At Mayfly Internet Marketing, we’ve been working with franchisors for over eight years. For six of those years we’ve been involved with Franchise World, and for the last four we’ve been writing bi-monthly advisory articles for franchisees and franchisors in the magazine.
With all this experience, we feel we’re in a good position to help guide franchisors through the minefields of marketing, social media and digital strategy.
Last year’s BFA/NatWest franchise survey showed that franchising is on the rise in the UK. But, no business can survive in these modern times without marketing.
It’s easy to have a presence online. It’s much, much harder to make it consistent and get it in front of the people you want to see it. There are marketing strategies that potential franchisees will want to see that the franchisor can offer – if you can’t, they may well go elsewhere.
Here are some of the most common questions we receive from franchisors:
“What should I include in my franchise marketing plan?”
A well-rounded marketing plan covers all the bases, and begins with the website. We are happy to build or edit a current website for you. Likewise we can create branding for a new business, or continue with your existing branding.
We would usually recommend that your website has a page for each of your franchisee areas – depending on how many there are, of course. This is good for SEO and also to allow your franchisees to get information about themselves across.
If you’ve forayed into marketing before you might be aware of the phrase “Content is king”. Providing interesting or useful content on a regular business is good for all of your marketing efforts, and we’ve been writing twice monthly blog posts for one of our current franchise clients for years. Regular new content isn’t just great for your website visitors, but also for your SEO.
The best plans will be based on a robust marketing strategy which individual franchisees can build on. By carrying out national campaigns, with room for local customisation, you can get the best of both worlds.
“How can I encourage my franchisees to use local marketing while retaining control of the overall brand?”
You may already have a strategy in place for marketing of the business as a whole, but you’ll also need to put some thought into local marketing for individual branches. This is again a case of ensuring brand consistency, while giving the franchisees some control over the way they operate their business.
We’re well versed in filling in business listing information, for local business directories as well as for Google Local (the map that you see in the Google results). Having a person that each franchisee can turn to if they get stuck saves you a lot of time in the long run.
Provide each new franchisee with a Google Local listing to get them started, and ensure that you retain ultimate control over them. You can then leave it to the franchisee to make sure they’ve considered the culture and needs of people in that location in their work – chances are, they will know best how to communicate with their local community.
SEO will also be utilised for these local listings, but the main advantage is that they give each franchisee a web presence while discouraging individually-owned websites which could harm the image of the brand as a whole. We’ll talk about the way they should present information about the brand, and how to make themselves stand out among competitors.
“Which social media platforms will work for my company?”
This is a difficult one, and the answer will be different for each type of business. B2B businesses often find more success on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, while B2C businesses tend to err toward Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. There’s a difference again between service and consumer franchises – this is the kind of thing we’ll discuss with you in detail.
Anyone who tells you they have a cut-and-paste system for social media is very likely doing it wrong.
If you’re happy with us helping your social media we can organise regular posts and status updates. We can also help with paid advertising through social media, which we’ve found to be highly effective, especially on Facebook.
“How can I be sure my marketing plan is working?”
Looking at web stats can be confusing, to say the least. Whether it’s Google Analytics, website analysis or Facebook Insights, the onslaught of data is a bit much for anyone who isn’t used to cracking the code.
We’ll boil the facts down into easy-to-understand pieces of information that can show you exactly where your money is going, how much time is being spent on each form of marketing, and how it’s affecting your success.
Measuring your efforts is just as important as making them. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing whether you’re wasting your time.
“How else can you help me?”
Any way you need us too. Franchise marketing simply takes the techniques used in internet marketing and applies them in a particular way, and thanks to our extensive experience we’re in a great position to not just give you ideas, but also to help you, as a franchisor, see your vision fulfilled.
We can help with:
Website design and development
Google Local Map marketing
Understanding website statistics and data
Social media and talking to customers
Improving Google rankings
Content writing for websites or blogs
If you would like an informal chat about how we could help your franchise, and to discuss your current web marketing strategy, please call us on 0151 2541727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.