If you’re a franchise owner, you’ve likely run into some trouble with your marketing strategies – especially your online marketing plans. Think of marketing as a building structure: the pillars represent direct mail, sales, promotions, advertising, digital marketing, and public relations. Every successful franchisor understands the importance of breaking down these pillars. Franchises allow motivated individuals the opportunity to establish new businesses with the benefit of a support system. Additionally, they offer such businesses access to needed products and supplies. Ideally, a franchise owner needs to develop and implement a solid marketing strategy that will promote the business in the regions that it operates in.
Here is a breakdown of preparations to make and follow to assist franchise owners interested in starting or building a new franchise.
In franchise marketing, all your efforts should rotate around telling a story to the target audience to establish your brand identity and encourage engagement. Many business owners think of advertising as print media only. However, advertising encircles any media that allows you to buy space to advance your marketing message. This includes advertising on television, print advertising such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, and other printed formats. With improvements in technology, you can also use internet advertising or websites, among others. Even though franchise advertising has been around for years, today’s advertisements tend to have a different CTA (call to action) than those of the past.
As a franchise, social media offers a direct link of communication to your target audience. It offers a franchise the opportunity to establish a brand personality and creates a direct dialogue with consumers. This helps to provide valuable insights and feedback to your business and creates an opportunity for personalized messaging. For this reason, franchisees need to place a greater emphasis on their social media presence. For starters, you want to start by carving a unique brand position based on the strength of your social media presence. Doing this helps to overcome any marketing challenges you may encounter down the road.
SEO plays a key role for franchises. This also applies to both the franchisee or a franchiser. When a web user searches for your services in search engines, they’re prepared to see your content. The short-term and long-term goal is to get as high as possible in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Ideally, this doesn’t mean ranking fifth or even eighth – you need to get into the top three spots. Digital marketing experts say over 56 percent of searchers will click on a website if it’s in the top three spots. With SEO/SEM, ensure that you produce unique, exceptional, and relevant content. Your content needs to provide value to your visitors and answer the questions inferred by their search query.
For many decades, businesses have used promotions to increase awareness and excitement as a marketing message. You may have seen promotions like 24-hour sales, Black-Friday sales, giveaways, special events, or any special kind of promotion meant to attract new customers. As a franchise, you need to use a mix of traditional promotions and promotions that incorporate new technology. For instance, you may hold a giveaway advertised in print media such as billboards or newspapers while also running the promotion on your social media platforms. Today, internet options offer franchisers a budget-friendly way to reach masses of prospective consumers. This also allows smaller franchises to compete approvingly with established brands.
Attending national and regional franchises is also a great option to help advertise your business. Ideally, these shows are designed to be a showcase for potential franchises. They also feature a large number of franchises in a single location. This means your franchise is exposed to a broad audience group that might be interested in what you have to offer. These conferences can allow you to quickly locate and connect with strong prospects to expand your business.
This is one of the most underused pillars of marketing. In the past, PR campaigns would consist of press releases, sponsorships, and other campaigns and events that would usually increase brand awareness. Even in the current digital age, public relations are still a vital pillar you can tap into. However, PR delivery has revolved significantly. Businesses now use technology that has made it easier to launch and steer a successful PR campaign.
Your marketing campaigns should be targeted towards meeting the specific needs of consumers. You need to establish a direct and personal connection with your audience by highlighting your products and services’ benefits. Start by conducting a market research survey to establish your consumer base. With the tips highlighted above, you can set your business on the path to long-term growth.