Marketing for one business location is a challenge, much less promoting multiple businesses at the same time. Yet, that is the problem that many franchises face. Franchises must market their brand as a whole while also promoting individual locations and keeping a cohesive brand-feel though all locations and marketing initiatives.
If you have multiple businesses under the same brand, follow these franchise marketing tips to successfully promote all of your locations at once.
Learn About Your “3-Mile-Radius”
The “3-mile-radius” refers to the distance that your customers are willing to travel to reach your franchise. This distance is farther for some businesses (like Bass Pro Shops) and shorter for others (like Subway). Knowing how far your customers are willing to drive or ride to reach your business can tell you who you are marketing too. You can also compare different locations to see how the different radii interact.
When you do paid promotions, you can market within this radius. This helps you save money by targeting the right audiences with your brand messaging, rather than promoting your brand to people who will never buy from you. You can also compare the individual demographics of your radius to see how the customers might differ.
For example, let’s say a quick-service restaurant has two locations in an area. They could be very different.
- One franchise is next to a high school in a residential area. This means lunches and after-school hours are popular, but summers are slow.
- The other franchise is in a business district. Lunches are steady throughout the year, but afternoons are quiet as people head home.
As you can see, the franchises might have similar target demographics, but different local audiences. This means they will need unique promotions and marketing strategies.
Develop Unique Promotions for Customers
As you start to understand your customer base, you can create unique promotions for your different franchisees. Using the example of a QSR mentioned earlier, one franchise might promote a “back to school” special as kids head back, while the other might have “fun friday” or “workday break” promotions to encourage more office workers to stop by. These very well might be the same promotional deals, just worded differently based on the demographics of each location.
Monitor Your Google My Business Profiles
Google My Business is one of the best ways to manage your franchise locations. Google makes it easy for you to own multiple locations, manage them all at once, and upload individual photos and information for each. You can personalize each page with questions, parking information, and images of your franchise.
Remember, more than 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 65% consider search engines the most trusted source for information. Just by making your franchises searchable on Google, you can grow your visibility and trust within your customer base.
Create Evergreen and Location-Specific Content
If your various franchise locations all drive traffic to one website, consider dividing up your content strategy based on your resources. For example, evergreen content is ideal if you want to grow your search rankings across all levels. If you have locations in multiple cities (or multiple states) then you want non-location specific content related to your brand.
However, you also need location-specific content that you can use to drive traffic to specific franchises. If you just opened a new location in a different city, then you need multiple posts targeting those city-specific keywords to let search crawlers know where you are.
There are other things to consider when improving your visibility with local SEO. For example, having individual location pages can help people find your brand and provide regional information alongside your Google My Business profile.
Create a Hub for Your Social Media Posts
One of the biggest challenges that franchisees have is promoting their multiple locations on social media. Should you create multiple accounts for specific audiences? Should everyone follow one account?
While individual accounts may work for some locations, other franchisees might not be able to juggle that many pages. It’s better to not create a page than to create one that you never post on.
What works for some franchise owners is setting up one page for all of the locations in the region. If you have three locations in a city, they really only need one page. You can then post content to that page and address fans at specific locations or post evergreen content that everyone will love. This way, you only need to manage one account and can avoid burnout in your marketing efforts.
Segment Your Email Marketing Lists
While you may have to choose between marketing to your audiences collectively or individually on social media, you can be as segmented as you want via email. You can collect email addresses through WiFi marketing from individual locations and segment these customers into specific lists based on location. You can also allow customers to opt-in or opt-out of news from specific franchises.
Once you have these customers in set lists, then you can send specific promotional offers, share news and updates, and manage your franchises as individual businesses instead of a collective brand. There’s a lot more flexibility available to you.
Analyze Franchise Performance Individually
As you can see, some of these franchise marketing tips encourage you to combine your promotional efforts into one center, while others suggest splitting your locations apart.
Whichever marketing tactics you take, you need to look at the analytics of your franchises individually. See how your marketing efforts impact each location and which ones benefit from your efforts more than others. You may decide to change up how you market your business in order to support a struggling franchise that could use a boost.
Pick Up More Franchise Marketing Tips
Getting customers through your door is only the first step to promote your brand. Learn more about marketing your franchise through our resource guide: The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Marketing. This free ebook can guide you through the customer experience to turn more visitors into buyers even if you manage multiple locations.