Franchise Marketing Agency – How to Market Your Franchise!
Learn How to Properly Market A Franchise Business!
My name is Mac Frederick and I used to work for Google. Over the past 6 years, I have been running my own small business digital marketing agency helping other business owners with SEO, Paid Advertising, Property Marketing, and more! This topic is extremely important if you are looking to grow a franchise business!
Thinking about Franchise Marketing?
Momentum Digital wears many hats as a comprehensive digital marketing agency. Included in the many is Franchise Marketing. Franchise marketing is tricky because there are two questions that need to be considered:
- How are you going to get new franchises?
- How are you going to market the new and existing franchise locations?
Furthermore, this forces you to divide your marketing strategy into two components:
- National SEO to attract new franchises
- Local SEO to promote existing franchises
In conclusion, to be a successful franchise there are essentially three “musts” to include in your marketing strategy. They are Website SEO, Local SEO, and Virtual Tours. So, in a world where franchise success rates are relatively low, what’s it going to require to take your franchise to the next level? We’ll answer that question in the rest of this article by showing you how you can leverage the power of search engine optimization and virtual tours to set yourself apart from your competition.
Thinking about Franchise Marketing?
Are you looking to franchise your business eventually? This would be a good starting point to scale your growth and income. I have 4 location retail businesses and have been thinking about franchising for many reasons.
I want to share this inspirational video from Gary Vee about getting started with franchising as he speaks with someone interested in franchising their business and considered Vaynermedia for their Franchise Marketing Agency, which is much more expensive than hiring us!
Franchise Marketing to Attract New Franchises
The first question when building a Franchise Marketing Strategy is, how are you going to attract new franchises? After all, a franchise without franchisees isn’t a franchise at all. So where do you start? You’ll need to do a ton of competitor research to find out how they are getting most of their leads. Are they paying for ads, dominating on social media, or are they winning in organic search results? If they’re paying for ads, sure, you can one-up them and pay a little more. If they’re dominating on social media, you’ll need to pour tons of time, money, and effort into your brand and production. However, if they’re simply winning in organic search, all you need to do is figure out what keywords they’re ranking for, and start chasing them down.
Of the options above, your best bet at success is beating your competition on Google using Website SEO. Not only will this be the most affordable option, but it will lay the foundation for long-term success. What’s hot on social media today may not be hot on social media tomorrow and paying Google for ads isn’t always sustainable. If all else fails, at least with SEO you’ll have an organic source of traffic and leads. To get a better idea of what SEO includes, watch the video below from our Founder, Mac Frederick, who also worked at Google.
Attracting New Franchises with Website SEO
After all of your competitor research has been done and you’ve come to your senses that tackling SEO is the best approach, you’ll need to find out which keywords you can “steal” from your competitors.
For example, if you’re a coffee shop you’ll search “Coffee Shop Franchise” or “Franchise Coffee Shop”. If every time you conduct that search Joe Shmoe’s Best Cup of Coffee shows up on the first page, you know that Joe is doing something right with his SEO.
In order to outrank him, you’ll need to get an idea of what type of content his website is producing that allows him to rank for those searches. Rather than recreating the wheel, you can take some inspiration from his website and implement it on yours.
But before you can even begin to outrank his keywords, your website needs to be flawless in the eyes of Google. To accomplish this, you’ll need to boost your overall domain authority. Domain Authority is a score out of 100 that measures the overall authority of your website in the internet world (test your Domain Authority here). To increase your domain authority, you’ll need to improve your website’s Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO.
- On-Page SEO: Once your Technical SEO is taken care of, this opens the door for Google to take a look at your On-Page SEO. This is where you begin trying to rank for keywords. While still tricky, this is the simplest of the three components of SEO. It involves optimizing your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions (see example below), structuring your headers correctly, internal & external linking, creating new content, and including keywords where appropriate.
- Off-Page SEO: Now that your website is ranking for a few keywords and the user experience is flawless, Google is going to look for Off-Page SEO. Essentially, Off-Page SEO is a fancy term for backlinks. Backlinks are links on other websites linking back to your website. Google likes to see this because it increases your overall credibility. It’s like walking into a party and three popular people acknowledge you immediately. You become more credible instantly. In order to get backlinks, you’ll either need to do manual outreach and guest blogs, or you can use an agency like Momentum to do this for you.
That’s a wrap for Website SEO. In order to attract new franchises, you have to optimize your website, build your domain authority, and outrank your competitors by creating tons of keyword-optimized content. Once you’ve accomplished this and created a reliable source of organic traffic, the next step is to market those franchise locations. While you can leverage Website SEO for each individual location, something more powerful is Local SEO.
Franchise Marketing for Existing Locations
Now that you’ve established your website as an organic source of traffic, you can focus more energy on marketing your existing and new locations. The best way to do this is through Local SEO. Local SEO is similar to Website SEO but on a much smaller scale. Website SEO is national whereas, Local SEO can be specific to a state, city, or even a small town. Since most franchises are specific to a location, you’ll be able to focus all of your efforts on individual locations using Local SEO. So what is Local SEO?
Teh Important of Local SEO for Franchise Marketing
Local SEO can also be broken down into three components. They are Google My Business, Local SEO Citations, and Local SEO Pages. Each of these contributes to local rankings in Google, using a hyper-focus on location keywords specific to each franchise location.
To get started, you’ll want to create a Google My Business profile for each of your locations. You can do so here. Your Google My Business is what’s going to show up in search results as shown below. In order to get it ranking ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to generate reviews, optimize ALL of the information, and post to it like a social media account. While micromanaging like this is impossible for a large franchise owner, getting it done is necessary. Many franchises aren’t taking advantage of all of the perks Google My Business has to offer, so you should. There are two options when it comes to managing. Either leave it up to the franchisees or hire an agency.
The second contributor to success with Local SEO is Local SEO Citations. These will boost the credibility of your Google My Business, much like backlinks do for your website. So what are Local SEO Citations? They are online directories like Yelp, Brownbook, Yellow Pages, etc. Google wants to see that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across the board. While this is a tedious process, it’s something that has to be done if you want your locations to rank locally. You can check your citation score here.
The last component of Local SEO is Location Pages. Location Pages are pages that need to be built on your website and optimized with location-specific keywords. Our partners at Momentum 360 do a great job with this. If you’re in multiple states, I would suggest creating a page for each state. If you’re in multiple locations within those states, you should create subpages specific to each location within the state, linked to from the “State” page. This may be the most straightforward of the three components but it kills two birds with one stone. It contributes to Website SEO AND Local SEO.
That’s it for Local SEO. If you’re dedicated to driving traffic to each of your individual locations, you have to take the next step and implement Local SEO. This is the ONLY way to get these locations showing organically in Local Search results. Luckily, many of your franchise competitors are not doing this. Do you know what else many of them aren’t implementing? Virtual Tours.
Franchise Marketing with Virtual Tours
Virtual Tours were heavily introduced to the marketing world back in 2020 during the Global Pandemic. Back then, they were used to give potential customers a way to explore a shop or property without having to travel to a physical location. Now they’ve evolved into a standard. If you’re serious about your business, you get a virtual tour and post it everywhere. Whether you’re a pizza shop franchise, coffee shop, clothing store, or some other business with a physical location, people want to see where they’re going before they get there, to ensure they’re not wasting their time. Lucky for you, our partner Momentum 360 offers virtual tours, and much, much more all over the world.