Franchise Advertising

Franchise Advertising – 18 Vital Steps for your Success

By: Frank DePino | August 4, 2022

Franchise advertising can make or break a location. Learn to use it to your advantage. You’ve taken the first step and secured the right to open a franchise location. Developing a local marketing strategy for your new business is a crucial step in establishing a franchise. This beginner’s guide will cover 18 vital steps to tell the community about your new business. 

What is franchise advertising?

Franchise advertising is a broad marketing strategy used by franchisors and franchisees to generate sales, as well as to maintain brand awareness and consistency. At the brand level, the corporate franchisors decide what message and image they would like to portray to the public. Franchisees adopt that message and continue it as they interact with the local community. 

With proper planning and use, franchise advertising can significantly increase consumers’ awareness of your location, along with others in your region. In many cases, your local franchise will benefit from the national advertising campaigns run by your corporate franchisor. This leaves you free to focus on the region where you operate. 

Franchise Web Design

Your customers have options and it’s up to you to stand out among the competitors. One of the most effective ways to do this is through an effective franchise marketing plan. This guide will cover the most important aspects of how to advertise a franchise. 

In this guide, you will find:

  • How to advertise a franchise.
  • Services available with franchise advertising programs.
  • Examples of effective franchise advertising.
  • Franchise website design with consumers in mind.
  • How local SEO helps draw web traffic.
  • Use email marketing to attract new customers.
  • How to use content marketing.
  • Make social media work for you.
  • Use community engagement to become a local entity.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads engage your target audience.
  • Monitor your return on investment (ROI).

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10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

How to advertise a franchise

1. Develop an online presence. 

It is undeniably a digital world. If your franchise has a digital presence, your target audience will find you. Make sure they find accurate, updated contact information. One of the fastest ways to alienate potential customers is to have no presence online. 

Customers expect to be able to find the information they seek with a quick online search. If your franchise doesn’t show up in the results, you can bet that other local businesses will. 

2. Identify your target audience

Advertising is useless if it doesn’t reach the right customers. Start your franchise marketing strategy off in the best possible way by identifying your target audience and focusing on advertising that relates to the people you want to reach. It’s important for you as a franchisee to understand that the target audience for your location will not necessarily be the same as your franchisor’s national or global following.

Pay attention to your potential customers. Do what you can to learn about their buying habits and lifestyles so you can tailor your advertising campaign to target the local customers you want. If your franchisor’s advertising is effective, consumers will already be aware of your brand. Show them why your location stands out from the competition.

How to advertise a franchise

3. Set up a business profile for online reviews

While creating your online presence and planning your franchise advertising campaign, make sure you create a business profile on multiple online review sites. According to a Local Customer Review Survey published by BrightLocal, 77% of consumers read online reviews while searching for a local business. As many as 49% of consumers said they give consumer reviews as much weight as recommendations from friends and family.

However, it is not only vital to make online reviews possible but to respond to reviews. In the same study, 89% of consumers said they were “fairly” or “highly” likely to use a business that responds to all reviews, positive and negative. Of those same consumers, 57% said they would be “not very” or “not at all” likely to use a business that does not respond to reviews at all.

Services available with franchise advertising programs

4. Review options for franchise advertising programs

There are many franchise advertising programs on the market offering a wide range of services to assist your marketing strategy. If you have a limited advertising budget, consider maximizing your funds by hiring an agency to handle multiple aspects of the process

A quick online search will reveal options to outsource email marketing, social media marketing, referrals and customer loyalty programs, content marketing, message inbox consolidation across platforms, and more.

5. Formulate a plan to maintain brand consistency

After you’ve found a franchise advertising program that fits your needs, you still have to ensure the resulting campaign maintains brand consistency with your franchisor’s efforts. Your brand lets potential customers know what to expect from your franchise. While your parent company will likely have guidelines you can follow to help with this, your franchise license could depend on your ability to maintain the corporate brand. 

Examples of effective franchise advertising

6. Effective franchise advertising examples

While you’re developing the best marketing strategy for your franchise, it can be helpful to look at what is working for other businesses and look for a way to adapt that strategy to your needs. 

For example, consider the celebrity meals offered by McDonald’s. The celebrity’s fan base brings in more customers and by offering free or discounted items through their app, McDonald’s has received millions of downloads and increased customer engagement. Other restaurants have capitalized on star power and adapted the same model. 

Taking the idea in a different direction, there are many examples of clothing, makeup, and jewelry companies collaborating with celebrities for specialized products. Most celebrities bring built-in audiences, some of whom may never have heard of your business. 

Website design with consumers in mind

Franchise website design with consumers in mind

7. Invest in a website

If you do only one thing to market your franchise, it should be investing in a professional, functional website and keeping it up to date. According to a shopper study done by GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of consumers research businesses online before making a purchase. It makes no sense to miss out on that level of potential consumer engagement. When prospective customers look for you online, be there for them to find. 

Optimize your website for mobile traffic. The mobile market is constantly growing, and many people search for things on their phones rather than using a computer. You need your website to function properly on a mobile device. 

How local SEO helps draw web traffic

8. Optimize your website for local search results

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of using keywords that correlate to your target audience and location to rank high in the search results on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Every page on your website should include multiple keywords. When you’re the first option customers see, you have a better chance of being the business they choose. 

9. Focus on the local area/region

Make sure that you use geographic terms among your keywords. You need the search engines to associate your website with the local area. Most of your customers will live and work in this area. Establish yourself as a local entity and make sure you are among the first results when someone searches for your industry in the area. 

10. Use SEO Marketing to drive web traffic

SEO marketing is a wonderful tool to drive web traffic to your website and generate leads for your business. Nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are for local content. According to Chat Meter, online searches for a product or service including “near me” or “close by” have grown by more than 900% in the past two years. 

SEO to drive traffic to your franchise website

Use email marketing to attract new customers

11. Use email marketing to connect with customers

Email marketing is a vital tool in any franchisee’s advertising toolbox. A 2021 report by Litmus shows that email marketing can offer the highest return on investment of any available marketing technique, with $1 invested earning a brand as much as $36. There are numerous services to help with email marketing strategies and implementation.

Set clear, attainable goals, consistently grow your email list, and welcome new subscribers. Your email marketing strategy can be as simple or as in-depth as you want it to be. As long as you focus on your target audience and maintain engagement, you should see results quickly.

How to use content marketing

12. Shared content library

Content marketing is successful often because it isn’t overtly promotional. It is the practice of sharing quality, related content to further establish your franchise brand and digital presence. Share blogs, articles, and videos that will interest your target audience. 

For many franchisees, there will be a shared content library provided by your franchisor. This should include things like articles, press releases, social media posts, and other things that can be shared online which all have corporate approval. Shared libraries let franchises access premade, curated content consistent with the brand. This is a low-effort option that should be utilized if available. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Make social media work for you

13. Establish your franchise on social media platforms, within corporate guidelines

Your franchise agreement likely has a section covering what you, as a franchisee, can do on social media. Within guidelines, you may consider opening a local page on social media for your specific location so you can address promotions and customer comments directly. 

While the main franchisor’s social media page offers brand awareness and national promotions, it isn’t likely to provide the level of service you can for your local customers. Check with your franchisor to learn what your social media limits are and how you receive messages to the parent company about your location.

14. Stay Responsive

Positive interactions with businesses on social media are vital. Make sure your social media representative represents your franchise in a way that maintains your brand. Whenever possible, answer messages and consider using a chatbot service to direct customer messages outside business hours. Consumers are far more likely to continue their patronage after an interaction with a business on social media. 

15. Find ways to localize franchisor advertising

If you don’t have a shared content library to work from, pay attention to the social media posts your franchisor makes and find ways to localize that content to your region. Set clear franchise social media policies so your online “voice” is professional and on-brand.

Use community engagement to become a local entity

16.  Be Accessible to your target audience

Make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to find your franchise location. If your target audience is more likely to be online during certain hours, make sure your social media is posting relevant content during those hours. Pay attention to your customer base and find ways to make your business accessible

17. Get involved in the community

Become a part of your local community. Donate to benefits and fundraisers, sponsor local sports teams and school events, and offer community appreciation discounts or special promotions to thank your customers. There are limitless options to integrate your franchise into the local community. Community events let you show your brand and imagery to many potential new customers. They will see you there and remember. 

PPC franchise advertising

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads engage your target audience

18. How to use PPC ads

Another form of franchise advertising is Pay-Per-Click. This is a form of marketing that allows you to tailor your ads by how much you want to pay per click-through. With PPC, you bid for placement on popular sites. Research the keywords applicable to your franchise and bid how much you want to pay every time a consumer clicks on your ad. With a targeted approach and appropriate keywords, PPC ads can be a valuable part of your marketing strategy. There are numerous PPC agencies to help you maximize your investment.

Conclusion

Mastering the skill of franchise advertising will be a vital step on your business’ journey to success. You can lean on your franchisor’s brand marketing and reputation as you establish your franchise, but it is important to establish your location among your competitors and an effective advertising campaign will help you reach that goal.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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