Strengthen Connections with Local Store Marketing
Owning a franchise of a national chain comes with some strong benefits like brand awareness, training and operational support. And maybe most important – not needing to start from scratch. The added benefits of national marketing budgets and materials are also significant.
However, as everyone knows, regions throughout the country can be quite different in terms of seasonality, attitudes and lifestyles. What works best in one part of the country may be less effective in another. So, what’s a franchisee to do? Well, many have strengthened customer bonds by incorporating their local flavor, while still maintaining the corporate brand identity.
Connect with your community.
Local store marketing can be an extremely valuable part of your overall marketing plan. Get out into your neighborhoods and establish relationships with the other local businesses that could benefit from what you have to offer or whose customers could benefit from your offerings. For example, if you’re a QSR restaurant, employers and retail establishments need catering, or employees need a place to grab lunch. Getting out and introducing yourself with trial offers can go a long way toward building loyal customers.
Establishing local ad funds will allow you to imbed yourself in the local community and engage with the customers in your own backyard. There are plenty of opportunities to sponsor youth activities and local charities at a relatively low cost. Your end target needs to be taken into consideration and putting your business where they are in their own lives helps to keep you top of mind.
Social media is also an important piece of the marketing puzzle.
Creating content on local social media platforms that is specific to your area and organic photos that show local landmarks will result in higher engagement. This type of content is more relevant and giving fans a local place to connect with you feels more authentic. You can also find some local social influencers to help spread the word. There are plenty of bloggers and influencers who you can work with to act as an advocate on your behalf. Micro influencers are more engaged in a specific niche and they can provide definite benefits. They’re more authentic and less expensive than a national celebrity, providing higher customer engagement rates with a more targeted audience. Sometimes it’s as easy as looking at your existing subscriber base to identify people who are already genuine fans of your brand and who are already actively talking about similar topics.
Exploring potential co-op opportunities strengthens your presence.
Forming a co-op with other franchisees in your market enables you to combine budgets and maximize your local marketing efforts. A larger local budget may allow you to promote local offers customized to your market, in addition to the national offers being supported by corporate.
Combined budgets may even allow you to sponsor a local collegiate or professional sports team and take advantage of the fan affinity of your consumers. Hometown fans are much more likely to support a brand that sponsors their favorite local team. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s more to sponsorships than just a logo on the field. You’ll need to work hard to engage with the fans through various communication and events that can be part of the package.
Bring it home.
As a franchise owner of a national chain, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your local following within your own market and community. A local marketing campaign will allow you to better connect with your customers and personalize messages just for them leading to better engagement and additional business for you!