Top 5 Online Marketing Tips for Franchisees

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Franchise local online marketing is complicated and intimidating for most franchisees, especially if the franchisor isn’t proactive about providing strategies, best practices, and guidance. When done right it can be a powerful sales & marketing channel at the local level, but for most people the thought of juggling a local website, blog, SEO, social media, and email marketing will make your head spin! Online marketing for franchises can seem like a big challenge!

Well as with anything, it does take effort to see results, but the good news is it’s easier than ever to get started with affordable tools and strategies that get real results.

Here are my top 5 tips for franchisees to start making an impact with their local online marketing, to increase traffic and leads generated through the web:

1. Have a Central Hub – You need to have a centralized place online where you’ll consistently drive traffic to, and most importantly where you’ll convert visitors into customers. This should be your customized local website – don’t worry, it’s super easy to get set-up with tools like Empowerkit!

2. Get Listed – Make sure you have a completed business listing on Google Places, and as many other listing sites as possible. This helps you show up where potential customers are searching, and gives your website back-links to help you show up higher in local search results. And, it’s free!

3. Get Social – Create a free Facebook Page, and ask all of your customers to “Like” your Page. Make sure you keep your Facebook Page updated and engage with customers by quickly answering questions, making special offers, asking for feedback, etc.

4. Start an E-Newsletter – Having an e-newsletter is a great way for you to stay top-of-mind with your customers, and encourage them to refer you to others. MailChimp is a great tool for this, and you can start out with a free plan!

5. Publish, Publish, Publish! – It really is true…Content is King. Frequently publishing content on your website achieves a number of things: a.) it helps you improve in local search rankings and conversion rates, b.) it’s the content that can fuel your e-newsletters and your Facebook Page sharing, c.) it gives customers a reason to come back, in turn building loyalty and referrals.

Still overwhelmed? Take it one step at a time, and as you get more comfortable and start seeing results, it will be become easier and actually…fun! Have questions, or other tips to share? Please comment below!

Photo credit: Marco Fieber

December 28, 2011

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