Creating a strong and effective franchise marketing plan can help franchisees and the entire organization flourish. However, creating this type of plan isn’t easy. Whether you’re in the process of creating a franchise marketing strategy or are concerned that your current plan has some significant issues, there are quite a few pitfalls that can come up during the planning and execution of marketing. Through our franchise marketing services, we’ve had direct experience seeing and helping to resolve many of these pitfalls. That’s why we want to share four red flags you’ll want to watch out for with your own franchise marketing efforts:
One of the advantages franchises have is the ability to use their scale to continue growing their brand. However, many franchises miss out on making the most of this advantage. This is because they don’t create a consistent experience across their entire brand. A surprising finding of a franchisee survey was that 49% of franchisees “are not required to follow specific corporate recommendations on marketing strategy.” So even though it is helpful to get input from franchisees about what’s working best and which areas need improvement, your marketing plan should ensure consistency across all operators.
2. Scattered Campaigns
Both direct mail and email are channels that can work well for franchise marketing. While plenty of franchises are aware of these channels, they often make a significant mistake when trying to use them. That mistake is not managing these efforts through an integrated platform. Not having a centralized platform will increase marketing costs and decrease the efficiency of campaigns.
3. Lack of Budget
With marketing channels like social media, it’s possible to get more bang for your buck by creating campaigns and content that gain organic momentum. Although increasing marketing ROI is great, getting campaigns up and running still requires having a budget. So if a marketing plan doesn’t include getting at least some financial support from franchisees, chances are very good that it’s going to significantly hamper results.
4. Forgetting About Personalization
As a franchise, you probably want your presence to spread well beyond your home base. It’s normal to have aspirations to create an established presence on a national or even international scale. One important thing to keep in mind as your franchise is opened in more locations is marketing efforts should be personalized to the area. When franchises don’t take regional or cultural differences into account, they miss out on a big opportunity to tailor their marketing efforts in a way that helps them to resonate even more (while still maintaining a consistent brand image).
To get even more help with your marketing and other franchise operations, be sure to take a look at our franchisor services.
At the start of this year, analysts found that there were 2.8 billion active social media users around the globe. To put that number in perspective, 2.8 billion was the entire population of the world in 1955. This figure marks a global penetration of thirty-seven percent. What may come as an even bigger surprise is social media grew by twenty-two percent last year.
Based on those figures, it’s safe to say that just about anyone your business may want to reach is on social media. Of the billions of active social media users, 28% are on just one platform and another 24% are on two platforms. Active users of three platforms drop to 16%, then 8% for four platforms and only 4% for five. What those percentages show is when people find a platform they like, they’re going to stick with it. This is the first big lesson for franchises that want to utilize social media marketing. You need a clear idea of exactly who you’re trying to reach so you can find the one or two platforms where most of those individuals are spending their time online.
Getting Your Audience’s Attention
When Facebook made a big change to their algorithm a few years ago, they explained that anytime someone visited their News Feed, there were over 1,500 possible stories that Facebook could show. Since then, the rate at which social media content is produced has only continued to grow. While social media usage (especially on mobile devices) has also continued to increase, competition for attention is fierce. Because major media publications and businesses of all sizes want to get their content in front of people on social media, identifying exactly who you want to reach and how to get their attention is an essential component of a successful franchise social media marketing strategy.
From Social Media to Customers
Once you have the attention of your target audience on social media, you’ll want to provide them with consistent value in the form of great content. By delivering value, you’ll establish a trusted relationship with your audience. Having this level of trust will then allow you to make compelling offers that successfully convert a meaningful percentage of your audience into customers.
How to Get An “Unfair” Advantage
Even though we only skimmed the surface of social media marketing, it’s clear that developing and executing an effective strategy requires a lot of work. If you know that you want to utilize social media to market your franchise but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at how expert franchise marketing services from Franchise Success Team can put your organization on a path to online success.
Most franchises are already aware that they need a strong marketing message. However, there’s often a significant disconnect between crafting the right message and having an audience to deliver it to. The reality of the franchise industry is very few sales happen by accident. Instead, the types of franchisors that are able to consistently sell new franchises do so by having a clear marketing plan that’s carefully crafted to attract a specific type of prospect.
In order to craft this kind of marketing plan, there are some essential elements that need to be in place. We’re going to cover all four of those elements right now, along with the role they play in a franchise marketing plan:
The reason this element is first on our list is even the best marketing plan is only going to succeed if there’s a budget to support it. When it comes to choosing your budget, setting clear growth goals and then working backward is the best strategy. This will give you a ballpark estimate that you can then compare against industry averages. Once your marketing budget is set, you’ll be able to use it to check the feasibility of other steps in your marketing process.
2. Focused Market
Making the market you want to target as tight as possible has two significant advantages. First, you’ll be able to craft a message that truly resonates with these individuals. And second, you’ll reduce the amount of money you waste trying to reach people who aren’t ultimately the right fit for purchasing a franchise. In addition to using your intuition, you’ll want to use resources like primary research to really drill down into your target market.
Although marketing funnels aren’t a new concept, many franchisors still fail to utilize them. Creating a marketing funnel will make it much easier to track all the metrics related to your marketing. A well-defined funnel will also improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities. And by knowing each step in your funnel, you’ll be able to pinpoint areas that are underperforming and then invest in optimizing them.
If the franchise you’re selling has a seasonal element to it, this is something your marketing plan should take into account. But even if seasonality isn’t an issue, it’s important to know that franchise sales are at their peak between January and March, with November and December being the months when these types of sales crawl to a halt. By taking these and other timing factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the optimal times to ramp up marketing spend.
While the four elements we covered above will help guide your marketing efforts, fully crafting an optimal franchise marketing plan and then executing it on an ongoing basis still requires a lot of work. If you would like a knowledgeable expert who can help with these kinds of tasks, be sure to take a look at the franchise marketing services we offer.
June 22-24, 2017 in Orlando, FL
Join an exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists and fans at #BlogHer17!
You’ll experience inspiring keynotes, sessions where you’ll learn the latest techniques, and find opportunities to network with YOUR community.
BlogHer was founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins to answer the question, “Where are the women bloggers?” Since then, BlogHer has become an unstoppable movement, inspiring women to find their voices and turn their passions into content, community, and commerce, attracting some of the web’s best talent and top social sites, in topics from food and fashion to politics and parenting.
Today, the BlogHer conference is the largest annual celebration of women online content creators, social media influencers, entrepreneurs, media makers and brand marketers. BlogHer is a member of the SheKnows Media family, a mission-driven women’s media company, and the number-one women’s lifestyle digital media company, with 79 million unique visitors per month. Our mission is simple: Women inspiring women.
Check out this 2-minute compilation of last year’s conference to see what to expect: https://goo.gl/DR2UGK
Want To Learn How Social Media Can Help Your Business Increase Sales And Generate Leads?
RSVP to our event!
“How To Successfully Grow Your Business With Social Media”
Presented by: Michelle Hummel, CEO of Web Strategy Plus
Join us for a fun networking and learn session where we will show you exactly how to grow your business with proven Social Media Marketing techniques you can implement right away!
Dinner will be provided so bring yourself, a friend, business cards and your think tank to this fun and engaging learning session. We will be giving away Door Prizes and one lucky winner will receive a $1,500 value Social Media Makeover!
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: VIRTUAL SOCIAL MEDIA BOOTCAMP TRAINING!
Instructor Led, Hands-On Training: Social Media Certification
Only $299 for the first 10 sign ups! $499 per person thereafter
PLEASE HURRY, THIS WILL SELL OUT!!
Social Media Bootcamp training will be from 9 am to 5 pm EST (with breaks)
Here’s What to Expect in Your Social Media Bootcamp Training Program
Session #1 – Targeted Marketing Strategies 9am – 12pm
- Introduction to the Social Media Management role, best practices, tools and must-have resources
- Learn secret strategies to find your target audience on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus
- See how easy it is to discover Key Influencers on social media and develop strategic relationships to help grow your business
- Learn how to easily monitor Facebook and Twitter conversations with targeted keywords to find your customers
- Learn how to create Twitter leads lists and import them into the Send Social Media Management dashboard for monitoring and engagement
- Classroom Work: You will create your Targeted Marketing Profiles
LUNCH BREAK AS NEEDED 11 am – 12 pm
BREAKOUT, Q&A WITH TEACHER, 11:30 am – 12 pm
Session #2 – Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy 12pm – 2:30pm
- Introduction on how to develop a magnetic content marketing strategy to attract customers to your brand
- Learn how to build social media followers fast and inspire them to become Brand Advocates
- We will review best practices and give you several great ideas you can use for your content strategy
- Learn how you can use tools like Send Social Media and Feed.ly to quickly find quality content
- You will be provided with a Social Media Marketing Calendar template which you will use to start building your own strategy
- Classroom Work: You will create your Social Media Marketing Calendar
BREAKOUT, Q&A WITH TEACHER, 2:30 pm – 3 pm
Session #3 – Execute Your Content Marketing Strategy 3 pm – 5 pm
- Introduction on how to use the Send Social Media Management Dashboard
- How to add and manage your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Foursquare, YouTube, WordPress and Pinterest
- How to setup your Twitter Welcome Tweets, List, Searches, Retweets and AutoReplies
- How to create an Email and SMS Mobile marketing campaign
- How to optimize your social media posts – best time to post, repeat your posts, add lead generation links, create custom designs, add videos & automate your RSS feed
- How to pull reports to optimize your social media strategies
- Classroom Work: You will input your Social Media Content into the posting dashboard
In-Depth, Industry Specific Training
We will review your homework and provide answers to specific questions that relate to your Industry. We will deliver in-depth training and help you understand the Social Media Tools that are right for your business.
Social Media Certification and Free Bonuses
Take our final exam to prove you are a social media expert in your Industry. We will provide you with a badge you can proudly display on your LinkedIn profile and add to your website. You will also get the following:
Over the past few years, social media has evolved from something that franchises viewed as helpful to an essential part of marketing. This is true for franchise owners who want to reach more customers. It’s also true for franchisors looking for potential franchisees. There are several reasons why social media has grown into such a powerful marketing channel. Not only can social media deliver an impressive ROI when managed correctly, but it also offers a level of targeting that’s simply not possible through other channels. Add to that just how much time people from all walks of life spend on social media platforms, and it’s easy to understand why social media as a marketing channel is here to stay.
With all that being said, the fact that social media can be a very effective marketing tool for franchises doesn’t mean it’s easy. Whether social media is being used with the intention of reaching consumers or potential owners, plenty of organizations struggle to make it work. Since competition for attention on social media platforms is only going to continue to increase, we want to share a few helpful tips for franchises to successfully use social media in 2017:
1. Try It All, Then Focus In
Franchises often wonder where they should start with their social media efforts. The best answer to that question is everywhere. Because there are multiple platforms with a large number of active users, it’s important to establish a presence on all of them. Then over time, you can see which platform(s) drive the most results and shift more resources accordingly.
2. Review and Adjust
There are a lot of different ways to execute a social media strategy. Although it can be helpful to have an initial idea when starting out, chances are some or all aspects of the strategy will change over time. The good news is social media platforms provide more analytics than ever to businesses, which means it’s easy to see which content is performing well and then focus on sharing more of the same kind.
3. Don’t Forget to Engage
While social media is a great way for a franchise to broadcast their message, it’s important to remember that this channel is a two-way street. So if you want to find real success with social media, making a point of engaging with customers or potential owners is a must.
4. Be Consistent
It takes a little time to really get the ball rolling with social media. Unfortunately, many franchises give up on social media too early. If you want to avoid this pitfall, having a little patience and being consistent with your posting activity is a must.
If you want to learn more about how to use social media effectively for franchise marketing, our social media magnet books are a great resource.
Although it can yield big benefits, content marketing can be a challenge for any business. This strategy can be especially challenging for franchises. The reason is because it’s common for there to be so many different people involved in the process. While your current franchise content marketing situation may seem like an ongoing headache with no end in sight, the good news is there is a solution. And once you get the right management practices in place, you can follow several additional tips to get the best possible results from all of your efforts. Continue reading
One of the reasons that franchise marketing can be such a challenge is because it requires a somewhat different approach from marketing other organizations. While this type of marketing can present challenges, that doesn’t mean it has to be an uphill battle. As long as you know what works best and have a clear plan to follow, you can make your marketing efforts successful.
Since knowing where to focus and how to stay on the right track with marketing are some of the biggest challenges for franchises, we want to dive right into a handful of proven tips: