When navigating through the potential strategies an owner should consider for effective business marketing, you must remember to ask yourself two separate, yet fundamental questions.
- How will our marketing campaigns drive more location owners to become a member of our brand?
- How will our marketing campaigns drive more customers to our brand?
Once you understand the differences between these two areas, you can separate them into silos, in the same way that you pursue your marketing campaigns. You will soon find the ways you attract each of these parties is quite similar.
Let’s begin with franchise recruitment.
Think about how you first come across a new brand. You are searching on Google, typing in the terms that describe your area of interest, and boom, you find a link to an amazing website offering exactly what you are looking for. You either clicked on one of the advertised links towards the very top (or sometimes very bottom of the page results), or you clicked on one of the links in between. If you clicked on one of the advertised links, then you chose a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, and if you clicked on any of the other links, you chose the results of their SEO practices.
You see, when prospective location owners are digging through the Internet, trying to educate themselves on what’s best for them, make sure you are providing adequate visibility into your brand. Make it easy to be found by capitalizing on the best PPC and SEO practices for your marketing plan.
Another persuasive and commonly used method to market your business is testimonials and online recommendations. As simple as that may sound, they can make a world of difference when recruiting potential location owners to your brand over that of a competitor.
Just think – when you are looking for a cool new restaurant to try, or checking out an urban coffeehouse, many times you’ll search for a review or recommendation about it on crowd-sourced review websites or via mobile apps.
Most of those reviews are controllable. Reach out to your franchisees and or location owners for testimonials to further strengthen your brand, then share them on your website for immediate credibility and reputation-building. A potential location owner will be impressed and feel more confident about your brand when they find positive opinions about it, particularly from people who have already bought into the brand as franchisees.
Moving on to client recruitment. To gain new business, plan marketing campaigns that are targeted and customized for different types of locations – national, regional and local.
- Driven by corporate, but used across the board
- Create a consistent plan that can be tailored to specifics as needed
- More locally driven, but not just for an individual location
- Allow key stakeholders to collaborate amongst you
- Specific campaigns, trying to market to potential customers for your location
- Create unique email, social and print templates
Combine different strategies from national, regional and local marketing efforts to find what works best for you. Get the most out of your search engine marketing efforts by driving qualified traffic to your site and then converting them to become clients. Monitor Yelp and UrbanSpoon reviews on your brand. Make sure that you are providing a great experience, quality products and superb service to your customers.
Finally, always remember to give back to your local community. The more you become part of your community through volunteer activities or local fundraisers, the more positive awareness you’ll gain (and you’ll feel good, too).
Although you can implement many different marketing strategies and tactics, you’ll find that whether your motive is attracting location owners or local consumers, your practices to do so will be very similar. Be proactive and do your research. See what resonates with your demographic and desired clients, and once you have found that magic mix, keep going and continue to innovate.