Franchise Advertising | Mastering Your Business’s Growth

September 26, 2023

Beyond “getting the word out,” franchisees need to be digitally optimized for success and consistent in their message. This 5-point snapshot of a franchisee marketing strategy is a starting point for jumpstarting business growth. 

A quick overview: 

  1. Build a social media presence. 
  2. Make sure customers can find you on google. 
  3. Adopt a consistent brand message and tone of voice. 
  4. Demonstrate your service to the local community.
  5. Integrate promotional offers that drive traffic. 

Think for a second about the unique position of a franchisee. In theory, they may have marketing support in the form of a recognizable business name. However, as franchisees seek opportunities to expand into new markets, they could also be starting from ground zero. Even with a solid brand to lean on, they could face an uphill battle educating a new customer base. 

No matter the level of brand recognition, franchisees need marketing support to drive traffic—be it web or brick and mortar—in order to increase sales and business growth. 

Build A Social Media Presence 

Often the first thing a franchisee does is secure social media profiles unique to their location. For example, they might create a location-specific Instagram profile even if the business already has a main brand profile. This is important in order to connect with potential customers in their market. Once a franchisee establishes a social media presence, they can begin to tell a story about why customers should engage with their business. 

Telling a story and connecting with customers begins the first day you create that profile. Even for brick and mortar locations that are still in construction mode, there’s always a story to tell—posting a timelapse video of construction or building anticipation for a grand opening with a social media countdown. Engage with other franchisees to increase reach and build a following. This may take some grassroots effort, but having a foundation to build on is the first step. 

If you only follow one social media rule, let it be that consistency is king. Establish a cadence that’s doable, but also remember that social media is a daily grind. Upload new content consistently and try not to let perfectionism hold you back at first. Even though telling a consistent brand story is important, sometimes it’s even more important to just get started. 

Be Findable On Google 

Optimizing your digital presence is A1 for any franchisee—your customers need to be able to find you! Your business should rank on page one of Google for all relevant keywords. For example, if you own a restaurant franchise, think about keywords like “restaurants near me” and  “best date night restaurants.” Location-specific keywords are also relevant. Additionally, think about brand-specific keywords. In the restaurant example above, keywords like “casual,” “healthy,” “sustainable” or “modern” provide additional keyword context. 

Additionally, optimizing your Google Business Profile will ensure customers can find you on search and maps. Navigating the backend of all things Google can be tedious. For many franchisees, it’s worth it to seek experts in the field (like the digital team at Commit) just to be sure your Google presence is everything it should be. 

Once you have a Google Business Profile and your SEO is up and running, you may be ready for a more robust digital marketing plan. Paid digital advertising is a no-brainer for franchisees looking to advertise their service or product. These types of ads are great traffic generators and can help generate the brand awareness you need to amplify your business growth. 

Create A Small But Mighty Team of Advocates 

Whether it’s a team of brand ambassadors, or simply your first employees, having a core group of people dedicated to living your brand will add a lot of value to your marketing efforts. While word-of-mouth advertising shouldn’t be your only tactic, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have authentic voices touting your business in their everyday lives. Additionally, these advocates will hold your brand and business standards accountable as you grow and expand. 

Your team of advocates will also extend to any marketing or business experts that you bring on board. When searching for a marketing agency or other professional service, always ensure that they are a good fit with your brand culture. At the end of the day, you want someone in your corner who is just as eager as you are to see your business succeed. This will only generate more positive momentum as you continue to build your team of advocates. 

Once your business starts to grow, your first customers will become part of your brand ambassador team simply because they were the ones who “discovered” you. If you’re maintaining the health of your brand and operations, those first customers will hopefully become lifelong loyalists. The goal is to start with a small and mighty team and then grow to become a healthy, thriving brand community.

Create Consistent Compelling Content 

Behind every successful marketing campaign is a well-defined brand story. As a franchisee, you most likely have a toolkit that you can reference that includes brand standards, the history of the business or a founder’s story, creative marketing examples etc. These materials can and should be used when developing your marketing campaigns. 

Younger generations today crave the authenticity and story behind a business. They want to feel connected with the product or service before they buy. This is why it’s important to have more to say than simply, “buy this now.” What are you doing beyond your business? Do you have a local cause that you support? Is there an industry that you take pride in supporting? These are starting points for uncovering various content channels that you can use to tell a broader story. 

With so much advertising noise online, it’s important to tell a compelling story. Every piece of a campaign should support a cohesive strategy, while also being engaging enough to draw in a potential customer to either click on the ad or engage with your business another way. Catchy headlines, vibrant creative and a clear call to action are all important parts of an individual ad, while having a robust content strategy will give you that non-salesy edge over your competitors. 

Implement Traffic Drivers

At the end of the day, franchise owners need to drive traffic in order to see sales growth. The most important piece of your advertising strategy is a promotional layer to entice new customers and gain incremental visits. You want people to discover you, fall in love with you and come back again to see you. 

Driving traffic might look like offering a discount or a promotional code that can be used online or in an app. A swag offering—branded stickers, merchandise or limited-edition items—is also a great traffic driver. Adding in parameters for redemption will help build buzz around your promotion. 

It’s important to note that offering promotions will send a message to your customers that they can expect more promotions from your business. Be prepared with a strategic approach to offering discounts so you don’t end up training your customers to only buy from you when there’s a promotion, while also accepting the fact that there will be some who do this. You want a promotion to be a surprise-and-delight and not an expectation. 

For franchisees looking to begin advertising in their target market, it’s important to start advertising from day one. Telling compelling brand stories, maintaining an optimized digital presence and implementing promotional offers are all pieces of the marketing puzzle that should be simultaneously put into place so you can master your business’s growth. 

We’re That Agency

Partnering with a marketing agency can be a transformative step for your brand. If you’re looking for a digital marketing partner to assist your team with franchise advertising and more, contact us today! Commit Agency is a full-service advertising agency located in the Phoenix, Ariz., metro area that believes thoughtfully designed consumer interactions informed by a well-defined brand create moments worth remembering and sharing.