The franchising concept, spread across all industries, is one of the most tried and tested models for local companies to offer a stable, secure business concept.
The market has established itself well and locally covers almost all industries, from household services to fashion to tutoring on financial services.
By standardizing the franchise companies, one might think that there is a limit in terms of marketing. But is this really the case, or is the potential just not exhausted?
Local Online Marketing: A Brief Look At The Market
Local online marketing, in particular, is still in its infancy in India. In the USA, however, it is already very well established. A decisive reason for this is the massive networking of people on the Internet. Everyone is online all the time and everywhere.
So it’s no surprise that more than 86% of potential customers search locally on the Internet. The decisive factor is that a customer who searches locally has already made his purchase decision.
Companies’ chance to win them as a customer is therefore extremely high – provided that the customer finds the company locally!
Therefore, it is possible for companies to gain a decisive competitive advantage by investing in local marketing, as the market has hardly been developed yet.
Franchisors can increase their local presence by allowing customers to find each of their branches on the Internet. Incidentally, an increased Internet presence also ensures positive image effects.
Franchisees benefit too. More customers will come into your business and thus generate more sales.
Franchisees benefit too. More customers will come into your business and thus generate more sales. Franchisees benefit too. More customers will come into your business and thus generate more sales.
Be very close to the customer: More regional visibility through consistent, attractive company profiles
Franchise systems are characterized on the one hand by the central, present brand of the franchisor, but on the other hand, they also make up the independently operating local franchisee.
So what options are there to jointly implement targeted regional online marketing measures?
An efficient and cost-effective solution to win new customers and to increase your own awareness is the placement of company profiles in all online business directories, rating platforms, apps, social networks, and other portals.
For example, Google’s market leader offers its own business directory: “Google+ Local,” formerly Google Places, and Google Maps. Companies automatically receive an entry as soon as they have an entry in the commercial register.
All you have to do is verify yourself and complete and manage your profile. If a company is not registered in the commercial register, it will not receive an automatic entry but can make an entry on Google Maps itself.
A company entry is also known as a “Local Citation”. A local citation means the mention of local company data (name, address, telephone number) on the Internet.
Local citations can appear in any type of website, e.g. in forums, blogs, apps, and many more. Most important, however, are the local citations in online business directories, business directories, and rating portals.
All online business portals are important data sources for the Google search engine, which Google than in the local search results.
This data is also important for your own business directory Google+ Local. There are many variants of online directories: cross-industry and cross-city portals as well as industry-specific or locally oriented portals. However, not all platforms are suitable for your own business. It is, therefore, advisable to find out which portals are relevant.
If you want to write a perfect company entry, you have to provide basic data such as company name, address, telephone number, opening times, and a link to the company website, and you should also insert a concise and informative descriptive text and meaningful photos.
Photos, for example, increase attention by 248%. The more frequently a company entry appears in the portals, and the more uniform it is, the better the company is rated by Google.
Therefore, a detailed company profile generates more attention, greater reach, and a professional image to the outside world for potential new customers. It also has a major impact on whether a customer visits the store.
5 sources of error in online company entries & tips to avoid
After a company entry has been created, all online entries must be checked for accuracy and consistency at regular intervals. Because incorrect and missing data have a negative impact on Google ranking. The following sources of error can cause data to be inconsistent or incorrect:
Verification via the individual directories
Many online directories require employees to be checked manually. Errors in the transmission of data can easily occur here. Regular monitoring prevents this.
Data manipulation through competition
Unfortunately, a company entry can be used and manipulated by the competition. For example, company name, address, or opening times can be changed deliberately. So it can happen that your business is closed according to Google Maps. Check Google Maps regularly to see whether your data is still correct.
In several online directories, users can provide customer feedback on changes to company data. Errors can also creep in quickly here if a user provides incorrect information. Make a list of directories that offer customer feedback and regularly check whether your data is still up to date.
Missing verification on Google+
Create a profile on Google+ Local and do not request a PIN; Google switches itself on and fills the profile with data that it finds about the company on the Internet.
This can also include a lot of incorrect data, which in turn makes local searches more difficult for customers. If two profiles are created for a location, they influence each other in the Google ranking, which also has a negative external effect.
It is, therefore, important to ensure that the location is correctly displayed on the integrated map. If a customer searches locally, he will only be aware of the company profile in this way and visit the store.
Incorrect database synchronization
Many directories work together and synchronize their databases on a regular basis. Some also buy data sets through telephone providers. If your company is not listed consistently in one of the data sets, errors in several databases are quickly adapted.
It’s that easy to carry out marketing measures via online company entries.
It is not immediately possible for many companies to determine how marketing measures can be brought into the online portals.
It is very simple. Companies create a digital shop window in the various online portals in the form of a company entry, comparable to the shop window on the street.
Everything that inspires the customer to buy can be presented here. This means that you also have the option of integrating photos, videos, virtual tours, advertising campaigns, changed opening times (e.g., open day – open longer today!) Online via your own profile. The interest of the customers is aroused.
The franchisor can, for example, tailor a package of specific marketing measures for the franchisee, which makes it easier for the franchisee to implement.
Another option for the franchisor is the central control of all company profiles. It is helpful if a company takes over the management of the company profiles in all relevant online portals at this point.
Because: For many companies, it is very time-consuming to manage all portals and research relevant portals, and it is costly because valuable working time is invested.
The technical prerequisites are also not always given; individual portals usually provide formatting templates that are not always easy to use. Are the company profiles constantly updated and the possibilities exhausted,
Conclusion: Regional visibility generates new customers and creates a positive mood among the franchisor and franchisee
A good place in the local search results gives franchisors and franchisees a decisive advantage over global searches: the competition in local searches is significantly smaller!
Why? There aren’t that many companies that offer the same products or services. As a company, you are closer to the customer, address them more directly, and quickly build trust.
The submission of a clear and simple marketing concept by the franchisor is also advantageous. This offers the franchisee an additional incentive and also creates a positive mood, as he does not have to worry about a marketing concept himself.
If franchisors and franchisees tackle the topic of local marketing together, this is an effective way of successfully attracting new customers, achieving positive image effects, and significantly increasing sales.