When it comes to local marketing, franchisees usually have to put in a lot of effort. Head office will often provide you with supporting tools and campaigns, at the end of the day, this is your business and your local market. You know the market best and to help you put together winning strategy we’ve put together 10 ways you can improve your local marketing efforts:
1. Monitor What Existing Customers Say
While that does sound a bit like “snooping,” it’s completely different. We’re referring to having someone in your company or a team responsible for monitoring what your clients (and other consumers) are saying about your brand on social media.
Yes, keeping track of what people say about your business on your social media pages is important, but you should go the extra mile.
There are numerous online tools and tips that can help you do that on platforms like Twitter and Facebook (among others). This way, you will be able to actively meet consumer demands at a local level since you’ll first and foremost know what they are.
2. Address Negative Reviews and Complaints ASAP
We know this doesn’t seem like a marketing tip at first, but it goes hand in hand with what we discussed at #1. Plus, how you deal with consumer criticism directly influences the success of your marketing campaigns and your market reach. Remember that 90% of consumers actually check online reviews before visiting a business, so knowing how to deal with negative feedback is paramount.
After all, as a franchisee, complaints are something you simply cannot neglect. We’ve already discussed how some people might view your brand now, and that’s a good a reason as any to make sure you have a dedicated team who knows how to handle dissatisfied customers.
Online complaints and negative reviews should be your main priority since they are the most visible nowadays (especially on Twitter). Keep in mind that around 1 million people view customer service-related Tweets each week, and approximately 80% of those Tweets are usually quite critical.
If you answer the complaints in a professional and courteous manner (and try to appease the clients in question with discounts or free items and such), people will be much more likely to interact with your marketing campaigns and promotions.
3. Take Advantage of the Local Chamber of Commerce
It’s surprising just how often franchisees neglect this aspect. More often than not, many of them fall into the trap of thinking they don’t have to bother with the local Chamber of Commerce since they have all the backup they need with the trademark they got the rights to.
But the reality is that the Chamber of Commerce can let you tap into more marketing potential for your business. Basically, it makes it easier for you to network locally with other businesses. It’s very likely that some of those businesses might even be interested in becoming your customers.
Alternatively, they might be likely to expose some of their client base to your products and services – especially if you do the same for them.
4. Become the Go-To Company in Your Niche
Without a doubt, one of the best ways a franchisee can leave a lasting impression on a community to generate more leads is by becoming an authority figure in their own domain.
By doing that, consumers will be more likely to trust you (especially if you discuss things related to local matters too), and other local businesses will be more likely to partner up with you on various occasions.
So, for instance, if you were a QSR (quick-service-restaurant) franchisee, you could have someone in your company run a blog where you offer readers tips on how to prepare food similar to yours at home.
Even better, you could organize cooking workshops hosted by your chefs where people could learn to make better food. Or even organize a workshop for people who are interested in starting their own QSR. Who knows, if a few do it and become rather successful, they might be likely to become a part of you and your franchisor’s brand.
These are just some basic ideas to help you better understand what we’re talking about, though. After all, there are plenty of possibilities.
Plus, the good news for someone like you in this situation is that the franchisor might be able to provide you with plenty of valuable info and data related to your niche to help get you started.
5. Develop a Loyalty Program
With a loyalty program, you’ll have an easier time turning customers into recurring, loyal clients and – ultimately – brand advocates. It’s just the tool a franchisee would need to increase profits, improve their marketing campaigns, and revamp the brand’s image on the market.
Now, we know that – sometimes – adopting a loyalty program can create a conflict between the franchisee and the franchisor (particularly if the franchisor doesn’t want to offer financial assistance with this).
Well, if that’s the case, the best way to find the middle ground is for both of you to focus on the benefits. After all, 86% of consumers who like a loyalty program are likely to spend more money – not to mention that around 58% of consumers think that a loyalty program that’s fully tailored to their needs is an amazing buying incentive.
If this is something that might interest you, please get in touch with us. We can provide you with the assistance and info you need, and offer you access to a turnkey, white-labeled loyalty platform that can also enhance your marketing efforts.
6. Support a Local Cause
One of the best way to get your franchisee business noticed by the local community (in a positive way, that is) is to support a local cause. A fundraiser, charity, homeless or animal shelter – they are all good options.
You can offer financial assistance or free products (if you’re a retail or restaurant business) for the cause. Either way, you’re very likely to enhance the image of the brand you represent this way, and even attract new customers.
In fact, you can even run promotions that emphasize that for each product people buy from you, you will donate a certain amount to a charity (of the client’s choice, if you want).
7. As a Franchisee, Always Attend Local Events
Besides supporting a local cause, you should also actively get involved in local events – be them festivals, street fairs, or holiday and town celebrations. Participating is always a good idea, but you should also see if your business can get involved in the organization process.
After all, a local event is an excellent opportunity to market your business and the brand you now represent. Having a stand where people can learn more about your services and products (and pay for them too) will work in your favor.
Better yet, if you choose to implement a loyalty program like we previously discussed, you can actually offer customers a chance to sign up for it during such an event. This way, you get more clients and the possibility to turn them into loyal customers as well.
8. Get in Touch with the Local Media
You should never be afraid to tap into the power of local newspapers, magazines, and TV stations. In fact, you should always have somebody in your company who is responsible for reaching out to local media outlets, and sending over relevant news and information about your business.
If you want to be more creative, you can try inviting members of the local press over and offer them access to some perks. For example, if you’re a restaurant franchisee, you can provide them with a free three-course lunch or a free fancy dinner held in their name.
9. Implement a Referral Program
A referral program can help you attract more valuable costumers – especially if they’re referred by loyal clients. Plus, a referred customer is 4 times more likely to buy from you.
Overall, it’s a very efficient marketing tool since it’s not only engaging for customers but also quite profitable for you.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ll be happy to know that our platform will soon feature referral program features too.
10. Invest in Localized SEO
Even if you already have an SEO strategy, it’s important to make sure you show up in local results besides the general search engine results. This way, you’ll be targeting exactly the customers your business needs.
You’ll be able to market your services and products to interested consumers exactly when they’re looking for them. And the investment will definitely pay off in the long run, as local SEO is usually timely and accurate.
We’re Happy to Hear Your Suggestions Too
If you’re a franchisee and have your own tips to offer, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. And remember to share this article if you know anyone who’d really benefit from reading it.