How Franchises Can Add Local Involvement to Their Facebook Advertising

October 17, 2017
By   Steve Buors
Category   Uncategorized

Facebook is a tremendous advertising opportunity for almost any business. The depth of geographic, demographic, and interest-based targeting is unmatched by any other advertising media.

As we discussed in the previous article in this series, there are several very powerful Facebook opportunities that multi-location businesses should consider as part of their social advertising strategy.

However, although the Facebook features we reviewed are certainly a step forward for franchise companies, they don’t really take advantage of the local power inherent to a multi-location business. In this article, we discuss how franchise companies leverage their Facebook advertising to generate better clickthroughs, lower CPCs, and more leads.

This is the third article in a series on the topic of social media advertising for franchises. We suggest reading each article in the series in the following order:

Why use local social media and Adwords advertising?

Before we discuss how to take advantage of local social media advertising, let’s first discuss why local is so important.

Local is a part of every franchise system because the company is essentially made up of a group of local entrepreneurs, each running their own business under a common brand managed by the franchisor. As we discussed in our previous article, this creates a natural tension within the organization between national consistency/cost-efficiency and local independence/innovation. In high-functioning organizations, this tension can be used to produce truly superior digital marketing results.

Beyond the natural “localness” of the company, there are many other digital marketing advantages that make a local strategy attractive. Having worked with multi-location businesses around the world, we have seen many organizations employ both a “centralized” and “localized” approach. In general, the local approach tends to perform much better when comparing clickthrough rates, cost-per-click, and cost per lead/conversion.

We have summarized several of the major differences in approaches we have seen below:

Centralized Approach

Local Approach

Why Local

Single ad (or set of ads) used across all locations

  • Same copy & imagery for all locations
  • Geo-targeted to specific locations
  • Typically sent out from the corporate Facebook page
Unique ads by location

  • Copy & imagery includes local information (business name, address, staff, neighborhood name, etc)
  • Geo-targeted to each location
  • Sent out from the local Facebook page (typically with a local name on the page)
Ads are more relevant to people within the local market

  • Do not feel as “corporate”
  • Contain familiar terms and images to cut through the clutter
  • Increases visibility for a local Facebook page to show people that there is a real location near them

Results:

  • Higher click-through rate
  • Greater likelihood for people to comment/share the ad
Single landing page used across all locations

  • The national ad clicks through to a common landing page/website for all locations – same copy, images, etc.
  • The page sometimes includes a store locator for the person to find their nearest location
Unique landing pages used for each location

  • The local ad clicks through to a landing page that is unique to that location – address, phone number, images, services, staff, etc.
  • No need for the potential customer to hunt around for location information, as it is all on page
Clicks are more likely to turn into leads

  • All the information the person requires to make their decision is on the page-no need to hunt around
  • The page is more relevant to the ad, which helps the person convert and lowers the cost of the advertising

Results:

  • Lower cost-per-click
  • Higher conversion rateLower cost-per-conversion/cost-per-lead
Head office budgets for the advertising through the national ad fund

  • The franchisor not only manages the ads but supplies the budget through the national ad fund
  • The budget is typically disbursed based on franchisee contribution, population density, or some other method
Franchisee supplies budget on their own, or in addition to the head office budget

  • Most franchisees are engaging in some degree of local marketing to grow their business – whether the franchisor knows about it or not
  • Having local franchisees spend their budget to advertise their business is good for them, and good for the brand overall
More marketing dollars applied overall (and in a more coordinated fashion)

  • The ideal scenario is where local and national ad dollars are combined to increase the overall spend for the company

Results:

Increased local impressions

  • Increased ad reach
  • More clicks
  • More conversions/leads

As outlined above, there are many advantages to a local marketing strategy. Intuitively it makes sense – local ads, landing pages, offers, etc. have more relevance to people and they, therefore, tend to encourage people to respond to the advertisements more frequently. In addition, Facebook is increasingly weighting local relevance as a factor in deciding what content (including advertising) to show to people. Facebook knows that local sells, and they are in the business to make money. So the better your ads work, the more Facebook will tend to show them – and local relevance is a growing factor in that algorithm.

Implementing a local Google Adwords and Facebook strategy at scale

We have yet to meet a franchise company that doesn’t believe that local is a major key to success. Where they usually have a challenge is in achieving local strategies at scale. The whole concept of a franchise is to implement proven processes across a large number of locations, so a local strategy does not seem to make sense, as it usually does not scale. Many franchise systems attempt to implement a hybrid national/local strategy by throwing people at it, but this tends to be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

The solution is to automate the process. Through software, a franchise system is able to achieve the best of both worlds: national consistency and scale combined with local relevance and results.

To achieve this objective, we at Reshift built the Brand Amplifier ad syndication dashboard. The software is integrated with both Facebook and Google to allow franchise organizations to create, cascade, manage and measure social and search ads across dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of locations.

How to amplify your advertising: click to zoom

 

As we have discussed throughout this blog series, the key is to unlock the power of local advertising. To achieve local at scale, the software incorporates two approaches which can be used on their own or together, depending on the needs of your franchise:

  1. Create a “master” ad that is programmatically updated for local terms, offers, and other elements. In this scenario, the head office creates an ad (or set of ads) with flexible parameters which can be dynamically updated for each location. For example:
    • “Master” ad: Come visit us at [address] before [date] and receive [offer]!
    • Location 1 version: Come visit us at 123 Home Street before January 5th and receive 10% off!
    • Location 2 version: Come visit us at 456 Elm Avenue before January 31st and receive a free sample! Note that although the ad is created once, it is run on the local Facebook pages of each of the franchisees’ locations in order to increase the “localness” and drive new business for each specific location. Geographic and interest-based targeting can all be set programmatically as well.
  2. Create an ad program which includes several on-brand photos and sets of copy which the local franchisee can choose from. If desired, the sets of copy can even contain flexible parameters to enable greater localization.

In this approach, the head office ensures the creative (photos, video, copy) is all on-brand and properly formatted, while the franchisee has the flexibility to choose the photo and copy that works best for their own market. This is really the best of both worlds because the creative produced by the head office can be used at scale and the franchisee can apply local market intelligence to increase ad performance.

Unlock local ad dollars

One of the big benefits of a localized approach is that it allows franchise companies to unlock local ad dollars to increase performance. Most franchisees are already advertising locally in some form – mailers, flyers, newspaper, radio, or digital. However, in most cases, the local and head office efforts (and therefore ad dollars) are not as aligned as they could be, which leads to less effective results for everybody. In some cases, we have found that the head office and local teams are working at cross purposes, which is not a good use of time or money.

Again, this is a problem that can be solved through automation. Because the software is automatically creating ads that run on local Facebook pages, that opens up the opportunity for franchisees to contribute their own local budgets to the campaign running in their area. To this end, we have created three ways for local campaigns to be funded:

  1. Head office contribution only: The head office contributes 100% of the ad budget across the local campaigns
  2. Local contribution only: The head office provides the creative and campaign details, while the local franchisees contribute budget to activate the campaigns in their geography
  3. Head office and local contribution: Both the head office and local teams contribute to the same campaign

All three models are supported, as each franchise system is different. Where it is feasible, we have found option #3 to be quite effective, as it combines best-in-class creative, national budgeting, and local budgeting together to provide the best chance for success.

Find out more!

For more information about the Brand Amplifier, we encourage you to visit www.brandamplifier.io, or you can arrange a free demo.

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WRITTEN BY

Steve Buors

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