Continuity Is Key: 5 Tips for Syncing Up Your Multi-Location Franchise Marketing Plan
August 13th, 2015 by
To the Small Business/Franchise Owner Interested in Growth:
You have started a business and are considering an expansion, which will include another location (or several)! In doing so, you’ve been able to achieve what many people only dream of doing. You’re reaping the rewards and ready for more, so what do you do next with this new intent to further grow your business?
You probably have hundreds of things on your business “to-do list,” but be careful not to lose sight of your online marketing efforts along the way. After all, 97 percent of consumers search online for products and services, according to SCORE, a U.S. Small Business Administration-supported nonprofit association. Although 51 percent of small businesses have websites, many are not built for success. Simply put, the success of a business can depend on the success of its online marketing strategy. Therefore, while you may be concerned with all of the logistics of expanding, you must remember to analyze your current marketing and understand how to evolve your strategy with regards to the changing business environment.
Small businesses have great potential to benefit from localized advertising and franchise marketing. Several factors are to be considered when expanding your marketing strategy across multiple locations with regards to SEO for small business, Internet franchise opportunities, and more.
Timing (Is Everything)
As with your decision to open a new franchise location, the timing of your release of marketing initiatives is crucial. If your marketing efforts are out of sync, you can easily confuse potential customers about your brand and the logistics of your new operation. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself about the timing of your Internet marketing efforts:
•Are your locations on different schedules?
•Is the seasonality of one business different than another? For example, if you work in retail, will one store have a stronger focus for the holiday season?
•Does one location exist in a space where certain holidays or events are celebrated that have lesser (general) importance? For example, if you operate a clothing store in Baton Rouge and want to open a new location in New Orleans, you have to consider adding merchandise and respective advertising for events like Red Dress Run, White Linen Night, and of course, Mardi Gras.
Implement Franchise Social Media at the Local Level
Whether it was a part of your previous local business Internet marketing efforts or you’re new to promoting your business on social media, it is important to create and maintain a social media strategy as your business grows and you build more locations. From there, you can manage your growing business and make sure the right people are seeing you throughout their daily routine on their platform of choice, and you can investigate the Ads Managers available to your business. Keep these questions in mind while you consider what role social media plays in franchise SEO for your business expansion:
•Do your multiple locations all warrant the same type of social media coverage?
•Do you have to create a new Facebook page for your new location, or can your posts promote all of your locations at once with the same content?
•Is one platform suited for all of your audiences, or does your new location/venture speak to a different client base that may be better reached another way?
Consistency Across Platforms
In addition to social media, it is important to make sure you provide marketing coverage for your business across all of your existing channels. Maybe your new location is something you want to push a little harder, so you might decide to purchase an outdoor advertising package or a television ad spot! No matter what marketing channels you use, do not lose sight of your original message. Don’t get so caught up in your expansion that you lose your brand and unique identity. Make sure that, no matter the platform, whether it’s traditional or digital media, you are consistent in your output.
Content Marketing Strategy
During this tumultuous time that could possibly make or break your brand, it is crucial to produce fresh, up-to-date content with a consistent message across all of your media channels. More eyes will be on you during the first few weeks (even months) of your new location, so soak up that limelight and wow them with fresh and captivating content! Keep in mind “content relevance.” For example, if your new location attracts a different type of customer, even a slightly different type, think about the sort of content that will spark their interests the most. Research the latest trends in your industry and see what they’re suggesting you write about or how you present yourself. Always remember: the medium is the message!
Build Solid Relationships
You’ve done it from the very start of your business, and it continues to be important as your business grows. Networking never goes out of style. As your business grows and you expand your marketing across multiple platforms, remember to keep spreading the word about your brand! Of course, if your brand is well-established already, people may be excited enough that they will come to your additional location without question. But some may require more convincing. Therefore, don’t neglect the relationships and connections you’ve made throughout the life of your business, as they can prove useful in helping to promote your newest venture.
Want to make sure you attract customers online for your expanding business or franchise? When it comes to online marketing solutions for multi-location businesses and franchises, trust the experts at Search Influence. For example, a Search Influence franchise client with more than 160 locations saw a more than 85 percent increase in total website traffic and an increase of more than 135 percent in total organic (unpaid) website traffic. This website traffic increase resulted from just two years of online marketing efforts. To translate that to dollars, revenue generated from organic website traffic increased by 65 percent. If you would like to see these results across your own business, contact us today to get started with a new, successful strategy to online marketing with Search Influence.