10 Best Ways To Promote & Market Your Franchise
For franchise businesses, marketing and promotion play a critical role in raising brand awareness, generating leads, and driving growth. As a franchisee, your marketing strategy will likely involve a mix of both local promotions and support from your franchisor’s national marketing programs. Here are 10 of the best ways to promote and market your specific franchise location to local customers.
1. Use Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer cost-effective ways to promote your franchise and connect with local customers. Create business profiles for each major channel and post regularly about promotions, new products and services, store happenings, customer testimonials, and industry news. Engage with followers by responding to comments and questions promptly. Schedule posts in advance to maintain a consistent publishing cadence. Optimize your profiles, posts, and ad campaigns with relevant keywords, images, and calls to action.
2. Improve Franchise SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps drive more organic web traffic from search engines like Google to your franchise’s website. Conduct a Franchise SEO audit to identify and fix issues that lower your rankings, and implement ongoing optimization strategies like optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and content with relevant local keywords. Ask customers, partners, and others to link to your franchise’s official website from their sites to boost backlinks. Regularly refresh and add new, keyword-optimized content to push your rankings higher and increase organic traffic over time.
3. Launch Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail still works for franchise businesses, mainly when you target specific customer segments or demographics. Design and send postcards, brochures, flyers, coupons, and mailers that showcase featured deals, seasonal promotions, rewards program information, and other marketing messages related to your franchise. Collect customer data to create targeted mail campaigns based on purchase history, geography, or other relevant factors. Measure the effectiveness of each campaign and improve upon direct mail strategies that deliver the highest response rates.
4. Distribute Branded Collateral
Distributing branded swag and collateral with your franchise’s name and logo helps spread brand awareness and drive interest from potential customers. Items like branded pens, mugs, tote bags, shirts, and hats give your customers something to use daily that acts as walking billboards. Make sure any branded collateral you give away effectively promotes your message, location, and contact information so recipients are encouraged to engage with your franchise in the future. Focus on high-traffic areas and events where distribution will reach your target audience.
5. Use Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing through an automation platform allows you to systematically build customer loyalty, re-engage past customers and promote special offers to your subscriber list. Create a funnel of targeted email messages that are sent automatically based on subscriber behavior and actions. Include various calls-to-action to drive results like newsletter subscriptions, coupon redemptions, online reviews, and more. Test different email marketing strategies to find the combination of frequency, timing, formatting, and copy that generates the highest response and conversion rates.
6. Leverage The Franchisor’s Programs
Many franchisors offer their franchisees access to valuable national marketing and advertising programs meant to support and grow local franchise locations. Take advantage of initiatives like media advertising, mass emails, customer loyalty platforms, cooperative advertising funds, and public relations support provided by your franchisor. Participate in any marketing plans or promotions mandated by the franchisor to benefit from brand exposure across all locations. And communicate your local franchise marketing needs to your franchisor so they can potentially offer additional support.
7. Run Photo/Video Campaigns
Visual content in the form of photos and videos brings your franchise to life for potential and current customers in a compelling way. Create a library of high-quality images that showcase everything from your storefront and interior spaces to staff, products, promotions, and happy customers. Produce short videos featuring customer testimonials, how-to guides, and behind-the-scenes footage. Distribute content across your social media profiles, website, and other marketing channels with descriptors that include relevant keywords and calls to action. Measure engagement rates to determine what visual styles and topics resonate most.
8. Offer Loyalty Rewards Programs
Implementing a customer loyalty rewards program is a powerful way to retain existing customers and encourage repeat and incremental business. The program can offer incentives like points for each dollar spent that can be redeemed for free items or discounts on future purchases. Send rewards program communication via email, direct mailers, social media, and your website. Track engagement and reward redemptions closely to determine if your program is effectively changing customer behavior and driving more revenue. Make regular offerings of exclusive deals and opportunities to earn bonuses to keep customers actively engaged.
9. Hold Special Events
Hosting special events by your franchise location provides attendees with a fun, interactive experience while promoting your brand and services. Options include family days with kids’ activities, seasonal celebrations, grand openings, customer appreciation parties, and product demonstrations. Invite current and prospective customers by leveraging your email list, mailing addresses, and social media followers. Capture email addresses and other customer details from event attendees to follow up with exclusive offers. And make a good first impression on new customers by putting your best marketing foot forward at these events.
10. Leverage Word-Of-Mouth
One of the best forms of marketing for any franchise comes through positive word-of-mouth from loyal and happy customers. Focus your overall marketing strategy on delivering exceptional customer experiences that leave customers so satisfied, they become your own personal promoters and advertisers. Treat every customer interaction – in-store, by phone, and online – as an opportunity to make a lasting positive impression. Follow up with customers who make complaints to turn negatives into positives. And capture testimonials from raving fans that you can then share across your marketing channels.