Franchise Marketing

Franchise Marketing – 10 Strategies for your Marketing Plan

By: Frank DePino | August 9, 2022

Franchise marketing is a marketing method for franchisees and franchisors to grow their business. Digital marketing has become a major driver of the success of franchise marketing. Why is digital marketing a critical element of franchise marketing?

Franchise marketing utilizes digital marketing methods since digital marketing is instant-reaching, affordable (compared to non-digital marketing methods), and efficient. Franchisees and franchisors can use tactics such as email marketing and social media to increase conversions and sales.

In this article, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite franchise marketing tips, including some listed above and plenty more. No matter where you are in your franchise marketing journey, this article is for you, so keep reading!

How to Create a Franchise Marketing Plan 

1. Establish Your Brand

As a franchisee or franchisor, you’re already associated with a well-known company. However, you want your franchised branch to succeed on its own, and that means finding a way to brand yourself outside of your parent company.

You likely will use the same logo and color scheme as your parent company for recognizability but think of other ways in which you can make your franchise stand out. 

Perhaps you use a slightly different tone than the one your parent company uses. You might focus more on storytelling. 

You could even focus more on customer service. According to marketing resource Curatti, more than 70 percent of customers prefer a brand because of its customer service. 

You should also pay attention to elements like your tagline and font choices per our post here.

franchise website

2. Redesign Your Website

Since you do have the safety net of a parent company as a franchisor or franchisee, you might think that your website can be a carbon copy of your parent company’s site but with a few local references thrown in or a couple of mentions of franchises.

We wouldn’t recommend it. One of the biggest facets of franchise marketing is a well-designed, responsive website

You can use your parent company website as the backbone or inspiration, but feel free to branch off and create the kind of design that will be appealing to your target audience.

We have many website design roundups on the blog, such as this one for luxury sites or this one for nonprofits.

Although none exactly hit the mark for franchises, you can still use elements of these site designs for your own website. 

Here are some design facets we recommend.

  • White space is good: Don’t overload your franchise website with so many graphics or videos that people get overwhelmed. That kind of design isn’t mobile-friendly, and it will cause people to bounce. Use some white space, which is intentional blank space on the site.
  • Easy navigation: Whether it’s a traveling navigation bar or a search bar at the top of the page, you want to make it exceptionally easy for people to find the information they need on your site.
  • Plenty of CTAs: Your franchise website will need CTA buttons or links as well. We absolutely recommend putting one above the fold and then elsewhere on the site so people have several opportunities to contact you or make a purchase.
  • Attention-grabbing graphics: When you do use graphics or videos, you want them to captivate the site visitor’s attention. Don’t choose graphics at random, though; incorporate them into your company’s vision or goals.

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.

3. Create a Content Marketing Plan 

The next facet of your franchise marketing plan is content marketing.

According to a 2022 HubSpot report, when marketers use content marketing, it’s to raise engagement, sales, and brand awareness.

You can achieve all those objectives and more. As we wrote about on our blog, content marketing is an educational opportunity for your audience. You can also use content marketing to create and nurture professional relationships.

Content marketing is not solely about blogging. Today, content is a wide umbrella that includes whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, case studies and testimonials, user-generated content or UGC, infographics, social media marketing, influencer marketing, email marketing, podcasts, and videos.

We’ll talk about social media marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing as their own franchise marketing tactics later in this guide. For now, let’s discuss  how you can make a content marketing plan that works for your franchise.

First, you have to get to know your target audience. If you haven’t already segmented your current audience and created customer avatars or personas, begin by doing that. 

Then you need to do keyword research to determine what kind of topics your target audience is interested in. What are they searching for? What do they want to learn more about?

Next, you have to assess the competition. If a topic is oversaturated with videos, posts, infographics, you name it, your content will be a drop in the ocean.

Instead, don’t be afraid to select smaller niches. You won’t appeal to as broad of an audience, but the people you do attract will be looking for exactly the kind of information you produce.

Now it’s time to determine what your content production frequency will be and when you’ll post. The more content you can make, the better. You want to produce content twice per week at least. 

Once your content goes live, cross-promote it across your website and socials. Track engagement and make tweaks to your content marketing plan from there. 

4.  Use SEO

Search engine optimization or SEO is a critical part of any marketing plan, including a franchise marketing plan. 

SEO determines where your franchise lands when people search for it. This is your chance to stand out from your parent company so you can funnel business to your franchise, but how do you get started?

Here are some tactics from a post on our blog about the importance of SEO that we’re sure will help.

  • Produce inbound and outbound links. The more of these links you have, the better, but they must be relevant or you can hurt your SEO standing. 
  • Always post high-quality content. Google considers content high-quality if it’s specific and unique. In other words, no outsourcing, and don’t spin content either.
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. As we touched on before, you need a site where the elements and navigation load well whether users are on their phones or computers.
  • Raise your domain authority. This entails obtaining high-quality backlinks, removing dead links or bad links from your site, and producing content that other people want to link to.
  • Prioritize website loading speed. No one is going to wait more than a few seconds for a site to load in the 2020s. If your site is clunky, a lead or customer will leave. 

5. Grow Your Social Media Presence 

No franchise marketing plan is complete without a social media presence. 

With social media users expected to surpass four billion in the early 2020s (according to Oberlo), your franchise can connect with potential and current customers through social media. 

Social media is an ideal vehicle for establishing and building professional relationships, cross-posting content to introduce a whole new set of eyes to it, converting customers, building your brand, and establishing brand awareness.

You can give shoutouts to your most loyal followers, engage by responding to comments and direct messages, and use videos or images to showcase a different side of your company. 

You can even take customers behind the scenes to see what makes your franchise different.

Social media advertising allows you to create tailored messages that only segmented groups see. 

Today’s social media ads look native to the platform they’re designed for. This way, the average user doesn’t immediately see an ad and become dismayed.

6. Use Digital Advertising

Speaking of social media advertising, that’s a nice segue into our next strategy for your franchise marketing plan, and that’s digital advertising. 

From mobile ads to display ads and pay-per-click or PPC ads, advertising gives your franchise the opportunity to reach new potential customers. 

As we touched on in the paragraphs above, segmenting your audience is critical for any digital marketing campaign. You don’t want to needlessly waste advertising dollars on people who aren’t receptive to what you’re advertising.

On the note of advertising dollars, your franchise must have an advertising budget. 

Whether that budget trickles down from the parent company or your franchise has to pay for the advertising yourself, create a budget that’s reasonable for the company according to your earnings.

Once your ad goes live and until it’s offline, you must review the metrics that come in. Is your ad reaching the desired target audience? Is that audience receptive to the ad?

How many conversions did the ad produce? How much revenue?

This data will allow you to retool your future ad campaigns so they’re even more effective next time. 

7. Start an Email Marketing Campaign 

With about four billion people using email in 2022, says HubSpot, this is another huge untapped market for you to reach with your franchise marketing efforts.

We wrote a very useful resource on getting started with email marketing that should be beneficial if this is your first foray. 

The key is to generate a bountiful but efficient list of contacts. You can use some of the digital marketing measures we’ve discussed to this point such as social media advertising and paid ads to generate contacts.

We also recommend using opt-in forms and lead magnets on your website. Both will get site visitors to give you their contact information in exchange for something of value such as a whitepaper, chapters of an eBook, a podcast transcript, or a checklist.

To engage with your email list, you need to message them frequently but not too frequently that you end up in the spam filter. 

When you make offers to your email list, those offers must be compelling and–above all else–relevant.

8.  Use Influencer Marketing 

Franchises are in the unique position of having access to star power through their parent company, but as we’ve established, it’s all about making a name for yourself as a franchisor or franchisee.

To that end, influencer marketing can be a highly effective part of your franchise marketing plan. 

You’d find an influencer that you think gels with your brand and values. Then you’d contact them and ask to send them your products or services to try. 

The influencer will receive your products or services and then record a video or write a post about them. This introduces their audience to your franchise, and they will hopefully convert and become new customers! 

9. Try Remarketing

Another digital marketing strategy to implement into your franchise marketing is behavioral retargeting or remarketing.

Remarketing is a great chance to captivate the attention and interest of potential customers who you missed out on the first time around. 

You’d send an email or link your would-be customers to a website. In the email or website is a single tracking pixel that creates a cookie in the user’s Internet browser.

You can then show the user display ads or other forms of advertisements with your products or services to hopefully lure them back. 

Emailing the would-be customer with an exclusive discount offer or coupon code can also sweeten the deal!

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.

10. Embrace AI 

Global artificial intelligence is on the rise, reports trends site Exploding Topics. Before AI becomes a must-have digital marketing feature, incorporate it into your franchise marketing plan now.

How? Well, one of the easiest and most common ways to implement AI is with a chatbot on your website.

When your franchise shuts its doors for the day, a chatbot can answer a customer’s questions and address concerns. 

Digital marketing resource ThriveMyWay reports that businesses say that using chatbots has caused a sales spike of more than 65 percent!  

Conclusion 

Franchise marketing when used in conjunction with digital marketing can boost brand awareness, convert more leads into buying customers, educate and provide value to your customers, increase sales, and strengthen customer relationships.

If you’re ready to get your franchise marketing plan off the ground, contact the experts at Mediaboom. We’re digital marketing pros and can assist with digital branding, web design, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, digital advertising, and content production.  

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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