Monthly Industry Roundup: March 2018

The last month at Location3 was highlighted by our trip to Phoenix for IFA 2018, where we were able to connect with franchise client partners, catch up on all of the latest developments in the industry, and gain insight on growth strategies from franchisors and franchisees alike.

The main takeaway: Franchising is thriving.

Location3 Director of Marketing Josh Allen provides a full recap, including a couple of interviews with franchising experts at Anytime Fitness, Frenchies Modern Nail Care, and Ben’s Soft Pretzels.


Alex Porter: CFE, Certified Franchise Executive

Over the past year, Location3 CEO Alex Porter took part in a specialized training program to become a Certified Franchise Executive. Porter officially graduated and was recognized at IFA 2018 in Phoenix.

The training program includes a mix of in-person events, webinars, and tests in order to receive a 360-degree view of the franchising world – from legal to HR, finance, marketing, and everything between. Porter shared in this post his experience and what his role as a CFE means for Location3 and our franchise partners.

Successful Franchise Digital Marketing Begins with a Strong Foundation

Digital marketers can often find themselves too far in the weeds when it comes to communicating an effective digital marketing strategy for franchises. Too often we forget to establish the marketing fundamentals that truly drive performance.

Location3’s Josh Allen recently discussed these fundamentals following a trip to Phoenix for the International Franchise Association’s annual convention. Here’s an excerpt from Allen’s post in Franchising USA.

“Understanding how online users actually find you online is the first step toward improving your digital marketing, but it’s also a step that often gets overlooked. While there are a number of enterprise web analytics tools available, Google Analytics is free to use and can provide the information you need to gain a clearer picture of what online sources are sending traffic to your website and what users are actually doing once they land there.”

For further analysis and digital marketing insight for franchisees, the entire post can be read here.


Google My Business – Reserve with Google Shows Promise

Location3’s Tom Lynch gives us a brief overview of a limited feature in Google My Business. It’s called Reserve with Google, and it allows brands to potentially capture customers earlier in their path to purchase.

Reserve with Google presents “Book Now” functionality directly in the SERPs and Google Maps app for brands in select verticals. Right now, the feature is limited to brands in the Hospitality & Travel as well as Beauty & Wellness industries. For more details and to see if you’re eligible for Google My Business Reserve with Google, read Lynch’s full post here.


YouTube Rolls Out Search-Based Targeting

As TV networks look to add audience-based targeting to their arsenal, YouTube is hoping to beat them to the punch. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is adding a search-based targeting option to its Google Preferred ad-buying program, which packages the most popular 5 percent of YouTube channels into category-specific bundles that brands can advertise against.

As noted in this Digiday article by Tim Peterson, “With the new targeting option, a brand buying Google Preferred’s lineup of music channels, for example, could reach people who are watching those channels and have also searched for consumer electronics products.”


Social Media Ineffective in Local Link Building

BrightLocal’s latest survey of local SEO experts revealed low support for social media as an effective link-building strategy. Survey respondents unanimously concluded that links from social profiles do not affect search rankings, and perhaps more surprisingly, most experts agreed that sharing on social media is “not very valuable” when trying to build backlinks to local business sites.

Old-school link-building tactics like short, personal e-mails, relationship building, and networking were still considered the most effective strategies, according to survey respondents.


Words That Convert: Test, Learn, Repeat

Content marketers have always stressed the importance of words, and as Marcia Riefer Johnston notes in this post from Content Marketing Institute, that extends to improving conversion rates.

Johnston points to research from Chris Goward, CEO of WiderFunnel, that emphasizes the importance of word choice when it comes to conversion rates. Not only is word choice important, but testing these word choices as your assumptions about what “should” work might be incorrect.

Goward’s team focuses on not only finding an effective call to action, but understanding its context, accurately analyzing its emotional appeal, and enhancing it. For example, after establishing “Join Now” as the most effective CTA in a recent experiment, the team concluded that conversions were driven by the audience’s preference for sociability. When they replaced “Join Now” with  “Join 110,023 Geek + Gamers Just Like YOU!”, conversion rates increased by more than 14 percent! Words matter.

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