Franchise business owners and marketers know there's a lot that goes into running the business - and even more that goes into franchise marketing.
You're attempting to market to different segments of the population and multiple locations, some of which are spread across the country or even the globe. Trying to market your business correctly can be a daunting task, which is why more and more franchise marketing professionals are turning to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a system of marketing that focuses heavily on making sure that your marketing campaigns are precise, measured, tracked, and have a high return on investment (ROI). The theory here is that customers are already looking for you - and inbound marketing helps them find you. Inbound-focused franchise marketing helps to connect quality leads to the content you're producing and gives you the analytics and tools you need to replicate the same level of success across multiple markets.
Inbound and franchise marketing aren't traditional bedfellows, but when you combine the two, you get a match made in heaven. We've prepared some strategies that can help you leverage your inbound and franchise marketing strategies to help your business take off.
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: planning and metrics are everything.
This is true regardless of what kind of business you're running, but it's especially true for inbound franchise marketing. Before you launch your inbound marketing strategy, do some planning, and make sure you get some baseline metrics so that you measure success. Get metrics for the main company accounts and business, as well as separate metrics for each individual location.
Start with a plan, know which metrics you'll be testing for, and make sure you have good analytics systems in place so that you can easily run reports and monitor your progress.
Guidelines over restrictions: The power of your local community
Traditionally, franchise marketing has been a top-heavy enterprise, with 100% of the marketing coming from corporate. Franchisees typically have little to no control over marketing or local websites.
But a tight grip on marketing doesn't lend itself well to inbound marketing. A better approach is to loosen the restrictions a little and let individual franchisees get involved in their local community. To mitigate possible mistakes and to ensure that there is overall brand continuity, you should absolutely still provide vigilant oversight and guidelines. But instead of simply handing down the marketing plan, get your franchisees excited about what you're doing. Get them on board with your strategy and share with them the importance of continuity.
Community involvement is an often under-utilized aspect to franchise marketing. Customers are far more likely to choose a business they know has a social responsibility and is active in the communities they live and work in. Getting involved in local communities such as sponsoring charities, getting involved in job and business fairs, and sponsoring events are just a few of the great ways you can encourage your franchisees to get involved in location-based franchise marketing.
One of the best ways to do this is to create individual websites for each location. This is a great place for location-specific content. This will help boost your SEO metrics and make sure your local customers are more likely to find you.
If you're in business today, you know that social media is a crucial aspect of running a business. There are plenty of ways to make these social platforms work for you. From answering customer questions to promoting new products, social media is a great way to connect to your audience and build your brand. Social media presence is a vital part of a successful inbound marketing strategy.
When it comes to franchise marketing, one way that you can boost your overall ROI and increase your conversions is to provide your franchisees with their own social media accounts or hashtags. This will help you reach your targeted local markets and contribute to higher quality leads.
Evaluate, Adjust, Advance
As you implement your franchise marketing strategy and start shifting to an inbound focus, remember to consistently check in with your metrics. Each market where your franchise locations operate is different. Evaluate your data, adjust if necessary, and watch your business grow.