When you own a franchise business, local store marketing can be a major stumbling block. Brands sometimes balk at the granular level of work that local store marketing demands, while franchise owners can be scared off by the resources and patience required for local campaigns.
But local marketing shouldn’t be a challenge for franchise locations, and these days, it doesn’t have to be. As more and more customers turn to their phones and their laptops for brand research and purchasing decisions, new streams have made local marketing easier and more cost-effective for brands and franchisees alike. By harnessing a mix of digital and traditional strategies for local store marketing, franchise locations can turn the local marketing challenge into a major opportunity.
Digital Local Store Marketing Streams
Whether you run a restaurant, an auto service center, or a cleaning service, your customers are trying to find you online. These days, the majority of customers rely on the internet to discover local businesses and research purchasing decisions. That has opened up major opportunities for brands and franchisees alike, offering new, cost-effective streams for targeting and capturing local customers.
- Local SEO: Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of any local digital marketing strategy, and it’s one of the most cost-effective local marketing strategies for brands to incorporate into their national marketing budget.
- Local Listings Management: Keeping your local store information accurate across search engines is crucial for when customers are looking up your business online. Local listing management work can be conducted cooperatively at the brand level or locally by locations. However, most brands find that there is synergy by managing local listings at the brand level.
- Social Media: Social media is a great tool for franchisees to incorporate into their local store marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking to respond directly to customers or get the word out about your latest promotion, social media platforms can be invaluable.
- Targeted Ads: Geo-targeted ads are an excellent way to zero-in on your target customers and can be incorporated into national campaigns, allowing brands to show ads only in the vicinity of local stores.
Of course, local store marketing efforts can also incorporate other methods to reach local audiences. Businesses can also get active in their local communities by sponsoring sports teams, local schools, and popular events to give back and create a local presence.
Be Cohesive with National & Local Marketing
When marketing for local stores, brands should create a cohesive strategy that allows local stores to harness the brand awareness generated by national campaigns. That means taking a long, hard look at which aspects of local marketing brands can perform better on the national level and then giving franchisees the information and resources they need to use those efforts as a springboard for their own, individual efforts.
This might mean a brand-wide effort to optimize your franchisees’ websites for local search, then creating templated materials for local campaigns. It could mean creating opt-in promotions for franchisees, then supporting participating locations with locally-optimized paid search campaigns. Or it might mean coordinated social media campaigns designed to amplify national marketing efforts on a local level.
For franchisees, it means evaluating how far your brand’s national marketing efforts can take you, then looking for the smartest, most cost-effective ways to build on those efforts in your local market. Remember that local store marketing is typically a long-haul operation — one that requires tenacity and patience to pay off. But whether you’re capturing first-time customers through a new promotion, building your local presence by sponsoring a Little League team, or helping your customers find you by building your brand’s local search presence, the results are worth it.
Local store marketing is a breeze for brands and franchisees alike when they choose Qiigo. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 and find out how you can unlock your brand’s local potential with a comprehensive digital game plan.