Your franchise brand is growing, opening more operating units exponentially each year. You’re executing a successful marketing campaign at the national brand level, profits are steady, and you’ve got your eye on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list—but you know you could grow faster if your franchisees were doing more at the local level. Your franchise location owners need to generate more leads, convert them into paying customers, and increase retention by maximizing engagement with current clientele.
Leveraging events through strategic digital and social media marketing tactics is crucial to boost local success across all markets and can elevate your brand’s growth from “good” to “great.”
Every business has marketable events, starting even before the business opens. Think pre-sales events, a “sneak peek” or open house sign-up event, and grand opening. Once open, a fitness franchise might host an annual weight loss challenge, and a salon might have a recurring makeover tutorial led by a popular stylist.
Powerful events do more than get customers in the door; they build awareness and excitement for your brand.
Many of these events can and should be planned and guided at the corporate brand level, but smart execution at the local level—including local digital marketing—is critical for success.
Think of local event marketing like a web. A single unit hosting a local event could garner a few thousand impressions, but a brand planning a nationwide event marketed through a multi-faceted digital approach could achieve exponentially more reach. If the event is promoted consistently, the same brand message will be delivered to hundreds of thousands of people, covering much more ground. With proper marketing before, during, and after the event, your customers and targeted leads are likely to share the event with their friends, creating viral visibility at no additional cost.
BEFORE THE EVENT
The success of an event depends on local marketing executed well before the event begins.
Franchisees can encourage a sense of urgency by creating a Facebook event page and scheduling social media posts counting down to the event. Local e-blasts can include messaging about the event and drive traffic to an RSVP page or lead-capture landing page designed specifically for an event.
Digital ads as well as boosted, sponsored, or pinned posts on social media can generate a high level of buzz about an upcoming event while simultaneously boosting brand awareness. Strategic targeting and ad spend deliver an event to current and prospective customers who are a fit for your brand in a specific local market.
Consistent use of on-brand event assets throughout integrated marketing activities across all locations drives a unified, recognizable message that showcases what’s unique and special about your brand. Typos, improper logo use, and clip-art at the local level can dilute the brand, show it in a negative light, and fail to attract new customers.
DURING THE EVENT
While marketing prior to an event is key to participation, keeping the momentum going throughout the event’s duration is equally important for engagement and retention. Whether an event is a few hours or a few weeks long, thoughtful digital marketing tactics can foster a sense of community that increases brand loyalty and referrals.
With attention to brand messaging and consistency, franchisees can employ these digital marketing activities to maximize event engagement online:
- Set up a branded Snapchat geofilter to make it fun for customers to share pictures of the event with their friends
- Upload videos from the event to Youtube and share them across multiple channels
- Share fun event pictures and videos during the event via Instagram Stories
- Communicate with event participants in a Facebook Group, where members of the group, including customers and staff, can all post to and interact with each other
AFTER THE EVENT
When an event ends, it’s instinctive to move right into what’s coming up next. But the best event marketing continues to keep up the buzz of an event well after it’s over.
Through email newsletters, social media, and blog content, franchisees can showcase an event’s best moments, promoting a sense of pride in attendees and a strong push for others to join in next time.
This is an ideal time to curate user-generated content by searching for event- and location-specific hashtags. Incorporating user-generated content shows customers your brand is listening and engaging—and encourages other customers to share their own content about your brand in the future.
MANAGING EVENT MARKETING ACROSS 100s OF LOCATIONS
Brands can encourage all open and pre-open franchise locations to follow these simple, replicable event marketing strategies. Before the event, develop cohesive brand assets to increase awareness across all units. During, build a sense of community by encouraging discussion and user-generated content through social media. At the event’s end, recap and repurpose content from their location for future events.
While important, managing hundreds of individual franchise locations’ events isn’t the best use of time for your corporate marketing team. Working with a franchise-focused digital agency partner for localized marketing support can help streamline event marketing success across all markets while protecting the brand. A branded event, promoted properly in all markets throughout its life cycle, earns interest from new clients, loyalty from current customers, and engagement from all—for growth at the local and brand level.
To learn more about how iluma Agency can make your brand shine with frictionless franchise digital marketing, contact us today.