This Guide to Franchise Marketing is focused on helping you understand more about marketing and branding your franchise concept. Franchising is all about results, sales and numbers. With that in mind, marketing is one of the most important steps in having a successful franchising system. Many franchisors have marketing, web development and design as a second thought, and this is the main reason why some franchise concepts don’t do as well as others, even though the concept itself could be a great opportunity.
Franchise system advertising efforts have many objectives. The two most important are to build a strong brand and to recruit customers. Accepting that some things are out of your control and that you need tools and people to help you, is the first step in your marketing journey. Franchising itself has its risks, and franchise marketing is no different, but you can minimize the risks by gaining knowledge about marketing, work with competent and trustworthy agencies and use the right methods and tools available.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
From all the different ways you can choose to invest your hard earned marketing budget, search engine sites such Google, is what will get you the most results. There are two different ways to get a new lead from a potential franchisee. One way is by having people stumble upon your ad while browsing a social media website, or by viewing your ad while reading the morning news. Another way, and the best way to get a lead is when someone that’s interested in buying a franchise, in the industry you’re in, goes to Google and specifically searches for “Mexican Food Franchise Opportunity” and finds your awesome taco franchise. This is considered a super hot lead! Chances of closing a lead that comes to your inbox from Google is at least 75% greater than any other lead you may get.
For many marketing agencies out there, numbers is what matters. As long as they are delivering traffic to your landing page and you’re getting leads, it’s not their problem if you sell or don’t sell a franchise unit, but keep in mind that “hot leads” are what you’re really looking for. You should always allocate the majority of your monthly marketing budget to SEM. We recommend at least 70% of your monthly budget.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be a very effective way to generate leads from potential franchisees. Although this can vary a lot from industry to industry, nowadays the majority of people are connected to social media. This is what we call a “Stumble-upon Lead”. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram are great ways to get the word out. When first advertising on social media, you need to focus on building an audience. Try inviting family and friends to like your page or to follow your business. Then, ask if they can do the same with their family and friends.
You never want to start any marketing campaign on social media without any followers. Then, start by promoting your posts. Try to choose posts relevant to your brand, but not a direct advertisement. Do this for at least the first week, then you can start your marketing strategy with call to actions and sending leads to a landing page. There are many great tools out there to help you with your social media posts, tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Later. Some of these tools are free and some are paid. FranFlight also offers some great marketing tools for social media pages.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization or more known as SEO is one of the most tricky and risky ways to invest your marketing money. SEO goes way beyond optimizing your website and writing blog posts. It involves sharing articles, creating links to and from your website, hosting speed and reliability and so much more. When it comes to choosing an SEO agency, consider these things:
- A company that over promises, will most likely under deliver
- SEO ranking is an ongoing job and you can fall back in ranking or disappear all together at anytime
- There’s no magical sauce to get you to the #1 rank organically in Google fast
- If someone tells you they guarantee your website on the 1st page in a specific timeframe, run!
SEO is where most of your money will be wasted if you don’t pay close attention on who you hire. Take your time choosing a company to work with. SEO when done correctly can be a really good investment for your franchise. Differently than SEM or Social Media Marketing, SEO can give you return on your investment even after you stop paying for it.
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