5 Essentials to Any Great Franchise Marketing Plan
We don’t know about you, but we’re ready to put 2020 behind us and focus our attention on making 2021 our best year yet. As we kick off the year, franchisors have the opportunity to capture candidates eager to take advantage of a changing economic landscape. As a team of experienced franchise marketers, we know what it takes to generate interest in your opportunity and, more importantly, generate quality leads.
We’ve compiled five of the most essential components of a great franchise marketing plan to help guide your 2021 strategy. And, in keeping with what we’ve learned from 2020, each of these strategies can be completed online and remotely.
1. Develop a killer franchise website.
In franchise marketing, all roads lead back to your sales website. It will be the primary destination for curious candidates looking to explore your opportunity as well as a place for all your franchise information to live. A great franchise website does five primary things:
- Immediately captures a candidate’s attention
- Compels the candidate to click through (explore past the home page)
- Provides pertinent franchise information while telling your franchise “story”
- Pre-qualifies the candidate
- Asks the candidate to complete an action (convert)
We’re willing to bet the point that most caught your attention was “pre-qualifies the candidate.” How, you might ask? By being transparent about what you’re looking for in a franchisee down to the financial qualifications needed to be awarded a franchise. It’s better to earn fewer, qualified leads than to spend time following up with a pool of leads that won’t continue to move forward.
2. Get in front of candidates with targeted ads.
Pay-per-click advertisements are a highly effective way to get your brand in front of web traffic already looking for franchise opportunities. Search ads (think the ads that appear at the top of Google), are one of the most common methods to increase brand visibility and attract more business. By targeting specific keywords and crafting compelling language, you can lead web users to learn more about your opportunity.
Display and social ads are other PPC tactics you can incorporate into your franchise marketing plan. These ads will appear on appropriate websites and social media platforms, targeting set demographics. Unlike search ads, these advertisements will also include an attention-grabbing image.
3. Your ads have to lead somewhere.
When a web user clicks on an ad, some advertisements take them to the main website. In our experience, this is a mistake. Your advertisements should lead prospects to a landing page where they can learn top level information about your franchise opportunity. You want to feed candidates just enough information to get them interested and pre-qualify certain attributes, but not so much as to overwhelm them. This sweet spot turns your landing page into a truncated version of your website, hitting only the most important points. If PPC is going to be a part of your franchise marketing plan, then a dedicated landing page should be, too.
Make sure to include a call-to-action, or a CTA, on your landing page. Typically, this CTA will tell the prospect to get more information by scheduling a call, downloading a brochure or other action.
4. Create a branded sales process (and follow it).
Once you’ve caught a few quality leads, you’ll need to reel ‘em in. As a franchisor, you know that established systems are integral to the opportunity. This includes a standardized franchise sales process. Since we’re marketing geeks, not salespeople, we won’t go into too much detail on this one. But we will say that cohesive visual aids that complement your other franchise marketing aspects are a useful tool. Your prospects will appreciate your polished brand presence, and your team will appreciate the addition to their sales presentation.
5. Nurture leads with emails.
Once an interested candidate completes a form on your landing page or website, it’s up to you to contact them quickly. A simple way to do this is with automated emails that engage your candidate and provide them with additional information about your franchise. At the same time your sales team is attempting to reach a candidate, these emails keep your opportunity top of mind (and at the top of their inbox).
A few months down the line, cold leads may need a nudge to make their way back to your sales funnel. A non-invasive, low-pressure way to reignite a prospect’s interest in your opportunity is to develop an email campaign that focuses on reviving former leads. These brief yet informative emails remind candidates of the amazing things your franchise opportunity offers and provides an avenue for them to get the conversation started again. By automating these emails, you can also save your sales team valuable time.
Franchise Marketing in the New Year
With the new year comes new opportunities. Contact Wheat Creative to learn how we can help develop a highly effective franchise marketing plan and collateral that gets results.