How to Find the Right Franchisees to Fuel Growth
Sponsored content by Reshift Media.
The competition for qualified franchisees has never been higher, making it difficult for many franchise companies to grow their networks at the pace they would like. Forward-looking franchise systems have integrated digital strategies into their approach to maintain momentum and out-maneuver their competitors.
Based on our work with hundreds of franchise systems, we’ve summarized our top three strategies to employ digital media to find and engage potential franchisees.
#1: Website and SEO
Your website should be your top priority because when done well, it will become your most effective and lowest-cost source of franchisee inquiries.
The most common issue we come across is that companies set up their franchise website separately from their main website on a domain such as “CompanyNameFranchise.com” or “Franchise.CompanyName.com”. The issue with this approach is that it fragments your search authority and diminishes your company’s ability to rank for relevant franchisee searches. If you want to be found in search, you should set your franchise website up as part of your main website – like “CompanyName.com/franchising”. This way, the search engines will know that the franchise content is part of your company and vice versa, increasing the likelihood of showing up in organic search results.
It is also important that you create well-written, valuable content for the franchise section of your website. A single franchising page is not enough – you should include information about the opportunity, industry, your company, your franchisees, your customers, and anything else you think is relevant. Including a franchise blog is also an excellent idea, as long as you can keep it populated with at least 2-3 new posts per month.
#2: Search Advertising
From an advertising perspective, search is always the first place you should start. When people conduct an online search they are explicitly telling you what they are looking for, so investing in buying targeted keywords for your industry can be extremely effective.
Search advertising is extremely competitive, so make sure you have a solid plan and active campaign management in place. Many firms bid on a handful of very broad terms such as “franchise opportunities” or “buy a franchise”, which tends to be both expensive and ineffective. Instead, we recommend bidding on a wide range of relevant keywords and incorporating terms specific to your industry to increase the likelihood that the searcher will be interested in your opportunity.
#3: Social Media Advertising
Once you have your search advertising campaign in place, we recommend moving up the purchase funnel by incorporating social media advertising to help generate demand. Done well, your social campaign should generate interest that is then converted into leads via your search campaign.
There are several platforms worth exploring, and which one works for you largely depends on your industry and target franchisees. As a general statement, we typically find Meta (which includes Facebook and Instagram) and LinkedIn are typically the top platforms for most companies. Having said that, we have had success with TikTok, Reddit, Spotify and other platforms.
Regardless of the platform you choose, ensure your creative is clear and compelling to make an impact. We find that franchisee testimonials and/or images of successful franchisees can be quite effective. In addition, don’t be shy about trying different targeting and ad units. We have had success with image ads, carousels, videos, and lead ads. Lead ads, in particular, can be quite effective for many franchise systems, as the ad includes a form built right into it which reduces friction and increases the number of inquiries.
· The top priority is your website. Ensure you have the right structure and content strategy to rank in organic searches to lower your overall cost-per-lead.
· Search advertising can be used both to augment your organic search approach or overcome its shortcomings. Bid on a variety of keywords and ensure the campaign is being actively managed to squeeze as much out of every dollar as possible.
· Social advertising is a great way to create demand for your franchise opportunity and feed leads both into your website and search advertising strategies. Experiment with platforms, creative and ad units to find the mix that works for you.
Please visit www.reshiftmedia.com to find additional franchise marketing articles.
Reshift Media is a franchise marketing agency that was voted the world’s best franchise marketing firm at the 2023 Global Franchise Awards and recently received the Gold Medal for Lead Generation at the SMARTIES.