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The echo of the recent pandemic still resonates for the franchise industry. It has been two years since the brick and mortar had to close its doors and master the technology almost overnight. The new business practices implemented at that time can reshape the industry forever.
We saw that some players were doubling the technology to serve customers remotely. Others became more supportive by giving to local communities. And in some cases, brands moved from face-to-face model to online model to better fit.
As a result, most of the marketing went digital. But with twice as many store openings as 2021 closures, the 2020 store closure has officially ended. Let’s see what trends are current and useful for most franchise brands expecting local sales growth in post-crisis reality.
Related: Why local marketing is still important in the digital age
Trend 1: Hybrid customer experience
2022 is the time to get people back to shopping and find innovative ways to enhance their experience, without detriment from where and how customers buy. Buyers no longer distinguish between digital and physical channels. They expect relevant and consistent experiences spanning devices, applications, and contact points throughout their buyer journey.
As a result, most companies are accelerating their efforts to connect digital and physical travel and create digital capabilities in the store. Acting as a hub for customers who shop online and pick up at the store makes your business model future-proof. A fragmented focus on customer journeys and reliance on inherited technology can stifle progress and take you out of the competition.
Trend 2: Video for each platform and channel
Video remains a key priority for marketers as it strongly influences traffic, leads, sales and brand perception. Video is no longer just a part of your overall marketing plan. It is critical to your outreach and campaigning efforts, especially on social media.
As video production becomes more affordable, marketers are using videos for a growing number of purposes. For example, brands offer free classes to increase brand awareness, record testimonials to increase credibility, or create explanatory videos to make the user’s journey easier. It’s also worth noting that more than half of companies do it at home.
Before the crisis, Expedia Cruises sold 70% of its cruises to the store. After that, they turned around and started organizing Zoom events with local cruise providers to replicate this valuable in-person experience.
At the same time, FIT4MOM, a mom training franchise, has added free online classes for its customers ’kids to keep kids busy while their moms do bar. Both initiatives were successful in increasing engagement with these brands.
Related: Why video ads should be in your Local Media Mix franchise
Trend 3: hyperlocation and personalization
It is no longer enough to have a beautiful showcase to attract crowds. And to tell the truth, you don’t need them. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from hyperlocal marketing because it leverages nearby searches and offers a lower cost per goal.
Marketers can send the right message to the right people much more easily online than through traditional advertising channels. Because most of them depend on digital channels now, local online search and social media have become major communication channels with the local community.
Starbucks, for example, used Twitter updates to launch a contest in which customers saw ads placed somewhere in their cities, took photos, and posted them on Twitter. Expedia Cruises locates its scope to establish relationships between local agents and customers. They collect and take advantage of customer data with technology to humanize the presence of their brand on social media.
They also try to make email marketing as local as possible with the agent’s face, name, and city. This helps to develop a personalized approach to each client, making their stay in the company more enjoyable.
Trend 4: Mobile applications for fast service
At the start of the health crisis, consumers rushed to social media and have since been using a nearby pick-up service, ordering groceries and picking up food at the box office. People enjoy all of these services primarily through mobile apps and between providers that have a one-click service, a friendly user interface, and a personalized message.
Crunch Fitness, for example, uses a mobile app for customer visits, bookings, and most importantly, referrals. Prior to the lock, access was closed and fitness classes were only available with higher level members. Now, it’s open to the general public. FIT4MOM also boosted mobile marketing. Its on-demand app offers fun and effective fitness programs designed by professionals for every stage of motherhood. It helps service customers who prefer to stay online.
From connecting with consumers to maintaining a local presence, a mobile app performs multiple tasks with the primary goal: to serve customers wherever they are.
Related: the 4 marketing moves that each franchise has to make
Trend 5: Stand out in local search
Eighty-two percent of Americans prefer to support a local business rather than a large corporation. The reason for this is to keep the money in local communities and get better customer service and product quality. But how do locals find a nearby business?
To find and buy products and services around you, people type in queries to search engines, social media, and third-party directories. These people have an immediate need and are willing to buy immediately. Your work at this stage as a multi-local company must be discovered by a relevant audience.
That’s why optimizing local online marketing should become the number one goal for brands of all sizes, even those that don’t have a website. It is advisable to have local pages constantly updated and updated for your placements and add local SEO to increase your ability to find online. If your business still doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity, you’re likely to fall behind.
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