How to Market Your Franchise Business: 6 Winning Strategies
Marketing a franchise in multiple locations in front of different local markets can be challenging. This is especially true if you don’t use effective marketing strategies that are specifically suited to a franchise business model.
Franchising is all about consistency — meaning that you’re not only marketing one business but multiple businesses that need to have coherent branding and advertising.
Therefore, it’s imperative that you, as the franchisor, together with your franchisees, follow a strategic marketing plan that keeps your brand consistent throughout.
This article will teach you exactly how to market your franchise business the right way using six powerful franchise marketing strategies.
What is franchise marketing?
Franchise marketing is the process of advertising your franchise to ideal customers through traditional and digital marketing methods.
Marketing a franchise business is more challenging than marketing a single business since you have to guarantee that brand consistency is maintained throughout your marketing strategy.
Therefore, as a franchisor, you’ll be responsible for coordinating your brand’s marketing efforts across multiple marketing platforms and multiple geographical locations.
To achieve this, you’re going to need a comprehensive franchise marketing plan that your franchisees will be able to implement.
Your marketing plan will consist of all the details regarding your brand’s marketing platforms, strategies, marketing material, franchise brand style guides, and more.
You’ll also need to track whether the content that your franchisees share is in line with your standards.
Lastly, your marketing efforts also need to be measured to ensure that your strategies can be optimized and improved to reach more ideal buyers.
Top 6 franchise marketing strategies
Here are the top six marketing strategies that work well for franchise businesses.
1. Social media marketing
As a franchisor, you’re managing multiple locations, so customer care should be a major priority. As such, social media is critical for listening to your customers and responding to their complaints and queries.
In fact, social listening is such a powerful method that 62% of companies use it to establish relationships with customers.
By turning negative comments into positive interactions, you’ll create a positive brand image which will increase your social shares and ultimately your brand’s overall revenue.
Social media marketing also involves paid advertisements, such as Facebook ads, Instagram ads, YouTube ads, and more. Aside from more conversions, these advertisements can also help you create more brand awareness, especially if you use branded hashtags.
For example, the fast-food restaurant, KFC, has different hashtags for its various locations and campaigns.
The following hashtags are the most popular in 2021:
By creating attractive social media ads, using hashtags, and providing excellent customer care, you’ll be leveraging social media the right way. All your locations will form a unified image that your ideal buyers trust and believe in.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing involves creating and sharing online material, including blog posts, videos, and social media posts.
This form of marketing is less in-your-face than paid advertising and will allow you to give your audience something that they genuinely find valuable and interesting.
The key to content marketing is to find great topics that your target customers will want to learn more about.
To create a good content marketing strategy, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Determine your platforms
- Where do your target customers spend most of their time?
- Do they like watching videos more, or do they prefer reading?
The answers to these questions will determine where you need to post your content.
Step 2: Brainstorm ideas and research
Determine which topics your customers will find interesting.
- Would they like to learn more about the history of your franchise?
- Do they want to learn more about your products/services?
- Do they want more industry knowledge?
Here, you can find ideas by researching platforms like Reddit and Quora to find the questions that people in your target market are asking. Alternatively, you can also “spy” on your competitors to see what they’re posting.
Step 3: Create your content
Once you’ve determined the type of content you’ll be publishing, it’s time to start creating it. Make sure that the content you produce is of exceptional quality.
Also, if you’re posting a lot of content on your social media platforms, make sure that you create a social media content calendar to guarantee consistency throughout your channels.
3. Digital public relations
Digital public relations (PR) is an underutilized yet highly effective marketing strategy. Traditionally, public relations used to consist of press releases, sponsorships, goodwill campaigns, etc.
Though these are still excellent marketing methods, the internet age makes it possible to spread your reach far and wide with the help of digital methods like guest blogging.
Guest blogging is writing content for another company’s website that targets the same audience as you.
By writing valuable content for these sites, you’ll not only be introduced to their readers, but those readers will also be far more likely to trust you since you were featured on a site they already trust.
4. Email marketing
Email is one of the most effective and inexpensive marketing methods out there. According to Litmus, marketers in the retail, e-commerce, and consumer goods industries receive $45 in return for every dollar spent on email marketing.
To use email marketing effectively for your franchise, you need to have a central account for all your different business locations.
This way, you’ll have the contact info for every franchisee in a single system and will be able to create sub-accounts for them — each with their own user permissions. This way, as the franchise owner, you’ll maintain complete control and authority over your system.
Next, you’ll have to build templates that your team can share from your website to consumers’ inboxes. It’s a good idea to invest in branded email templates that are mobile-friendly and can be used for different purposes and occasions.
5. Brand advocacy
Your employees are your greatest assets. By empowering them to share pre-approved content to their own social media platforms and social circles, you’ll expand your reach tremendously.
In fact, in a survey conducted by Hinge Marketing, over 79% of firms reported an increase in brand visibility due to employee advocacy.
By using this method, you won’t only be increasing brand awareness; you’ll also be saving on marketing costs since you’ll be able to cut costs on other marketing expenses.
You can manage your employee advocacy efforts in three ways:
Method 1: A national marketing board
Here, the national board is in charge of employee advocacy efforts across all of your franchises. This means your franchisees will have to implement employee advocacy as set out by the board with little say in the matter.
Method 2: A co-operations board
A representative from each of your franchises will work with the parent company to determine an employee advocacy strategy. Each representative will help you determine the appropriate brand messaging and social media policies.
Method 3: Local franchises
Each franchise owner will have the freedom to create their own advocacy strategy. However, to guarantee that this method works, you’re going to have to provide franchise owners with the necessary training to make sure that brand guidelines are met.
6. Conversion rate optimization
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of continually improving your website’s design and searchability. The goal here is to help visitors find your site easily and get them to perform certain actions.
Search engine optimization (SEO), in particular, is an extremely effective optimization tactic that makes it easier for ideal customers to find your site.
For example, optimizing your website for local SEO will make your ideal customers more likely to find you. In fact, a survey done by Bright Local showed that a staggering 93% of internet users searched for local businesses.
Making your website mobile-friendly is also critical for your site’s success since it’s predicted that around 72.6% of people will access the web solely via their cell phones by 2025.
In addition to SEO tactics, you should also consider running A/B tests, otherwise known as split tests, to increase conversions.
A/B testing refers to the process of comparing two versions of the same webpage against each other to see which performs better.
By running A/B tests, you’ll be able to drive more visitors to take action — whether that’s converting into a lead or becoming a paying customer.
If you need more ideas to optimize your website, look at these 42 useful conversion rate optimization statistics.
Start marketing your franchise business
Now that you know how to market your franchise business, you can choose which methods you want to use and get to work.
Whether you plan on using a few of these strategies or all of them, you need to remember to keep your branding and marketing consistent throughout.
If you have a lot of prospective customers that you want to turn into leads, but you’re not sure how learn how to outsource lead generation services here.