In case you missed our webinar “Integrated Digital Marketing for Franchise Systems”, co-hosted by Google, we wanted to give a recap of the great content outlining why integrated digital strategies are so important and how they can be developed to achieve a balance between the brand and the franchisees. This approach is something Location3 Media calls “Franchise impact, Brand intact”.
The Online Media Landscape
Although many of us are familiar with online usage stats, it is important to revisit them frequently because the landscape changes so often. Here are several statistics about online marketing usage that are great to keep in mind as your brand is determining how to approach investing in digital marketing.
1) People are constantly looking for new information online. Billions of searches are done each day. 16% of the searches have never been conducted before. (Google)
2) Shopping starts online with 94 percent of consumers researching products online before buying. Customers rely on online sources for local information. (Google)
3) Spend on digital has grown by 10 percent in the past five years. (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Wilkofsky Gruen Associates)
Integrated Digital Programs
Integrated digital programs allow advertisers to reach customers on their individual path to purchase. Today’s path to purchase is fluid rather than linear, it is consumer directed versus brand directed and it requires guidance from multiple sources. Managing the path to purchase for franchise systems requires a combined effort between franchisors and franchisees. Some of these efforts include:
1) Providing store locations with marketing plans and approved branding collateral for individual use
2) Managing local listings by centralizing at corporate to ensure consistency and accuracy of data
3) Providing franchisees a website framework and CMS that allows for localized custom content
4) Developing a centralized social media strategy that ensures a consistent brand voice, and is supported by store-level voice
Franchisees can help manage the path to purchase by utilizing the tools provided by corporate including vendor relationships and technology resources.
Paid Search & Display
As we mentioned, billions of searches are done each day with 94 percent of searchers starting their research online. Search also increases the efficiency of TV, print and radio between 3 and 10 percent. Here are a few other reasons why paid search is a must-have strategy for franchise systems:
1) Search drives offline conversions. 89 percent of shopping starts online while 93 percent of conversions happen offline
2) Search can be customized to fit individual franchisees including keywords, ad copy, landing pages and most importantly geographic targeting
3) Call tracking is a must have for franchise systems. We typically see that 70-90 percent of all actions completed from paid search are phone calls
Along with search, the combination of display and search campaigns delivers a 155 percent increase in search activity, speeds up the purchase funnel five times and 27 percent of users perform a search query instead of clicking on a banner.
Social / SEO / Content / Design
625,000 people join Google+ everyday and the Google +1 button is used more than 5 million times a day. In case you didn’t have enough reasons to upgrade your social, SEO, content, and design strategy, this rapidly growing product is the perfect push over the edge. Here are a few additional reminders about the power of these integrated strategies:
1) Google+ is a megaphone for your brand allowing you to add credibilitiy and enhance visibility on the Google Display Network, Google Search, YouTube and mobile channels.
2) SEO has three components that need to be addressed in every strategy: website optimization, content creation, and content distribution. Integrating SEO into the path to purchase for franchise systems requires the franchise system and the franchisors to hold up their responsibilities in each section.
3) As the worlds of design, SEO, content, and collide, findability requires as choreographed effort. The bottom line is that a website cannot be designed without planning your SEO and content strategies at the same time. The are not separate entities.
4) Content marketing is educating and inspiring people enough to do business with you. It’s not about you anymore and your content needs to engage and inspire your customers.
Overall, the success of your integrated digital marketing plan starts with your customers. Learning about their path to purchase and shaping a strategy to meet them at all points along the way will gain and keep your customers. Managing the path between the system and the franchisees will empower the individual locations while protecting the brand.
Do you have any success stories with your franchise system and integrated digital marketing that you’d like to share? If so, we’d love to hear them. Also, a recorded version of our webinar is available here