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As a franchise location owner, you hopefully know the importance of local SEO for your business. While it’s true that your franchise location can rely on the power of the franchise’s national brand, their overall advertising will only go so far. You need a local online presence to gain a loyal franchise following.

Sometimes it can be difficult for a franchise location to find its footing when the franchise is already established in the area, however. How can you drive traffic to your specific location when there are others nearby? By building an online presence for yourself, do you risk sending customers to the wrong address?

If your franchise location is in or around a metropolitan area that’s populated with several other franchisees, you might consider banding together to participate in co-op marketing. Here’s why we advocate co-op marketing for certain franchise locations.

Why Franchise Locations Should Consider Co-Op Marketing

Pool Resources to Make a Bigger ImpactKansas City | Co-Op Marketing for Franchises

Online marketing completed by the nationwide franchise group is usually focused on building overall brand recognition, which doesn’t always boost local SEO. And as a solo franchise location, you may not have enough marketing funds set aside to pay for a continual, effective online marketing strategy. That’s why pooling resources with other franchisees in co-op marketing makes sense. When you share your resources, you can budget more toward paid search marketing, cooperative social media campaigns, email marketing, or other branches of online marketing that will build your local presence.

Share Your Expertise (And Your Data)

Each franchisee has specific, firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to running the franchise location in the specific region. When you join forces in co-op marketing, you get the benefit of picking each other’s brains to devise an online marketing strategy that will succeed — and you can pick up other tips, too! As franchise owners based in the same location, you’ll all have insight into the demographics to target in your geographical location and strategies for doing so.

Depending on how long each franchisee has been open or been dabbling in online marketing, you’ll have varying experiences to draw upon and diverse data to analyze. For example, if one franchisee has been running paid search campaigns for a few years, and another location has also run a campaign that targets different keywords, you can compare the two strategies to determine what’s most effective for your co-op marketing campaign.

Build Your Local SEO With Franchise Marketing Group’s Co-Op Marketing

Stop viewing other franchise locations as competition — if done correctly, co-op marketing can be conducted in a way that builds each location’s online presence and benefits all equally.

The team at Franchise Marketing Group has the skills and experience to create and carry out an effective co-op marketing plan for interested franchise locations. To learn more about our co-op marketing services, contact or call us today at (816) 875-9311!

Marketing Savings

Brad Chasteen, Multi-Unit Franchisee of Moe's Southwest Grill

Brad Chasteen owns the largest number of Moe’s Southwest Grills in that company’s system in territories that encompass Northeast and Central Florida, and Washington, D.C. Moe’s franchisees in Florida formed a statewide marketing co-op in the Sunshine State that “benefited the whole brand,” Chasteen said.

The franchisees partnered with the state’s most popular college football teams, the Gators and Seminoles, on a promotion that allowed fans who responded to a contest to watch a game from the announcer’s booth at the stadium.

The promotion brought brand awareness to all the participating franchisees with the Moe’s logo appearing during broadcasts and re-broadcasts of the football games; and informational spots attracted customers to existing locations by encouraging participants to visit a Moe’s restaurant to register for the contest.

Co-op advertising is also a benefit for Anytime Fitness franchisee Andy Gundlach who meets with four other franchisees in his direct marketing area of Madison, Wis. In addition to mass marketing he does independently for his own 18 units, he bands together with the other franchisees for larger promotions and more costly advertising.

“On a per-club basis, it makes things much cheaper,” Gundlach said. “You can definitely get your costs down by collaborating.”

Savings on Supplies

Savings can also be achieved on such things as supplies that are used by all franchisees, said Chasteen of Moe’s.

By comparing notes, franchisees can analyze costs for different items and come up with solutions for reducing expenses that are too high. He and his fellow franchisees discovered that during a meeting and ended up switching to a vendor that offered lower costs when the colleagues purchased paper products as a group.

“We saved about 2 percent of our paper costs by switching to another vendor when we consolidated all of our guys together,” he said.

Savings on Shipping

In retail, the savings can be seen in shipping costs, according to Jim Ullrich, who owns a Wild Birds Unlimited store in Gig Harbor, Wash. He keeps in regular contact with other franchisees in his area, especially those in close proximity to his store. By ordering inventory together, they can be eligible for shipping discounts.

It also helps save money on special orders. If Ullrich has to order just one item that’s out of stock, and the order requires a minimum purchase, he’ll call up another franchise partner to see if they have any orders to make. That way, they both are spared from additional fees.

– See more at: http://www.franchisechatter.com/2013/10/16/franchise-tip-2-networking-with-other-franchisees-in-your-region-has-many-benefits/#sthash.AWAZnqaO.dpuf