“Shop Small” and "Buy Local” are current buzzwords in today's society. A massive amount of individuals want to spend their money inside of their local economy at a business in their own or nearby neighborhood.
Interestingly enough this isn’t just individual consumers either, many businesses and local governments use local business as well for goods and services they need so that they can advertise they are helping their community economy.
In a 2017 BIA/Kelsey study named “The Win of Going Local”, they report “Consumers have a growing sense of localism, and marketers need to key into this in their campaigns to achieve a level of genuineness. They fail to do so at their peril.”
But wait are franchises considered local or small businesses? While clearly a franchise owner is looking to bring their products and services nationwide the individual franchisee is indeed a local business and often times has the small business vibe, even if it is a growing medium sized business. You as the local person who owns the business is the one who runs the franchise branch and make the decisions for your business. While there is a clear advantage of hanging a well known brand name above your door, or wrapped on your vehicle, your local community may not know that you are indeed a small business owner who paid for a turnkey business from a franchisor.
With this information it is vital that each franchisee has a presence in their neighborhoods as a small business, there by giving you the best of both worlds as a franchisee, the power of a national brand with the appeal of a locally owned and operated business.
This is where it can get challenging. With all of your marketing materials and posts you need to make sure that they are done so that not only meet your needs as a franchisee, but also meet the demands of the franchisor at large. Your franchisor needs to make sure marketing material is uniform and consistent with the companies message to ensure the strength of their overall brand while allowing you to have your own personality in your marketing materials as well. When a franchisor allows the franchisee to have some control over their own marketing the normal trend is not only sales increasing, but the franchisees remain more motivated and engaged in growing their company, which in turn only helps the franchisor.
The only way local franchise marketing works is if the franchisor and the business owners have great communication and a clear set of brand guidelines to follow when creating your own local marketing strategy. The franchisor should also be in contact with all of its franchisees to let them know about ongoing and upcoming marketing strategies so that not only can the individual franchisee support the brand message but also have time to make tweaks to their current plan to fit into corporates new marketing strategy.
Right Meow Digital has worked with national and international brands for marketing and MDF funding so we are well versed at working for local businesses that have to abide by the rules and standard operating procedures from a larger governing business. If you are unaware of what your franchisor allows we can help guide you through the process of communication with your franchisor so that clear guidelines and expectations are set.
Effective localized franchisee marketing does not have to be complicated or difficult. A couple of starting points for you to consider;
Personalized Franchisee Marketing:
When the franchisor allows its franchisees to become the face of the business in their own territory it lets the business owner tell their own story connecting it to the brand at large, which can be engaging for local consumers. This can be as simple as each individual franchise branch allowed to have their own website or webpage on the companies site in addition to separate social media accounts on which their name and photograph are displayed along with the brands products and services. In today’s marketplace potential customers aren’t looking just for quality and value but they also want to buy from a “person” rather than a “company”. More often than not franchisees join the franchise brand after they personally fall in love with the products and services of the brand. This passion which got the franchisee to initially join can be a powerful story to connect emotionally to their local audiences.
Local Franchisee content creation
Creating local, relevant content on social media and the like helps each individual franchisee build trust with local customers in addition to helping themselves and the brand at large rank better in the search engine results locally, and even nationally depending on how the websites are set up.
Local content can be something as simple as sharing your excitement or dread of the local weather forecast, sharing local events, and commenting on local posts and news stories.
Local Grassroots marketing for franchisees
While digital marketing is a necessity to have a thriving local franchisee business you should also be allowed and consider some other local strategies offline. Easy ways to do this with little investments are sponsoring local soccer teams, baseball teams, and other local sports teams. The kids wear your company name on the back of their uniforms and you may even get a sign up on the field. Maybe sports isn’t your thing in that case you could help sponsor or support a local fishing derby tournament, your local Scout organization, donate to your local schools, or donate trophies for charity events. The ideas are endless to network in your local neighborhoods and show you are helping the community locally, while not breaking your bank accounts.
If you need a professional US based franchisee marketing agency to help you with your digital growth click here and let’s talk.