Many franchisees falsely assume that their franchisors will handle all the marketing for them. While yes, franchisors do provide some elements of marketing — typically promotions and in-store collateral — much of your marketing as a franchisee falls on your shoulders.
What Franchisors Do
Most franchisors have what’s called a mandatory marketing program. Part of the franchise fees you pay, as well as possibly an ongoing monthly fee, will go into a pool of funds that all franchisees contribute to. This money buys marketing that the average franchisee couldn’t afford, such as:
- Television commercials
- Billboard advertising
- Print advertising
- Professionally-designed marketing materials
- Public relations assistance
While all of these elements will help your franchise be recognized, they won’t necessarily help people find your local franchise. That becomes your own responsibility.
The Marketing You Need to Do
Franchisors may have guidelines about what you can and can’t do marketing-wise, so be sure to read your paperwork carefully. In general, your marketing focus should be on the local community. How can you compete against other businesses and franchises that provide similar products or services? How can you attract more customers?
While your franchisor may manage social media profiles for the franchise brand as a whole, you may be able to set up profiles for your local franchise. Some tips for success:
- Focus on the social channels your audience frequents
- Create usernames using the franchise name as well as your location
- Update profiles regularly with a mix of useful content, videos, photos, and promotions
The foundation for the success of your franchise is establishing it as part of the business community. Some people don’t look at franchises as small businesses, but you know differently; you’re just another business owner looking to grow your company. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Become a vendor at fairs, trade shows, and farmers’ markets
- Sponsor a local kids’ sports team
- Offer special pricing for community groups
The drive in marketing these days is online, and whatever you can do to attract more people to your website, the better. Blogging about topics your audience cares about is one way to not only attract people to your site but also give Google a reason to move your site up search results. Here are some strategies for your blogging efforts:
- Stick to topics that relate to your industry, that your audience is interested in
- Publish new content regularly (at least once a week)
- Keep articles about 400-600 words
When buying a franchise, it’s important that you understand exactly what kind of marketing you’ll be responsible for. If you put the effort in, your franchise will flourish.