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Franchise marketing is different for franchisors versus franchisees. Franchisors typically set the tone for the overall brand and offer support to franchisees so they can adopt and adapt that tone to resonate with the local market.
These days, franchise businesses use a number of digital marketing tools, formats, and campaigns to promote their products and services. But, if your franchise isn’t tracking your digital marketing performance, you could be missing out on a huge population of potential customers.
So many shoppers head to Google to search for local businesses and services. In fact, 46% of Google’s 2 trillion annual searches are for local businesses or services.
Are these shoppers finding your business or are they finding your competitor? How do you know?
In this article, we’re going to share five key areas you need to be tracking for digital marketing success, including the KPIs you should be tracking and analyzing. We’re also going to share the top digital marketing trends your franchise needs to leverage right now.
Let’s get started.
A franchise is a business that has given other individuals or groups the authority to use their name and brand for a certain amount of time in exchange for royalties, fees, and share of the profit.
McDonald’s is probably the most recognizable example of a franchise in the U.S. Your local McDonald’s likely has a private owner who pays to use the McDonald’s name and branding, along with being able to offer the products that McDonald’s is known for.
A franchising strategy is simply the business strategy that a franchise uses to get more customers, capture a larger share of the market, and build relationships with their customers.
A large part of any franchise strategy is marketing. But it doesn’t just end when the marketing plan is in place and running. You have to track the performance of your marketing tactics to ensure that they’re performing the way you want.
Franchises are businesses that typically already have a strong brand. Franchisees, then, need to do the work to maintain that strong brand. But it goes beyond a strong brand. Franchise businesses also want to find and grow a customer base while maintaining that strong brand.
Franchisors have the option of managing the marketing for the entire franchise themselves or turn over marketing to franchisees with parameters in place that will guide franchisees to create a local marketing plan that fits with the franchise as a whole.
Regardless of the option franchisors go with, it’s important for franchisors to understand their digital marketing KPIs so they can ensure that each franchise is performing as best it can.
In this section, we’re going to share KPIs for 5 key digital marketing strategies so your franchise can track your marketing performance.
Social media marketing is a monster. Before you even start building your social media presence, it’s important to define what success on each platform will mean for your franchise.
Here are a few social media marketing KPIs that you should be tracking.
The total number of followers you have on a particular social media platform.
The number of times a user interacted with your social media content. This could include likes, shares, comments, retweets, and more.
The number of times a user saw your content in their timeline or search results.
The percentage of responses you’ve responded to compared to those identified as needing a response.
Average Response Time:
The average amount of time it took for you to respond to a message.
Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel. In fact, 62% of marketers say they get the best ROI from email. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing produces an average ROI of 4200% (2019).
Email marketing is a solid marketing investment.
But as a franchise business, you’re probably dealing with franchisees across various locations, with varying skill sets. How can you know what’s working and what isn’t?
Here are the email marketing KPIs that will let you know how your email marketing campaigns are performing, regardless of whether you’re a franchisor handling email marketing for your entire business or a franchisee running your own campaigns.
Bounces aren’t sexy, but they are important. If you’re getting a lot of bounces, you probably need to take a look at the health of your email list and clean out the dead weight.
This is the number of people who opened your emails. While industry averages can be a nice guide, you’ll want to just make sure that your open rate is on an upward trend compared to your past performance.
Your click-through rate is the number of people who took action on a link included in your email. This varies not only across industries but also can vary widely within your own business. To use this KPI effectively, you’ll want to set goals for each email marketing campaign.
Conversions can be anything you want users to do on your site: purchases, registrations, submitting a form.
Unsubscribes and Complaints:
This just might be the most important KPI for email marketing. If you’re getting lots of unsubscribes and complaints, your audience isn’t getting what they’re looking for from your content.
Your conversion rate is the number of times a visitor takes a desired action on your website divided by the total site traffic you get. To track your conversion rate, you’ll want to look at these KPIs for your website:
New vs. returning visitors
Clicks, click-through rate
There are several things you can do to improve your conversion rate if it’s lower than you want. Check out this conversion rate optimization guide for actionable steps you can take.
Employees are one of the best tools in your marketing toolkit—especially if you do social media marketing. Brand messages that are shared by employees get re-shared 24 times more frequently than messages shared directly by the brand.
And Forbes tells us that customers referred by an advocate have a retention rate of 37% higher than customers who found your brand via other means.
People trust people. And they’re more receptive to marketing messages from other people who are presumably just like them.
So, how can you make sure that you’re leveraging this important tool? Here are three KPIs you can track:
Mentions are the number of times your company name, products and services, or other branded terms are mentioned online. Track increases in your mentions period over a period to ensure that your mentions are growing.
There are social media listening tools you can use to make this a lot easier.
Tracking leads is also important. Leads are the people who take part in your lead nurturing programs or comment on your blog requesting more information. Leads can also come in the form of phone, email, or text queries.
Engagement is how many people interact with updates about your brand. Look for comments, likes, shares, and other activity that shows your employee’s posts are having an impact.
Reviews are vital to a strong local franchise presence. Review management, though, can be complex and time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are review management software programs that can help you with this.
There are two important KPIs to look at when you’re determining if your review strategy is working.
A review management tool or reputation management service can help you analyze reviews to determine your overall review sentiment and gain insights into the customer experience.
Once you have a better understanding of how customers feel about your brand, you can take steps to improve.
Positive reviews typically come with higher star ratings. Star ratings are important because they show potential customers at a glance how customers feel about your brand, products, or services.
Aim to at least hit the average star rating for your industry. Of course, if you can do better than that, you should try.
You already know that digital marketing evolves as technology improves and the market ages. To keep your franchise relevant, you need to adopt new strategies and grow as the market changes.
There are five important digital marketing trends that can help your franchise stay on the bleeding-edge of digital marketing success. Let’s take a look at the digital marketing trends we’re loving right now.
Shoppers are more often looking to buy from authentic brands. As a franchise, you have the disadvantage of not being built from the local market, but you can still build an honest and transparent brand.
Focus on keeping your advertising honest and don’t jump into a trend that doesn’t fit your brand’s personality simply because it’s popular.
If you can swing it, start making the move toward video testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers and display those prominently on your website and share them across your social media feeds.
Instead of marketing at people, work on building a community around your national franchise or a local franchise.
What makes your customers happy? What do they enjoy? Why do they need your brand?
These are all questions that can help you discover ways to engage with your target audience more deeply and pull them closer to your brand by offering solutions to their problems instead of just selling them a product or service.
Building effective communities requires a strong knowledge of your customer journey and how to manage the customer lifecycle.
Interactive content like quizzes, surveys, and polls have gotten more and more popular over the last few years. And with good reason.
Interactive content helps you get more engagement with your target audience and can even be a great start to a conversation.
If you segment users based on their responses to your interactive content, you can create more targeted marketing messages that show the user you’re listening and that you understand what drives them.
Interactive content is also an attention-grabber. This makes it easier to keep visitors on your site longer so they’re more likely to come into contact with your marketing messages.
If you haven’t started using video in your marketing strategy, you’d better start now.
Videos can help you create an emotional connection with users and are a lot better at helping viewers understand your message than static images or text.
Plus, you can create videos for just about anything: tutorials, product demos, how-tos, explainers, and more.
While you’re working on incorporating more video into your franchise digital marketing strategy, don’t forget to go live. Live videos have watch times three times longer than recorded videos.
Chatbots, particularly AI-powered chatbots, are a must for any franchise business’s digital marketing strategy. They can help your franchise be more available to visitors with questions, even helping them move towards a purchase.
Chatbots can answer 80% of the questions that visitors ask of them (IBM). While it’s still important that your franchise use live customer support for the 20% of questions your chatbot can’t handle, this could help your business cut costs considerably.
Research from HubSpot even found that 47% of consumers would be willing to complete a purchase using a chatbot.
As a franchise, you’ll probably find that a lot of the standard digital marketing advice won’t work for you. That’s why, no matter what industry your franchise is in, it’s important to track your digital marketing performance.
Using the digital marketing KPIs we’ve included in this article will help you understand how your marketing strategy is working so you can take steps to improve it.
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