TopFire Media plays multiple roles for its clients. Founder and president Matthew Jonas likened the company to a doctor, assessing the pain points for clients and then prescribing a treatment in the form of an integrated marketing strategy and campaign customized to clients’ needs, budgets and goals.
TopFire Media builds online reputations for the brands it represents and grows brand awareness for consumers and franchisees, Jonas said during a recent interview from the company’s headquarters in the Chicago area. The company serves franchises that want to promote themselves to potential franchisees, as well as a number of non-franchised companies, across a range of industries.
Using a calculated blend of public relations, content marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email
marketing, pay-per-click advertising, organic LinkedIn traffic and more, TopFire Media positions its clients as thought leaders in their industries, complete with a spot on the first page of Google search results for keywords in their industry. Rather than clients relying on separate service providers for public relations, SEO and other critical digital marketing activities, TopFire provides all those services in one place for franchisors with the goal of attracting the best franchisee prospects. Jonas described TopFire as being focused on generating results rather than pushing just one or two marketing vehicles.
“At the end of the day, we want to attract from the digital, online and offline world,” Jonas said. “We want to attract the very best and highest quality candidates to our clients’ websites so that we can convert them at the website level. That, in turn, leads to the kinds of conversations that generate franchise sales.”
A flexible marketing agency One of TopFire Media’s major strengths is its agility. The agency develops online marketing strategies from an ROI standpoint and through bi-weekly and monthly reporting it is able to figure out what’s working and what’s not working for individual clients. This way, the team can quickly allocate budgets based on those results, shifting the focus of marketing essentially on the fly. A lot of agencies take two or three months to make a shift in strategy, but TopFire Media can do it in two or three weeks, Jonas said.
“We can look at the insight we have from our campaigns and say ‘Here’s the ROI, here’s the type of traction and results we’re generating for our client’,” he said. “We have the ability to make strategic, calculated changes efficiently. We’re agile enough to do that with our clients.”
TopFire Media’s team of experts understands the digital landscape, and the company’s PR professionals have been helping clients with branding needs for years. They have affiliations with iFranchise Group and Franchise
Dynamics, who bring decades of experience in franchise consulting and sales. Through these affiliations, Jonas explained, the company has generated hundreds of thousands of leads for clients.
“We really understand what the digital roadmap is for a franchisor,” Jonas said. This experience allows them to act like a sherpa, he said, and guide clients, helping them avoid marketing potholes like certain techniques or tools that don’t work. In fact, TopFire Media has been honored with achievements that include an honorable mention for best media relations campaign and best new website in 2014 by PR News, as well as Ragan and PR Daily’s 2014 Best New Agency award.
The agency also concentrates efforts on showing that franchisors have strong franchisees, as potential franchisees will look for that as an indication of how good a franchise system is.
While TopFire Media’s goal is to increase clients’ visibility online and expand brand presence, Jonas said, their most important job is to increase traffic for clients and attract the highest quality leads for them. The first dozen or so franchisees are the most important keys to a franchise’s growth, Jonas outlined, and TopFire Media understands this, which is why franchisors appreciate the company. Typically, once a franchisee signs, TopFire Media will extend its services to individual franchisees to help them grow their businesses – creating a stronger overall franchise system.
Currently, TopFire Media has a growing roster of clients and continues to expand to provide services to additional franchise systems. Beyond marketing the franchise to potential franchisees, TopFire Media also helps with web development for franchisee recruiting. The company can often spot trends in digital marketing, which enables them to anticipate website needs for its clients.
For example, Jonas said, in April, Google announced it would be giving preference to websites that were mobile responsive and had mobile capabilities.
“That’s something where we were two months ahead of the curve for our clients, making sure all their websites were
responsive on mobile so they didn’t lose any online sales,” Jonas said.
Being a one-stop, full service agency for clients in the franchise community allows TopFire Media to generate those coveted long-term relationships with clients, as it is able to grow and increase services as client companies expand. This reduces the cost of overall campaigns, compared to a franchise having to engage several different service providers.
Whether it’s playing the role of a doctor or a sherpa, TopFire Media helps nurture and guide client businesses with all its available services to attract the best entrepreneurs. The company is offering complimentary digital marketing assessment to all Franchising USA readers.