This is a guest blog post by Tom Evans, Editor at Engage Web.
As a franchisee, it is important to stay on top of your game in order to attract new customers into your store. While this will often involve making your premises as inviting as possible, along with training a courteous staff and distributing marketing material (which your franchisor may be able to help you with), if you can tap into the spirit of the moment, then you will be golden.
Just by listening, you can find out not only what your customers want, but also what they don’t need. A great way to do this is to find out what people online are talking about, including the topics they are searching for. This is where Google Trends comes in.
Google’s service, which is also open to the public, allows for its users to see how often particular words and phrases are searched for through its engine. It also allows for location details, breaking down the information from nations, to regions, all the way to cities, so that you can be sure of what people in the neighborhood are hankering for.
For franchisees, location is of particular importance; the brand is already established, so it becomes about how your particular franchise fits in with its surrounding. As such, let’s take a look at how using Google Trends can help your franchise to succeed:
Watching Out for Competitors
With a keen edge over your rivals often all that’s needed to get ahead, not knowing what your competitors are up to can leave you at a distinct disadvantage. If you are in the dark about their innovations in products and services, you could soon find yourself, and your enterprise, being left far behind.
To combat this, you can use Google Trends to keep an eye on your franchising rivals. Whether it’s competing parent companies or the establishment down the road, knowing what they have coming up, and how the public perceives their services, can pass the ball back into your court.
As the service allows for you to compare the search data for two different terms, you can even see how your franchise is faring against a rival. If nothing else, it could provide a welcome boost in confidence to know that you are being searched for more.
Keeping at the Cutting Edge
If you want to make sure that your franchise stays ahead of the curve, while firmly in the zeitgeist, then Google Trends might be great for you. When it comes down to the store, despite being part of a wider corporation, you are in charge of what goes on there, so one or two special events can help to get customers in and the public talking about your location.
As such, knowing about emerging trends in your marketplace, whether it is more people searching for local eateries on a Thursday night or a rising fashion for certain charitable events, can help you to plan for enticing occasions. For the former example, especially if you are the franchisee for a food outlet, knowing when people are searching for your wares the most means that you can tailor offers that will suit their needs to a tee.
Make It Easier for Customers to Find You
When it comes to marketing your franchise location online, it is often best to make sure that your content relates to you, rather than having a cookie-cutter approach. While many franchisees can view this approach as being a lot of hard work, it doesn’t have to be, as Google Trends can help to make content creation for your social media accounts or website that one bit easier.
Optimizing for your own location is important, especially as it can sometimes be easy to get lost in the crowd. An innovative, localized approach to marketing, therefore, will help your establishment to shine. Using Google Trends, search for terms that come to mind that you think customers may be interested in hearing more about.
If you find one that’s peaking on the search engine, write up a brief piece and get it out there. You can even have some fun with the search terms, as you may never know what people are truly interested in without taking the time to find out. It could also help to ask your employees for their input, as they might be aware of an emerging trend that you have yet to discover.
Tie It All Together
Now that you have a few ideas for just how Google Trends can help to make your franchise location a success, it’s important to get stuck into it right away. With the online world moving at such a quick pace, knowing instantly what your customers desire from you can make a massive difference to your revenues.
While it may be a cliché to say it, knowledge does equal power, especially in the business world, so if you can provide the public with what they want before anyone else can, why would they go anywhere else?
Tom Evans is an Editor at Engage Web, a digital marketing agency specializing in the franchise sector. Engage Web has developed a bespoke digital marketing model for franchises, FranchiseXcel, which has helped franchises grow online within the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.