5 Genius Ways Franchises Can Attract Local Customers

Plan a Franchise Marketing Strategy to Get More Local Customers

When you own a franchise, marketing can be especially tricky. On one hand, you must stay true to the mother ship—your company’s overall branding guidelines like logo, mission statement, color palette, and advertising language. On the other, your franchise needs a marketing strategy that appeals to locals.

While it might seem easier to sit back and let the already-invented wheel turn itself (i.e., let national marketing bring in sales), avoiding local outreach efforts could undermine profitability. And that would be a shame.

Fortunately, with a little planning and effort you can build a local audience. Consider these 5 starting points:

1. List Locally

Online review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google help people scout businesses in a particular area. But you need to do a little legwork before reaping the benefits.

  • Get listed – Choose a few sites and create your local listings. Include as many details about your franchise as possible and aim for consistency across sites. The goal is to make it pain-free for folks to find your essentials (website, address, available hours, phone number).
  • Encourage reviews – Potential customers want to know you have a solid track record. Get the word out by encouraging customers to post reviews and making it pain-free for them to do so.
  • Monitor your listing – Things change, so when they do, remember to let the internet know.

2. Plan a Contest or Giveaway

Name one thing people like more than free stuff. You can’t, can you?

So…find a nifty product or service to give away and promote it like crazy on social media. And your website. And maybe a local paper or magazine.

If more foot traffic is your end game, you can require in-store redemption or pickup, and if you’re super brave, try something like “The first 50 customers through the door will receive a free _________!”

3. Use Local Tags & Hashtags

Using social media is a must for gaining homegrown fans, but did you know you can enhance your strategy even further by using location tags and hashtags?

To add your location to a Facebook post, for example, simply click the Check In button and enter your location. Now anyone searching for businesses in and around your town can spot your post. The process for other sites will vary, so do your homework before posting.

This concept extends to hashtags, as well. Getting as specific as possible with hashtags helps in several ways, and highlighting your city is the easiest way to start. Let’s say your franchise is a house cleaning company in Little Rock. You could use #littlerockhousecleaners #housecleaninglittlerock…you get the idea.

4. Be a Community Sponsor

Youth teams, schools, and clubs are always in the market for sponsors, so contributing your products or services will help place your business on the local radar. Plus, getting involved puts you close to other community-minded folks, which might keep the cycle of awareness running.

Not in a position to take on a sponsorship? Consider volunteering at a local nonprofit or charity event. Any opportunity to interact with locals helps promote your franchise.

5. Build Lists Like a Pro

If you’ve never heard of list building tools, sit tight, because we’re about to change your life.

Whether you want to reach potential customers citywide or spread the word in a nearby neighborhood, solutions like Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Elite let you laser in on residential and commercial addresses in a target area. And did we mention it’s 6 cents cheaper than standard mail? Here’s how it works:

  1. Design a postcard, brochure, or other direct mail piece right on the Xpressdocs website, without having to download or learn software. New to direct mail? No problem. We have templates!
  2. Choose the option to purchase a list.
  3. Select an area by city, street, radius, or demographic (yep, you can target new homeowners in their 30s).
  4. After you receive the list of records we send, confirm which addresses to include.

Our team will take it from there, ensuring your deliverables hit every door you selected.

Final Thoughts

As a franchisee, you’re part of a greater whole, and sure, you could rely on corporate campaigns to grow your business. But do a little research and you’ll learn that strong, modern marketing is all about personalization. Look at it this way…Do you think selling HVACS in Michigan is the same as selling them in Miami?

So give your business its best shot and prioritize local marketing. Your bottom line (and your community) will thank you.

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