What Digital Marketing Mistakes Your Franchise May Be Making

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analysis of franchise marketing

Whether it's your overall online strategy or that of your latest digital marketing campaign, mistakes are easy to make:

Digital marketing for a small business is different to that of a franchisee within a larger franchise. It's important that your individual franchisees know that.

As the franchise owner, you will want to make sure you aren't making any of these common digital marketing mistakes:

1) Your brand is inconsistent

A cohesive brand is perhaps even more vital for a franchise than other kinds of business. After all, one of the major reasons consumers choose you is because they know they can rely on the quality of the goods or services you provide to be the same – no matter where they are in the world.

Problems arise when your branding looks visually different in different places. Or when special offers you provide in one area aren't the same as those in another.

No matter where your branding appears – online, in your physical marketing, in your store locations – it should be:

  • Coherent
  • Up-to-date
  • Professional

Potential franchisees looking to buy a franchise will – consciously or not – want to see evidence of this. This will require that you have smart branding guidelines set up and explained to each new franchisee.

It also means you can't afford to skimp on creating high-quality branded materials – or on having them created for you.

2) Your franchisees compete against each other

If each of your franchises is running their own digital marketing campaign, even the most well-meaning will start to see their efforts overlap. They may even drive up the price of pay-per-click advertising or the paid advertising options on social media.

Their organic SEO efforts will also be harmed by competing directly against each other on keywords – especially if they are in similar areas.

Solutions for this problem include:

  • Organising all of your campaigns centrally. This will usually involve a centralised franchise marketing fund.
  • Micro-sites for all of your franchise locations built into your main website. This improves your local presence and reach, which are vital for improving your local SEO...

3) You are ignoring your SEO

Larger franchisees who have a well-regarded name often tend to rely on that name more than they should.

If you are a smaller franchise, this is a big opportunity. Because modern internet users tend to search for products and services in all kinds of ways. Choose smart keywords and you might be able to jump ahead.

Any professional online marketing services you are working with should also be telling you how important it is that your SEO strategy includes the creation of interesting, high-quality content which offers value to your audience.

This can be a challenge for franchises because they have multiple locations. But content is still king. It's likely to remain so long into the future.

4) You are not being transparent

Transparency is increasingly vital in a world where any consumer can – with a little effort – research everything you and anyone else in the world are saying about your brand.

This means you shouldn't try to conceal times when things weren't so good. Honesty goes a long way to building trust. And trust is essential if you want people to buy from you.

5) You do not show proof of your quality

You can show off proof of the quality you offer in several ways:

  • Apply to enter every franchise competition to gain awards
  • Apply to join major accreditation schemes in your industry
  • Add those badges of trust and accreditation to all your online listings
  • Look for any other outreach opportunities (an internal team or professional franchise PR company might be necessary for this)

Finally, never underestimate the importance of reviews. If you're looking to recruit more franchisee prospects, video testimonials from existing franchisees are incredibly powerful

The same goes for written reviews of your products and services. Collect them, respond to them and thank the reviewers.

Even the most effective digital marketing campaign needs to be supported by an impression of quality when consumers click through and find you.

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