As discussed in this article from the New York Times Small Business page, being part of a franchise system doesn’t mean you don’t have to take your franchise marketing into your own hands at an individual level for your business. While the franchise system definitely has its huge advantages, namely instant brand recognition, there are also constraints put on you as a franchisee, because your promo and marketing activity has to be approved in most cases by the franchisor. That being said, there are plenty of ways you can drive business to your individual location – you just have to be strategic. Some ideas:
Know your audience!
Knowing your market and understanding your customers is huge – who has purchased from you already? What demographics do they share? A great way to do this is to be in touch with your social media – update it, put relevant information on it, and pay attention to who is commenting and following. Adjusting your marketing according to your current customers will drive business.
Get the best in product packaging and naming.
Be mindful of design. You have competition in a competitive, consumer-driven market. Making the aesthetic of your product or service quality will set you apart.
Don’t be afraid to boast your expertise!
Positioning yourself as an expert in your field will make others take note. Again, providing relevant, fresh material on your social media sites and website will help, but don’t stop there! Consider email newsletters, press releases and white papers as ways to bulk up your presence.
Create a Marketing Database
…to log your progress, keep track of current customers, and build up a prospect list that is ever-expanding.
Beautify your Website
You should constantly be updating, editing, and tweaking your website so it reflects the best, not only in design, but in up-to-date information.
Promos, coupons, incentives, and a referral system.
You want to keep past customers happily coming back for more. Word-of-mouth recommendations are always hugely valuable. Ask valued customers to write testimonials and post them on your website. Offer incentives for customers to post reviews on local business directories such as Yelp, Yahoo Local and Google Places.
Let Stark Logic help with our proprietary software, FranLocal. It’s designed specifically for the franchise system and incorporates social media platforms, local business reviews and analytics into one platform. When it comes to franchise marketing, we know the drill, and we’d love to discuss the software with you and show you a demo!