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Mar
5
2018
OWNERSHIP

5 Ways to Win New Customers for Your Franchise

5 Ways to Win New Customers for Your Franchise

Learn about the five strategies that will help you build strong business relationships with your consumers.

Building a strong business relies on developing relationships with local consumers. Whether you are considering becoming a franchise owner or are already a franchise owner, these relationships rarely begin when consumers walk through your doors the first time. They often begin at the brand level, where national advertising efforts introduce consumers to the products and services you offer. This brand awareness is crucial, but there is still more work to do before consumers make contact with you. 

For many consumers, the first impression they have of a franchise location isn’t made in person—it’s online. When consumers need to find information about products or services, they usually don’t start by calling or visiting the business. Instead, they reach for their smartphones and search. Three-fourths of smartphone users turn to search first to address their immediate needs, according to Google.

Start the relationship off right by providing the information consumers need when they need it. To do this, here are five strategies a franchise location can leverage to dominate local search results.

Local listings management

As you can see by this resource from Whitespark, the local listing ecosystem is an extremely complex web of search engines, data aggregators, local directories, apps, social media and other sites. 

To make the process more complex for business locations, each of these properties continually push and pull business data to and from one another. This means that even if you submit updated location data to one site, that information might get bumped in favor of information from another local platform.

The best strategy to manage local listings is to regularly distribute updated and consistent location information to as many sites as possible. This can be time-consuming and costly for franchisees, though. Local search marketing agencies can be a huge resource in this endeavor as they have the systems and publisher relationships to widely distribute the data.

Build optimized local landing pages

To provide consumers all the information they need about a franchise, it’s important to build out specific landing pages for a franchise location. This landing page should have all the necessary information a consumer would need to contact the business. Local landing pages also provide searchers unique copy to differentiate the franchise location and help it dominate local search results. 

To put the local search benefits of landing pages into more concrete terms, let’s use a top franchise system, The UPS Store, as an example. Let’s say you own a The UPS Store location and a small business owner in your market conducts a search like “where can I print business cards?” The search results page will probably have a few paid ads at the top of the page, followed by the local map results and then organic results.

The home page for The UPS Store will likely rank high in the organic results. However, that business owner isn’t trying to figure out what service she needs. She wants to know where to go to get it done. Local landing pages provide her with a direct path to find the information she needs to get her cards printed. 

Localized blogging

Search engines love fresh content and regular blog posts are an effective way to feed them. Blogging can also improve search ranking for long-tail, conversational terms by answering specific questions from your potential customers.

Blogging is a huge time commitment, though. Time that franchise owners don’t often have. To get around this issue, you could hire a content marketing agency to manage the blogging efforts.

Paid search advertising

Paid search advertising isn’t just for big spending national brands—there’s plenty of opportunity and incentive for franchisees to get in on the game. According to Google, consumers who click on search ads are 27 percent more likely to buy something in-store and spend 10 percent more once they’re there.

When it comes to competing for paid search ad slots, the trick for franchisees is to be very specific and deliberate.

  • Leverage location geo-targeting so you’re only serving ads to audiences in your market.
  • Embrace long-tail keywords. These terms have less search volume but they are loaded with intent. (Going back to our example, this would mean valuing on a keyword phrase like “where can I print business cards?” more than “business cards.”) 
  • Provide searchers with additional ways to learn more about you with location extensions – information like your address, phone number and hours of operation.

Social media marketing

If you’re wondering what social media marketing is doing in a post about dominating search engine results, head over to Google and do a quick search for a brand name in your city. Chances are that among the first page of results you’ll find multiple links to social media pages. Other than profiles appearing in search, there are plenty of other reasons to maintain active local social profiles.

  • Consumers often go straight to social media to find local businesses and when they do, they prefer to interact with those local businesses. When both brand and location-specific pages exist, 85 percent of all consumer engagement takes place on the local pages, according to MomentFeed.
  • Social media sites play a significant role in fueling the local ecosystem. This means even if consumers aren’t using a franchisee’s location profile to connect with your business, it’s still important to maintain accurate information across the local landscape.
  • Most social media platforms allow advertisers to target by location, demographics, interests and prior behaviors to make sure you’re reaching out to the most valuable audiences in your market, targeting options are just the beginning. For example, on Facebook, you can choose from a wide-range of ad types, run lead generation campaigns that allow users to fill out a form directly on the platform and measure offline conversions by people who’ve seen your ads.

These strategies are just the beginning of the beautiful relationship between a franchise location and local consumers. Dominate search to get them in the door so you can do what you do best–provide exceptional customer service that makes the relationship even stronger. 

Entrepreneur's Franchise Top Rated for Veterans in 2021 badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $10,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #3 in 2021 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the fifth consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

See the Full Testimonial

Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.