Trends in Franchise Digital Marketing and Why They Matter

Liz Frame | June 4, 2024 |
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As a franchisor, you have a lot on your plate — supporting your franchisees, innovating your brand, growing your culture, staying on top of trends in franchising, and much more. Somewhere in all that, you need to remember to market your brand to your best potential investors. But what are some of the smartest ways to do so? The franchise industry is a dynamic one, but luckily, so is franchise development marketing — or at least, it should be. A lot depends on how knowledgeable you are about its best practices and, if you’ve partnered with an agency, how well that team understands and utilizes them.

Digital Marketing Closes Deals

Today, innovative and responsive franchise digital marketing is crucial to standing out in a highly competitive sphere. Yours isn’t the only brand, isn’t the only opportunity, and isn’t going to get very far if you don’t dedicate regular time and resources toward important digital strategies like franchise SEO, paid search, a robust website, and more. 

In fact, while franchise development has historically relied heavily on broker networks to generate leads, according to a recent Franchise Update Media survey, there’s been a shift: digital marketing now accounts for 45% of a franchisor’s development budget and generates a significant portion of closed deals (60% of leads). This shift highlights the growing importance of building a strong digital marketing program.

Some Franchise Marketing Trends in the Franchising Industry

But what goes into creating a franchise development marketing plan that works hard and delivers results? Let’s take a look at three trends that do just that.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are no longer just about connecting people. They've become powerful search engines, shaping consumer behavior and brand interaction. A whopping 76% of consumers now discover new products and services through social media, according to retail TouchPoints. This demands a reevaluation of franchise social media strategies.

Gone are the days of simply having a social media presence. Today's franchisors need to leverage these platforms as active search tools to boost brand visibility, connect with a wider audience, and tap into fresh franchising markets. Some ways that brands can do this include: 

  • Influencer Power: Partnering with social media stars with engaged followings allows you to reach a vast, targeted audience.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage customers to create and share content about your brand. Positive UGC can significantly influence buying decisions.
  • Interactive Engagement: Leverage features like polls and live videos to actively engage your audience and gather valuable feedback.

When it comes to social media, it’s never been a good idea to set it and forget it; monitoring and interacting with your platforms has always been key to staying relevant and generating ROI, especially these days.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way franchisors and franchisees market their businesses. From streamlining operations to optimizing marketing campaigns, AI is poised to revolutionize the industry through…

  •     Enhanced Data Analysis: AI can analyze vast amounts of customer data, identifying trends and enabling brands to tailor localized campaigns with pinpoint accuracy.
  •     Smarter Targeting: AI helps identify and qualify leads, enabling more efficient resource allocation.
  •     Personalized Customer Interactions: AI-powered chatbots and natural language programs can provide real-time customer support and personalized interactions, improving the overall customer experience.

It’s no surprise that businesses that embrace AI are seeing a 50% increase in marketing ROI, according to Forbes. Put another way, AI is no longer optional — it's a necessity for staying competitive in today's digital landscape.

Niche Content

Content has always played a critical role in any digital marketing campaign, perhaps even more so today. Niche content, in particular — content that resonates with the specific preferences and interests of well-defined demographic groups and communities, is becoming even more important. 

This targeted approach fosters deeper connections with your audience. Tailoring your message to different segments and personas increases content relevance and engagement, allowing for more impactful marketing. By understanding your audience's needs, you can create a sense of community and belonging, leading to brand loyalty. In a world saturated with generic content, offering unique and targeted content is the key to standing out and achieving the most for your marketing dollar.

A versatile and responsive franchise marketing plan has always been vital to the success of any brand or business. But today’s digital age has ushered in all kinds of new and exciting ways to reach your best customers and deliver them something of significance. The trends we’ve just discussed are, in fact, just variations on a theme: the importance of human connection. It matters in love and marketing, and can make all the difference to the long-term success of your brand or business.

IDS pays attention to what matters: your brand’s unique goals and needs, and relies on a team of hardworking experts to design and deliver the best marketing program! Reach out to us today to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy approach.

About the Author

Liz Frame
Liz Frame is an experienced writer who has been focused on franchise marketing for the last six years. She specializes in the senior care and QSR industries, helping clients fine-tune their branding and messaging to reach their best customers.

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