Digital marketing is a broad term that refers to various strategies and techniques deployed to reach customers via digital technologies. It includes a variety services and marketing tactics that use the Internet as its main promotional medium.
Digital marketing is often times used synonymously with the term “Internet Marketing”, but in actuality the processes differ in the fact that digital marketing is considered to be more targeted, measurable and interactive.
When it comes to developing a marketing strategy for your local franchise business, you have more hurdles to work around than most local business owners. You need to consider how your online marketing efforts will affect other franchisees, as well as restrictions placed on you at the corporate level. Before you initiate any type of marketing strategy, it’s important to determine the types of marketing practices that are allowed or preferred by the franchisor.
Whether you’re a solo franchisee or a multi-location franchisor, you probably have felt the shift over the past handful of years. What shift are we talking about? We’re talking about how people make buying decisions. 80% of the research is done before people reach out to your local franchise or your sales team selling your opportunity.
If you have a local franchise business and are trying to generate new customers or clients, it will be very difficult to do so if they don’t know you exist, know little or nothing about you, have no idea where you are located or how they might do business with you. Building a properly developed website for your local franchise business is a critical component to establishing an online presence and should be your primary area of focus as you begin your local online marketing journey. While it is important how your website looks, it is even more important how it works. The objective is not to “look cool”, but rather to allow people looking for your type of goods or services, your prospective customers and clients, to easily find you and learn something about your business and how you can help them.
More often than not, franchisees need to address local online marketing, as the franchisor is focusing on promoting the company on a national level. Regardless of the franchise looked at, a large number of franchisees are not happy with the marketing support they receive from the franchisor. A successful franchise marketing budget should allocate a portion to focus on local online marketing, and not just advertising within a region (as less than 2% of local businesses think pay per click advertising is effective). The messaging needs to be tailored to the region, while considering the area’s demographics and culture and fit into the dynamics of franchise brand control and local franchisee enablement, which is no small feat.
To better understand the best path to a successful local franchise marketing strategy, check out our most recent franchise marketing article: SEO for Franchise Businesses – What is the Best Strategy for Local Search? . The article explores how multi-unit enterprises and franchises can work together to develop a strong local online marketing program and narrow the widening gap between corporate control and the local franchise owner’s need for lead generation and business growth.