Grow your franchise or multi location business with these local marketing tips.
One of my favorite business models to market is franchises and multi location businesses. Their challenges for reaching local markets can be way different from your typical mom and pop shop. The rewards for getting it right can also be significantly different, thanks to their ability to scale.
Understanding the local marketing challenges for franchises means that you can maximize the opportunities, generating more cash flow for the franchisor and the franchisee (#winning).
Local SEO Basics for Franchise Businesses
There are two main focus points for franchises that I generally hit first.
- How their website is optimized for local customer experiences
- Their local presence on the web off of their website (everything other than their site)
These two areas can have a massive impact on foot traffic and phone calls (aka cash flow) for franchise and multi location businesses. They also happen to be massively ignored areas for franchise marketing strategies. Why? Because there’s usually pressure for franchisors to provide support in up and coming marketing tactics, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook (read more about local businesses and Facebook ads). While those tools can drive revenue, a strong local SEO strategy is an investment that pays dividends when maintained.
Optimizing Your Franchise Website for Local Customers
Most local customers are searching for a few primary topics when it comes to local businesses:
- Phone number
- Photos (especially for event/hospitality based businesses)
- Hours of operation
Optimizing your website for each franchise location means that, at a minimum, you can answer these questions for your potential customers. Creating unique content for each location can also help your website stand out in search results. This generally shows a local knowledge and tailors your experience for your specific market.
Claiming, Optimizing, and Controlling Your Local Franchise Data
When you launch your business, data about it is made public. Data scrapers and data aggregates collect this information and spread it even further than your state’s business directory. This is why when you search for your business, you often find it listed in places you have never even touched. Franchisees are often surprised to find out that their business data is published incorrectly.
This incorrect data causes issues with:
- Customer experiences (wrong directions, wrong phone number, incorrect business hours, etc)
- Local online optimization (same issues above, but Google struggles with it instead)
Taking control of this data, optimizing it, and managing it helps expand the local marketing efforts for franchise locations significantly. Correct data puts your business in the right position to succeed locally by sending strong brand signals to search engines, and the most accurate information to your customers.
This is how you set up a strong experience online and in store for your business locations.