Marketing your franchise online is a great way to reach a wider audience of potential customers, build your brand awareness and grow the business.
However, starting an online marketing strategy doesn’t mean you have to stop traditional marketing activities.
An online marketing strategy is effective when it’s complimented by offline marketing such as direct mail, events, flyers, networking and print advertisements and vice versa.
With a comprehensive strategy you can take advantage of the benefits of both channels and communicate with customers in a variety of ways to achieve the best engagement.
Here are some tips to help you implement an offline and online marketing strategy.
Maintaining a consistent brand across offline and online channels is important to help build the franchises’ brand awareness and convey a single brand message.
This includes using the same logo, key messages, tone of voice, brand colours and imagery on all of your marketing materials and communications. This is an effective strategy to help customers identify your brand and get to know the franchise.
Use traditional marketing to drive customers online and vice versa
You can use traditional marketing strategies to direct customers to your online sites e.g. your website. You can also use your online presence to attract people to your physical business or location. By taking advantage of these cross promotional opportunities you can help customers to connect and engage with you on a variety of channels.
For example, in your physical business or marketing posters include a link to your website or social media profiles with a call to action to encourage customers to visit the site. On your website you could discuss a current in store promotion or event to attract people to attend your physical location.
This is an effective strategy to strengthen your marketing efforts as well as reach a wider audience of customers.
Using both offline and online strategies provides you with a range of opportunities to connect with customers. It’s then important to research your target audience to learn where they are most active and engaged and what their preferred method of communication is.
For example, your customers may prefer to provide their feedback on your Facebook profile instead of filling out a feedback form in store. This will help your communication to be more effective as you can directly reach your target customers.
Choose the right platform
Implementing both offline and online strategies doesn’t mean your brand needs to be present everywhere and on every possible online channel. The most effective strategies start with a goal, define their target audience and then choose the key platforms that will achieve this goal.
Measure the results
It’s important to have a measurement strategy and tools in place to record the success of your marketing campaigns. Tracking the success of a marketing campaign can often be easier online because you can measure how many clicks were received on a link and how many people visited your website. For example, by being listed on an online business directory you have the ability to measure how many people viewed your listing, how many web referrals you received and the ability to track leads. Directories such as FranchiseBusiness.com.au will also provide you with a monthly advertising activity report to inform you of your listing statistics.
Online tools can also make it easier to track the effectiveness of offline marketing. For example, you can include a unique URL on in store posters and direct customers to visit it. Using Google Analytics you can track how many people visited the website and how they found the website. This can help you to understand whether the poster was effective by tracking how many people went to the website after viewing it.
When deciding on the budget for your franchise marketing don’t just choose either offline or online strategies. Determine the best way to communicate your brand message to your target audience and create a comprehensive strategy that incorporates the best of both channels.