Unlocking Success: A Comprehensive Guide to Franchise Digital Marketing

Welcome to the definitive guide on franchise digital marketing, where we unravel the strategies to thrive in the fast-growing franchising landscape. In 2024, the franchise industry is set to witness a remarkable surge, with projections from the International Franchise Association indicating a substantial increase of at least 15,000 establishments. This growth trajectory propels the total number of franchise units to an impressive 821,000 in the U.S., underscoring the immense opportunities awaiting franchise businesses in the digital realm. Join us as we navigate the dynamic realm of digital marketing tailored specifically for franchises, empowering you to seize your share of this burgeoning market.

What Is Franchise Digital Marketing? 

Franchise digital marketing is a set of practices and techniques focused on using digital means to promote franchises, raise brand awareness, and promote franchise growth. 

Let’s first go through the quick definitions of some key terms: 

Franchise – A franchise is a business model in which an individual (franchisee) purchases the rights to operate a business using the branding, products, and processes of an existing company (franchisor). This arrangement typically involves the franchisee paying an initial fee and ongoing royalties to the franchisor in exchange for the right to operate under the established brand name and benefit from its proven business model, support, and marketing expertise. Franchises can be found in various industries, most notably fast food, retail, hospitality, and service sectors.

Franchisor – It is a parent company that offers (sells) the right to use its brand and business model. 

Franchisee – A franchisee is an individual or an entity that buys the rights to use a brand and a business model to sell products marketed under that brand. 

In addition to traditional forms of promotion, such as PR, billboards, TV, brochures and flyers, telemarketing, print, etc, modern franchises rely heavily on digital marketing, reaching vast audiences through diverse channels: ads, social media, email, various platforms, online publications, etc. 

Franchise digital marketing uses the available online channels to reach customers and prospects and communicate the franchise message, increasing brand awareness, generating leads and nurturing brand loyalty. In essence, franchise digital marketing helps you get your message across and let people know about your business, your locations, and your product, while reaching them directly on their computers and phones. A franchise business absolutely needs to have an online presence and, with the help of local SEO, position itself high among other businesses in the area. 

How Does Digital Marketing Help Franchises Grow? 

Being a complex and comprehensive set of practices, digital marketing promotes franchise growth in many aspects: 

Reach and Visibility

Digital marketing allows franchises to expand their reach and increase visibility to a broader audience. Through channels such as social media, search engines, and email marketing, franchises can target specific demographics and geographic areas effectively. 


Compared to traditional marketing methods like print advertising or television commercials, digital marketing often offers a more cost-effective approach. Franchises can allocate their marketing budget efficiently by investing in targeted online campaigns that deliver measurable results.

Brand Consistency

Digital marketing enables franchises to maintain consistent branding across all online channels. This consistency is crucial for reinforcing brand identity and ensuring a cohesive brand experience for customers, regardless of location.

Customer Engagement and Interaction

Digital marketing platforms provide opportunities for franchises to engage with customers in meaningful ways. Through social media engagement, email newsletters, and interactive website features, franchises can build relationships, gather feedback, and address customer inquiries promptly.

Data-Driven Insights

Digital marketing tools offer valuable data and analytics that provide insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. Franchises can use this data to optimize their marketing strategies, personalize content, and make informed decisions to drive more customers their way.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Digital marketing channels are highly adaptable and flexible, allowing businesses to quickly adjust their strategies based on market trends, consumer behavior, and business objectives. This agility enables businesses to stay competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing digital landscape.

Competitive Advantage

These days, having a strong online presence is essential for staying competitive. Franchises that invest in digital marketing can differentiate themselves from competitors, attract new customers, and retain existing ones by offering engaging and relevant content.

Essential Franchise Digital Marketing Strategies

With more and more franchise brands and individual units sprouting up each year, the competition is fiercer than ever. Everyone wants to succeed and most brands are well aware that digital marketing is a crucial step in doing so. Therefore, carefully fine-tuning the strategies and staying on top of the latest trends and methods is something that can not only allow your franchise business to survive in this competitive climate, but it can also put it ahead and above the others. 

There are some failsafe strategies and methods that can prove essential both for the franchisees and franchisors, as well as for marketers helping them. Here’s the GrowMojo expert take: 

Make Local SEO a Top Priority

Let’s put it like this: you are running a franchise unit in a certain area, let’s say it’s a dining establishment. People in your area search the web for that specific franchise. Search engines automatically display those nearest to them, and that’s you. But to get there, you need local SEO. 

Local SEO is essential for franchises as it enables them to target potential customers in specific geographic areas, increasing visibility and competitiveness. By optimizing for local keywords and ensuring accurate business information across online platforms, franchises can stand out in local search results, attracting more foot traffic and online inquiries.

This localized approach not only enhances brand visibility and trust within the community but also improves the user experience by providing accurate information to customers. Additionally, local SEO facilitates community engagement, allowing franchises to connect with local customers, organizations, and influencers, further strengthening their presence in the local market. 

Develop a Consistent, Multi-Channel Approach

Your leads and potential customers can be found in different places, digitally speaking. Depending on the demographics, they may prefer TikTok, Facebook or Instagram, or not use social media at all and stick to email. 

A multi-channel approach to digital marketing for franchises is more than just social media. It also includes organic search, local search ads, and more. It’s definitely a good idea to focus on each of the channels, so you cover the most possible angles and have the widest possible reach. However, there’s one caveat here – you need to be consistent. If your messages across different channels are not in line, you may experience cohesion issues. 

Consistency is also important for franchises with multiple locations. Syncing as much as possible throughout the locations, but also throughout the channels, will guarantee a streamlined marketing strategy that yields more and better results than one that’s incoherent and variegated. Your Google Business Profile needs to be connected to the Google Ads account so you can have all locations in place, set the targeting, use local extensions and display ads to the qualified audiences. 

Consistency is vital in your branding and messaging, too. Your voice should be consistent across all touchpoints, with particular attention to the brand voice, graphics, logos, etc. 

Apply Geofencing

Geofencing is a location-based technology that creates virtual boundaries around real-world geographic areas. These boundaries can be defined using GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data, and when a mobile device enters or exits the designated area, it triggers certain actions, such as sending notifications, alerts, or targeted advertisements. In the context of franchise digital marketing, geofencing enables businesses to precisely target potential customers within specific geographic areas, delivering personalized and timely marketing messages to drive engagement and foot traffic to franchise locations.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is an indispensable tool in any effective digital marketing toolbox for franchises. It’s a great way to expand your reach, grow an audience and turn it into customers, to nurture brand awareness and loyalty, and promote new products and services. When working with social media, it’s important to cast as wide a net as possible – this means using more than just one network. Different demographics prefer different social networks. To reach the younger audiences, you will definitely need TikTok. Explore TikTok zip code targeting options, as well as the TikTok Nearby feature, designed specifically to help local businesses grow. 

Don’t forget about the audiences who prefer Meta networks – Facebook and Instagram. Explore these platforms’ marketing and advertising options and don’t forget to measure and test everything to find the ideal social media strategy. 

Boost Traffic with PPC and Remarketing

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is a proven way to boost traffic and drive customers to your locations. It works through bidding on keywords, and the search engines determine the ideal placement of your ad based on the bid amount. The ad placement is optimized and designed to reach qualified leads. 

You can use PPC from your franchise website through ad platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and so on. Alternatively, you use one of the established PPC platforms, which generally gives you more control over your campaigns. 

Remarketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting individuals who have previously interacted with a brand’s website or mobile app but have yet to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase. In franchise marketing, remarketing can be particularly useful as it allows franchises to re-engage potential customers who have shown interest in their products or services.

National Scale vs Local Experience

In franchise digital marketing, a particular challenge is managing to effectively balance the national mindset with local nuances. One major challenge is maintaining brand consistency across diverse geographical locations while keeping in mind the unique preferences and cultural differences of local markets. Franchises must navigate varying consumer behaviors, economic conditions, and regulatory landscapes, which can complicate marketing efforts. 

The way to master this balance is by implementing flexible marketing strategies that allow for customization at the local level while upholding the overarching brand identity. Franchises can leverage data analytics to gain insights into regional trends and consumer preferences, enabling them to tailor marketing messages and promotions effectively. Additionally, encouraging consistent communication between brand headquarters and franchisees helps ensure alignment between national marketing initiatives and local execution.

Use Content Marketing to Build Reputation and Trust

Content marketing provides several distinct benefits to franchises, whether they’re just starting out or are already well-developed. First of all, by providing valuable and relevant information to customers, content marketing helps franchises establish an authoritative voice within their respective industries, building trust and credibility among potential customers. 

Second, through engaging and informative content such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts, franchises can effectively showcase their unique value propositions and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Next, content marketing drives organic traffic to franchise websites, improving search engine rankings and increasing brand visibility online. Moreover, by creating shareable content that resonates with local communities, franchises can amplify their reach and foster deeper connections with customers.

Finally, content marketing nurtures leads throughout the customer journey, from awareness to conversion, by providing educational resources and guiding prospects toward franchise offerings.

Optimize Your Landing Page

Throughout your strategy touchpoints, you will be driving a lot of traffic to your website or landing page, so you need to make sure it’s well-optimized and that the visitors will enjoy a quality user experience once they land there. 

Landing page optimization includes testing different page versions, including content, CTAs and design, and analyzing the results to identify the most effective one. Landing pages are essential for converting visitors into leads, so they should be designed in a way that guides the visitor towards conversion, with a clear call to action, perhaps towards a form submission, etc. Implementing clear and compelling CTAs, along with streamlined navigation and concise messaging, enhances user experience and encourages desired actions.

Encourage Feedback and Participation

Investing in brand reputation and trust is indispensable for any growth-oriented business. Nurturing customer relationships builds trust and this is achieved by making the customers feel heard and appreciated. A good place to start this is by including feedback forms on your website, encouraging customers to leave reviews (yes, even bad ones – these are essential for trust) and rate your services and products. The positive comments can be repurposed as testimonials on social media, on printed materials and in physical locations. The dialogue with customers should be constant and consistent. Businesses can start conversations by creating polls and surveys where customers share their thoughts and impressions, suggest improvements, new products, etc. People love being heard and this sort of continuous dialogue can help turn your customers into your brand ambassadors. 

Create a Launch Plan That’s Reusable

In franchise digital marketing, having a solid and reusable plan is paramount for consistent success across multiple locations. Similar to the importance of a repeatable business model, a well-crafted launch plan ensures that each franchise location receives the necessary marketing support to thrive. By outlining specific campaigns, channels, goals, and timelines, franchises can streamline their marketing efforts and allocate resources effectively. This approach not only facilitates a smoother launch process but also enables franchises to replicate successful strategies for future locations, optimizing efficiency and driving sustained growth. 

How to Get Started with Franchise Digital Marketing? 

Franchise digital marketing is a complex field that requires a certain set of skills and the right expertise to be executed correctly and to yield results, which is why working with the right agency is paramount. 

The GrowMojo team of franchise marketing experts possesses an in-depth and relevant understanding of the specific franchise growth needs, and – this is crucial – is highly familiar with the specific restrictions that ad platforms have that might hurt the results if not handled properly. Our full-service agency helps craft consumer and B2B franchise marketing strategies, and provides video ad expertise and data and analytics services, thus representing a one-stop-shop solution for future franchise owners. Get in touch and let us accelerate your business growth today.

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