How Do I Get Started Marketing My Franchise Business Online?
Social media. SEO. PPC. Pay-per-call. Remarketing. Email marketing. In today’s digital age, it seems as though there are endless choices when it comes to online marketing. While most experts will agree it is great to diversify your marketing strategy and use a combination of different tactics, narrowing down what will work best for your unique business may seem like a daunting task.
Before you can commit to how and where you will pour in your time, effort, and marketing budget, you need to take a step back and consider a few things. For starters, what is your ultimate end goal? Do you want to create interest in your brand by simply engaging with your target audience more? Do you want to increase your monthly marketing qualified leads? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Once you’ve considered your end goal, how will you define success? Perhaps even more importantly, how will you measure its success?
With these questions answered, you can begin to carve out a customized marketing plan that not only addresses your goals, but that will scale as you add more and more franchise locations. No matter which channels you decide are effective for your audience, one thing is clear for all marketing strategies: be sure to start by configuring analytics tools ( Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, to name a few) to help you gauge the effectiveness of each campaign, track ROI, and also to help you gain insight into the behavior of your audience. From there you will be able to refine and personalize your marketing efforts for each franchise location while still adhering to your overall brand strategy.
What Is Pay-Per-Call and Does it Work for Franchises?
Pay-per-call is a marketing strategy used by agencies who focus on performance. Rather than spend your marketing dollars on what you think will work, pay-per-call ensures you only pay for leads that actually work. In many cases, pay-per-call advertisers will also only charge you for exclusive leads, meaning gone are the days where you spend precious time hunting down leads that have been shared with your competitors only to lose out at that last minute to the lowest bidder.
As a franchisor, it may be typical for you to pay for the marketing efforts of each franchise location. Just as you might expect, paying for bad clicks or leads can quickly add up considering this larger scale. Pay-per-call advertising is an excellent way to reduce marketing costs across the board while still providing each franchisee with high quality, actionable leads. Plus, because pay-per-call marketers only get paid for actual leads, they have a higher incentive to perform for you, which means you are likely to see a higher conversion rate on the leads received.
How Much Should I Budget for Franchise Marketing?
It’s tough enough for a small business owner to decide what their marketing budget should be each year. Imagining what budget you’ll need to support multiple franchises as well as accounting for the likelihood that you’ll add new franchises each year can leave any franchisor looking at the sky questioning what to do.
The general rule of thumb is to set aside 5% of your total revenue for marketing costs. Of course, if you’re looking to be super aggressive for the year, you’ll want to increase that number as you work out what is best for your business. Also consider you may need to set budgets for each individual franchise as you may be more aggressive in one location and want to dial it back in another. Finally, you’ll need to consider what marketing efforts you will perform in-house versus which you will source out and also what you are willing to pay for each franchisee versus what they are expected to pay from their own budgets.
Budgeting as a franchise adds another layer of complexity as you’ll likely want to set aside budget to not only obtain new franchisees, but also to roll out a marketing plan for new acquisitions. A good jumping off point here is to consider the expected return you see on most new franchise launches. This way you can better predict how much marketing spend should go to these new acquisitions.
The Key to Generating Leads for Franchises.
Everyone wants to know that magic formula for getting new leads for their business. As consumer habits change, so too should your lead generation strategies. While it was once commonplace to rely on word of mouth and cold calling, in today’s digital age, these marketing tactics are just a small part of a cohesive marketing strategy. So how do you adapt to get more leads for you and your franchisees?
The bad news is there is no one size fits all approach to digital marketing. As more of us spend time online and more tools are available to marketers, it becomes clear that successful lead generation is less about overall reach and more about personalization. You need to focus on reaching the right people in the right place at the right time.
Before you shell out thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign, get to know everything you can about your target audience. On what channel(s) are they spending most of their time? What is their motivation? What is their communication style? What other brands do they align with? With semi-anonymous data available to marketers in the form of cookies and other data collection tools like Facebook Pixel, you can gain deeper insights into your target audience so you can curate a marketing plan that will speak to them, increasing the likelihood that they will convert.
So while there is no one right answer to generating more leads for your franchisees, by arming yourself with data and focusing on the customer experience, you’re on your way to developing a marketing strategy that works for your brand, your customers, and your franchisees.