Last Saturday, I attended a CFE lunch meeting on behalf of our company, 919 Marketing – the nation’s most strategic franchise marketing agency. Immediately following lunch, Family Fare’s CEO Lee Barnes caught my attention with this quote – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Now, when it comes to franchise compliance and issues related to the joint-employer standard, that quote could not be more accurate. However, when we were called to the podium at the end of the meeting to discuss public relataions, specifically crisis PR communications, and franchise marketing, I did what any PR professional is built to do I put a little spin on the quote to showcase the power of strategic planning – "An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of misguided action.”
As our CEO, David Chapman, one of the nation’s leading franchise content marketing experts, shared in his February 2017 Franchising World article - Accelerate Your Brand with Content Marketing Strategies, there’s a race to win the hearts and minds of franchise candidates. And most franchisors are already behind. However, if any franchise brand simply starts churning out content without taking the time to determine where their prospects are searching for information and what matters to them, they’re wasting their time.
At 919 Marketing, we help our clients start with focused preparation to avoid any misguided action. In the words of our CEO,
“If you want to excel at franchise content marketing, you must first start by building a strategic content marketing plan based on extensive research and a thorough deep dive into the personal stories, key messages, and true competitive differentiators your company has to offer. Once equipped with your plan, you must deliver relevant, differentiated, and educational content to different prospect profiles at the right time in the sales cycle.” –David Chapman
That’s unquestionably true, so it’s no wonder content marketing conversations dominated the 2017 IFA Annual Convention. Look no further than the dozens of digital/content/online marketing exhibitors and roundtable topics that attendees encountered at the convention. Today’s franchisors are searching for content marketing partners who have proven experience driving franchise sales.
Franchisors are searching, and we have answers at 919 Marketing. Here is the cure for those of you battling the post-IFA show hangover:
919 Marketing’s 7 Franchise Content Marketing Tips to Supercharge
Your Franchise Development Efforts in 2017
- Develop a Content Marketing Roadmap: It’s no surprise we’d start with preparation, right? But it’s the key! Create a market-validated action plan with clearly defined goals and metrics to ensure your agency helps you meet or exceed your franchise sales goals.
- Move from “I Think” to “I Know”: At 919 Marketing, we are adamant about surveying and/or researching to help our clients uncover important details about their franchise candidates, such as spending habits, activities they enjoy, what they read, etc. This helps us build candidate “personas” that we can target via curated content, created content, PR campaigns, LinkedIn advanced search and other tactics.
- Focus on Fewer, Bigger, Better: There are dozens of marketing avenues and platforms, so it can be difficult to focus effort without a strategic plan. It’s important to stay disciplined and focus your time and resources on the three to five marketing channels that are most likely to generate results.
- Start with Brand Positioning/Relevance: You can’t differentiate what you can’t define. And if you can’t easily define or communicate your brand story to candidates, your franchise opportunity will lose relevance quickly in today’s world. Take the time to get your branding right. Make certain you are crystal clear on your key value statements and weave them into content that is consultative and educational…not pushy, aggressive and salesy.
- Always Prioritize Brand Validation/Management: Don’t forget – franchisees are like spouses. They can sing your praises or become painful and expensive to get rid of. Therefore, third-party validation from national and local media outlets is important because it builds trust in the brand and means your current franchisees are more likely to validate with prospects. However, in the process, always be sure to control the brand message at the corporate level.
- Maximize the Impact of Content Marketing: PR, social media and content creation should never operate in separate silos. Use them cohesively to extend the reach and impact of all content marketing efforts so you are sending the right message to the right prospect at the right time in the right channel and right time of the buying decision.
- Consistently Measure and Refine: Lastly, don’t forget to measure what you’re doing. Take advantage of free and low cost analytics to measure marketing success. Also, if you’re working with an agency, don’t be afraid to consistently ask them about the numbers and evaluate their performance on a quarterly basis.
Here’s the thing – a lot of new marketing agencies appear in the franchising space this time each year, but there are still only a select few franchise content marketing companies who understand how to harness the power of storytelling in ways that accelerate franchise sales. 919 Marketing is one of those companies.
In fact, as a franchise content marketing company that possesses more than 10 years of experience encompassing a wide-variety of emerging and established franchise brands, and is comprised of a staff of award-winning TV journalists and digital marketing experts, we believe we are the best storytellers in franchising. And we’d love to prove it to you.
Put us to the test by giving our CEO, David Chapman, a call at 919-459-8157 or shoot him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you share your story with the world.