Local Franchise Marketing Ideas
Local Franchise Marketing Overview:
If you’re looking for some fresh, new local franchise marketing ideas you have come to the right place! Here at Lead PPC, we specialize specifically on both types of franchise marketing, including:
1 – Local Franchise Marketing
2 – Franchise Development Marketing
We have been in the franchise advertising space since 2010 and have worked with over 200 brands over the years. Our story started when I was the Chief Marketing Officer for a franchisor out of Southern California called HUMAN Healthy Vending. While there, I was charged with both helping to generate new franchise sales as well as helping with various marketing initiatives that would help our franchisees with their local marketing endeavors.
With time, I saw that the need for specialists who really understood the franchising niche was so underserved that I ended up starting my own PPC digital advertising agency called Lead PPC in order to help service the larger franchising industry and help drive quality leads and sales.
What I learned along the way is that every sub-niche of local franchise marketing is different. Education franchises for instance have over 250 different brands in that sub-industry alone and the Cost Per Lead for franchise development leads runs about 2-3X higher than that of restaurant franchises. Restaurant local franchise marketing often times requires changes to adds on a weekly basis as opposed due to rotating menus on things like cookie and ice cream franchises versus other sub-niches like home services franchises which may only need to change their local ads on a monthly or quarterly basis.
They say that mastering something takes 10,000 hours minimum, and this is definitely true when it comes to all types of franchise marketing, especially local franchise marketing. To this end, here are a couple of marketing tips that may help you along the way so that you don’t have to spend 10,000 hours or more learning this stuff on your own.
Tip #1 – Use A CRM Ticketing System For Franchisee Requests
This may not sound like a big deal or even something that is super important when it comes to franchisee marketing, but having the proper infrastructure from the beginning is extremely important when it comes to local franchise marketing.
We’ve tried a bunch of solutions to this problem, and for us we’ve found that Zen Desk is a great, affordable way to go. Franchisees can get kind of annoyed if they can’t just handle everything via email, so with Zen Desk it’s nice because franchisees can just communicate with your in-house marketing team and an agency like us who can handle all of the behind the scenes advertising work.
The important thing whether you choose Zen Desk, a 3rd party Salesforce plugin, or anything else is that you have something besides just email that the franchisee, the in-house marketing manager, and the agency can all view transparently at a high level. That way when upper-level management wants reports on things like response time to franchisees, average ticket duration, # of complaints, etc. all of that is available at any given time.
Tip #2 – Try Google Reporting Studio (aka Looker Studio)
As your franchise system grows from just a handful of locations up to hundreds or maybe even thousands of locations, you’re going to need some type of reporting system that at a minimum can connect with your CRM, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Local Services Ads (LSA), and even Google Sheets. We’ve tried everything under the sun and we still use a lot of other tools, but at the end of the day we funnel all of our data back into Looker Studio.
What’s nice about Looker Studio (above and beyond it being completely free) is that once you have a good reporting template setup, you can send out reports automatically to your franchisees via email all of the data that you need broken down by lead source going from Click -> Lead -> Opportunity -> Meet The Founders -> Discovery Day -> Sale. And, you can even include what campaigns, ad groups, keywords, search queries, and audiences your leads and sales came from. So, leadership top to bottom knows what’s going on both at a corporate level and at an individual franchisee level.
Another cool feature about Looker Studio is that the reports aren’t just limited to a monthly PDF. You can create links within the report that will take you to a live dashboard with filters by date range so that your individual franchisees or corporate in-house marketing managers can look at data from any time period any way that they want and data pulls in dynamically from all data sources in real time. It’s very very slick.
I will caution that once you have 100+ reports out there and someone from upper management decides that they want to make a change in the reporting templates, you currently have to redo every single report 1 by 1, which can be a pain. So, make sure you have your template the way you want it before duplicating it over and over. Also, be careful duplicating reports because the way that Looker Studio left joining works between tables can sometimes break and cause weird calculation errors with their formulas. So it can take some getting used to or even a programmer to help fix the tiniest bugs sometimes when you are first getting your templates setup.
Tip #3 – Google Local Service Ads (LSA) Are Becoming Important
Back in the day for local franchise marketing, you could just do SEO and show up as the #1 result in Google.
A few years later, you needed to run Google Ads and keep doing SEO in order to show up as the #1 result from PPC and hope for another spot via SEO.
After that, you needed to do PPC, SEO, and start focusing on Google Maps in order to cover your bases.
And now, Google has added a 4th thing that you get to worry about called Google Local Service Ads (GLA).
GLA are basically a way for Google to get paid even more as an “agency”. These ads are completely done for you but extremely hard to get approval for. Every industry has it’s own rules, but often times you have to send in your business license, proof of address, proof of insurance, and a variety of other things in order to get them up and running.
After that, Google wants for you to basically open up your budget as big as you can and they will keep sending you quality traffic.
But the value in GLA is easy to miss. The value is that they send you CALLS / LEADS instead of just clicks. AND, they sell you their highest quality traffic. PPC no longer has top priority. Google controls everything. They control the relationship, the cost per lead, what keywords you show up for… EVERYTHING.
At the end of the day, it’s still just a listing somewhere on their search engine, which is why you can’t just stop doing Google Maps, SEO, or PPC. It takes everything. But, now is the time to master this new medium of advertising that Google has to offer. And, often times many PPC agencies like ourselves will just handle it for you so you don’t have to do anything extra.
Tip #4 – Use The Same Agency For Local Franchise Marketing As Franchise Development
My last tip is something unique to franchisors. Let’s face it, dealing with multiple ad agencies can be a total pain. And, whichever agency you choose to handle your franchisee advertising should also be handling your franchise development lead generation. Otherwise, you’re paying too many management fees to agencies and you’re overburdening your marketing team with too many touch points with multiple agencies for both local franchise marketing and franchise leads.
Keep in mind that while often times franchisors will switch advertising agencies every 1-3 years, this isn’t the case with local franchisee marketing. Whoever you choose to work with to service your franchisees will be with you for a long time. Even if you decide that you want to switch agencies, that process could take 6-24 months to actually make happen because of how integrated agencies get into your overall business.
For this reason, I would highly recommend working with a group that truly does understand both local franchise marketing and franchise lead generation. Lucky for you, this is exactly what we do here at Lead PPC.
Top 15 Local Franchise Advertising Agencies
Local franchise advertising is a beast in and of itself. In general, I would say that this is where the market becomes quite fragmented. While franchise development advertising has a set of players that has been in the space for a long time, on the local franchise marketing side of things there are a ton of agencies that have dabbled in the space that don’t really know much about franchising but are able to figure out at least some level of multi-location advertising.
In order to help with “Tip #4” from above, here is a list of local franchise advertising agencies that may help you find the right agency vendor for your franchise system:
- #1 – Lead PPC – We are a bit biased on this one, but as far as PPC advertising for franchisee locations goes, we consider ourselves to be the best at it. We’ve been in the business since 2010, worked with 200+ franchise brands, and we have developed some great systems for scaling advertisements for local franchisees. If you’re interested in have a discussion with us about your local advertising needs, please fill out our Contact Us form to connect.
- #2 – Scorpion – All things considered, Scorpion is probably the next best vendor out there for local franchise advertising. Their main focus for years has been working with law firms and dental offices, but they have expanded into franchise advertising and to bolster their position within the space even purchased Wheat Creative, which has helped them to improve their marketing abilities.
- #3 – NinthRoot – Although these guys aren’t super well known in the space, they do a good job with local franchise advertising, especially when it comes to SEO, content creation, and Google My Business listings. We’ve shared dozens of clients with them over the years, primarily on the organic side of things, and they have a high retention rate.
- #4 – Franatics – Franatics isn’t a team that I’ve had an actual conversation with, but they do rank #1 organically for the term “local franchise marketing”, so they must have some skill at least on the local SEO side of things. According to them, “We offer franchisees a variety of localized content marketing tools. This includes on-site photography and videography for commercials and other promotional materials, social media management, paid social ads and lead generation services.”
- #5 – Curious Jane – Curious Jane is one of the nicest groups that we have met in the franchising space. A big focus for them is on coordinating and creating synergies between national ad budgets and local franchise marketing.
- #6 – Reshift Media – Reshift Media has worked with 200+ brands with 25,000+ locations across 22 countries.
- #7 – ChoiceLocal – Some of ChoiceLocal’s numbers are impressive. They say that their average franchise client has a 282% increase in new customer inquiries, $15.54 in customer revenue for every $1 they spend on marketing with them, and a 96% annualized client retention rate. This isn’t a group that I have ever met or heard of before, but they say that they have around 50 franchise brands that they work with and that they donate 10% of their profits back to helping others.
- #8 – Hyperlocology – I actually really like the Hyperlocology website. It’s right up there with NinthRoot. Hyperlocology works in 3 industries: franchising, financial services, and retail. But, you can tell by their website that working with multi-location franchise brands is their primary focus.
- #9 – Qiigo – Qiigo helps build brand unity across locations and helps create consistency across all franchise locations.
- #10 – SalesOptima Digital – SalesOptima Digital provides local SEO, local paid search, social ads, and brand development services.
- #11 – Silvercrest Advertising – Silvercrest is a bit more of an overall marketing partner. Some of their key service offerings include: territory management, national ad fund budget tool, coupon bar code scanning, grand opening automation, print advertising, specialty “swag” products, and email marketing.
- #12 – BrandMuscle – These guys are provide similar services to Silvercrest and focus mainly on brand management, fund management, marketing execution, virtual assistants, and printing.
- #13 – SOCi – These guys are a bit less of an agency and more of a multi-location marketing platform. Over 600 multi-location brands use SOCi.
- #14 – Elysium Marketing Group – Elysium is out of Philadelphia. They have about 16 franchise brands listed on their website that they have worked with and offer just about every type of local franchise marketing solutions that are out there.
- #15 – Local Hero – Local Hero seems to focus primarily on restaurant franchises and is similar to SOCi in that it is a platform based approach.
If you’re interested in speaking with us here at Lead PPC, please fill out our Contact Us form. The form will allow you to book a call with us directly online via Calendly after you fill out the form. Trust me, it will be worth the call.
10 Additional Tips For Improving Your Brand’s Reach in Franchised Areas Through Locally Targeted Strategies
When it comes to franchise local marketing, it’s important to understand that all areas are not created equal. Each market has its own unique customer base and challenges for acquiring new customers. That’s why successful franchises focus on local marketing strategies in order to reach their individual markets more effectively.
Here are 10 tips for improving your brand’s reach in franchised areas through locally targeted strategies:
1. Identify Your Target Audience – It’s essential to properly identify the demographic you wish to target with your local marketing strategy. This will require an understanding of the location demographics, including age, gender, income level, occupation, interests and other factors that will influence purchase decisions. You should also consider the size and type of franchise location in order to ensure you’re focusing your efforts on the right areas.
2. Leverage Social Media – Utilizing social media platforms is a great way to increase brand awareness in franchised areas. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can be used to build relationships with local customers, raise awareness about offers and events, as well as provide an easy way for people to share their experiences with others.
3. Localize Your Content – Generating content that is tailored to a specific franchise location will help generate more interest amongst local customers. Highlighting unique aspects of each area or providing insights on topics relevant to the area are both effective ways of creating localized content.
4. Focus on Local SEO – Developing an effective local SEO strategy is essential for ensuring that your business is visible in franchised areas. Utilizing relevant keywords, optimizing your website for local searches and creating local listings are all great ways to maximize visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
5. Partner With Community Organizations – Forming partnerships with community organizations can help increase brand recognition and generate new leads within a franchise area. Partnering with organizations such as schools, charities and other non-profits can be beneficial for building relationships with potential customers and generating goodwill amongst the public.
6. Invest in Paid Advertising – Paid advertising platforms like Google Ads, Yahoo Search Ads and Bing Ads can be used to reach local customers in franchised areas. Platforms like these offer a cost-effective way of generating leads and driving traffic to franchise locations.
7. Utilize Direct Mail Marketing – Traditional direct mail campaigns can also be an effective way of reaching local customers in franchised areas. Sending postcards, flyers or letters directly to potential customers is a great way to increase awareness about offers and special events within a particular area.
8. Take Advantage of Local Events – Participating in local events that are relevant to your business will help you stand out from the competition and generate more interest amongst potential customers. Setting up booths at trade shows, sponsoring charity drives or organizing promotional events in franchised areas are all great ways of taking advantage of local events.
9. Implement Referral Programs – Offer incentives to customers for referring others and you’ll quickly start to see more leads coming in from franchised areas. This can be a great way to generate new leads without spending money on advertising or marketing campaigns.
10. Monitor Performance Regularly – Track the performance of your local marketing initiatives so that you can make adjustments as needed in order to maximize ROI and ensure consistent growth in franchised areas. Utilizing analytics tools like Google Analytics will help provide actionable insights about the effectiveness of your strategies and allow you to make timely improvements where required.
By following these 10 tips, you can improve your brand reach in franchised areas and ensure that you’re able to generate leads from local customers. With a comprehensive local marketing strategy in place, your business can begin to see positive results and start expanding into franchised locations in no time.
Entrepreneur with a focus on Lead Generation, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and Conversion.