How to Successfully Market Multi-Locations of a Franchise

Featured image by Alec Favale from Unsplash

Buying a franchise is a lucrative venture that allows entrepreneurs to enjoy the independence of owning small businesses while benefiting from the support of more prominent brands and their more extensive networks. As a franchise owner, you already have an established reputation from the onset. Most franchisors train their franchisees on how to operate their business models. So, a person with little or no business experience can run a franchise successfully. 

However, marketing your business as a franchise owner can be very challenging. It can be difficult when you operate in different locations simultaneously. This is because there are various factors that matter in your marketing that you’ll have to take into consideration. You must think about the marketing at the corporate level, that is, the marketing done by the franchisors. Also, you’ll need to consider the unique factors that are important for your local stores based on the independent ideas that your store managers bring. 

Your marketing has to bring all these variables together. If done, you’ll be in sync with the corporate-level marketing and the unique needs of the different areas your store is located. This will help you connect with the local customers and talk to a large, broad audience at the same time. The following tips will help you balance the unique set of challenges with multi-location franchise marketing and maximize your marketing campaigns to yield the best outcomes. 


1. Develop a Central Brand Guide

A brand guide is an instruction manual on how your brand should be communicated. It should specify every aspect of the appearance and feel of your brand (brand identity) and outline the standards required to represent your brand correctly both externally and internally. Whether or not you have one person handling or managing the marketing of all your franchise locations, it’s essential you have a central brand guide.

When you detail all your marketing assets and manage them centrally, your efforts will always feel cohesive. As a result, someone marketing a store in one location will follow the same branding as someone marketing a store in a different area. Your central brand guide should include details of your logo, font, and brand color. It should also describe your brand voice and tone and explain your key messaging guidelines. 

In addition to your central brand guide, you should create sections for each store location. While your central brand guide talks about your brand as a whole, your regional or local sections should discuss specific areas and give unique guidelines for them. So, describe each franchise location and pinpoint anything that distinguishes them from others. Then, create personas that describe your ideal customers in each location. Remember to include marketing notes about each store location that could be important in your marketing campaigns, such as lists of local festivals or holidays.     

2. Give Each Franchise Location Some Freedom to Market Independently  

Recognize that each business location serves a different set of customers. So, even if you want to keep most of your marketing consistent, you need to localize your campaign to each store. If you don’t let the managers of your store locations have a say over your marketing, you’ll miss the opportunity to get them actually involved in the process that affects their success. They know their local customers best, so they’ll likely know the most effective ways to connect with them. 

So, talk with each manager to learn about their marketing ideas. Afterward, brainstorm how to maximize those ideas in your business’s best interest. Use those ideas to reach and benefit customers in your shops’ local communities.    


3. Create a Google Business Profile for Each Franchise Location

According to EWR Digital, a franchise marketing agency, ”Establishing a digital presence is crucial to the success of any business, including a franchise.” Most people check Google when searching for businesses close to them. If you only have a Google business profile for your main store location, you will likely miss out on customers at your other locations. That’s why each store location should have a Google business profile so that they can appear in appropriate local searches. 

Also, since Google business profiles help gather reviews, you’ll be able to see the reviews for each of your franchise locations and know what problems customers may be experiencing. That way, you’ll be able to figure out how to address such challenges appropriately. You can also create profiles for each store location on platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Angie’s list.  

4. Have a Page for Each Store Location on Your Website

Having multi-locations of a franchise doesn’t mean you should create a website for each location. Instead, develop one central website for all locations and dedicate at least one web page to each one. This will make it easier for customers to find specific details about any location they are interested in. And you’ll be able to use paid ads or promotions to drive traffic to the specific URLs on your website when marketing with location-specific content.

Remember, each location needs unique content because your website may not get a high Google ranking with duplicate content. So, you should use different website contents for your locations’ web pages. Of course, you could cover the same topics for various locations, but each webpage should have focused keywords that target the right audience and location. On each webpage, highlight any location-specific facts such as operating hours, exclusive products, local maps, and special announcements. A strong local SEO will help show the relationship between your stores and their surroundings. 

5. Track Your Marketing Data and Performance by Location

Data tracking helps ensure that your marketing campaigns are effective. When you run multi-location franchise marketing campaigns, you need to track your marketing data and performance on a local level. Organizing your data by location will help you see how your campaigns performed in different regions.

One of the location metrics for monitoring your marketing campaigns is your local conversion rates. Your local conversion rates will show whether your marketing contents resonate with prospects in specific locations.