When owning a franchise, it is easy to fall into a pattern of posting the occasional flyer and a sharing on social media a couple times a week and think that it’s enough. The question is, is it working?
It’s always smart to take a step back and assess what you’re currently doing. Take the time to see what’s working, what can be improved and if there’s any gaps in your plan. Remember, Local Area Marketing (LAM) is different from a typical marketing approach; you are targeting a specific region of consumers. With this type of marketing comes a designated strategy. We’ve put together a list of key areas that are frequently overlooked when your local area marketing just isn’t working for you.
Is your marketing on-brand?
Owning a franchise is different than owning a singular small business. Oftentimes, franchises are local small businesses, but they are part of a larger brand. One of the key mistakes that franchisees can make is by going off brand with cheap offers that devalue the brand or by creating advertising that customers don’t recognise as the business.
It is important to follow guidelines that your Head Office has set to ensure that your customers recognise you and value your product or service. To streamline your marketing, engage with products such as Digital Stack that have user-friendly templates that are pre-designed and branded for your business. Digital Stack can host template formats such as email, TV, social media, video, Google and print, allowing for a consistent branding approach. You can then benefit from the brand recognition your local consumers have likely already formed.
Is your GoogleMyBusiness profile optimized?
It is true that consumers have formed an increased reliance on Google and other search engines to aid in their buyers journey. Knowing this can be beneficial when adjusting your local area marketing strategy. Statistically speaking, 46% of searches on Google have local intent and 58% of people search for a local business on their smartphone daily.
It is evident that consumers are looking online before visiting your franchise, but how can this knowledge change the way you market. The answer lies in utilizing the undervalued tool of GoogleMyBusiness (GMB). Make sure to have all the correct information listed on your Google listing page. Then use a platform to manage any promotional efforts you want listed beneath this general information. Digital Stack offers an integration with GMB to allow direct posting to your Google listing page. This will allow you to show branded promotions for anyone searching for your business, and well, we know they are looking!
Is your target audience engaging with your social media pages?
Much like Google, consumers are looking to social media before visiting your franchise as well. Consistency and engagement play vital roles in how a prospective or current consumer will view your business. If you’re posting on Facebook and Instagram a couple of times a month and notice that your engagement is low, there are a few things you can do to increase your platform reach and see a drastic improvement.
- Check the analytics to ensure that you’re targeting the right audience. In LAMs, you are focusing on a specific group.
Are your followers coming from the desired city or zip code for your product or service?
Are they online when you’re posting?
Are you posting on the right platforms for your desired audience?
- Are you posting enough? Consistency is key and you want to always be at the forefront of a customer’s mind.
- Include links in your posts to make it easier for customers to enquire with you or purchase a product.
Are your customers leaving you reviews?
Reviews are one of the most underrated lead generation tools and the best part is that it is completely free! In fact, 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. These can serve as referrals for local businesses, and consumers acknowledge this as a trusted source. Likewise, they help you get noticed, improve your google search ranking and can ultimately generate leads that turn into sales.
When it comes to reviews, don’t be afraid to ask! Start by asking your regular customers who love your product or service and they’ll usually be happy to jump online and leave you a fantastic review for all your potential new customers to see.
Let’s not just leave it there though. Your reviews can then be used as testimonials for social media posts. These types of posts always generate good engagement and exposure for your business. If you’re currently using Digital Stack, see if your account already has access to testimonial templates to use – if not, pop through a special request to have them designed!
Are you giving back to the community?
Local area marketing isn’t always just about lead generation. It is also about getting your brand out there in the local community and having them become aware of who you are, what you stand for and simply just giving back to those who always support you. Look into local fundraisers, sporting events, school fetes and community outreach programs that you can get involved in. Your business will have a newfound respect in the community and word of mouth will bring in those leads you’re after.
So how did you go? Could you tick off all key areas for your business? If not, lock in a time to sit down, review your current local area marketing plan and put together a strong strategy – just in time for the new year!