Much like a good story, franchises are like onions.
No, they don’t stink or make you cry.
Franchises have layers.
Each individual location operates as a business that sells a product, provides a service, or both. They must market to consumers to maintain their current customers and to reach new customers. It’s all pretty cut and dry. But with a franchise, once you cut that onion, you see the layers of which we speak.
Each layer of the business requires a different approach and has a different audience to direct your marketing efforts towards. They require layered marketing strategies to entice new franchisees so new locations continue to open.
Here are 5 tips to successfully market your franchise:
Word of mouth is helpful, but will not suffice for your franchise development campaign. While that can be a terrific way to bring new franchisees on board—especially if you are able to offer a bonus for referrals—you can’t depend on it entirely. Research your target market, establish a budget, and develop a digital marketing campaign geared towards franchises that brings in viable leads.
Set Up Your Website to Convert
A website is integral for your digital marketing campaign. That’s a no-brainer. But you need to make sure the information on your website speaks to your target audience. Someone who clicks on a Facebook ad or who comes across your franchise opportunity during their Google search may be deterred if the only information on your website is directed towards consumers. Similarly, if they have to dig for what they are looking for or it is any way confusing or sparse, the user is likely to leave the page. McDonald’s, for example, has their main website that provides information about their menu, deals, services, and career opportunities. This also links to the franchise side of their website where the real meat and potatoes is housed.
Establish a dedicated space on your existing website or create a website that directly informs visitors about your franchise opportunity. Your website needs to contain detailed information that potential franchisees want to know upfront before making an inquiry. These include details such as:
- Summarized information about the business
- Benefits – what’s in it for them?
- Upfront investment costs
- Financing options
- A working form to request more information
Leverage the Success Stories of Existing Franchisees
Saturate your website and social media channels with success. This may be a little trickier if you are completely new to the franchise game, but possible. McDonald’s has a tab on their franchise development website dedicated to success stories. Ace Hardware showcases Conversion Stories and the Coolest Stores. Pizza Hut features franchisee testimonials prominently on their franchise website. There is more than one way to go about doing this but highlighting the satisfaction of real success stories can go a long way.
Play the Long Game
This includes tactics like investing in digital marketing strategies that include SEO and PPC. These tools work in tandem to increase visitors to your website. And not just any visitors, your target audience. People who are searching for a franchise opportunity like yours. Don’t expect results overnight though. Especially with SEO, these strategies are designed to nurture your potential franchisees through their journey, taking them from interested, to inquiring, to converting.
Follow Up on Serious Leads
This may sound obvious, but still worth the reminder. You would be surprised at how easy it is to assume a serious lead is a sure thing, only to see it fall to the wayside due to neglect. Court your potential franchisees. Show them some love. If they are serious and have the capital to invest, they may be entertaining other opportunities and you want to be the one that continues to stand out. Paying them personal attention so they feel important matters. Don’t be pushy. Just be proactive.
A Layered Approach that Takes You from One to Many
The other interesting thing about onions is that they don’t have to grow from a seed. Once you have one, you can grow more onions, which is the exact goal you have as a franchise business. To go from one to many. As luck would have it, digital marketing for franchises is our specialty. Allow Enspire for Enterprise to help you with a layered approach that aligns with your goals. Visit our website to learn more.