Whether you’re just starting to develop your franchise opportunity or you’ve been offering it to entrepreneurs for years, marketing your franchise no doubt has always been at the forefront of your mind and efforts.
But marketing today constantly changes. In fact – we can practically guarantee it – the most successful of marketing strategies today will be yesterday’s news next year. What worked last year may not work as well this year, and what worked five years ago doesn’t work at all.
So what does work today when it comes to franchise development marketing? Take a look at what we found:
Your prospects want information, not brochures.
As mentioned above, static websites don’t cut it anymore. Your prospects crave information and you need to provide it! They want something akin to a Franchise 101: everything and anything that has to do with starting a franchise, choosing a franchise, what to look for in a franchise, building their business, finding clients, hiring employees, marketing their franchise location, making a profit, and on and on and on.
Your website, therefore, needs to be chock full of information in the form of blog posts addressing their information needs, questions and concerns, as well as free reports they can download that speak about a topic more in-depth.
And don’t be stingy with the information: don’t think “I’ll give them 6-8 skimpy pages. If they want more, they have to call me.” Instead, give TONS! Pages and pages (blog posts and blog posts) and free reports galore!
Transparency is critical.
With all that information you’re giving them, you’re also going to have to be open and honest; provide information on start-up costs and provide interviews with real franchisees (videos and webinars are great). What do you hope to gain by growing your franchise opportunity? Tell them! Include in-depth interviews with the CEO and other leaders, if they’re available.
In other words, spill the beans!
Respond in 24 hours to a request for more information and you’ll lose them.
Yes, you read that right.
A 24-hour response time is too long! Consumers expect instant responses online. INSTANT! If you don’t give them what they want immediately, they’re less likely to respond to you when you do respond. So, if at all possible: if they ask for a call, call them within 5 minutes. If they email you a question, answer it right away.
That’s why inbound marketing for franchise development works so well: You can set up automated responses for emails you receive. What’s more, when a potential franchisee submits her e-mail address in exchange for a free report, she will receive that report immediately!
A franchise development-savvy digital marketing agency can help make sure your prospects receive the immediate attention they require.
Retargeting ads will increase.
Let’s say you visit a resort’s website. Then you visit Facebook. Have you noticed that ads for the resort show up in your Facebook feed? This is called retargeting and it’s the practice of showing ads on popular websites to those folks who visited your site but didn’t fill out a form. They’re quickly becoming a go-to for many types of business and here at Ingenex, we find them to be particularly great for reminding franchise prospects about our Franchise Development Marketing clients.
Phone inquiries will increase.
This probably will be due to the fact that it’s easier to call from a smartphone than it is to fill out a form. We doubt you’ll get a ton of calls – certainly not nearly as many as you did five years ago – but you may find that they increase due to the fact that more and more people use smartphones to gather information. Which brings us to….
If your franchise website isn’t optimized for mobile, MAKE SURE it becomes so in 2017!
This is critical for your landing pages, the pages where prospects fill out forms to get more information. Prospects become true leads once you have their e-mail address (you can continue to send them information). Make it as easy as possible for prospects to get what they want by optimizing your website for mobile and smartphone use.
Inbound marketing for franchise development will increase.
Most of the trends mentioned above deal with inbound marketing, a form of marketing that attracts leads to your site and then nurtures them into leads. It’s much more effective than traditional outbound marketing, and it integrates perfectly with 2017’s franchise development marketing trends. In fact, inbound marketing has become so successful in marketing all types of businesses, that marketers across all sectors are embracing it. It arguably is driving the FD marketing trends this year and beyond! Death to the Broker!
Not a trend: the 1 percent rule.
For every 100 people who inquire about your franchise opportunity, one will become a franchisee. So the strategy has to be to get more inquiries! One thing that won’t change is the 1 percent rule. Inbound marketing, as we discussed above, is a proven, effective way to do that!
Ingenex Digital Marketing is a Michigan-based inbound marketing agency with considerable experience – and success! — in the franchise development sector. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you successfully market your franchise opportunity. Your marketing budget will go much further with our proven inbound marketing strategies for franchise development.