How content marketing can help you sell franchises and what how to get started.
If you follow all the latest marketing news it is easy to see what the chatter is about, “content marketing”. It is one way to start a relationship with your prospects, improve your SEO; get traction on your social media platforms whilst moving your prospects closer to a conversion and selling franchises.
A content strategy involves taking customers on a bit of journey and adding some value to their life. Pretty easy if you are Louis Vuitton talking to hundreds of thousands of fashionistas who are eagerly awaiting tips on what is ‘in’ this autumn, a bit different if you are a franchisor of a pest control business who needs to grow their business by finding new franchisees.
So what do you need to do?
Step 1: Zoom in to your audience. Every marketing effort has to start with the target market. Spend some time thinking about it and divide each market segment with as many similar attributes as you can. Start with age, family status, location, gender and income. Then create a persona for each target market, this just means bringing your customer to life. Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of your prospects in order to help to guide decisions about a service. For instance, the franchise prospect you are targeting maybe someone looking to work for themselves; they need a significant investment, so are likely to be 35 years old plus, married with kids and sick and tired of their white collar job and wanting some independence in their life. If you have no idea who you are targeting, look at your current franchisees, and find some patterns. The more specific you get the better. Understand what they like to do. Do they watch a game of AFL, fishing on Saturday mornings, go for steak night on a Tuesday at the local pub? the more details the better.
Step 2: Research your topic and present the facts. No one really wants to hear what your gut instinct tells you/our intuition means nothing to your readers unless your name happens to be Richard Branson. Your audience wants to know how your franchise will make them money whilst giving them the independence that they are looking for. You need to look for economic indicators, trends in the economy, population or in technology. Give them something that they don’t already know.
Here are some examples…
Kwik Kerb is a concrete kerbing business, looking for new licensees. We were able to uncover data that showed the housing boom was enticing families to invest in their homes which meant spending big on their gardens. The data needs to be presented from credible websites and must be reasonably current.
It is evident, that anyone that was considering a franchise would be assured that Kwik Kerb would be an opportunity for sustainable demand as there are economic factors that indicate a positive future. Again, it is not anyone’s opinion it is just facts.
Read article here
Here is an approach for an ‘In Home Care’ franchise called Just Better Care. What our research indicated was that Australia has an ageing population; that dementia is rampant for over 65’s and that the federal government is doing its utmost to keep the elderly and the disabled at home. All super content for those who are looking to get into an industry with high demand.
Read article here
Step 3: Be honest: If you are selling franchises your content must be authentic. For example with Pest Control, you can discuss the demand and the economic factors that lead to more and more families using pest control services, but at the same time be honest about the role. You have to tell people that they have to be comfortable being the man in the van, that their business may be seasonal and that they need to develop sales skills to grow their business. This won’t suit people with shy or introverted personalities, or those who prefer to work in an office environment. Your audience will appreciate your honesty and you are potentially saving time from following up leads that will not be fruitful.
As Joe Pullici from the Content Marketing Institute puts it “Our job…is not to create more content. It has never been about that. It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behaviour change in our customers. For that to be possible, what you are creating has to be valuable, useful, compelling and, yes, different.
Step 4: Look at where your audience may be. One thing about knowing your audience is knowing what they may read. If you have something interesting to publish there are a heap of blog sites that will publish your article. I know that we Eden Exchange, (businessbuyinvest.com) are always on the lookout for compelling pieces of content. Emailing is also a targeted way to reach your target and so is Facebook and Linkedin depending on your audience.
Step 5: Use the different mediums. The great thing about digital marketing is that not everything has to be in written form. At a touch of a button, we can send an audio or video file which opens the door to a multitude of possibilities.
At Eden Exchange, we use podcasts to interview both franchisors and franchisees. We know that our audience does not want marketing spin, they want to hear real-life stories and examples of how people made a series of decisions that lead them to buy a franchise. They want to hear about success stories but also what they did when times were tough.
Here are some examples of some cracking interviews:
Our podcasts are catching on, not only do people listen to them in their downtime, that is, whilst they are on the train, in the car, or just in the waiting room at the dentist but increasingly franchisors are now using them as a sales tool. Franchisors are using the podcasts as a link to a prospects introductory email or they are a reference point on a landing page.
Another way to get your franchise brand message across is via videos. Below are some examples of a franchise called Touch Up Guys who are the leaders in mobile car repairs. Their YouTube Channel is dedicated to informing the public on all topics of their expertise, from what to watch out on when buying a used car; to Children Safety Tips; to what to do when you have been involved in a minor car accident. All very useful information which reinforces the brand as a leader in the industry.
See videos here
Step 6 Keep at it: Rome was not built in a day, perhaps the best most overused cliche that I can think of that talks of persistence. If you keep publishing information that is useful to people then sooner or later you will get a following and that will transfer into more franchisee recruits and a growing business. We are living proof that content marketing sells franchises and happy to advise anyway we can.
Edenexchange is a marketing network and platform, connecting Australians with franchise and business opportunities. For more information on franchising opportunities head to www.edenexchange.com for listings of current opportunities. Or visit www.businessbuyinvest.com for more information about any franchises or industries mentioned in this article.