Are you in the process of learning how to franchise? If so, you must think about how you will market your franchise opportunity to potential buyers.
Thanks to the widespread availability of information about franchises online, most buyers are highly knowledgeable about how to make smart investments. This means they are unlikely to be receptive to the so-called “hard sell”. Instead, they are much more likely to invest their time and money into a company with a coherent and attractive brand identity.
According to recent statistics, 42% of franchise professionals feel that traditional marketing channels such as direct marketing and franchise advertising are worth the investment. This means that franchise owners hoping to generate leads and create brand awareness must channel their efforts into a holistic marketing approach that makes the most of novel marketing channels.
In this brief guide, we’ve collated some top tips for making it in today’s competitive franchising landscape.
The basics of marketing a new franchise
The first thing to do when franchising your business is to update your website and marketing materials to reflect this development. You will also need to design a franchise brochure to entice buyers. This should include information such as:
- Franchise fees.
- A comprehensive explanation of your product or services.
- The financial returns a franchisee might expect to make.
- Information about franchise packages, timescales, training, and how to apply.
When writing marketing materials, it is important that you tailor your tone of voice to suit the kinds of people you want to apply. To make the franchise a success, you will need to attract professionals with relevant management skills and healthy finances.
Make sure you’re franchising at the right time
Before franchising your business, it is vital that you take stock of the health of your business.
Is it in the best place possible to support lead generation efforts? Is its infrastructure robust enough to survive possible setbacks and challenges? If not, you may need to do a little extra legwork before marketing to potential buyers, even if your business is one of the many lower cost franchises such as internet franchises and vending franchises which have minimal overheads.
Remember that franchise prospects are likely to do their research about your company before making any investments. They may look through online customer reviews and social media pages, scrutinising your messaging and checking to see whether clients are happy with your offerings. Ensuring that your company comes across as reliable and trustworthy is one of the first steps towards successful franchising.
To attract as many franchise buyers as possible, you will need to ensure that the content populating your social media pages and the company website is up-to-date and consistent. Without this kind of online infrastructure in place, any paid ads directed to your website are essentially draining money unnecessarily.
Don’t rule out customers as potential prospects
If you already have a loyal customer base, why not market your franchise opportunity to them? If your brand is strong enough, they are likely to trust your credentials and may be more tempted to make investments than your average business professional.
If you own physical shops, you could hang up posters promoting your franchise opportunities in-store. It is also a great idea to make the most of your mailing lists, sending out detailed information about the benefits of getting involved with your franchise and even introductory offers for the first buyers to get involved with your project.
Make the most of statistics
Many novice franchisors fail to effectively measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This is a major mistake. Data-backed marketing strategies are almost always more effective than those based on the instincts of the franchisor or their marketing team.
To get started with metrics, use a tracking service such as Google Analytics to work out which channels generate the highest levels of engagement and number of leads. For example, if you discover that your marketing emails are achieving high levels of click-throughs whilst your social media accounts are being largely ignored, you should spend time improving your social media messaging.
Focus on search engine optimisation (SEO)
No successful lead generation strategy is complete without robust and consistent SEO. This is because most prospects conduct their research online and will be using search engines such as Google and Bing to find your company website. This means you will need to produce high-quality, regular content that is enriched with keywords and useful backlinks.
You will also need to ensure your website is easy to use across a range of devices. Remember that with SEO you need to tailor your website to target search terms as well, so low cost franchises should target terms like ‘Affordable home services franchises‘ and ‘low cost home based business’.
It is virtually unheard of for new franchises to experience instant growth and interest from prospects. Strong marketing requires time and effort to really take effect, particularly in today’s competitive digital landscape. In this way, you need to be patient when implementing your marketing strategy.
Learn from your mistakes and remember that every strategy should be backed up by solid metrics and a realistic budget.