A free hand to franchisees can boost your franchise brand marketing! Here’s why and how
Whether you’re a franchisor, a franchisee, or simple observer of the franchise market, you know all too well that franchisor-franchisee relationships can be both complex and challenging, ranging from totally harmonious to wretchedly disastrous.
More often that not, the main reason for franchise disenchantment is inadequate marketing and sales lead generation support from their franchisor.
In our experience, while franchisors are not opposed to leverage franchisees’ local marketing initiatives, they just don’t know how to empower them in a cost-efficient manner that would not interfere with their global franchise brand marketing strategy. Hence, corporate teams are often lured to investing in generic, top-down marketing campaigns.
Read on to find out how you can effectively solve this franchise marketing conundrum with easily actionable solutions that pave the way for long term, profitable franchisor/franchisee relationships.
Local search is paramount to franchisee sales
If you have doubts about the importance of local sales, consider the following figures. Nearly half of all Google inquiries are local searches, and nearly two thirds of U.S. consumers use tablets and smartphones to search for local products and services, often visiting local businesses soon thereafter. Google last year announced that local searches result in 50 percent of mobile users to visit stores within one day.
However, despite the importance of local digital marketing for franchisee success, there is a palpable franchisee/franchisor divide when it comes to effective online marketing solutions. Once on board, franchisees often end up disenchanted with their online presence.
Franchisees are increasingly calling for digital marketing tools
In a study conducted by SeoSamba of 250 franchises, nearly half of franchisees cannot blog or update their local website- essential drivers of customer engagement and business growth.
In fact, nearly one third of franchisees polled have no online presence at all on their franchisor’s website. And in cases where franchisees do have website representation, nearly two thirds of these sites are place in imperfect subfolders.
Extract from upcoming 2018 Franchise Retail Digital Marketing Report
Franchisees are increasingly calling for digital marketing tools that make their web presence shine. That means vibrant, content-rich websites that target local consumers.
It also means ecommerce-enabled sites with a centralized product catalogue, sustained by a localized search engine optimization strategy—for example, geo-targeting registration in local directories, including Google My Business.
And a strong mobile presence is also invaluable these days for any franchise digital marketing plan.
That’s because a growing number of consumers are searching for, and purchasing, local products and services on their mobile devices. Google says that mobile devices account for over one third of online purchases. And the tech news outlet Venture Beat predicts that 70 percent of digital advertising will come from mobile ads by 2019.
Mobile is a straightforward answer to complex local marketing issues
Google responded to this shift in April 2015 by unleashing “mobilegeddon,” a search-ranking algorithm that favors mobile friendly pages on its mobile search results. Scores of businesses were caught off guard with non-responsive mobile sites that were incompatible with mobile devices. Companies large and small suffered huge reductions in internet traffic and sales. Many franchises still struggle to catch up today.
The good news for franchises trying expand their business is that going mobile is easy. It’s also fast and inexpensive. You just need a streamlined process and the correct digital tools to adequately respond to the ever-increasing shift toward mobile.
SeoSamba’s exclusive, mobile-friendly content management system, SeoToaster, features responsive mobile templates and themes so that your customers can browse your website as they normally would on a desktop computer. Additionally, franchises can easily detect mobile-specific errors thanks to Google Webmaster Tools’ integration with SeoSamba’s digital marketing platform.
Extract from upcoming 2018 Franchise Retail Digital Marketing Report
Social marketing automation promotes your brand at both global and local levels
Social marketing is another tool that the best franchises use effectively to engage franchisees and the local communities they serve. Why? Building dedicated online communities, and engaging them with social posts in addition to blog and news posts, is a reliable way of attracting new customers and keeping them loyal to your brand. Besides, search engines love updates that blogs or local news posts provide because they are drawn to fresh content.
So it might come as a surprise that many franchises fall far short of today social marketing standards. Our study found, for example, that more than a third of franchises hadn’t posted fresh content on their Facebook pages in the previous month. And nearly half of the franchises surveyed are all but nonexistent on Twitter. Further, more than half of franchises create little or no content in the form of blog posts and local news.
Deliver both immediate and exponential results
Again, SeoSamba can quickly get your franchise caught up to speed by helping franchisees create professional pages on each social media outlet, while also automating social marketing throughout the network.
Our all-in-one marketing platform, SambaSaas, also helps franchises post to unlimited social accounts, and it integrates seamlessly with global and local sites. Our ability to provide SEO continuity across all accounts will also give you the social firepower needed to make your multi-site franchise network stand out among the competition.
And with SeoToaster ultimate edition, our integrated CMS/CART/CRM system, franchises can quickly and easily create news, press releases and blogs, while automatically optimizing their content, managing contacts and automating email follow ups. This user-friendly, out-of-the-box platform is bound to boost your franchises’ inbound links, click-through rates and visitor engagement.
These digital tools and strategies are the essential ingredients of any successful marketing strategy, perhaps the most important topic a franchise will address. Possessing digital marketing savvy is not longer just an option—it’s a prerequisite to success in an ever-expanding digital marketplace.
About SeoSamba Franchise Brand Marketing
SeoSamba is the franchise marketing automation software platform to build, manage and optimize websites for top franchise marketing performance.
SeoSamba’s franchise brand network marketing packages are designed to outperform local and national competitors in order to generate local leads for your franchisees.
SeoSamba’s brand solutions benefits include;
- Managing the entire network with a centralized set of best practices;
- Broadcasting locally targeted content with one click;
- Posting to blogs across your entire franchise network;
- Posting social updates across your entire franchise local network's social walls and pages
- Sending email newsletters to local contacts stored in individual franchisees CRM's
- Hosting websites near a franchisee’s location while targeting local keywords and building geo-specific SEO rules
- Adapted interfaces and functionalities to various franchisees cohorts sophistication level
- Continuously optimizing newly created content for top search engine performances
- Routing contacts, assigning tags, following through the sales cycle stage, enrolling leads into a follow up email sequence, creating follow up task to the appropriate staff member, all the way to online quotes, and payment collection right from their website.
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About the author
Omnivorous mammal & SEO Samba CEO, I'm a regular speaker at search engine marketing conferences around the world, including Search Engine Strategies London & New York, and a contributor to a number of publications, including Website Magazine, and Feedfront Magazine. I enjoy strategy, coaching, and motivating both customers & staff.