Empowering Your Franchise Brand Through Search, Social, Local and Mobile Strategies.


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In this ebook you'll learn about how to take a converged media approach to marketing your franchise brand. Whether you're a franchisor or franchisee, utlizing seach, social, local and mobile strategies is best practice in today's saturated marketplace.

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Empowering Your Franchise Brand Through Search, Social, Local and Mobile Strategies.

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  3. 3. Table of ContentsEmpowering Franchise Brands Through Converged Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Surefire Ways To Empower Your Brand Through Search, Social, Local and Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Step 1: Align Yourself With The Buyer’s Journey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Step 2: Create a Fully Integrated Social Business… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Step 3: Implement A Clearly Defined Hyper-Local Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Step 4: Connect Your Brand To Mobile Consumers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Step 5: Choose The Right Team To Partner With . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 3 www.iDigitalStrategies.com
  4. 4. Empowering Your Franchise Brand Through Search, Social, Local and Mobile It’s time to empower your Franchise brand and more importantly your franchisees. In our multi-channel, data driven society it’s no surprise that the buyer’s journey is fragmented. It’s imperative that your message is clear, consistent, and gets through regardless of the channel or medium consumers are engaged with. The consumer has full control. With their attention fragmenting across different channels through search, social, local and mobile, the savvy Franchise brand that adopts all four will connect more often with the “empowered buyer”. This buyer is armed with information, multiple devices and has greater access to your brand. Enabling franchisors and franchisees to reach customers exactly where, how and when they want the information, regardless of channel, medium or device, online or offline, should be the focus in 2013 and beyond. So how do you do this effectively? A Converged Media strategy for your Franchise Brand is the key. According to Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang, “Converged Media utilizes two or more channels of paid, earned, and owned media. It is characterized by a consistent storyline, look and feel.” The three main components are:   1 Paid Media: Pay Per Click, Studies have Display, Banner Mobile PPC Ads; essentially anythingshown that more that requires a media buy. Owned Media: Your website,   2  than 60% of location pages on your website or franchisee sites, local search the buying cycle listings, blogs, social mediais over by the time presence and content marketing. This category includes anything your prospect that doesn’t require a media buy. Earned Media: SEO and Local   3  reaches out to SEO visibility, social mentions shared by users, user generated your business. content, online reviews, community forums, and media that isn’t controlled by your brand. Franchise brands that do not integrate and align their paid, earned, and owned me- dia, are at a significant disadvantage. They must look at different ways to effectively collaborate with agencies and vendor partners, shift budgets, and put appropriate metrics in place for these new and evolved marketing initiatives. No single medium can stand-alone! Franchise brands need to focus on the content to match the needs of their target audience. For example, if you are marketing through B2B paid or owned media, the consumer may visit your website, download a white paper, watch a webinar, interact on social media, see your print ad, and then disappear only to come back 6 months later to give you a call. Local focused content is also important. If you are a local franchisee, your local landing page should have content that reflects the opportunities specific to the geographic region. They need to be highly relevant to the geo-location and customer’s needs.4 info@iDigitalStrategies.com • 800.836.9097
  5. 5. Five Surefire Ways To Maximize Your Brand Through Search, Social,Local Mobile!1.  Align Your Search Content Marketing with the Buyers’ Journey: The Convergence of Search is here to stay; just ask Google! Google now professes that marketers can reach their ideal customers and connect with them anytime, anywhere and from any device through Google Enhanced Campaigns. According to Guardian Professional’s Simon Jacobson, “This is the most significant devel- Recent studies opment to paid search since the shift to an auction-model.” This convergence will take effect in all active Google AdWords campaigns later this month. Your market- have shown that ing message will layer across all devices, including mobile, tablet and smartphones while automatically aligning with desktop campaigns. For example, a local restau- combining social rant franchise may now advertise using a message on desktop-devices for table reservations in their area, or by using a location based click-to-call ad on a mobile signals into device for carry out orders. Savvy Franchise Brand marketers must be able to search strategies seamlessly create smarter ads for those “empowered consumers.” Social media marketers now have a huge may improve opportunity to impact SEO rankings and search rankings increase revenue generated through organic search. Recent studies have up to 45%. shown that combining social signals into search strategies may improve search rankings up to 45%. Optimizing both SEO and Social should be a key driver of your company’s overall earned media strategies in 2013. Your content’s likes, shares, re-tweets and +1s are the new links. The importance of social signals in search are gaining more and more relevance. Any business that wants to rank well on Google absolutely needs to be using Google+. According to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, “It’s so integrated Remember that with everything that Google is doing.” It will pay big dividends in the new search ecosystem if you focus on your social media content as a way to improve SEO 80% of the people ranking of your franchisor and franchisee websites. who interactWe recommend that your Social Media Manager should work with your “SEO Ninja”more often. This will create synergies in terms of sharing content and learning with your contenttogether. Measuring and managing this correlation has been proven to workaccording to Jim Yu from BrightEdge, author of “How Search and Social will hit the aren’t ready tofast forward button in 2013.” CMO’s and Marketing Directors need to collaborateand integrate their vendors to maximize paid, owned, and earned media to drive make a buyingeffectiveness, cultivate influencers, and cut through the clutter. decision.Smart franchise brands have established themselves as content creators with theirown loyal readers. Successful content marketing programs now deliver engagingcontent — from blogs, videos, and info-graphics to case studies, podcasts, andwebinars. It’s more imperative now than ever to have a fully developed contentmarketing strategy. This will allow you to heal your prospects pain points, answer allof their questions, and allow them to learn more about your company or opportunityand to push them further towards making a purchase. Remember that 80% of thepeople who interact with your content aren’t ready to make a buying decision. 5 www.iDigitalStrategies.com
  6. 6. Capturing their contact information is important so you’re able to nurture to them over time and move them further down the buying cycle. The mantra “everyone is a publisher” really can’t be contested anymore. Franchise brands need to make this work both from a local and global brand perspective. Do you have compelling and sharable content on both the B2B and B2C sides of your franchise that appeal to Amazon and these empowered consumers? Netflix caused Remember that your franchisee’s potential customers are in different stages of their buying journey. One could be just starting out doing local research. Another could bemany competitors comparing multiple businesses. When potential franchisors or potential customers of your franchises initially start their search online for a solution they should easily find like Borders and your company’s engaging “top of the funnel” content that ultimately reaches a wider audience. For others that may be further down the buying cycle, you need to have Blockbuster to checklists, comparative charts, case studies, free downloads, buying guides, and testimonials to appeal to the buying stage they’re in. All of the content that’s producedclose completely. should be set up to capture the information of the interested person as well as beThe inevitable will easily sharable across social networks. This social and search ecosystem, even though considered by some as complex, is aligning at lightning fast speed. soon happen in Several driving forces are behind the evolution of Social and Search. Social is being the Social Media consumed with a local concentration and in multiple formats. The social engagement paradigm is becoming more dependent on the quality of the content and the landscape. accessibility of the content. It is important to note that for SEO opportunities Google will heavily weigh your comparative charts or blog posts over your competitor’s content if people are interacting with it and sharing it on social media. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a keyword strategy. In addition, you must include the direction of Search that increasingly relies on social data in the years to come. You should also consider creating content that is both useful and easily sharable by your ideal customers with a focuses on local initiatives when appropriate. There is no question that scalability is a huge issue in the Franchise industry. As much as we would like to rely on someone at the corporate headquarters or in each local franchise to write strategic, engaging content, we can’t. Having a blanketed content marketing approach is no longer a smart strategy when it comes to franchise marketing. New, fresh, local content is the way to go. It’s imperative to work with partners that specialize in content development for franchise brands and that are able to scale to each of your locations. Ever heard of the term “closing the loop”? Closed loop marketing is a franchise brand’s best practice that gives you, as a franchisee or franchisor, insight to where your best and most profitable channels are. It allows you to directly tie revenue to your social media efforts, video marketing, traditional or any other channel where you’re marketing. Hubspot is one our favorite tools to use for this process. 2.  Create a Fully Integrated Social Business It wasn’t long ago when “.com’s” were the rage and the market came crashing down. Many companies weren’t seeing the ROI they were expecting and just played with their internet marketing efforts from that point forward. Others took full advantage to grab online market share i.e. Amazon and Netflix caused many competitors like Borders and Blockbuster to close completely. The inevitable will soon happen in the Social Media landscape. Whether6 info@iDigitalStrategies.com • 800.836.9097
  7. 7. you’re a local franchisee, a CMO for a Franchise Brand, or somewhere in between, If a largeit’s obvious that social media is here to stay. What really is Social Media? Social Mediais a subsection of earned media. Earned media ultimately takes full advantage of franchise brandword of mouth, social proof, customer generated content and relationship building.These opportunities help your business stand out from competitors, lower your paid doesn’t have aadvertising, and help your brand stay top-of-mind to franchise prospects and localcustomers alike. To empower your Franchise Brand through Social, make sure Facebook pageyou put these on your to do list: for their local• Social Search franchisee, odds Facebook’s Graph Search is just one of the many changes that are happening on the search front. Slowly your social network is becoming a greater determining are they won’t be factor when searching on Google, Yahoo and Bing. What does this mean to franchise brands? It means that the days of just managing a single Facebook or returned in the Twitter account are gone. Now, brands with only a single Facebook page miss out on many of the benefits of having a page for each physical location. If a user search results. does a graph search for “Sub Sandwiches in Orlando”, Facebook would return results for local franchise pages from the user’s network that have been endorsed by either him/ her or the user’s social network. If a large franchise brand doesn’t have a Facebook page for their local franchisee, odds are they won’t be returned in the search results. Franchise brands should immediately consider a local approach to their social strategy.• Strategy Before a brand decides to “go social”, a complete social media strategy must be in place. In the franchise space, this will encompass both your franchise brand (overall brand voice) and your many locations. If done right, you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your strategy across all locations, grow your franchisor/ franchisee base and generate new revenue. This process involves creation of social media policies, content marketing calendars, multi-location management, organic/ paid measurement, analytics, consistent tweaks and more. To streamline the process, we at Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) have created the “Five Phased Approach” to implement social media into franchise brands. It contains an ever-changing strategy to turn franchises that have touched the surface of social into fully integrated social businesses.• Community Having a community strategy with your franchise opportunity not only helps market your franchise opportunity; it also helps build a close bond between your current customers and your franchise. For example, if you’re a commercial cleaning franchise and you want to attract more franchises in regions you don’t exist, you can utilize social media to start combining the appealing entrepreneurial mentality of your target market alongside your cleaning opportunity. For your customers, you could offer discounts and exclusive content to the members of your community. One of the keys here will be to start up conversations on social channels with these people and get them engaged with your website. You may later start nurturing them with email content by tying in the social network effect by having their interactions with your community amplify out to their network. 7 www.iDigitalStrategies.com
  8. 8. • Amplification and Advocacy Building community and setting up social strategies are obviously great things to do for your brand. In addition, you must develop a strategy to measure and reward your biggest advocates? Make sure you have a system in place to find your social media influencers and advocates so you can interact with them differently. These people are important when they extend the reach of your messaging by helping you grow your fan base exponentially. They also act as a defense against detractors when sharing their opinions offline. We suggest that you hold local meet up groups for your biggest local advocates, send out surveys, ask them questions, create content that only they can access or engage with them for case studies. • Listening All too many franchises that are actually using social media are only using it to If you haven’t blast out their message. Millions of people are on social channels, engaging in conversations relevant to your local car wash franchise, looking for a franchise thought about opportunity like yours. They’re also telling you what they like and don’t like. You should be listening to these conversations and engaging with these people to local search HELP them with their daily lives. In turn, they will follow you and share your content. optimization for There are also numerous people talking about your franchise right now. Are you responding to them? Do people have a positive or negative sentiment towards your franchise, your brand? What kind of review strategy have you set up to monitor all of your locations? Listening will provide insights that you may immediately use for your you’re leaving franchise? Target your social listening into other communities similar to your fran- chise and listen to what people are saying. You’ll be surprised what you will learn thousands of about your target demographic or competitor by just putting your ear to the wall.dollars in revenue 3.  Implement A Clearly-Defined Hyper-Local Strategy each month to According to Google, 20% of all Google searches are performed with local your local intent. In addition, 40% of Google mobile searches are local. These “mom pop” two statistics provide evidence of the importance on the effect of local competitors. search. The exponential growth of local and mobile search and usage will push Franchise sites to optimize for mobile searches. Make no mistake, it is imperative to also understand local search to have the most significant impact on your marketing strategy. If you haven’t thought about local search optimization for your franchise, you’re leaving thousands of dollars in revenue each month to your local “mom pop” competitors. Some of the biggest opportunities in front of Franchise Brand websites are optimizing for local searches. The IDS’ “Empowered Local” Search solution seamlessly automates this process in 5 easy steps. However, if you are doing this on your own, here are some questions you should be asking your web developers or search marketing partners. • Does each location page show up for your respective geographic search queries? • What on-site SEO techniques have been done to each of our 500 location landing pages? • Is there robust, local content for each franchisee location and target area served?8 info@iDigitalStrategies.com • 800.836.9097
  9. 9. • Is your local franchisee found faster on the Franchise Brand site?• Will it be found faster by the search engines?• Are your title tags optimized for each business name and service?• Does your franchisee landing page have their local phone number in a prominent place?• Does your franchisee include their full business address and is it easy to find both for the user and search engine?• Is the phone number published with their business name and address consistently across Google+ Local, Yahoo, Bing Local and IYPs?All of these factors will greatly enhance your organic rankingsand possibly be picked up in Google+ Local as well.Remember the user experience when interacting withyour Franchisee’s location page. Additions such as anembedded Google Map with driving directions will helpbring in some in-store offline traffic. From URLnaming structure to footer “NAP” (Name, Address,Phone) information, it’s important to ensure that thesearch engines know that all of your hundred+ locationsare optimizedand the users that are searching locally andthrough the mobile web may find them and choose them.Over the past few years Google, Yahoo and Bing have responded to user demandsby inserting more localized filters to their results. For instance, if you’re signed intoGoogle, you’ll receive tapered results to the location you’re in on your social network.Social sharing and local verification of your Google+ Business page can have asignificant impact on your rankings. Remember, Google is converging their Google isecosystem by combining Google+ Local with Google Places pages. We are seeing converging theirfirst hand what Social and Search ecosystem will do across the playing field. Youwill soon learn more and more about Google Authorship, validated authoritative ecosystem bycontent coupled with trusted support of your business profile. These are importantconsiderations and a must in your hyper-local strategy. combiningWhere does social media come into play with a hyper-local strategy? The lines are Google+ Localblurred between Social, Local and Mobile. People are checking your local-mobilefranchise page, looking at Facebook nearby to see what local places their friends with Googlelike, checking into your locations using Foursquare, rating your franchises onGoogle+, and re-tweeting your content on Twitter. All of these social actions now Places pages.have influence on the local search results. This influence will increase in the years We are seeingto come. Social Media is where your customers and potential franchisees areinteracting on a daily basis. You must have a presence both nationally and locally first hand whatwith a strategy in place that includes clearly defined goals. Social and SearchDon’t forget consumers have the last say expressed by Likes, +1s, Check-Ins,Reviews and Recommendations. This requires a strategy to consolidate in a ecosystem willscalable manner to build trust and authority in your franchisees business. As of 2013,Google will actually try and guess your locations. In many instances, however, the do across theinformation collected from your location data sources are inaccurate and could besending people to the wrong location. Google will also disqualify your local location if playing field.it picks up a P.O. Box as your local address. It is important to consider if you have 5locations or 5,000, you need to engage an internal Local SEO professional or hirean agency to manage the local search optimization of your franchise locations. 9 www.iDigitalStrategies.com
  10. 10. Google, Facebook and now Apple have set the battleground for local businesses and franchisees for years to come in local search. Is your Franchise brand ready for the challenge? 4. Connect Your Brand To Mobile Consumers With the rise of mobile usage in local search and the introduction to Apple maps, the shift is clearly moving toward mobile. Franchise brands that optimize their sites for local and mobile will see a significant increase in relevant and high-converting traffic to their mobile optimized website. Taking some simple steps in optimizing your desktop site for the mobile web will increase traffic and positively impact same store sales. According to Cisco, mobile device connections will hit 10 billion by 2016. Did you know? • There are over 1.1 billion smartphone subscribers around the world • There are over 5 billion mobile phone users • There will be more mobile devices on earth than people. • And of those 10 billion mobile devices, at least 1 billion of them will be smartphones. Smartphones are now outselling PCs. With that many people walking around brows- ing, searching, and purchasing on their mobile devices, website that are not opti- mized for mobile searches will be left in the dust. Franchise brands and multi-location business need to have a mobile strategy. When it comes to local search, mobile is essential. How much do you think consumers care if the site they click on is mobile friendly? According to 2011 Compuware study, 60% of mobile users expect a site to load in 3 seconds or less. If your site is not mobile optimized, you won’t get the call. If you get your franchise site (and more importantly your franchisee’ sites) mobile optimized, they will be more visible on the mobile web. Consequently, your Franchise brand appears more credible and more engaging and will make it easier for the local consumer to interact with your products and services. This enables consumers to learn store hours, directions, store locations, click-to-call, contact information, and more. All of this improves customer loyalty and increases same store sales. According to Adobe, 63% of mobile users prefer mobile sites when making a purchase due to ease of accessing important information. It is important to employ a mobile website content management system that will manage hundreds of mobile sites from one central interface. When products change or special offerings are promoted, you are able to update seamlessly across your franchise network. Analytics are essential in this strategy as franchise brand marketers look at mobile data, conversion statistics, keyword rankings for mobile searches, and competitor’s performance. Mobile consumers are increasingly becoming the lifeline for in-store sales. Take advantage of this opportunity to get into the mobile ecosystem. Your royalty income will grow and your franchisees will enjoy greater satisfactions.10 info@iDigitalStrategies.com • 800.836.9097
  11. 11. 5. Choose The Right Team To Partner With! It is time toNow is the time to become empowered as a Franchise Brand. The media landscapewill converge in 2013 and not stop. Evaluate your digital marketing initiatives and breakdown thedecide which partners, vendors and agencies are in a strong position to represent yourbrand within the converged media evolution. It is time to breakdown the “silos” within “silos” within youryour marketing team and make sure your vendors collaborate and integrate theirspecialized disciplines. Remember, no single marketing can stand-alone anymore! marketing teamIf you’re interested in learning how to navigate through the convergence of Search, and make sureSocial, Local and Mobile, the team at Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) is hereto work with you every step of the way. We provide a scalable and innovative your vendorsdigital marketing solution that is built around Converged Media. We partner with collaborate andbest-in-class digital experts in all disciplines of Search, Social, Local and Mobile.We know that each client’s digital strategy is different and we will work closely with integrate theiryou to create a custom designed strategy while empowering your franchise brand.To learn more about our complete digital marketing solution of Search, Social, specializedLocal and Mobile, visit our site: www.iDigitalStrategies.com or call 1-800-836-9097to speak with a digital marketing consultant today. disciplines. NTEGRATED DIGITAL STRATEGIES Your Complete Digital Marketing Solution About the Authors Joseph A. Mohay Joseph Mohay is Chief Digital Officer at Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) a Boston-based Digital Marketing agency that empowers Franchise Brands and Multi- Location businesses through Search, Social, Local and Mobile. Joseph has over 10 years of digital marketing expertise and has worked hand in hand with local buinesses both domestically and internationally. Joseph is a thought leader in Local Search and has a keen understanding on how to effectivey market franchise businesses inside of the “Local Search Ecosystem.” Dustin DeTorres Dustin DeTorres is the Director of Social Media Marketing for IDS. A a global B2B marketing and social media expert, he has been connecting people and products through technology for more than a decade. The foundation of Dustin’s experience stems from a traditional sales an marketing background with a focus on generating revenue for B2B sales organizations, local businesses and franchise brands. Dustin is a Certified HubSpot Partner and Inbound Marketing expert. 11 www.iDigitalStrategies.com
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