Franchise Content Marketing 3 Steps to Compelling Copy

Franchise content marketing remains one of the best ways for brands to engage their audiences, establish authority on a subject or service, and increase organic traffic to their websites.

Today’s post is all about creating successful content. This is an important topic because, unfortunately, the SEO and content marketing industry is responsible for a lot of duds. There is a marked difference between basic keyword research and what is required to successfully rank, just as there is a huge gap between bland, mechanical copy and content that your readers are genuinely excited to share.

Franchise content marketing will be a cornerstone of your business promotion, so it’s important to do it right. Without further ado, we present 3 small-but-mighty tips from our franchise content marketing team.  

1. Franchise content marketing should emphasize emotional engagement

Jonah Berger is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has worked with the New York Times to discover what truly makes viral videos take off. When asked what he thought was the key to creating engaging content, he advised that it’s “best to traffic in human emotion.” According to his research, content is most likely to considered impactful and share-worthy when it evokes an intense emotional response.

So with that in mind, your content be emotionally engaging. But not just any emotion will do; in fact, there’s an entire hierarchy to keep in mind, with some emotions being more desirable to franchise content marketing efforts than others.

Ideally, your content should be emotionally engaging in a way that produces “high arousal.” This includes states of awe, anxiety, and even anger. Think of “high arousal” emotions as being stimulating, whereas the “low arousal” counterparts are more depressing: sadness, melancholy, and even some kinds of nostalgia.

Building from the previous point, researchers have also found that positive emotional arousal almost always trumps negative forms. For best results, try to write from an angle that furthers an attitude of abundance, highlighting ways that your franchise’s product or service can enrich the user’s life.  

2. Franchise content marketing should provide practical utility

Practical content is great. This includes how-to guides, tutorials, and other content that enables or empowers the user. Not only does this style of writing get way more shares and give your reader a reason to be on-site, but it builds your authority in a business-relevant area, which is great for branding.

To give you an example, a kitchen renovation franchise might generate content that explains the differences between different countertop materials. This content is highly practical for somebody in the trenches of their own kitchen remodel, which means it’ll attract a good number of readers from the franchisee’s target demographic. Moreover, if the content is useful and well-presented, the reader will consider the source as an expert in this field. If they don’t hire the company on for their current project, they’ll at least have built a positive association between your brand and their kitchen remodeling needs.

This doesn’t mean that your franchise content marketing should only be about how-to guides, of course. You still want to drive conversions with call-to-action copy, and otherwise highlight the strengths and value of your brand. But every single piece of content you publish should have some practical value for the reader; nobody will want to read about how great your company, product, or service is if they can’t see how it’ll make their life better (or solve a specific problem they have).

3. Franchise content marketing should display perceived value at a glance

The internet era has spawned a pandemic of short attention spans, with most marketers estimating the average time spent on-site before bouncing off at around 3 seconds. This means your content has to show value up front, in order to capture the attention of these fickle readers.

For the most part, perceived value is about aesthetic best practices. This means focusing on proper use of headings, page design, funneling, and quality media that looks good at a glance. Without these components at a certain standard, your reader will never give you a chance.

Remember, when it comes to franchise content marketing, the devil’s in the details, but “micro” quality is nothing without “macro” appeal.

Is my content up to par? 

Deciding whether content is good or bad is actually harder than it sounds. This is especially true if you’re the writer, as we tend to love our “children” unconditionally.

Though some writing red flags can be spotted right away, performance metrics are still the best way to determine whether your “content is king” or just a royal waste of time. Drop us a line and let’s take a look!

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Marketing for Franchises Best Practices for Branding

With 2+ Billion people use Facebook, and over 1.66+ billion doing so via mobile devices, social media is arguably one of the largest online platforms where businesses can connect directly with their target audiences, often in real-time and on the go.

Social media’s business value is also well established. Your brand’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and other platforms can help drive traffic to your site, showcase positive reviews, give you a direct line of communication to settle any customer care issues. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why branding through social media is so important when marketing for franchises.

In today’s post, we offer some proven best practices for social media marketing for franchises. Read on to learn some basic tips that franchisors can share with their franchisees, or get in touch with our social media marketing team to discuss specific solutions for your location.  

Consider Implementing A Style Guide For Brand Consistency

As you probably know, brand consistency is both a cornerstone and primary advantage of franchising. And in the same way that your customers should be able to get the same high-quality experience at any franchise location, they’ll also expect quality and consistency with every piece of online content and social media post that falls under your brand umbrella.  A digital library that houses all approved marketing materials is a great start.  FranchiseSoft.com has just the thing and it is completely mobile friendly at an affordable cost: http://franchisesoft.com/franchise-solutions/intranet/

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every franchisee’s website and social media account should be posting duplicate content. In fact, that’s a surefire way to attract ranking penalties and repel readers. Instead, consider putting together a style guide that outlines your franchise’s philosophy, image, and personality. It’s a good idea to create these guidelines collectively, so that all your current franchisees have their voices heard. Once completed, distribute these guidelines among your franchisees, then allow their creativity and passion for the brand to take the lead. You might also consider having all franchisees source their images and media content from the same provider, or even using the same social media marketing service for all of your franchises. This can save you time and money, while also acting as an added value point in the marketing package for prospects.

Keep Franchisees Up To Date About Social Media Changes

One thing that makes social media marketing for franchises tricky is the ever-evolving state of popular platforms; it seems like every day you log into Facebook to find some new feature, sidebar, or chat function, and Instagram is looking more and more like SnapChat every day. As new features are released, the onus falls on the franchisee to make the most of these opportunities for visibility and engagement. Not only are existing platforms changing, but new ones are popping up all the time, which makes it even harder for busy franchisees to stay on top of their social media game.

As a franchisor, it is your responsibility to keep your franchisees up to date with social media changes. Some prefer to send out monthly newsletters or updates via other internal communications channels, but since these only amount to more work and materials for the franchisee to sift through, they usually produce mixed results. There are franchise management software solutions that can assist in communicating with your franchisees via a communications dashboard.  Check out FranchiseSoft.com if you haven’t already done so. 

The best way to stay on top of social media’s mercurial culture is to find experts that live and breathe it. Hiring someone in corporate or outsourcing to social marketing specialists allows your franchisees to focus on growing their business, rather than burdening them with the backend technology race.

Social Media Marketing For Franchises Should Be Simple And Visual

You’ve heard the old expression that “content is king,” but don’t fall into the trap of overdoing it. Content performs best when it is simple, concise, and visually stimulating. Focus on getting your audience valuable information as quickly as possible – we love using custom infographics for this purpose.

Whatever You Choose, Be Sure To Stay Updated, Or Your Audience Will Assume Your Brand Is Out Of Touch!

Tell us some of the cools ways you are marketing your franchise on Facebook or in the comment section below!

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6 Essential Franchise Development Strategies in 2017

In today’s post, our franchise development team shares 6 essential strategies for attracting prospective owners and expanding your brand in 2017.  

Website Design And Development

Your website is a reflection of your business in many ways. In terms of franchise development, your website will often be the first impression your brand makes on a prospect. In the same way that a professionally designed and developed website will help you convert customers and promote specific products and services, it will also dictate your appeal to potential franchise owners.

Unfortunately, franchise development is often hindered by the brand’s online assets. Cluttered layouts, poorly written or uncompelling content, and slow load times will actively deter prospects, who will see these fundamental errors as red flags about your company’s relevance and understanding of the modern marketplace. Moreover, badly designed sites rank poorly, which makes your brand less visible to those conducting franchise research.

Your site should focus on simplicity, drawing attention to important franchise selling points, contact information, and territory availability. To really satisfy readers and web-crawlers, it must incorporate high-quality multimedia. And if you want convert prospects to really spur on your franchise development, your contact forms and call-to-actions must be responsive, intuitively placed, and clickable on any device.

Shameless plug-alert! ClickTecs has designed and built many Franchise Development sites that have won awards for their UX and UI.  Drop us a note if you want to see some of them.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As we mentioned above, your franchise development depends in large part on the visibility of your site. Web searches are the most popular form of franchise research today, and ranking high is very important. Prospective franchise owners are reassured by sites they can find easily (and organically!), because it means that their customers will also have no trouble. If your brand’s website is buried on the back pages of Google’s search results, you could be losing out on major opportunities for franchise development.

Social Media Optimization (SMO)

The social media climate has narrowed the gap between consumer and business owner more than ever before. Users engage with businesses on social media to leave reviews, resolve complaints, and make recommendations to their friends and family. When properly managed, social media is a boon for your business, but missteps can be costly. Franchises that do not join the conversation on social media – or worse, those who make poor contributions – are generally considered to be “out of touch,” which is obviously bad for business. But these social media mistakes are also bad for your franchise’s development. Prospective buyers will be less motivated to join forces with a brand lacking social media savvy than they would to join one with a fully optimized, professionally-managed presence.

Pay Per Click Marketing

One of the most reassuring things for a prospective franchisee to read about is marketing support. In fact, marketing is usually one of the most unfamiliar aspects of business owners for new entrants. With this in mind, we can see how individuals researching franchises to buy would be comforted seeing paid ads promoting your brand. Not only does PPC marketing directly support franchise development by increasing the odds that your brand is seen by potential owners, but it’s an indirect assurance that your franchise invests in branding that benefits all involved.

Online Reputation Management

Once a prospective buyer has identified your franchise, what is the next step in the research process? Finding reviews. They’ll certainly look at what your website has to say, but smart buyers will cross-reference your company’s claims with information they find online about your reputation. If your reputation has been impacted by a previous owners’ mismanagement, a disgruntled ex-employee, or a ruthless competitor producing fake reviews, you’ll lose out on leads.

Mobile Marketing

This one’s a no-brainer: the majority of searches today are made on the go, and that’s especially true of the busy entrepreneurial crowd that your franchise development efforts hope to attract. If you want to speak directly to your target audience, mobile marketing is key.

These six essential strategies are really just the tip of the iceberg that is franchise development. Drop us a line or browse the ClickTecs blog to learn more about what’s possible for your brand.

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Social Media Hacks for Your Franchise Marketing Plan

Social media plays an important role in any franchise marketing plan. And while most of us use social media every single day, few people truly understand the art and science of using these platforms for franchise marketing.

In today’s post, we discuss 4 social media “hacks” you can use to distinguish yourself from the competition.  

Spends More Time On What Works

When outlining your franchise marketing plan, remember that time is your greatest asset. If you’ve opted to manage your social media on your own, make sure you’re putting effort into the most effective platforms. Research has indicated that Facebook is most effective platform for building franchise awareness, driving interested parties to your website, and engaging audiences, so emphasize this in your social media strategy.

Leverage Locally Relevant Information To Increase Audience Engagement

It goes without saying that your franchise marketing plan should use a consistent voice that aligns with your corporate brand, but sticking too closely to the script is a surefire way to repel readers. As soon as somebody notices that your franchise location’s social media posts are just regurgitating message from the brand headquarters, they’ll cut out the middleman and start visiting that site directly, which means less engagement with audiences you care about.

One of the best ways to engage local audiences while using the “brand voice” is to leverage locally relevant information in your posts. Mention local knowledge, folklore, historical factoids, weather, news, and events. The more you do, the more your posts will resonate with the locals, and this holds true even in cases where you’re sharing “generic” updates to your products, services, or hours.

Jump On Automation Opportunities

When constructing your franchise marketing plan, keep an eye out for opportunities to automate tasks as often as possible. This can help you save time, strike that sought-after work-life balance, and coordinate big offline-and-online promotional pushes with relative ease. Many software tools allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, which allows you to cover weeks or even months worth of updates in a single work session. This works great for holidays: since the dates don’t change, you can schedule a lifetime’s worth of “modified hours” posts with a few easy clicks. This kind of pre-planning and automation also helps you avoid potential conflicts. Alternately, bigger companies might prefer to automate their entire social media franchise marketing plan via outsourcing. This might not be for everyone, but there is clear value in leveraging the expertise of longtime industry players for hands-free citation-building, media sharing, and word-of-mouth advertising.

Emphasize Engagement Over Sales

We’ve already shared a simple hack to increase local audience engagement, but it’s worth reiterating that social media is about connecting with your customers more than it is about selling to them. While social media savvy can have a huge indirect impact on your sales, these platforms are rarely effective as sales-oriented “infomercials” for your business. Keep your voice consistent, strive to make your content as interactive as possible (i.e. quizzes, polls, Q&As, giveaways, and competitions), and provide as much behind-the-scenes insight as you feel comfortable doing, but never hock products or services without this value attached. A good litmus test here is to ask yourself if you’d be comfortable sharing the social media post you just wrote on your personal account – is it fun, interesting, and likely to be enjoyed by your readers, or will you be coming across as a sales shill?

For more franchise marketing plan tips, check our blog or schedule a free consultation with a member of our team at https://www.clicktecs.com

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