How to use digital to boost revenue from your franchise
A franchise business is like a tree – the tree trunk is the parent company, and each branch coming out from the tree is a franchised location. Each franchise is unique, and just like the branches of a tree all have the ability to absorb enough sunlight without competing with each other, each branch of the company is in a unique position to market their location without competing with the other locations.
Because search engines like Google favor local businesses in terms of providing relevant results to users based on their zip code (thanks to personalized search), it’s much easier for franchise owners to reach their local market without having to compete with their corporate parent.
Why own a franchise?
Owning a franchise can be a great path to financial independence for those who want to start a business, and the benefits are numerous. Owning a franchise eliminates a lot of hard work involved in the process of creating a business from the ground up. For one, the brand is already established, and because of that, they have the power to negotiate better prices for you when it comes to buying supplies, equipment, and even renting your location.
If you haven’t looked into this possibility yet, this is how to buy a franchise, and includes information on the important questions to ask before committing to buying a franchise.
If you’ve already purchased a franchise and are looking for ways to boost your marketing efforts, here are some helpful tips for you:
1. Create a website for your franchise
Your franchise might already be listed as a location on the corporate website. But if you don’t have a website dedicated to your specific location, you’re missing out on deep marketing possibilities. Provided your contract allows you to create an independent website, you’ll want to do that right away.
When you own and control your own website, even if it’s just a single page that you create on a free platform, owning that page gives you the ability to market like a pro. That’s because marketing like a pro requires you to be able to track data by installing custom software on your website. If you don’t own the website, you can’t install the software to track data. And if you’re not tracking your data, you’ll never know if your marketing efforts are successful.
If you’re wondering where to start and what tools you can use to track data, along with what data you need to track, Entrepreneur.com has an in-depth summary of four major data tracking tools you can use to monitor your marketing campaigns.
2. Go all out for your customers
When the business you own has multiple locations in the same vicinity, you’ll need to be creative if you want your location to be the preferred location. The secret to achieving this is by creating unique promotions. Don’t just give your customers coupon codes and dollar-off specials. Your promotions should engage your customers as well as provide them with a deal. Here are some marketing ideas for you to make sure that happens:
- Create custom scratchers. There’s a reason lottery tickets sell so well in the form of scratchers. Everyone knows they can just scan their ticket after they buy it to find out if they’ve won, but the whole point is to engage with the ticket. Get some custom branded scratchers made that reveal all kinds of prizes like discounts, free items, additional scratchers, and even cash. Run a promotion to give away these scratchers and let people know what they might win.
- Host a raffle. Raffles work better when people know there aren’t a million other tickets that dilute their chances of winning. Keep your raffles small. If you have a huge customer base, run multiple raffles. Prevent discouraging people from entering by having a maximum number of tickets you’ll accept for each drawing. When one drawing reaches capacity, start a new one.
- Offer your customers a chance to spin a wheel for a prize. Just like on the game Wheel of Fortune, you can give your customers a chance to win big.
- Make people feel like VIPs. If you’re operating a franchise in the food business, it’s easy to make people feel special by offering a continual promotion for “preferred customers.” If you’re a coffee shop, you could offer cardholders an extra shot of espresso or a flavor shot at no cost. If you’re a restaurant, you could offer a standing 5 percent discount or a complimentary appetizer.Hand these cards out to select individuals who frequent your location most often (and always be willing to give them to anyone who asks for one). You want it to appear exclusive, but in reality you should include everyone.
3. Create a blog for content marketing
Content marketing is a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. It’s fairly simple and involves creating high quality content and publishing it on your website. While most businesses tend to write dry, repetitive articles about their business, as a franchise owner, you have a unique advantage in content marketing.
For example, in a brilliantly structured article, Searchengineland.com discusses the importance of understanding local nuances in order to reach more of your local market. The article shares an example of a national restaurant chain that has locations in multiple Alabama cities, and suggests appealing to the fans through supporting local football teams and keeping track of the Iron Bowl – a football game between the Tigers and Crimson Tide that goes back to 1893.
As you can see, marketing your franchise isn’t just about mailing out flyers, writing endless how-to articles, or providing advice for people related to your business. It’s also about using your website content as a channel to reach your local audience by speaking their language and connecting with them on a deeper, more personal level. When you can reach people on that deeper level, they’ll be more likely to remember you.
Thanks to Larry Alton for sharing his advice and opinions in this post. Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter