It’s a burning question many franchisors have — how do I get people to invest in my concept?
Not only is it one of the most commonly asked questions in the franchising industry, it’s also one that could make or break a franchise’s success and confidence.
There are several-thousand franchise systems in the United States – and that number continues to increase. Of those systems, what’s one thing they all have in common? They’re hunting for quality leads, some more aggressively than others.
So, how can franchises fighting to be heard actually rise above the rest? Well, implementing a strategy that uses these four approaches to lead generation is an excellent start. And yes, there is a trend with them all — a strong digital presence.
An Integrated Marketing Strategy
The 21st century has brought with it some pretty impressive franchise marketing tools, but with those advancements, companies tend to forget about traditional strategies that have worked for generations. By adopting an integrated marketing strategy that combines savvy digital marketing campaigns with the targeted efforts of conventional public relations, businesses can help create program awareness and attract prospective franchisees through a massive, yet targeted, outreach effort.
Modernized Tools and Techniques
From mobile phones and tablets, to computer monitors and laptops, today’s screens come in all shapes and sizes, making it all the more important to develop creative and thoughtful marketing techniques for all of them. One of the most important techniques to embrace is to build an interactive and mobile responsive website composed of elements that resize and reconfigure to the screen on which content is being displayed. A responsive website not only gives the franchisor an opportunity to deliver brand messages through a variety of media platforms, it also allows a friendly and favorable user experience.
Embrace the Millennium
The total worldwide population in 2015 was estimated around 7 billion people. Of those 7 billion people, approximately 3.17 billion were Internet users. If those usage statistics continue to trend up, as most experts say they will, it won’t be long before the majority of the world’s population will be on the Internet. So, how can franchisors capitalize on that? Targeted social media management and advertising is a great place to start.
The number of worldwide social media users is projected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018 alone, making strategic and targeted social media campaigns some of the most successful lead generation tools available. The advent of smartphones and tablets has created endless opportunities for industry insiders to increase community engagement, create innovative marketing campaigns and boost brand recognition by leveraging those fast-growing social networks.
Optimize Your Website
Most companies get approximately 30 seconds in front of a potential prospect before he or she moves on to the next one. That’s 30 seconds to introduce the brand, promote the offered product and generate enough interest that the prospect wants to stay. A poorly designed website can cut that time in half.
Building an effective lead generating website is a key factor in strengthening a franchise sales system, especially for emerging franchises. One way for startups to compete with the big franchise players in the digital space is to develop an effective website, built to convert online and mobile visitors into quality leads. If the website of a company doesn’t address these questions, it’s time to reconsider the content strategy and design behind it. It’s helpful to ask yourself the following questions as a diagnostic:
- Does it match the look and feel of the brand?
- Does it accurately represent the company?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Does it appeal to the consumer?
- Is there a specific call to action on the website?
- Are the website’s forms long and cumbersome, or short and sweet?
There are certainly a number of other ways a company can increase its lead generation, but as the franchise industry continues to grow and change, these four techniques are here to stay, and may be the difference in a franchise company’s growth.
Matthew Jonas is the President of TopFire Media, an award winning integrated public relations and digital marketing agency specializing in franchise marketing and consumer branding. Together with the leaders of iFranchise Group and Franchise Dynamics, Matthew established TopFire Media to provide a strategic and synchronized method for digital marketing in the franchise industry. As a digital marketing strategist with over a decade of in-depth experience in SEO & PPC, social media publishing, conversion based marketing, inbound marketing, sales management, and online lead generation, Matthew has built a career dedicated to delivering an integrated marketing approach that achieves client success and long-term relationships.