As specialists in franchise development marketing, we are always evaluating new, innovative ways to capture the attention of quality franchisee prospects. Each client is unique, and we don’t believe in a cookie cutter approach. The ideal candidate, investment and benefits are all important factors in deciding where to find the most ideal prospects and how to customize the messaging for each opportunity.
In addition, an emerging brand will have different objectives than a well-established national franchise. Franchise sales goals and corresponding budgets can vary greatly so it’s important to choose the best tactics to make the most of your marketing dollars.
Here are a few marketing strategies that we use to help our clients find their ideal franchise leads.
Job Seekers Program
People who are making a transition such as looking for a new job are often open to considering a new direction in their life. Sometimes that transition could lead to starting that business they always dreamed of. We have developed a program to market directly to job seekers and have seen a great response from this group at a relatively low cost per lead.
LinkedIn is THE platform to find specific professionals that could be a great fit for a specific franchise opportunity. Our program finds these prospects on LinkedIn and via email.
We know that great franchisees often come from various walks of life and that being a strong leader is often the most important quality for them to possess, but we do find that people whose background matches the franchise’s industry generates a strong response rate. If a teacher is approached about an educational franchise opportunity, they are more likely to picture themselves in that role and respond to outreach that is relevant to them. The key to the success of these campaigns is to make the outreach very customized and relevant to the prospect so that they are more likely to respond. Sending blanket generic outreach is never a good idea.
Getting a news story out about a franchise opportunity can be a huge win but it’s extremely difficult to get results with unpaid PR for a franchise opportunity. Our content marketing program allows us to use a paid media approach to getting your news story out on a variety of news channels, websites and social media platforms. Plus, we are able to get extremely granular about who we target with these stories. Want to reach people interested in entrepreneurship between the ages of 40 to 55 who earn more than 150K in 3 major cities? We can target them specifically with this program.
Digital Advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn, Search)
Digital advertising is great way to reach a large number of prospects using detailed targeting. Facebook and Instagram (which you can market to together since they are the same company) remain two of our most successful channels for franchise sales but it’s important to understand how to use it properly to get the best franchise leads.
We have had clients come to us telling us Facebook/Instagram didn’t work and that’s often due to 3 issues:
1- the campaign is set-up for maximum lead numbers, but the techniques used produce low quality leads.
2- the team developing the campaign doesn’t specialize in franchise sales so doesn’t know the restrictions Meta imposes (and workarounds) for this type of advertising on Facebook/Instagram.
3- the ad budget is too low to produce enough leads. Franchise sales is a big-ticket item and requires more time and investment than consumer advertising. It’s definitely possible to get the cost per lead down but you need a decent budget to see results.
We also work with LinkedIn paid advertising. It is one of the most expensive channels to advertise on so budgets need to be higher but can be an effective add-on to our LinkedIn/Email outreach program and a good way to reach professionals.
Search advertising (eg. Google/Bing) has the benefit of attracting people who are more motivated as they are actively searching for an opportunity. They are generally further along in the sales process and more open to taking the next step. That being said, competition is high for franchise sales on search so it’s important to be strategic on how to best utilize these channels.
Radio and Digital TV Media Buying
For clients with larger budgets and more ambitious sales goals, media buying such as digital radio and television (OTT) are good mediums to consider. These channels allow us to share franchise opportunities with a broader audience on a larger scale. In addition, you are still able to do detailed targeting on these channels since they use detailed data to segment their audience demographics and interests.
What is the right strategy to find quality franchise leads for your brand? Choosing the right platform depends on many factors including who your ideal prospects are, the size of the investment and your sales goals. In addition, you need well thought out ads and landing pages to paint an enticing picture of how your franchise opportunity can give them the life they dream of – whether that means more freedom, more money, more time for family or being part of a business vision they believe in.
Finally let’s never forget the importance of a a strong sales team and discovery process to work with your franchise leads. Patience and persistence with prospects is crucial here but can pay off for years to come!😊
Interested in getting a customized franchise development marketing plan for your franchise? Click here to set-up a free consultation today!