Are you sick of all of the marketing information available that just doesn’t apply to your business? Well, you’re not alone. There are over 673,000 franchise owners in the US that are familiar with this pain.
Franchises have many differences from other businesses. They have a brand to uphold, different oversight structures, and varying abilities to control their marketing strategies.
However, that doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your franchise marketing goals. Let’s talk about some of the key franchise marketing mistakes to avoid for the best results!
1. Your SEO Content Is Written For Search Engines
Does this sound a little off to you? Isn’t the point of SEO to optimize your content for search engines?
Yes, but they are not your audience. You should always create content with your users in mind and optimize for search engines as a secondary factor. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
Doing so is actually detrimental to your long-term SEO strategy. Google wants to see user engagement and interactions with your website. In their absence, your SEO strategy won’t go far.
The best strategy for SEO is to give people the information they want. You should always seek to educate and engage your audience primarily. Even if you’re worried about it taking away from your business, provide clear and concise information.
The more research you do on a given topic, the better. You want to remain factual, informative, and engaging. Here’s how.
How to Balance Information and Sales
There is a fine balance to maintain between generating leads or sales and providing necessary information. This is especially true in the service industry.
Still, the more informative your content, the more authoritative you become. This will help you build backlinks and trust among your audience. Also, there are still plenty of ways to build conversions this way.
For example, a car detailing shop may give all of the information someone would need about how to deep clean a vehicle. Still, they can highlight the pain points of the process, go over the expenses, and position their services as a better solution.
Moreover, this would include a detailed, step-by-step set of instructions. If they remove any fluff (filler content) and keep it engaging, they can add a strong call-to-action (CTA) at the end. A good example would be: “Keep reading our blog for our latest cleaning tips, and visit our shop for help with your project!”
Focus on Engagement
Removing fluff and making your content engaging are not antithetical. There’s nothing wrong with adding a line here and there that benefits the user in some way that isn’t informative. As long as there’s some benefit, go with it.
Now, we’re not suggesting you turn all of your educational posts into comedy parodies, but adding a quick joke or something similar can help keep the user engaged.
More importantly, make sure that you structure your posts correctly. Break up your text into smaller paragraphs and use headers whenever possible.
Notice the structure so far. If we had nixed these last two headers and made everything so far one block of text, would you still be reading?
2. You Overspend on Ads
Diversity is key to a successful marketing strategy. It’s also the key to saving money on marketing.
Advertisements are the easiest way to generate short-term traffic. There’s no question about it. You should use ads in your marketing strategy, but only to an extent.
Businesses should not become overdependent on paid ads. Therefore, they need to use other marketing strategies like SEO, social media, and email marketing.
Fortunately, this is typically easier for a franchise marketing strategy. If you already have a website that’s performing rather well, it’s much easier to begin ranking for your particular franchise.
However, this isn’t all about SEO. Work to establish a social media strategy and email list for your specific location. It will take time, but it is well worth it in the end.
Remember, the more organic traffic you have, the less you have to rely on ads. Organic traffic converts at higher rates, it’s easier to sustain, and it is far more cost-effective in the long run. Did you know that email marketing has an average return of $42 for every $1 spent?
Conversely, the cost per click on advertisements is getting more expensive each year. If you spend $5 per click with a conversion rate of 1%, you’ll need to earn $500 from each customer to break even, and that’s not including the cost of ad creation!
3. You Aren’t Active Enough
On your social media, SEO, and email campaigns, you want to actively engage with your audience. Especially if you own a big-name franchise, users will expect you to engage more often.
For email campaigns, you want to send emails rather often. These intervals depend widely on the size of your audience and your industry, but you want to stay relevant.
Moreover, SEO content should remain consistent. Google wants to see that your blog is active, so make sure you keep it that way. The more consistent you are, the better.
Also, there’s really no limit to your SEO strategy. People may not want too many emails or excessive posts in their social media feeds, but they choose to visit your website.
Conversely, social media varies widely depending on your platform and industry. Nobody expects a new TikTok video every day, whereas they may expect a tweet multiple times per day. There’s no right answer, so you have to find what works for you.
Therefore, we would recommend posting at least a couple of times a week on every platform. From there, you can adjust accordingly.
4. Maybe You’re Too Active?
The next logical question to ask is “how much is too much?”
There is a sweet spot between not active enough and too active. Finding that sweet spot for your target audience is a great way to go.
Otherwise, you risk too many unsubscribes from your email campaigns or unfollows from your social media. For emails especially, you don’t want to risk ending up in the spam folder!
Generally speaking, email campaigns are typically biweekly to quarterly. Your “sweet spot” falls somewhere in that window depending on your resources and audience preferences. Start emailing on the conservative side and pay attention to your unsubscribe and engagement rates as you adjust.
Again, social media is widely different depending on the platform and target audience. As with your email efforts, start small and work your way up while paying attention to user engagement.
Remember, the last thing you want is for your audience to associate your brand with spam. In many cases, that’s worse than an underactive strategy!
5. Not Taking Advantage of Corporate Groundwork
Has your parent company opened any doors for you that you’re missing? If they already have an email list in your area, social media presence, or SEO content, use it.
Assuming you rely on local traffic for your franchise marketing goals, the corporate side may have a lot of tools you can use to your advantage. This could include direct mail templates, flyers, or other physical marketing tools. Contacting them is the only way to find out!
6. Not Tracking Your Performance
The most important part of a marketing strategy is making ongoing improvements. It doesn’t really matter where your strategy starts as long as you continue to build upon it.
For that, you need to track your key performance indicators or KPIs. KPIs are different for every business and every strategy. What matters to your social media campaign may not matter as much for your ads and vis versa.
Therefore, you need to track what matters to you and your strategy. Some common KPIs include:
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Open rate (email)
- Engagement rate
- Bounce rate (website)
Of course, there are plenty of other important examples. Regardless, you can track most of your KPIs using free tools like Google Analytics or similar software options.
7. Not Updating Your Website
Your website is the center and home of your entire digital marketing strategy. Leaving it to become outdated is a serious mistake.
Think about it. Everything in your digital marketing strategy relies on your website. Even if you don’t have control over this as a franchise, get a free website audit and send the results to corporate.
If you do have control over your website, get an audit and make adjustments as soon as possible. It’s essential to use SEO for franchise marketing in today’s world, and Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine a website’s ranking.
As a result, you can try all of the different types of franchise content marketing you want, but your strategy will only go as far as your website. The same applies to your ads, social media, and email campaigns. If you lose users along the way, then you lose money!
At the very least, you need a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly. That is the bare minimum in the digital age.
8. Limiting Yourself
Why not try different types of franchise content in your strategy? Remember, content marketing isn’t just for SEO. You can link to it in your social, email, and ad campaigns.
There are plenty of different options to create content that stands out from the competition. Video content, podcasts, and infographics are great examples that can skip the line from other written content on search engines. This could also help attract regular viewers, build links, and help your brand stand out to users who want something different.
Also, don’t limit yourself to certain platforms. Yes, you should have plenty of content on your website, but feel free to try different podcast channels, social media platforms, directory listings, map listings, and more.
The more you expand your online presence to a wider audience, the better! Just make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew, as you will need to keep up with these strategies. Still, they can be very beneficial when executed correctly.
9. Winging It
Finally, the last mistake to avoid is playing by ear from the start. Successful marketing campaigns require careful planning and implementation. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can have disastrous consequences for your brand.
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t learn as you go. Again, constant improvement is the key to success in marketing. However, building a strong foundation will yield the fastest and best results.
Moreover, the solution is to set yourself up for success from the beginning. The way to do that is with the help of professional franchise marketing services.
With the right help, you can set up all of your marketing strategies for success. This will ensure that you have minimal work to keep up with, which will diminish long-term maintenance and save you time and money in the long run.
Over time, this will help build a clear and unique brand identity among your target audience, build recognition, and lessen your dependence on paid ads. The sooner you get started, the better!
Avoid These Franchise Marketing Mistakes in Your Strategy
Now that you know some of the most common franchise marketing mistakes, avoid them at all costs. There are plenty of ways to find success in a franchise marketing strategy, but you have to take the appropriate steps. Fortunately, once you’ve gotten started, it’s a lot easier to maintain.
Stay up to date with our latest tips for your business, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help with your marketing strategy!