below!
Use a Marketing Asset Management Tool
An all-in-one marketing management platform will give you a complete set of tools and templates that you can use to create a customized branding experience for your marketing team. Not only can you upload, edit, and share all of your different assets at once, but you can also create automated workflows which will work with your brand guidelines to maintain a brand identity while simultaneously creating new content. A marketing management platform is great for physical and digital marketing assets.
Our FuseBox One MAM also allows for a single sign-on solution that will give each franchisee the ability to access helpful marketing assets all in the same place. Upload specific, locally-tuned assets to a template that can be used, reused, and customized by each individual franchise.
This is the best way to keep all of your information in place while also managing brand cohesion among all different local areas. You can be as hands-on or hands-off as you need to be with each franchisee, who will be given everything they need to take local marketing strategies into their own hands.
Generate Leads Automatically
Lastly, a helpful source of information to guide franchises towards the best local advertising methods is with lead generation. Getting insights on local audience groups, as well as their social media behaviors and consumer habits, is good for optimizing a local advertising strategy.
FuseBox One offers list building as one of the automated tools within the MAM system to allow you to take localization trends even further. This process makes it possible to search for lists of consumers based on geolocation, target audience, phone operation details, consumer behavior, and much more. These lists are updated constantly and can be used dynamically with your planning strategies. This will also keep you closer to local trends, which may influence or evolve your marketing operations altogether.
Put Your Local Success on a Global Scale
Local success equates to global success. Any franchise company, whether operating within or without the country’s borders, needs an effective strategy that is fine-tuned to each local area of franchise. Beyond that, a consistent brand identity must be upheld while focusing on more local buyer needs. The best way to handle these operations effectively is with a marketing asset management system. This on-demand source gives you the tools you need to build, plan, customize, change, and distribute marketing creatives and assets.
Other Helpful Articles & Tools:
Marketing Operations & Sales Enablement Checklist
Marketing Asset Management eBook
Sales Enablement Resource Page