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The Ultimate Guide To Franchise Marketing

Business Development

In our journey through the world of franchise marketing, we've discovered it's all about striking the perfect balance. It's a unique challenge: ensuring each franchise reflects the core brand while resonating with its local community. This tailored approach is crucial.

Every franchise has its own story and audience; tapping into these local flavors while staying true to the brand's essence is critical to success.

Franchise marketing isn't just about following a set formula; it's about adapting and thriving in diverse markets.

Join our team of franchise SEO experts as we explore the strategies that help each franchise succeed through these topics:

Table of Contents

Understanding Franchise Marketing

Franchise marketing is about promoting a business with multiple locations under the same brand. It's like having a big family of stores or restaurants, each with its own local flavor but all sharing the same name and core qualities.

The goal is to ensure people recognize and love the brand, whether visiting a location in New York or Texas. This differs from traditional business marketing, which usually focuses on just one store or company.

In regular marketing, all the efforts are about making that one business shine. But with franchise marketing, you have to think about the whole family—making sure each location stands out in its neighborhood while still feeling like part of the bigger brand.

It's like juggling, ensuring each ball stays in the air and is part of the same show. 

Comprehensive Planning for Franchise Marketing

Building on the foundation of understanding franchise marketing, it's critical to consider the value of a strategic approach. Just like a well-orchestrated play, every act in franchise marketing needs to be carefully planned and executed.

This strategic approach ensures that each franchise location fits into the overall brand narrative and shines uniquely.

Breaking down the marketing process into stages is crucial to this strategy. Think of it as a three-act play:

  1. Awareness: This is all about getting the word out. It's like setting the stage and introducing the characters. In this phase, the goal is to make potential customers aware of the franchise brand and its unique selling points. This could involve social media campaigns, local events, or traditional advertising. The aim is to create a buzz and get people talking about the brand.
  1. Acquisition: Now that the audience is aware, it's time to draw them in. This stage is about turning interested onlookers into customers or franchisees. It involves more targeted marketing strategies like special offers, online ads, or personalized email campaigns. The focus here is on converting interest into action.
  1. Retention: The final act is about keeping the audience engaged. It's not just about making a sale; it's about building a relationship. This stage involves providing ongoing support to franchisees, maintaining quality customer service, and ensuring consistent brand experiences across all locations. The goal is to turn one-time customers into loyal fans and franchisees into long-term business partners.

By breaking down the marketing process into these stages, franchise marketing becomes a well-structured, strategic endeavor. It ensures that the brand's story is told effectively at every touchpoint, building a strong, cohesive narrative that resonates with local and global audiences. 

Designing an Impactful Franchise Website

responsive web design

Following the comprehensive planning for franchise marketing, a critical component emerges: the franchise website.

With 97% of consumers turning to the internet to find local businesses, your website is likely the first contact point for anyone interested in you. However, having a single website is not enough.

Did you know that the design of a company's website influences 75% of people's perception of its credibility? 48% believe it is essential in determining credibility. Furthermore, a single negative experience on a website reduces the likelihood of users returning by 88%. What a bummer, right?

So, before you start building your website and searching for a franchise SEO company, make sure it's up to date by following these key pillars:

  1. Accessibility: Your website should be easy to find and navigate. This means clear menus, straightforward layouts, and content that's easy to understand. It's like having a well-organized store where everything is easy to find.
  1. Mobile Responsiveness: With more people browsing their phones, your website must look and work great on all devices. It's like making sure your store can be accessed and navigated easily, whether someone's walking in through a big door or a small one.
  1. Security: A secure website builds trust. Using HTTPS and ensuring data protection is like having a sound security system in your store—it makes everyone feel safe.
  1. Speed: A fast-loading website keeps visitors from leaving out of frustration. It's like having a quick and efficient service in your store, so customers don't have to wait.
  1. User Experience: The overall experience of your website should be pleasant and engaging. This includes high-quality images, engaging content, and interactive elements. It's about creating an environment that's enjoyable to browse, much like a store that's inviting and interesting to explore.

Your franchise's website is a crucial tool in your marketing arsenal. It's where the impressions formed during the awareness stage are solidified, and the journey toward acquisition and retention is facilitated. Remember, a well-designed website not only attracts visitors but also turns them into loyal customers and partners, playing a vital role in the growth and success of your franchise. 

Leveraging Content Marketing

standard blog page

Now that you have a well-designed franchise website, the next crucial step is leveraging content marketing. In a franchise setup, content marketing is not just about disseminating information; it's about telling your brand's story in a way that resonates across various locations while maintaining a unified brand voice.

The power of content marketing in franchising lies in its ability to engage and inform potential customers and franchisees. It's a tool for building trust, establishing authority, and nurturing relationships. Here's how to harness this power:

  • Blogging: A blog is a fantastic way to share insights, news, and helpful information. It's like having an ongoing conversation with your audience. Each post is an opportunity to showcase your expertise and the unique aspects of your franchise, all while driving traffic back to your website.
  • E-books and Infographics: These are excellent for diving deeper into topics relevant to your franchise. E-books can offer comprehensive guides, while infographics provide quick, visually appealing insights. Both formats are great for sharing on social media and can be powerful tools for generating leads.
  • Maintaining a Consistent Brand Voice: This is crucial, especially in a franchise model. All content, whether a blog post, an e-book, or an infographic, should sound like it's coming from the same brand, even though it might be tailored to different locations. This consistency helps in reinforcing brand recognition and loyalty.

Content marketing in a franchise setup should blend centralized strategy and local adaptation. While the core message and brand voice remain consistent, the content can be tweaked to address local audiences' interests and needs. By doing so, franchisees can ensure their marketing efforts are cohesive yet locally relevant and engaging. 

Utilizing YouTube for Franchise Marketing

YouTube marketing

As we harness the power of content marketing, it's crucial to recognize the growing importance of video marketing, particularly on platforms like YouTube. Video content isn't just preferred; it's expected.

According to statistics, consumers are 64% more likely to buy a product's video after viewing it. In fact, Cisco was correct when it predicted that by 2022, online videos will make up over 82% of all consumer internet traffic, a 15-fold increase over levels in 2017.

In the context of franchise marketing, YouTube offers a unique opportunity to showcase what makes your franchise special visually. Here are some types of videos that can enhance your franchise marketing:

  • Company Profile and Culture Videos: Introduce the heart and soul of your franchise. Show the people behind the brand, your values, and what sets you apart.
  • Customer Testimonials and Reviews: Authentic reviews from satisfied customers or successful franchisees can significantly boost credibility and trust.
  • FAQ Videos: Engagingly address common questions. This provides value to your audience and positions your franchise as helpful and approachable.
  • Animated Explainers: Animated videos can make Complex concepts or processes simple and engaging.
  • How-To and Tutorial Videos: These videos can be incredibly effective, especially for franchises that offer products or services requiring some explanation or demonstration.

For effective YouTube marketing, consider these strategies:

  1. Optimize for SEO: Like with website content, your YouTube videos should be optimized for search engines. Use relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags.
  1. Engage with Your Audience: Encourage viewers to like, comment, and share your videos. Respond to comments to foster a sense of community.
  1. Promote Across Platforms: Don't limit your videos to YouTube. Share them on your website, social media, and newsletters to maximize reach.
RELATED: YouTube Hashtags: How to Use Them to Increase Visibility

By integrating YouTube into your franchise marketing strategy, you're not just telling your brand's story; you're bringing it to life. Videos offer a dynamic, engaging way to connect with your audience, build trust, and drive action, making them an invaluable tool in your digital marketing arsenal.   

Mastering Franchise SEO

"franchise" keyword on Google

If you're not familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it's the process of fine-tuning your website's content and code so that search engines like Google can understand it. As a result, it helps your relevant web pages rank higher for specific searches.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Franchise SEO Marketing

5 SEO Strategies Tailored for Franchise Models

Franchise SEO requires a unique approach. It's about finding the right balance between maintaining a consistent brand image and catering to local search trends. Here are key strategies to consider:

  1. Creating Location-Specific Pages: Develop individual pages for each franchise location on your website. These pages should contain specific information about the location, including address, contact details, and localized content.
  1. Local Keyword Optimization: Incorporate local keywords relevant to each franchise area. This helps appear in search results when potential customers seek services or products in their locality.
  1. Managing Local Business Listings and Reviews: Ensure each franchise is accurately listed on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and other local directories. Regularly monitor and respond to reviews to enhance local reputation and SEO.
  1. Building Local Backlinks: Encourage local partnerships and community involvement to generate backlinks from local businesses and organizations, which can improve local search rankings.
  1. Social Media Integration: Utilize local social media profiles for each franchise to engage with the community and drive local traffic to your website.

Tailoring your SEO strategy to each franchise location effectively helps tap into local markets while strengthening the brand's online presence. 

At Digital Resource, we have the best franchise SEO professionals to help you with just that! We'll be delighted to assist you with anything you wish to know about SEO so you can convert more people who want to become franchisees into customers (Acquisition).

For now, you can read one of our top-performing SEO blog posts: 7 Crucial SEO Tips From Renowned SEO Experts.

Building a Robust Customer Support System

customer support team

The franchise marketing strategies we've covered so far have all been about Awareness and Acquisition. This is the part where we will teach you a crucial strategy for increasing your Retention efforts.

Introducing... customer support!

You might wonder: "What's the difference between customer support and customer service?"

Some experts mix up customer support and customer service.

Customer service is an umbrella term for any interactions that enhance the customer experience and benefit the company's connection with the customer. On the other hand, customer support is just one example of an interaction.

All businesses give customer service, but not all businesses offer customer support.

Let's say you're in a restaurant. Customer service is provided when a waitperson seats you, serve you food and accepts your payment. The waiterperson is unlikely to teach you how to cut your steak, though. This would be considered customer support.

In franchise marketing, keeping an existing customer is usually less expensive than attracting a new one. As a result, providing excellent customer support is an effective strategy for keeping your franchisees doing business with you. It is also less expensive and more effective than advertising and marketing to people who need to know your presence.

According to ZenDesk's 2021 Customer Experience Trends Report, the following are some key characteristics of excellent customer support:

  • Supporting your customers through their preferred channels. The best way to provide excellent customer support is to help a customer through their preferred support channel. Customers want to communicate with you through the channels they share with friends and family. 
  • Providing 24/7 support. According to Right Now, 55% of consumers feel that having quick access to support and information can help them fall in love with a business. When agents are not available, a knowledge base or chatbot can be used to provide customer care. 
  • Resolving issues quickly. Kolsky claims that 67% of customer churn might be avoided if the company fixed the customer's problem on the first engagement. As a result, your customer support team must act promptly.

Maintaining a committed customer service team helps you build brand loyalty in addition to retaining customers.

Social Media Marketing for Franchises

Did you know that social media is a top lead-generation franchise marketing method for 55% of businesses? Consumers who follow a brand on social media are 87% more likely to visit its website and view products.

In addition, 71% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand after having a great social media experience. It is the second most commonly used media for customer support.

In this section of our franchise marketing guide, we'll look at how social media marketing works in real life by answering these three critical questions:

1. What advantages does social media marketing provide for a franchise?

It's difficult to overestimate the importance of localized social media marketing in franchising. The world's most successful franchises are aware of this. Many examples of franchise social media management resulted in increased involvement.

Let's take Anytime Fitness (AF) as an example. AF is a multi-location fitness center that has 138K Instagram followers. They based their content strategy on connection and motivation, presenting real-life stories from local community members.

"As a franchise system, it's challenging to capture what's going on in our 3,000-plus clubs around the country," explains Kristen Pechacek, senior digital marketing manager at Anytime Fitness. "Everything we publish is more about mutual encouragement than rivalry," he added.

Successful marketing methods for a specific place raise local brand awareness and allow franchisors to promote their message and win new customers.

2. What are the dangers of social media marketing for franchises?

Franchisees understand that one incorrect, insulting, or simply useless message can cause irreparable damage to the business. This is especially true in a digital age where sexism, racism, and ageism are rising.

An example of this incident is when Starbucks became branded with racism and sexism after an unsuccessful social media campaign with the "blonde breaks the rules" tagline.

They simply wanted to convey that espresso does not necessarily have to be so powerful, but the terminology was confusing.

Starbucks "blond breaks rules" campaign

While the responses they received from some Twitter users were funny, the campaign did not have a positive impact on the brand.

3. How to make a marketing plan for a franchise on social media?

creating a social media marketing plan

There are many ways to use social media for marketing your franchise, even if you have a lot of different stores. You can use built-in tools, like Facebook Locations, to spread on-brand content to local pages.

You can also use these tools to spread on-brand content to other pages or make a separate page for each place. Here are the main things to keep in mind when you want to be in charge of your brand's online reputation:

  • Give brief and clear instructions. The social media managers for each store should understand your brand. Determining which words, colors, and styles work best for the business is critical. 
  • Control the content's quality. Franchisors must ensure that all the locations have content consistent with the brand. This will help them gain customers and spread the word about their company. At the same time, it’s also essential to use content unique to each location, such as announcements about promotions, discounts, and local events. 
  • Monitor the performance of each location. You should monitor how well your franchisees perform on social media to determine how optimized their strategy is. It is possible to review each post's page's statistics and metrics to determine the most popular messages and work on a content plan. 

Employee Advocacy in Franchise Marketing

franchise locations in map

Employee advocacy is the concept of empowering your workers, or in this case, franchisor and franchisee employees, to disseminate pre-approved information to raise brand recognition. Employee advocacy, made possible by social media, is a potent tool that should not be overlooked.

A study from Business2Community found that "Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees through employee advocacy vs. the brand."

This means that the appropriate message, delivered to the right audience by a truly engaged person, can be a priceless marketing message for a company.

Here are three things you can do to start leveraging employee advocacy:

  • Find people who can share your brand's story. The best way to find them is to send a survey with a few questions about your company's products. You can also ask employees at each franchise location to share something about their favorite product on a social media site. Ask your franchise owners to talk to their most passionate employees about becoming advocates.
  • Create highly shareable content. You'll have more success if your employee advocates are given content that they can share. Make a list of important, exciting news within your company and industry.
  • Reward your promoters and advocates. Consider giving small bonuses to employees who spread your brand message well. Gift cards, parking spaces, valuable branded merchandise, or other benefits can go a long way toward incentivizing ambassadors.

Advanced Strategies in Franchise Marketing

As we venture beyond the essentials of franchise SEO, it's time to embrace advanced strategies in franchise marketing. These innovative approaches can significantly enrich your traditional marketing mix, offering novel ways to engage with your audience and expand your brand's influence.

Influencer Marketing

This strategy involves collaborating with influencers who have a substantial following on social media or other platforms. According to a study by Mediakix, businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

For franchises, influencer marketing can be particularly effective as it allows for both broad brand promotion and localized, community-focused campaigns. By partnering with influencers, franchisees can tap into established audiences, gaining credibility and visibility in new markets.


Launching or sponsoring a podcast can be a great way to connect with your audience. Podcasts offer an intimate, long-form medium for sharing your brand's story, values, and insights.

With over 55% of Americans listening to a podcast in 2020, according to Edison Research, podcasts can be particularly effective in building a loyal listener base and establishing your franchise as a thought leader in your industry.


Hosting webinars is another advanced strategy that can benefit franchises. Webinars can serve various purposes, from educating potential franchisees about your business model to sharing industry knowledge with a broader audience. They offer an interactive platform to engage with your audience and can be a powerful tool for lead generation.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 58% of marketers use webinars for promotion, and 35% believe that webinars are a critical tactic for their content marketing success.

Integrating Advanced Strategies into the Traditional Marketing Mix

Successfully incorporating these advanced strategies ensures they complement and enhance your existing marketing efforts. For example, influencer marketing campaigns should align with your brand's messaging and values. Podcasts and webinars should be integrated into your content marketing strategy, providing another layer of depth to your brand's narrative.

By adopting these advanced marketing strategies, franchises can stay ahead of the curve, engaging with their audience in innovative and impactful ways. These tactics diversify your marketing mix and open new avenues for growth and customer engagement backed by data-driven results. 

Analyzing and Adapting Marketing Strategies

At this point, we have shared all the franchise marketing strategies you can use for your franchise business. However, all these will only be enough if you can't analyze and adapt your strategy, which is as crucial as the strategies themselves. It's about being agile and responsive to the changing tides of the marketing landscape.

3 Essential Tools and Techniques for Analyzing Marketing Efforts

  1. Analytics Tools: Utilize tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to track website traffic, engagement metrics, and SEO performance. These tools offer invaluable insights into how your audience interacts with your content and website.
  1. Social Media Analytics: Platforms like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide detailed data on the performance of your social media content. This includes reach, engagement rates, and audience demographics.
  1. Customer Feedback Tools: Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can help gather direct feedback from your customers, providing a clear picture of their preferences and experiences.

Adapting Strategies Based on Performance and Feedback

  • Data-Driven Adjustments: Use the data from your analytics tools to identify what's working and what isn't. This could mean tweaking your content strategy, adjusting your SEO keywords, or changing your social media approach.
  • Customer-Centric Adaptations: Customer feedback should directly inform your marketing strategies. If customers respond well to a particular content or campaign, consider doubling down on that approach.
  • Competitor Analysis: Keep an eye on your competitors. Tools like SEMrush can help you understand their strategies and adapt your own to stay competitive.

Staying Agile in a Changing Marketing Landscape

  • Continuous Learning: The marketing world constantly changes, with new trends and technologies emerging regularly. Stay informed about the latest developments in digital marketing and be ready to incorporate fresh tactics into your strategy.
  • Flexibility in Planning: While having a structured marketing plan is essential, allow room for flexibility. Be prepared to pivot your strategies in response to new market trends, algorithm updates, or changes in consumer behavior.
  • Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Sometimes, the most innovative and effective strategies come from thinking outside the box and trying something new.

In summary, analyzing and adapting your marketing strategies is a continuous process that requires attention to detail, responsiveness to feedback, and a willingness to evolve. By staying agile and informed, you can ensure that your franchise marketing efforts remain effective and relevant in the dynamic world of digital marketing.

Future Trends in Franchise Marketing

As we conclude our comprehensive guide to franchise marketing, it's essential to anticipate the trends shaping this dynamic field's future. Staying ahead of these trends can give franchises a competitive edge and ensure continued growth and relevance in an ever-evolving market.

Upcoming Trends and Their Potential Impact

  • Personalization at Scale: Advances in technology are making it possible to offer highly personalized marketing experiences to a broad audience. This means tailoring marketing messages to local audiences while maintaining brand consistency for franchises.
  • Increased Use of AI and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning are becoming more sophisticated and accessible. These technologies can help franchises analyze large data sets for better decision-making, automate repetitive marketing tasks, and predict customer behavior.
  • Rise of Voice Search and Smart Assistants: As voice-activated devices become more prevalent, optimizing for voice search will be crucial. Franchises must adapt their SEO and content strategies to be more conversational and voice-friendly.

To know more about these upcoming trends, read this comprehensive article: What’s Next? 7 Stunning Predictions About the Future of Franchise Marketing.

Preparing for Future Changes in Franchise Marketing

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest marketing technology and strategy developments. Regularly attending industry conferences and webinars and following thought leaders can provide valuable insights.
  • Invest in Training: Ensure your marketing team is trained in digital marketing tools and techniques. This includes understanding data analytics, AI applications, and emerging platforms.
  • Flexible Strategy Development: Develop adaptable marketing strategies. This means being open to testing new platforms and technologies and pivoting based on their performance and ROI.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Regardless of new trends and technologies, the focus should always be on creating value for the customer. Keeping a pulse on customer preferences and behaviors will guide franchises in adopting the right trends at the right time.

By anticipating and preparing for these trends, franchisees can stay ahead of the curve and continue connecting with their audiences in meaningful and innovative ways. The future of franchise marketing is bright and full of possibilities, and those ready to embrace change will thrive.

Level Up Your Franchise Marketing Game

How you market a franchise differs significantly from how you market businesses in other industries. It's the work that requires collaboration between the franchisors and the franchisees.

At Digital Resource, we understand that franchise marketing and its franchise SEO components can be very challenging. We can help you streamline your franchise's marketing plan so that you can readily market it to potential customers.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you level up your franchise marketing game.

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