As a franchise business owner, you understand the importance of being known in the market and having a steady stream of enquiries and leads that convert to paying clients. Fellow business owners can often take time to research, process and evaluate alternatives before making a decision. This is why consistent B2B local area marketing is so important.
You may already use a ‘funnel’ diagram to track where clients are on their customer journey. As a B2B business, decision makers are more likely to search when they identify a need. This makes ‘Findability’ and ‘Reputation’ so important in your marketing strategy, supported by your overarching advertising to help generate enquiry. At all of these points you want to ensure you communicate own brand story.
Findability is how easy it is for potential clients to find you when searching for a solution your franchise offers. Being visible during this search phase is vital to generating quality leads. Digital marketing plays a significant role in your findability. The main platforms for this are Google (organic and paid), online listings and your website. Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for the decision maker to find you and learn about your brand.
Once decision makers have found your franchise, they want to verify the quality of your business. Depending on your offering and competitors, this could take a few minutes – or a few weeks. Similar to the ‘Search’ stage, this is much easier online where they look at your website, online reviews, testimonials, social media and your engagement with customers and the community. You should aim to be present on the right platforms.
So how do you increase your findability and reputation as a local B2B business?
Offline marketing is important in building awareness. However, depending on your message and the needs of the client, offline marketing can also be lead generating. The key with B2B marketing offline is consistency and you should aim to have your message in front of customers as often as possible. Depending on your budget there are a range of ways to do this. One of easiest and most cost-effective options is B2B letterbox drops or addressed mail direct to the businesses. You could also combine this with outdoor, press and radio all sharing the same message at the same time. Although these target the client outside of the search phase, these are quite effective in keeping your business top of mind for future needs.
Additionally, as a B2B business, you should consider engaging in local business networks and sponsor local events. This can give you an opportunity to have conversations and build relationships with business owners or decision makers which can quickly and effectively strengthen your credibility. This may not necessarily be a lead generating activity initially, but word-of mouth from engaging these can lead to better quality, long-term clients.
Having an online presence is almost essential to be found by your clients and considered. You should take advantage of free online listings such as Google My Business, social media relevant to your industry and EDMs.
Google My Business is the most visible listing platform as Google is often the first-place decision makers look for a solution. It has a huge impact on local searches and can even rank you higher in certain Google search results. This is based on your star rating, number of reviews, activity on the platform, clicks and information consistency across different sites.
Posting regular local content on your social media gives you another platform for potential clients to verify your business and to keep you top of mind with your followers. Posts should be engaging, informative and relevant. Reviews and testimonials are probably one of the best ways to give your business credibility online. You should monitor and engage with these on all your digital platforms.
Regular emails to existing, potential and previous clients can be an effective way to keep your brand top of mind. This allows you to keep decision makers updated and promote any offers you may have which may encourage them to engage, reengage or increase their existing spend.
You could also consider Google paid ads. These are the ads shown at the top of the Google search results. As a pay-per-click marketing tool, this can be especially effective in the search phase.
What we suggest
Some of most effective B2B franchise marketing campaigns use a layered marketing approach. This means engaging a range of online and offline strategies at the same. This increases the how often business owners see your message, keeping you top of mind at all times for the solutions you offer.
We understand you can be time poor, or just might not have the capability to activate an effective B2B marketing campaign. If you would like more support, The Marketing Lab has the ability to research and structure single campaigns through to 90 day plans to help you reach your marketing goals.
For more info, please contact us on 07 3088 3021.