Considering the many benefits franchising offers an established business, the sudden increase in number of franchisors is not surprising. However, in the current economic climate, success largely depends on planning and developing a proven business formula that others can buy into. The sheer number of companies offering franchising opportunities nowadays mean that it is becoming increasingly difficult for new franchisors to promote their franchise.
Offering franchisees a clear business format which includes your brand, business system, and support services under the contractual terms of a franchise agreement might appear simple on paper. In reality, the real challenge is finding a clear way to grab the attention of prospective franchisees and selling your franchise to them. One could argue that when it comes to promoting a franchise, traditional/offline marketing techniques such as print advertising, e.g. on leaflets, business cards, and brochures, direct face to face marketing, and exhibitions, are so easily saturated. Thankfully, however, online marketing has not yet been fully explored. Although there is no easy road to success, here are a few ideas to help you market your franchise on the Internet.
It goes without saying that you should already have a website. If you don’t, then this article is probably not for you. Your website is usually the first port of call when it comes to marketing a franchise on the internet. There are so many opportunities on your web pages that you can take advantage of. For example, you can start by hosting a blog and publishing relevant posts to attract visitors via search engines. In addition, you can make it pretty obvious for web visitors by place a banner (above the fold) on your homepage. Likewise, you can build your franchise’s online reputation and authority through your website by hosting a knowledge base or resource centre and featuring existing franchisees, testimonials and press mentions.
Using social media to promote your franchise is a no-brainer particularly in the twenty-first century. There is no better way to get noticed considering the popularity of social-networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Whilst not all social-media sites will be relevant to your business, it is important to find the ones which are and establish a presence on them.
Find relevant franchise directories to advertise your business. Like it or not, online directories are still relevant today and are being used by potential franchisees on a daily basis. You can use metrics including domain authority, page rank, social clout and internet popularity to determine which directories to list your franchise for maximum visibility.
Online manuals, e-books, PPT slideshows are just some of the electronic publications that provide a unique marketing opportunity for your business. The fact that these materials are often shared by web users is a good opportunity to mention your franchise or add a link to the dedicated franchise page on your website. Consequently, you will reach out to more potential franchisees as they look for information, download and share these materials.
Many franchisors still overlook the use of videos when it comes to promoting their business. This is a massive oversight on their part and here is why:
Case Study: Interesting YouTube Facts
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
Build A Mailing List
It is not enough to capture the attention of potential franchisees. You have to stay in touch with them. One way to do this is by building a mailing list. This helps to build a connection with potential and existing franchisees. It also provides a unique opportunity to sell other aspects of your business to them or simply pass on new and relevant information.
Set Up Affiliate Program
This is not a very popular method that is worth exploring. Consolidate your franchise marketing efforts by setting up an affiliate program that will encourage others to market your franchise for you. This could be achieved, for example by being part of a blogging outreach and offering attractive incentives or affiliate packages reward those who sign up.
Create A Landing Page/Set Up A PPC Campaign
You could also create a landing page for targeted traffic and set up a PPC campaign to go along with this page. The advantage of having a targeted page is that the content will be focused on potential franchisees thereby giving you the best possible chance of getting conversions particularly if it goes in tandem with a PPC campaign. Although there are many design options available, this Unbounce post on visual design techniques should go a long way in helping you achieve optimal conversion with your campaign.