When it comes to marketing your franchise, the options available are endless. Digital marketing, email marketing, and local marketing should all hold a place within your franchise marketing strategy.
In the modern market, competition for customers is fierce. However, if you devise an effective marketing strategy for your franchise business, you’ll be well on your way to success. If you have a franchise business plan and are fully aware of your customers’ wants and needs, it’s time to put your marketing plan into action.
This article will detail essential marketing strategies you should try to incorporate as a franchise owner to ensure your success. Each platform will suit a certain type of franchise business best and it’s highly dependent on where your customer base is located. This is just one of the many factors to consider before purchasing a franchise.
Franchise Marketing Plan
There is no right and wrong way to market your franchise business, as long as you remain ethical and promote a positive message. However, marketing can be a constant testing game when trying to figure out the strategies and platforms that work best for your particular franchise. Developing a marketing plan and a strong, unified marketing message is paramount.
Be sure to carefully track your leads and conversions from different sources to determine which strategies are working best. Once you have some data collected, you will be able to determine which channels warrant additional spending and reduce spending on those that are less effective.
Effective content marketing through social media and a company website can be a great way to get your marketing message out in a cost-effective manner, particularly if your business can rank well for key SEO search terms in your area. Content can take the form of blog posts, videos, social media posts, and articles. In addition to increasing web site traffic, these also help establish brand credibility and recognition.
To create great brand content, focus on the following things:
- Target the local market with relevant keywords and headlines
- Incorporate the name of your city/location throughout your articles and posts to help you rank for search terms within that area
- Diversify your content by creating a mixture of videos, blog posts, articles, and infographics
Email has remained one of the most powerful ways to market a franchise, even as we move further into the social media era. Email marketing provides you with a direct line of communication with your target market. It is also very powerful when it comes to building rapport with existing customers. Detailed below are a few tips to make your email marketing strategy more powerful:
- Use local marketing insights to create email content that is relevant to your target demographic
- Leverage data from social media to see which content/offers people respond to best (for example if you notice a particular post performs well on your Facebook page, discuss the same topic within an email you send out to your list)
- Re-establish communication with potential customers or existing customers with retargeting campaigns
Social media marketing is a powerful way to build rapport with your audience and turn likes/followers into sales and revenue. Social media has the ability to pick up traction for an extremely low cost (or even free when used organically!).
Social media is also an effective platform for customer feedback and testimonials. Customer reviews on your company’s Facebook page, for example, offer social proof and create trust between your business and your future customers.
A healthy amount of positive reviews can entice people to want to visit your location. Be sure to respond promptly to negative comments, however, and reach out to the unhappy customer to alleviate the situation. Having just a few negative reviews can quickly kill your brand’s reputation.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will likely be the three main players of your social media marketing strategy. These will become a powerful force within your franchise business strategy.
Even before your business is officially open, you can set up a Facebook business page and Instagram account to begin building an audience of potential customers. Creating demand for your business this way will increase the likelihood of a successful grand opening and an ongoing business that thrives.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing is by far one of the most powerful franchise marketing tools available to you and one that should be at the forefront of your franchise marketing strategy. To ensure you are taking advantage of this highly cost-effective method of advertising, make sure the customer service provided by all of your employees is top-notch.
Word of mouth marketing often happens on its own accord when people have a positive experience with your business. There are, however, ways in which we can speed along the process. These include customer referrals, community events, open houses, fundraisers, and more.
This is one area of marketing that lets you get creative! There are always new ways to reach people and promote your business.
Franchisor and Franchisee Roles
While you are paying a franchise fee and royalties for the use of brand names, trademarks, technology, proprietary information, training, and business resources, you are still ultimately the owner of your franchise location. And as a business owner, you will have several decisions to make that will directly impact the success of your business.
Marketing Is Your Responsibility
While franchisors usually provide marketing materials, campaigns, and training, you are at the end of the day the owner of your own independent business. It is your responsibility to take the resources you are provided and make something of them. While business experience is usually not required prior to purchasing a franchise, being well-versed in business and marketing will help you develop a strategic marketing plan that fits the unique needs of your particular market.
If you feel marketing is something you simply won’t have the time to focus on, you do have the option of outsourcing to a marketing agency or hiring on a specialist marketer.
Be Consistent With Your Brand
Leveraging the pre-existing marketing material used by the brand across other franchisees can be central to the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Often, your franchisor will have a set theme or strategy they will ask you to follow to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of brand marketing efforts. All questions and concerns regarding the brand voice and brand marketing strategy should be discussed with the franchisor in order to ensure your strategies are sufficient and congruent with the franchise as a whole.
An effective, powerful marketing strategy is central to the growth and survival of your business, especially in the early stages. Don’t make the mistake of treating marketing as an afterthought or relying solely on the franchisor for your advertising. Before you even sign a franchise agreement, you should be familiar with the advertising resources your franchisor offers and thinking about what you need to put in place to create an effective marketing strategy for your business.