For a franchise, digital marketing is an integral part of keeping a brand in the spotlight. Here are six ways you can keep your campaigns alive
It’s been a tough year for many businesses, with the global pandemic affecting everyone’s way of life.
In times of crisis, businesses often forget about their marketing strategies because there’s so much else to focus on. It can be even easier to forget about marketing when you’re part of a franchise – the brand is well known and you can rely on the franchisor’s marketing efforts while your attention is elsewhere.
However, this is not an advisable course of action. It’s critical that you keep your own marketing going at all times. If you pause it, you may find it hard to regain momentum when you want to start up again.
Marketing, especially digital marketing, is all about staying front of mind for your target audience. This way, when times are tough your customers still remember you.
That being said, think about streamlining your marketing efforts and ensuring your digital marketing is working for you. This will ease the load on your business, while still keeping that momentum going. Here are six ways you can keep your franchise’s digital marketing strategy on track, at all times, even in the wake of a pandemic:
1. Stick to the channels that reap rewards
Digital marketing has many channels, from blogging and email marketing to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok – the list goes on.
It’s so tempting to try to be active on as many of these as possible. However, by doing that you’re splitting your focus and giving yourself a lot of work to do as you try to create great content for each stream.
Instead, take a moment to look at the stats. You can see exactly which platforms and streams of marketing are giving you the best return on investment.
These are the ones you want to focus on because you’re getting something back for your time, effort and money. Pause the others until you have more time to consider them properly.
2. Reach out with direct marketing
There’s still nothing that can replace the punch direct marketing has.
If you have an email database of regular or past customers, send them a message. You’re far more likely to bring in sales from previous customers than you are trying to convert new leads.
Just make sure you reach out with an offer that makes it worth their while to return.
3. Remember the human connection
Social media is all about building a community and creating a connection with your customers. Therefore, it’s important that you have a space for this in your digital marketing.
Your customers want to connect with your franchise and not the main franchisor brand’s Facebook page, for example. Having your own profiles gives you a space to post photos of your staff members and clients, as well as tell your franchise’s story.
4. Keep creating top quality content
Digital marketing is all about great content. This includes engaging photographs, fun videos, informative blog posts and educational infographics.
If you’re going to keep your digital marketing going at all times, it’s essential you ensure the quality of your content doesn’t diminish.
You can also look at new kinds of content to create – podcasts, ebooks and industry reports are all very useful tools for marketing your business. Just be sure to work out what will add value to the lives of your customers and help you increase sales.
5. Refresh your existing content
While we’re on the subject of content, it’s important not to forget about the content you already have.
A great way to boost search engine optimisation for your website is to update old blog posts with new keywords or change a few details in the copy to bring it into the here and now. Refreshing what you have gives you new, relevant content to post on social media and pushes extra traffic to your website.
Updating existing articles with how the pandemic has changed your business or the steps you’re taking to adjust to the new normal and make customers feel safe is a great starting point.
These topics highlight your business ethics in the face of adversity, which is always a positive marketing angle.
6. Build your media partnerships
From guest posting to influencer marketing, there are plenty of ways to spread the word about your brand.
Guest posting is when you write an article or a blog post for someone else’s website and link it back to your business. This gives you several things: the opportunity to reach a new audience, good SEO backlinks to your website and a chance to establish your brand as an industry leader.
If you can, try to build partnerships with websites where you can write regular guest posts throughout the year.
Influencer marketing is almost the opposite of guest posting, in that the other person creates content about your brand.
However, it has the same effect in that it’s another website or social profile that’s linking back to your brand. This is good for SEO and gives you the chance to reach a new audience.
An influencer is someone who has a large following on social media and can influence what people buy or where they go.
When a brand partners with an influencer, they usually get free products or services from the brand in return for posting about their experiences favourably.
Linking up with influencers that align with your brand is a relatively simple way of boosting your social media marketing strategy and it’s a great way to gain exposure on platforms you may not have a huge following on.
Digital marketing is an excellent way to reach a large audience. If your franchise keeps its marketing campaigns moving forward, it won’t take long before the rewards are evident.
Jill Goodwin is a content champion for a variety of online publications. She often covers topics that cater to business owners and entrepreneurs.