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Integrated Digital Strategies - A Franchise Marketing Agency

Society clearly cracked as a result of the unimaginable pressure generated by COVID-19.  The pandemic impacted every industry, some walking away with bruises more tender than others. April 2021 and a lot of us are still left with the same question we had this time last year: what’s next?

It’s a new year, and the team at IDS is continually observing recent trends that will undoubtedly strategically affect our digital marketing services for franchises. Let’s go over just some of the top trends that we’ve noticed for consumer service brands, how it affects digital marketing services for franchises, and what you should expect as the upcoming months unfold. 

Protection and Support

Building a business is hard enough work, but when life threw a pandemic into the mix, many companies sadly waived under pressure. Specifically, independent companies took a lot of the heat - according to Yelp data, 60% of business closures due to the pandemic are now permanent. 

There's no doubt entrepreneurs will care more now about the protection and support they receive far more than ever before. If your business took extra steps to ensure that your network of owners felt supported, it’s worthwhile to highlight those actions wherever you can. The beauty of franchising has always been having the full corporate support of a trusted team, and leads moving forward will want to make sure they are protected.

Multi-Location Ownership

You can invest your money in stocks, crypto, really wherever your heart desires, but how much control do you have over the return of that investment? Entrepreneurs are finding new ways to build their portfolios, and franchising is just one of the many ways you can put your liquid into something a bit more predictable. 

Franchising isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme, but by opening multiple franchise locations, you can leverage various streams of income and spread that out across a multitude of industries. Stocks and even real estate can fluctuate unexpectedly, but owners of a franchise business can take full control of a business that already has evidence of success.

Automation and Ease of Operations

No matter the industry, technology has had an incredible impact on how we conduct business, including digital marketing services for franchises. Business owners are always looking for ways to streamline inefficiencies, simplify their programs, and create a better overall product through turnkey systems and software. Franchising makes it much easier for new owners to learn about their POS systems, marketing software, and business management technology to keep their business ahead of the pack.

Growing Industries

Essential Services, Recession-Resistant: With such emphasis placed on the state of the economy and historic unemployment in 2020, it’s fair to say that essential service-based franchises came out as winners. Franchisees who invest in a recession-resistant business (auto-repair, senior care, cleaning services, etc.) will not have to worry as much about the state of the economy and benefit from ongoing support to achieve their dream.

Personal Care and Fitness: Staying fit was undoubtedly a challenge in a quarantined society, but health and wellness brands are expected to fare well throughout 2021 and beyond. Virtual gym concepts have led the charge, and now, you can start your own wellness business for as little as $5,000.

Restaurants and QSR Shift: Fast-casual and QSR franchise concepts have always dominated the franchise space, but some concepts that relied heavily on revenue from indoor dining suffered in 2021. What you hope to see in overall revenue could depend on several factors. Still, the concepts that have started to take off are brands that prioritize less overhead and a leaner overall investment without sacrificing quality.

Are you interested in learning more about IDS’ digital marketing services for franchises and how we can improve your strategy moving forward? Get in touch with a member of our team today!

Take a step back, look at your current franchise website - do you think it tells the best story about your business? Does it speak to the personality, culture, and vision of your brand? Is it doing its job to help validate a decision or just causing more confusion?

From a candidate’s perspective, a franchise investment is a significant decision to make, and your website is your brand’s first impression. Today’s web user expects a seamless digital experience and anything less will drive them away in less than a second. At Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS), we have almost a decade of experience in web development for franchises; and we take pride in bringing our client's visions to life in the form of high-performing websites. Let's get into just a couple of the reasons you should consider revamping your franchise development website.

Do you optimize your web copy?

Effective web copy not only tells the story of your franchise investor's experience, but it should also be optimized to be recognized by Google and other popular search engines as a valuable resource for relevant subject matters. According to recent studies, only 25% of users go to the second page of Google search results. By optimizing all of your web copy, Google’s algorithms will prioritize your information ahead of the competition and organically increase your exposure by slowly moving your pages to the top of search results.

Part of our onboarding processes for digital marketing for franchises includes a full audit of your website's current standings and identification of pinpoint areas of improvement. If you're interested in learning more about how you can optimize your SEO strategies, please request a complimentary site audit today.

Is your website mobile-friendly?

Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone, which means having a sleek and well-performing mobile presence is an absolute must for franchisors. 

Your website’s performance on a mobile device significantly influences the first impression you make with potential investors. By prioritizing this on-the-go experience, your brand will be more likely to attract leads that prioritize innovation and understand the importance of well-rounded digital marketing for a franchise

Does your website speak to investors?

Maintaining brand identity is essential, but a franchise site should sell your investment opportunity first. An effective franchise development site should tell the story of an investor’s buyer journey and provide relevant information about the brand. That’s why content marketing and web design for franchises are incredibly important as you look to differentiate your user’s experience from what they would expect from a consumer-facing website.

Are you educating your reader with new information?

Content marketing is a great way to differentiate your brand from the competition as a thought leader. Blogs, e-books, and infographics are a great way to establish credibility and provide users with relevant industry news and information. We've worked with brands across various industries, so our content team understands the importance of familiarizing ourselves with fresh new topics that investors want to learn more about.

Are you interested in learning more about IDS’ web development for franchisees or how you can improve your current marketing strategy? Get in touch with a member of our team today!

No matter how comprehensive your franchise website is, prospects will be sure to bring plenty of questions your way before they sign above the dotted line. If you want to bolster your franchise development strategy, you’ll need accurate and transparent answers to each of the questions we go over today.

Integrated Digital Strategies works with over 40 franchisors to maximize their inbound digital marketing and development efforts. As the number two franchise supplier, according to Entrepreneur, IDS takes a personalized and purposeful approach to each project we work on. If you’re interested in learning more about our franchise development or marketing services, feel free to get in touch with our team today.

1. What are the costs to start, and how much money will I make?

Before any prospect takes action or picks up the phone to call a member of your team, they will want to know everything they can about the financials. They’ll need to know exactly how much they can expect to spend, and what they'll get back for their investment, and additionally, the financial success of existing franchisees. A great way to establish trust with new leads is by showcasing some relevant figures on your franchise development website’s investment page or homepage. 

2. How do you support your franchisees through an economic downturn?

There’s no doubt about it -- the franchise industry will feel the ripple effect of COVID-19 for a very long time, and you will certainly see that in your sales and development efforts. Prospects will have more questions about your team’s response to economic hurdles and how you helped your partners in their greatest time of need. Even if you’re an emerging brand with a smaller franchise network, it will be essential for you to showcase how your brand is “panic-proof.”

3. What do you do to help me startup?

One of the top-selling points of the franchise experience has always been the added support and guidance that you can’t get from an independent business venture. We all know that franchisees come from all walks of life, from multi-unit masterminds to millennials fresh out of college. Regardless of how their resume reads, every prospect wants to know how you’ll make their life simpler from the jump. That means added support in areas such as:

4. What are your competitive advantages?

What are the top five reasons that someone should invest in your brand over your competitors? What about your experience is unique? Equipping your franchise development and sales team with those answers is crucial -- they’re the people on the frontlines interacting with potential franchisees. If you’d like to learn more about aligning your sales and marketing playbook, take a second to check out our recent blog post:

UNDERSTANDING FRANCHISE SALES ENABLEMENT AND HOW IDS CAN IMPROVE YOUR FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

5. Can I speak with an existing franchisee?

A critical element of the sales process is purchase validation, and in franchise development, that can happen in many different ways. One of the most common ways for a prospect to validate their investment is by reaching out to a like-minded franchisee to ask about their experience. If you attempt to discourage a conversation, your franchise prospect will proceed with caution, and you could lose some trust. You have to let your franchise partners operate as true brand ambassadors. 

Would you like to learn more about IDS or our franchise development packages? We are eager to hear from you -- get in touch with a member of our team today!

 

There are plenty of steps in a lead’s journey to get from inquiry to conversion, and one of the most critical stops they’ll make is with you during their first call with you. In franchising, this is a fantastic time for you to get to know the prospective business partner, uncover their goals, and provide them with an incredible opportunity to take the next best step in their career. 

Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) is an agency that specializes in digital marketing for franchises. With almost a decade of franchising experience, we’ve come to realize how important it is to make a lasting first impression. Today we would like to share some tips with you on mastering the discovery process and aligning your conversation with your buyer’s needs. 

Understand You Personas

There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter approach to communicating with your leads. Franchisees come from all walks of life, from retired veterans to entrepreneurial-minded millennials. Having said that, it’s imperative to assess your leads’ needs and provide them with relevant information. Part of our onboarding strategy at IDS is to develop those personas, walk in that person’s shoes, and pinpoint what questions they will need answered before conversion. AT IDS, these personas will be our roadmap to creating meaningful content that hits home with your ideal investor. Uniquely appealing to each lead by anticipating and addressing their needs and queries through digital marketing for franchises is vital to the process. 

Provide Resources and Solutions

Pinpointing and providing relevancy is where hiring a team specializing in digital marketing for franchises like IDS comes in real handy. Your franchise website should be filled with industry and brand-specific content that highlights key differentiators that help your concept stand out along the way. Your digital presence should tell a story, and the main characters of that story should be the personas we mentioned. Your sales team should be equipped with those resources if you’d like to have a consistent and meaningful development process. Here are a few examples of resources that we have created for our clients that will make a lasting impact on your franchise leads:

No Dead Ends  

The last thing you want is for your lead to step away from a call without any next steps or a plan of action. Before the conversation comes to a close, they should have a clear understanding of what that next step is if they’re interested in moving forward. This process could be entirely new to the person you’re speaking with, so it’s essential to provide guidance. Once you’ve completed the call and have a clear understanding of their personal pain points or questions, it would be beneficial to reach back out with resources, guides, or testimonials that might help them make a more informed decision down the road.  

If you’re interested in learning more about what the IDS team of digital marketers for franchisors has done to bolster our clients’ sales performance, please reach out to a member of our team today.

A common misconception is that sales and marketing people should live in separate worlds all of the time. The truth is, both parties rely on each other for positive results when measuring performance, so why be at odds with each other? Instead, there is a way that we can come together, develop an educated sales management strategy, and bolster our marketing message.

At Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS), we have solidified ourselves as a top supplier to offer digital marketing for franchise brands. We soon realized through experience that the best way to master your craft and develop a comprehensive strategy is by coordinating your sales and marketing efforts. Our franchise development sales team and marketing professionals work in tandem to accomplish a common goal for our clients. We’ve seen how this entire process unfolds time and time again, and now we want to share some of our experiences with you. 

Align Your Sights on the Right Prospects

Inbound marketing is a hyper-focused method of sending a message to the right buyer at the right time, but we needed to dig deeper. Our sales management experts can relay valuable information to our marketers to fully understand a target demographic. Conversations that a salesperson has with prospects can be repurposed to develop meaningful content about a specific subject or draw in qualified candidates from a particular industry. By doing so, our campaigns have a greater purpose of helping guide the right individuals through the sales funnel. 

What Questions Can You Address?

What is stopping your prospects from moving down that funnel? Are they not getting all the information they need to feel confident about making a decision? Understanding your target audience is a great way to build your fundamental understanding of who you’re speaking to -- the next step is to address the most frequently asked questions by creating SEO rich content. 

If your sales representatives are having conversations with prospects that lead to familiar comments or concerns, your marketing team can help get them the right answers before picking up the phone. IDS’ content marketers will take the time to continuously update your website and incorporate pertinent information that will keep the discovery process running smoothly. Also, by updating your FAQ page, we have an opportunity for our writers to include relevant search terms throughout your web copy. 

Outreach, Fill in the Gaps 

You have all of your content ready to go, but you don’t have to sit back and hope that your leads will stumble upon these resources organically.  Sales enablement is the process of arming your sales management team with the right content to pass on to your prospects. To see the process through fully, your outreach team can include relevant links in their marketing emails or even use those resources as a reference in ongoing conversations. By nurturing a healthy relationship between your sales management and marketing departments, you’ll minimize your efforts and eliminate some of the pain points that once limited your outreach efforts. 

The importance of digital marketing for franchise brands is only growing, and IDS has years of experience to help you stay ahead of the competition. Feel free to contact a member of our team today if you have any questions.

A great deal of our society is driven by what we read, see, and hear online, and someone’s first impression of your brand is often made by your website’s homepage. With that said, those critical few seconds after they click on it could be the difference between acquiring their business and never hearing from them again. 

At Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) we believe the power of your digital footprint is invaluable, and we’ve seen how it can impact results in the franchise space - having a team of detail-oriented marketing experts by your side will help your business stand out. 

1. High Resolution and Eye-Catching Imagery & Videos

Did you know that a drop in user engagement could be directly related to your website’s images and videos? Images and videos have a huge impact on SEO  — low-quality and slow-to-load content could be why your most important pages aren’t ranking well. 

Videos have become one of the most popular ways to consume content, which is a trend that isn’t changing anytime soon. YouTube is the second most-popular search engine, with over 1 billion unique visitors each month. If you want to make sure your brand is staying relevant and adopting SEO best practices, having quality videos and visuals is crucial. 

2. Clear Placement of CTA & Lead Capture Forms

Lead forms and call-to-actions (CTAs) are the last stop before conversion, so you need to make sure your users have a clear understanding of where they should go if they’re interested in learning more. It’s essential to have a clearly-placed CTA on all your content, from your company homepage to your next social post. By simply adding a CTA to your Facebook page, studies have shown that you can increase your click-through rate by 285%. 

Examples of effective CTAs:

We want to help you enhance your digital marketing presence. Contact a member of the IDS team today for a complimentary website audit.

Do you still have questions about SEO best practices? Get in touch with a member of our team today and we can share our expert insight.

If you want to learn more about what’s happening in your industry, we can help you! Fill out this quick form and get your own copy of our industry report.

When you target a specific audience, it’s also important to fully understand the reader’s perspective. Does your current layout clearly show the next steps your reader needs to take? If you mention a form on your website, is it already in front of the reader, or do they have to go through multiple steps to find it? These are all questions to consider when thinking about effective franchise web design.

3. Educational Material: Blogs, Resource Library, FAQ

If you ask for someone to take action and invest in your vision, it’s important to give them something useful first. Sure, your users might think about asking you questions directly, but it makes much more sense to position your brand as a resource. At IDS, our content and franchise web design teams will take the time to understand your brand, process, industry, and business model. We look for what stands out about your opportunity and uncover areas that you could focus more heavily on, so your leads are more qualified, not confused. 

The stages in a buyer’s journey are often initial research, education, and then reach out/decision. You may not realize it, but your website is the bridge between a user and a qualified/ready lead. You’re not just a salesperson, but an educator and thought leader in the industry. By highlighting a blog, resource library, or FAQ page on your main navigation, your users will know exactly where to go if they have questions.

4. Testimonials, Awards, Highlight Top Numbers

One of the most important steps in any buyer’s journey is validation. There are plenty of franchise brands out there that say they offer the top opportunity in their industry. However, those words mean nothing without something to back them up. By showcasing awards, testimonials, and even growth numbers, you can help your leads validate their potential investment. 

Awards will show that your brand has been recognized by esteemed members of your industry. Testimonials from existing franchisees could help your leads hear from likeminded people who were once in their shoes.  And by highlighting the year-over-year-growth, leads will see your brand as an opportunity, instead of questioning your credibility. 

5. Clear and Clean Navigation

Finally, the most important part of good web design for franchise brands is laying everything out in an easy-to-understand format. If someone new to your opportunity has just found your homepage, how are they greeted? Are all the pages that are important to them clearly displayed on your site navigation banner? If so, are there too many tabs, or are topics organized as relevant dropdowns? The people who visit your site are giving you their time. They should leave with all or most of the information they need, not frustrated and potentially ready to learn more about your competition. Here’s a list of some of the most important pages to have on your franchise website navigation bar:

At IDS, we believe that perfecting your digital marketing campaign starts with your website. If you feel like this might be your opportunity to up your game, get in touch with a member of our team, and we can provide you with a complimentary site audit to uncover any strengths and weaknesses.

If you’d like to learn more about our web design for franchise brands, feel free to reach out to the IDS team. We look forward to hearing more about your company and your goals for 2021.

If you’re not paying attention to your franchise sales process, it could be time to start taking a closer look. Drawing up an effective sales process requires you to fully understand your franchise buyer and provide all the resources they need to make a decision. Integrated Digital Strategies has built a long-standing reputation as a trusted franchise marketing, and now we are supporting our brands by improving their franchise sales strategy

One of the roadblocks in franchise development is the misalignment of sales and marketing. The way you overcome that misalignment is by enabling franchise sales with the analytics and content from your marketing team to answer a prospect’s needs better. Franchise development is a relationship and unlike most other sales positions, you cannot push someone into a decision - you need to find the right match through personalization and education. Are you delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right candidates? Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you might be able to improve your franchise development.

Flaws in the Franchise Sales Management Process

Sales can be incredibly isolating, which can often lead to mixed messages and a disjointed strategy. Every element of your sales efforts should be aligned both with the trends you’re seeing throughout the industry and the message your brand is trying to promote through meaningful content. Here are just a few of our solutions to common mistakes you could be making that are stalling progress:

Aligning the Sales and Buying Process: If your sales and franchise development team is waiting for buyers to relate to a message, you could be wasting valuable time and resources on an outdated strategy. A thoughtful sales process considers the ever-changing perspective and expectations of the franchise buyer. By maintaining a good feel for your ideal candidate’s purchasing process, you’ll find that selling your brand isn’t nearly as complicated. 

Simplify the Journey: It’s important to check whether your leads are qualified, but that doesn’t mean you have to overcomplicate the process to get the best possible candidates. Gated content is a fantastic way to narrow your focus on your ideal candidate, but they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with your team. You never want to frustrate your buyer, and in franchise sales, you only have a brief moment of their attention before they explore a competitive opportunity.

Giving Back: It’s incredibly beneficial to position your brand as a resource rather than a sales-first business. What matters to a buyer is less about what you have and more about what you can offer them. By arming your sales team with informative and compelling content, your ideal buyers will feel more inclined to engage with your brand and move forward with the process.

What is franchise sales enablement? How does it help?

You want all of your sales teams to have the materials they need to get a job done well. Much like a writer draws on inspiration and a chef requires ingredients, it follows that a salesperson needs the appropriate resources to help them effectively cultivate their leads. By aligning your marketing and sales management efforts, you can increase productivity and save your bottom line. Here are some interesting statistics that speak to the importance of sales enablement:

Aligning Your Strategy

At Integrated Digital Strategies, we are incredibly passionate about the benefits of sales and marketing alignment to make the best use of relevant resources. We can help our clients achieve the results they are searching for by nurturing leads through the funnel instead of expecting them to do the work themselves. Each stage of the process can be improved through sales enablement. Let’s take a look at each stage of the process, what a prospect needs at each step, and how our team at IDS can improve your current strategy.

Discovery: From the perspective of a prospect, this could be your brand’s first impression. The candidate you’re reaching out to might know about your opportunity, but at this point in the discovery process, it’s important to let them know exactly how you can help them achieve their goals. By sending your prospects blogs that align with their personal or career goals, you will be hand-delivering a solution and doing far less selling down the road. 

Research: Once a lead has assessed that your opportunity might be a fit, the next step is to dig a little deeper. How much training and support can they expect to receive when they join your team? How much does it cost to get started? What territories are available? Depending on their typical questions, your efforts can be maximized by sending them an infographic or map of available territories.  

Qualification: Oftentimes franchise prospects near the finish line but won’t commit because they don’t believe they are a fit for the brand or just aren’t qualified. You can save your prospects frustration by making those requirements clear from the start to help them self-qualify. By spotlighting like-minded testimonials, your leads can determine whether or not your opportunity is a good fit.

Exchanging Information: It’s time for the first call! This is a crucial step in the sales process, so it’s important to take the information you already know about your prospect and tailor your strategy accordingly. The person on the other end is not going to sign a franchise agreement today, so if you want to make progress toward the end goal, you should give them the information they need to get there. Take this time to fully understand their aspirations, ask about their experience, and maybe learn more about what has stopped them in the past. From there, you can provide your prospects with an e-book or downloadable to give them the information they need. 

Reinforce: The word success is thrown around quite a bit in the franchise space, but at some point, you’ll have to back it up with evidence. Testimonials do a great job of putting some personality behind your brand, but your prospect will want to investigate further. A prospect can determine whether or not your opportunity is the real deal by reviewing financial performance numbers that might be found in your Franchise Disclosure Document.

Numbers: Even if your franchise opportunity is the perfect fit for your prospect, they will still need help justifying the investment. If you have information regarding financing options, it will be worthwhile to send that to your prospects sooner rather than later. Some of your leads might be new to franchising, so by sending content that is specific to the numbers, your prospects will have an easier time understanding what they’ll get back. 

Decision: Discovery day is a really exciting time for both a franchisor and candidate because this might be their final step before making a decision. They still might have questions about what they should expect, the culture of your team, and so on. Before they come for their visit, it’s wise to send them content to show how their experience will be meaningful and enlightening. 

IDS’ content team works closely with our clients to help develop meaningful deliverables for our sales team to pass on to prospective franchisees. We can be your all-encompassing franchise development resource. If you want to learn more about our services, please feel free to contact us today!

 

How often do you search for a specific service “nearby” on a mobile device or desktop?

Before technology, word of mouth was how we obtained reliable recommendations, but local SEO marketing is taking over.

These trends are revolutionizing the landscape of consumer marketing; you’re probably wondering how you can take advantage of this opportunity to bolster your localized digital reputation. Our agency has worked with franchise brands, their territory owners, and B2B brands to amplify their localized presence, and we have some tips for how we can make the most of this opportunity for you.

The Importance of Google My Business 

If you access Google and type a specific industry with the term “near me” in your browser, one of the first things you’ll see is a map followed by an extensive listing of businesses in your area that fit the criteria. Those businesses each have an individual profile that is managed through Google My Business. Local Map Results for coffee near me

From the perspective of a consumer, the more details they are provided within this listing, the more likely they are to invest their time and money into the business. To ensure you’re making the most of your digital real-estate profile, it should include:

Creating your Google My Business page is a great first step to improve your local SEO marketing efforts, but you can’t just rely solely on your profile. 

Managing Your Reputation

Word of mouth still plays an important role in validating a consumer’s purchase. Before a buyer determines to give you their business, they’ll want to scroll through reviews to verify whether your business is worth their time and money. 

Did you know 57% of consumers will only use a business rated four stars or higher?

Of course, every business wants to receive glowing testimonials that enhance their reputation, but you have to work with what you have. These reviews are a fantastic way to build trust with consumers and let them know what you will do to address their feedback or concerns. 

By responding to Google My Business reviews, you can manage negative feedback by reaching out to those people directly to let them know you care, and in turn, earn the trust of future consumers. New users to your page will appreciate that you value their feedback and are willing to do what it takes to satisfy their needs. 

Adding Localized Terms in Relevant Areas 

If you’re looking for a way to elevate your localized marketing strategy and compete against local competitors, adding regional keywords to your Google My Business profile and landing pages can make a tremendous difference. 

IDS can create a location-specific page for your territory and optimize it by utilizing brand targeted keywords and, by doing so, reveal the relative service area that’s in closest proximity. That way, the next time a consumer in your area searches for “dentists near Orlando” or “cafes near Chicago” the greater the chances are that your business will populate first in results.

Integrated Digital Strategies is your complete digital marketing solution. Our robust suite of services includes SEO for local businesses-- we have years of experience helping brands boost their local ranking, manage their search listing, and develop a reputation within their region. 

SEO for local businesses is still a relatively fresh concept, and Google is always changing. These are just the basic methods to take your strategy up a notch, but our team at IDS is always looking for ways to improve to help our clients meet their goals. 

If you’re interested in receiving a complimentary audit, our team of experts can analyze the areas of improvement you can make in your local SEO marketing, feel free to fill out this form

No matter the industry, every business owner wants to employ an effective marketing strategy. However, invasive outbound marketing tactics have become increasingly frustrating. IDS has a long history in franchise lead generation, and we know how the process best unfolds. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to generate leads through a more natural, inbound marketing approach.

Put simply, outbound marketing is an interruption, while its inbound counterpart provides a solution. From repetitive television ads to unsolicited telemarketers, outbound marketing hardly ever helps you build a lasting relationship with consumers. In fact, just 17% of marketers believe outbound marketing tactics provide high-quality leads, while 74% prefer inbound.

As more businesses move to inbound agencies for their marketing needs, we can’t help but agree that this tailored approach to brand awareness is far more effective and consumer-friendly. 

What is Inbound?

So, what is it about inbound marketing that makes it so special? Rather than indiscriminately blasting your message out to the masses, inbound marketing targets specific consumers at certain stages in the buyer’s journey. That gives you an opportunity to present them with a service, product, or message that resonates with them. The goal of inbound is to empower consumers and offer them something of value. By doing so, the consumer is far more likely to have a positive reaction to your messaging and build a relationship with your brand. 

Now, you may be thinking, “How does this relate to franchising?” As you may already know, franchise sales is all about timing. By implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you provide a perfectly-timed answer to a question, which is more often than not, “I want to make a lifestyle or career change — now what?” There are numerous reasons why a lead might be interested in franchising, and an inbound strategy is a great way to reach that lead with a message he or she can relate to. 

Do they want more time to spend with their family? Are they sick of the corporate world? Or are they looking for a long-term investment they can pass on to their kids? No matter the reasoning, inbound is a great way to provide your best customer with a proven solution. 

Attract, Engage, and Delight

Buyer's Journey
Image source: HubSpot

There are a few ways to go about your lead nurturing strategy, and luckily they align perfectly with the buyer’s journey:

Attract: Become a thought-leader in your respective industry and a trusted advisor who consumers will think of the next time they need information. Your target audience will see you as a valuable resource.

EngageWhat are your consumers missing? How can you alleviate their issues today and tomorrow? Your answers should present your audience with solutions to their pain points. 

DelightProvide professional support to alleviate issues and help consumers find success after a purchase. Present them with an option or opportunity to take action on that aligns with their personal goals.

Time to Make it Happen!

Now that you have these themes in mind, it’s good to put together a game plan that best fits your business. There are a few ways to hit the mark, and some strategies might work better than others. At IDS, our goal is to come up with the best possible lead nurturing strategy and get you headed in the right direction! Below are some easy and effective marketing techniques that align with the goals we’ve just outlined:

(Ads, franchisee day-in-the-life videos, blogs, social media, content)

(Lead flows, invitations to webinars or a video Q&A, email marketing, lead management, conversational bots, marketing automation)

(Content, email marketing, conversations inbox, attribution reporting, marketing automation)

IDS’ team of franchise lead generation experts can teach you everything there is to know about building the perfect inbound strategy. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact a member of our team today!

References:
https://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing?_ga=2.180282660.1882767607.1594845274-355611249.1589462449

Every industry has had to adjust to COVID-19, and the franchise sector is no exception. Discovery days are a perfect example: Whereas franchisors could once count on important face-to-face time with prospects, today that’s not a given. As a result, franchise sales and development experts have had to quickly figure out ways to safely but more deeply educate qualified candidates about their investment opportunity. Enter virtual discovery days. For many franchisors, the process of selling a franchise has moved almost entirely to the screen, and we believe it’s a trend that’s not going away anytime soon. Here, we’ll take a look at why we believe virtual discovery days are here to stay, and how IDS can help you leverage them. 

Tradition Evolves with Technology 

There is nothing wrong with the old way of doing things, but if you think about it, almost every element of our society has evolved with the introduction of technology. Digital innovation has helped us adapt, especially during times of crisis. Virtual discovery days might not have been a forecasted trend in franchising; however, this new way of onboarding prospects could stick, and for good reasons. In April, Ray Titus, founder of United Franchise Group, hosted a webinar on the subject, and spoke specifically about how his team has embraced the virtual trend. Titus has been in the franchise industry since the birth and rapid expansion of Signarama in 1987

“For 35 years, I’ve been on stages promoting that everyone gets face-to-face, and now nobody can get face-to-face…We have had no choice, but we have embraced this. So far, it has been incredible for us to go from those face-to-face discovery day tours to the virtual,” Titus said. 

Less Pressure, More Comfortable Conversations 

Another trend that franchisors are starting to notice is that video calls facilitate an improved conversation with prospects. Why is that? 

Well, when candidates visit a franchisor’s headquarters in person, they are primarily there to learn. That means more of the talking is done by the franchise sales and development team rather than the candidate. Virtual discovery days have taken off in part because a conference call environment lends itself to more back-and-forth conversation. When Tim Arpin, VP of Franchise Recruitment for Scooter’s Coffee, was asked about this theory, he supported it, saying:

“One of the really interesting things that happened yesterday (referring to a recent virtual discovery day) was that there was space and opportunity for people to ask so many great questions. Often, when you’re in a live setting, maybe one or two people will dominate the conversation. It was so much more democratic than that. The volume of wonderful questions we got from the prospective franchisees was astounding, and we were all really impressed and pleased with it.”

Ease and Convenience

Finally, a benefit that franchisors have mentioned across all industries is how this transition to virtual has streamlined the entire process of selling a  franchise. Rather than book a flight, reserve a hotel room, and plan a week of travel, all prospects have to do now is hop on their laptop. Titus spoke about how reaching this new age of convenience has helped his team connect with prospects all over the country.

“We have a greater opportunity with electronic validation than we did face-to-face because it was really all done regionally. My salesman in Denver, before the (virtual) discovery day tour, was taking people locally to talk to franchisees in Denver. Now on the screen, we can go anywhere,” said Titus. 

If you need more attention directed toward your franchise sales, IDS can make the process of selling a franchise more streamlined and straightforward. Our team always has its finger on the pulse of industry trends, like virtual discover days, so you can be sure we’re employing the most effective digital marketing techniques available. Vetting prospects and nurturing them is an essential part of franchise sales and development, and when you bring on IDS to help you in these efforts, you can be sure the growth of your business is our number one priority. 

If you’re interested in bringing on IDS for our franchise sales and development services, or for any other of our offerings, please give us a call today.

 

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