CREATING A SUCCESSFUL MOBILE STRATEGY FOR YOUR FRANCHISE

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Adam Heitzman - HigherVisibility

By now it’s no secret that mobile marketing and a mobile presence is crucial for any business, and this includes franchises. This means that you need to make sure you know how to deal with mobile customers and are taking full advantage of the benefits mobile marketing can offer.

Unfortunately, this can get a little bit tricky if you own a franchise. You want to make sure you have mobile campaigns, web designs, and marketing for all of your locations, so you need to be organized and have a solid strategy in place with your marketing team. Whether you’re working at the national level or are managing just one branch, a mobile marketing plan is going to take some time to put into place.

How to Create a Mobile Strategy to Benefit Your Franchise

Mobile marketing is a great way to offer real-time information and build strong relationships with your customers, but a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work. Consider some of the following tips to getting started on the right foot:

1. Create mobile responsive websites

This is something that goes for all companies, not just franchises. You need to make sure you have either a responsive website or a website created specifically for the mobile screen.

For those who are unfamiliar, a responsive design will allow your website to adjust to the smaller screen by putting large images or ads on the bottom with important content on top. It eliminates the need for scrolling horizontally to read text, so it’s easy to read and click through for mobile users. You can learn more about responsive websites at www.highervisibility.com/building-a-mobile-friendly-website-that-will-rank.

In terms of franchise considerations, you probably know by now whether you have a single website with a location finder or websites for each location.

In either case, this will affect your responsive design. If you have a single website with a location finder, you will have additional webpages for mobile viewers for each location, so you need to make sure these are all responsive.

2. Create discount offers and other relevant content for each location

Taking advantage of mobile means creating offers and CTAs (calls to action) that are relevant to users in a particular location. Because mobile marketing is all about consumers shopping or researching on the go, location is going to be incredibly important.

In other words, your content strategy should keep the tone of your national brand while offering specific content to those locally. This means creating discount coupons and offers, loyalty programs, and easy “click here” buttons that cater to those who are in your area.

3. Segment your email marketing or SMS messages

Going along with the last point, you should be segmenting your email marketing campaigns and SMS goals by location. More and more people are reading their emails on the go, so you want to make sure that your content is catering to that fact.

For example, you should drive readers back to a mobile optimized webpage (which should be automatic if you’re using a responsive design). According to Exact Target, 37 percent of business people read their emails from their mobile devices.

4. Submit your site to directories and leverage mobile tools for searching

When thinking about mobile, you don’t just want to think about the people who are reading your website or your email messages—you want to also think about those searching for your business. You need to create a mobile search strategy so that people who are searching on their phones can find your website easily, and believe it or not simply optimizing for Google isn’t your only option.

Jeremy LaDuque, co-founder and CEO of franchise marketing tools company Elements, explained that there are three big ways a franchise can improve their mobile search strategy:

  • PPC mobile search. According to iMedia Connection, mobile ads perform four to five times better than online ads. Use ads that make it easy to Call Now with a quick touch of a button, or have other CTAs that cater toward actions on a mobile phone.
  • Proximity mobile search. This means that all of your franchise locations need to be correct online, but also submitted to directories such Google Places so that people can find your location when they are near. This will also ensure that your business pops up when someone is nearby and searches something related.
  • Hands-free mobile search. Submit your blog to Siri in case people are using a hands-free option on their phones. Once again, it’s important that your website is mobile optimized and your content is ready to go before you begin with a mobile search strategy. After all, if people do find your website and click, it isn’t going to mean much if they can’t read anything because your site is full of ads or difficult to navigate.

The Takeaway

Of course, there is a lot more to a mobile strategy that you can get creative with, but the above points are particularly important for franchise businesses (and things often missed).

There is a great article at www.convinceandconvert.com/mobile/a-step-by-step-guide-to-setting-up-a-mobile-marketing-campaign.

In the end, creating a mobile strategy is actually more time consuming than it is expensive. Laying out all of your different initiatives, who will be in charge, and what content you’re going to create is going to take a good amount of time not only to put in place, but also to manage. While tools and some campaigns may cost a little bit of money, the return is much greater.

Adam Heitzman is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at HigherVisiblity, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers a full range of Internet marketing services.

For more information visit: www.highervisibility.com