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The Ultimate Guide To Marketing Your Franchise Business

Business Development

In this post, our franchise SEO team will go over the ABCs of franchise marketing through these topics:

  • What is Franchise Marketing?
  • Five Effective Strategies to Market Your Franchise
  • Achieving Franchise Business Goals Through Social Media Marketing
  • Using Franchise Locations and Employees as Promoters
  • Leveling Up Your Franchise Marketing Game

What Is Franchise Marketing?

Franchise marketing refers to any action that a franchise engages in to expand. These activities include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, franchise SEO, trade exhibitions, content marketing, and commercials.

When it comes to marketing a franchise, many people think about advertising and promotion. While aggressive paid advertising can generate an initial surge of interest and inquiries, our franchise SEO team recommends that you start with thorough planning and segmenting your marketing into three distinct steps:

  • Awareness: Getting people's attention and stimulating their interest.
  • Acquisition: Turning the people who want to become franchisees into customers.
  • Retention: Giving support to franchisees, so they become long-term, loyal business partners.

Now that you know what franchise marketing is and how you can segment your marketing strategies into three distinct steps, it’s time to talk about execution.

Five Effective Strategies To Market Your Franchise

1. Design An Amazing Website

responsive web design

With 97% of consumers turning to the internet to find local businesses, your website is likely the first contact point for anyone who’s 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 guidelines:

  • Your website must be easily accessible and visible to search engines. We go into more detail about franchise SEO a little further down.
  • Your website must be user-friendly on various mobile devices. Did you know that 57% of internet users say they will not recommend a business that has a poorly designed mobile website? If that isn't enough to convince you, consider that mobile websites rank higher in search engine results.
  • Your website must be safe and secure. HTTPS should be used on your website. Failure to do so can lead to a much higher bounce rate, since browsers will warn users that your site might be unsafe.
  • Your website must be fast. Visitors to your business website should see something happen in less than two seconds. Otherwise, 40% will visit another website.
  • Your website should offer an excellent user experience. Is it simple to use a mobile device to access your website? Is your contact information easily accessible? After your website loads, users form an opinion about it in a fraction of a second. They expect to be able to find quality information quickly and easily, especially when using a mobile device.

When designing your website, make sure to follow these five essential rules. This will give your visitors a better user experience. This helps them reach your Awareness goal, which is the first step our franchise SEO team recommends for marketing success.

2. Add A Blog Page To Your Website's Content

standard blog page

Content marketing is a broad term that encompasses blogs, videos, e-books, infographics, downloadable manuals, and pretty much anything else on your website.

According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2021 study, 70% of marketers believe that content marketing helps educate the audience, and 60% believe it helps build loyalty with existing clients/customers. This means that having high-quality content is a must-have for your website.

And do you know what's the best type of content there is?

Blog posts.

SemRush's 2021 Blogging Marketing Statistics found that "blog posts continue to be the most effective form of content over email, e-books, and white papers." 

By blogging, you can boost your company's confidence and show potential franchisees businesses they might be interested in. It also helps you reach your Awareness and Acquisition objectives by improving your company's multimedia representation, keeping your audience engaged, and promoting your brand.

Here's how you can start your website's blog page:

  1. Choose a blogging platform.
  1. Pick a domain name and a blog hosting company.
  1. Select a theme and a design for your blog.
  1. Make sure your site is ready for visitors.
  1. Create and publish your blog content.
  1. Use search engine optimization (SEO).
  1. Promote, market, and grow your blog.
  1. Take part in your community.
Learn more in our article, “Start a Blog For Your Landscaping Business in 8 Easy Steps”.

Another fantastic idea is to start linking to other blogs and pages when you're done writing or curating articles for your blog. By doing so, your viewers can stay longer on your website and promote to potential franchisees without being too salesy about it.

Linking to other pages on your site also allows search engine bots to discover and crawl more pages to index. This may result in increased visibility for your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).

3. Harness The Power Of YouTube Video Marketing

YouTube marketing

In the same way that you add a high-quality blog page to your website, you can also make videos and post them on YouTube. A 2020 study by Statista found that 62% of internet users use YouTube every day!

This strategy is backed by Wyzowl's claim that internet users in the United States spend an average of 16 hours per week just watching online videos. Interestingly, 84% of these people say they were persuaded to buy a product or service after watching a brand's video.

Additionally, putting your marketing videos on page targeting may enhance conversion rates by up to 80%, leading to a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs.

You can start leveraging the power of video marketing by establishing a YouTube channel and posting the following videos:

  • Videos about your company profile and culture. Who are you, and what is the purpose of your company?
  • Videos about customer testimonials and reviews. The most common source of new clients is word-of-mouth.
  • Videos that address frequently asked questions (FAQs). Many people are curious about how to start franchising a business.
  • Animated videos that simplify complex franchising principles and rules. The vast majority of people are unaware of the complicated franchising standards and processes.

These types of videos help you achieve your Awareness and Acquisition objectives. You can also share them across your social media platforms to further increase engagement.

4. Understand the Basics of 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.

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

5. Have A Dedicated Customer Support Team

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.


Customer Support!

You might be wondering:

"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 waiter seats you, serves you food, and accepts your payment.

The waiter 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 are unaware of 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 same channels they use to communicate with their friends and family.
  • Providing 24/7 support. According to Right Now, 55% of consumers feel 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.

To keep your consumers and establish brand loyalty, make sure you have a dedicated customer support team.

Achieving Franchise Business Goals Through Social Media Marketing

According to The Entrepreneur, social media is one of the top lead generation franchise marketing methods for 55% of businesses. If consumers follow a brand on social media, they 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. There are many examples of franchise social media management that resulted in increased involvement.

Let's take Anytime Fitness (AF) as an example. AF is a multi-location fitness center that has 117K Instagram followers. They based their content strategy on the concepts of 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 manager of digital marketing at Anytime Fitness. "Everything they publish is more about mutual encouragement than rivalry."

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. It's critical to figure out which words, colors, and styles work best for the business.
  • Control the content's quality. Franchisors must ensure that all the locations have content that is consistent with the brand. This will help them gain more customers and spread the word about their company. At the same time, it’s also important 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.
  • Educate your franchisees. Using social media correctly can help the local team earn more money. With proper training and education, they’ll be incentivized to follow an effective social media strategy.

Using Franchise Locations and Employees as Promoters

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 serve as 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 out 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, interesting 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 all go a long way toward incentivizing ambassadors.

Level Up Your Franchise Marketing Game

The way you market a franchise is very different from how you market businesses in other industries. It's the kind of 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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