Online shopping may have skyrocketed recently, but overall, people still make most of their purchases in person — even if that means picking up curbside. And there are some things, like hot food and drink, that you can’t have delivered by Amazon Prime (yet). But just because people may be physically walking into your location to make their purchases doesn’t mean that they didn’t find your location online.
That’s why digital marketing can be a valuable tool to find new customers and retain them. The success of your digital marketing efforts could make or break your location’s success in the long term.
Increase Your Location’s Visibility
Digital marketing can make your franchise location appear in the top five search returns for popular search engines, which can make all the difference when it comes to making customers aware of your existence. That’s because most people don’t bother to click through to the second page of search results, or even to investigate the links at the bottom of the page. If you want customers in your area to know you’ve opened a new franchise location, digital marketing can help make them aware.
Of course, you’ll get advertising support from your corporate office, but that’s not going to help customers searching for your business type in your area. When you invest in digital marketing for franchisees, you can get structured data embedded in your location’s website or microsite, which will give search engines more detailed information about your location and services. It can, for example, specify your franchise location’s business type, services offered, location, five-star rating from reviews, price range, operating hours, and more. That way, when potential customers search for services in your area, they’ll be more likely to see your location in their top search results. They’ll also have instant access to pricing information, reviews and ratings, and data about whether your location is currently open.
Strengthen Customer Relationships With Strong Engagement
Of course, digital marketing is a way to become a trusted small business and build customer relationships with strong engagement. When today’s customers make purchasing decisions, they’re basing them on much more than just brand loyalty or even the quality or reputation of the products and services in question. They want to feel like they’re supporting a business that shares their values, and they want to feel seen and respected by local businesses and franchises alike.
A digital marketing strategy that includes a strong social media component can drive the high levels of customer engagement that most businesses need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. It’s no longer enough to rely on your brand recognition and corporate support when operating a franchise — especially not when you’re competing with other franchise locations under the same brand umbrella, and customers can just as easily drive a little farther for products they like better or service that suits them more.
Your business social media profiles are a venue where you can engage with customers, addressing concerns in a polite and professional manner, sharing valuable content that customers will find relevant, and building a sense of community around your franchise location. You can share photos of your staff and location, videos and updates about promotional and other events at your location, and even pictures of regular customers enjoying your location. Customers are more likely to keep returning to your location when they feel like they’re being treated right there, and social media offers you plenty of opportunities to treat customers right, whether it’s responding professionally to a negative review, answering customer messages, or engaging with customer comments on a post.
Digital marketing can be a huge boon when you’re running and kind of business — even a franchise. While you’re required to adhere to your brand guidelines, you can still benefit from digital marketing to drive traffic to your website, social media users, and in-person business to your location. It’s a valuable tool that can help you compete with other franchise locations under your brand umbrella, as well as other local competitors, so you can optimize your revenues and get the best possible returns out of operating your franchise. With a little help from an SEO services professional, you’ll soon be seeing upticks in business that could spell long-term success for your franchise location.