If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s not to take anything for granted. Life can change in an instant, which can be incredibly stressful for business owners. As if they don't have enough on their plates, entrepreneurs and small business owners must do everything they can to lessen risk and boost ROI — tough enough in good times. But in bad? Now their lives get a whole lot more complicated.
Perhaps that’s why the franchise model has always been so appealing. As compared to going it alone, franchises offer small business owners a lot of security in the way of tested business models, franchisor training and support, and name recognition — and smart brands boost that recognition with well-thought-out franchise digital marketing strategies that keep their name in front of their best customers!
The fact is, challenging times can often propel brands into the spotlight, and for some, COVID has done just that. Here, we’ll look at a few top 2021 franchise industries, how the pandemic has helped bring them to the forefront, and why digital marketing services for franchises are invaluable, no matter what’s going on in the world.
You’ve heard that old adage — strike while the iron is hot! If you’re a brand in one of the industries we’ve just mentioned (or any industry for that matter), you’d be wise to do so. A well-crafted franchise digital marketing strategy can help brands that are enjoying the spotlight do so for a whole lot longer, maybe even indefinitely! And those brands that might be struggling as a result of outside forces (like a pandemic) can benefit immensely from digital marketing that addresses their pain points and reiterates their value.
The truth is, it shouldn't take a pandemic for brand leaders to reevaluate their marketing strategies; that kind of attention should be paid on an ongoing basis, preferably by experts who know what to look for and how to respond. Good marketing takes a fluid and holistic approach and working with professionals to help you reach your best customer always makes sense, no matter what industry you’re in or how crazy the world might sometimes feel.
Let the experts at IDS craft a franchise digital marketing strategy that’ll reach your best customer! Get in touch today!
Franchise digital marketing is a unique niche within the marketing world. If you’re a franchisor and have been managing your own digital presence, you probably already know that it requires a specialized skillset. IDS is the premiere franchise digital marketing agency because we have the skills to develop a customized, nuanced approach to finding qualified leads for each of our clients. Here, we’ll share a glimpse into some of our key philosophies and strategies.
Other digital marketing agencies sometimes fall short because they try to apply strategies that work for consumer-facing campaigns to franchise campaigns. The fact is, finding a qualified investor is different than driving consumers to a brand.
For one thing, we’re dealing with a much smaller pool of leads. IDS knows how to get your message out to the select individuals that meet your criteria. Furthermore, franchise digital marketing is all about showcasing the strengths of your investment along with the strengths of your brand. Consumers want to know all about your products and services: why should they choose your brand over the competition? While prospective franchisees are certainly interested in this information, they are just as curious about what you have to offer them.
A great franchise digital marketing campaign is all about highlighting the strengths of your franchise offering.
The term “inbound marketing” refers to the strategies associated with marketing directly to an audience that is interested in, and qualified for, your franchise offering. Because you’ll be dealing with a select target audience, strategies like radio and billboard ads are less likely to be cost effective. Inbound marketing allows us to analyze Google trends and other data to deliver your message right to your target audience where they live online.
Two key inbound marketing strategies that IDS utilizes are listed below.
One of the first things we do for all of our new clients is to develop personas of their ideal franchisees. Are you open to working with industry newcomers? Are you most interested in targeting multi-unit investors? What income and education must your franchisees have? We take all of this information into account to write a few personas that represent your target audience. We use these personas to guide our content team in crafting blogs and website pages, and our experts use them to develop customized strategies to deliver your message right to this select group.
A few of the strategies we utilize include search engine optimization (utilizing the strongest keywords to improve your rankings), search engine marketing (implementing strategies like pay-per-click advertising to get your site better visibility), and competitive analysis to leverage your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses into better performance for your content.
These are just a few of the basics of franchise digital marketing. Contact us today and see how our expertise and dedication can help you grow your franchise brand.
It’s quite clear that a significant portion of the franchise industry has been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Society has been put on pause, and the temporary closure of businesses has put plenty of us in an endless cycle of paranoia. However, as each day passes, we inch that much closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Our franchise digital marketing team at IDS is waiting for a resolution along with the rest of the world. Still, we have three important reasons why our franchise family should be optimistic about what the future holds.
Partnering with a franchise brand is different than investing in stocks or bonds: it’s an investment in oneself. Once the dust settles and society has turned the corner, prospective franchisees will see the value of investing in their future. In times like these, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness. Unemployment rates in the U.S. have reached unthinkable heights, but once the economy rebounds, furloughed corporate workers are going to be looking for ways to regain control of their careers. Many people recognize franchising as a viable way to gain financial freedom with an established business model and time-tested infrastructure. The uncertainty that came with COVID-19 also presents an opportunity as people look to control their own destiny more than ever.
The effects of COVID-19 will linger for some time, however, we are all trying to look to the future and how society will react to the “new normal.” In an article written by McKinsey & Company that analyzed Chinese Consumer behavior, studies showed:
“Chinese consumers are gradually regaining their confidence as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, suggesting the majority will resume higher levels of spending in some categories over the coming months, according to McKinsey’s latest survey of consumer attitudes.”
While a significant amount of the population is still leery, studies have shown that a nation that was once the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly returning to normal.
A partnership with a franchise brand includes unwavering support and clear communication throughout the lifespan of the experience. It is apparent that the franchise experience can combat some of the obstacles that society is currently facing, which might influence the decision of a future franchisee.
Right now, many independent business owners have questions about the best next steps and have to find the answers on their own. Franchisors can point back to times like these when discussing the importance of support, and how they kept that promise for their franchisees.
At Integrated Digital Strategies, we work with a number of franchise brands that are actively keeping lines of communication open with their franchisees to alleviate their anxiety and strategize for the future. Franchise digital marketing has been an incredibly valuable tool for our clients as they shed light on how they are supporting their franchisees through tough times.
Are you interested in learning more about Integrated Digital Strategies and how our franchise digital marketing services are invaluable in times like these? Contact a member of our team today!
As most of us sit home and wait for the coronavirus to run its course, U.S. businesses of all sizes are faced with a massive economic downturn that could spell their demise. It’s a bleak picture for sure, but the fact is, some companies, some restaurants, and some retailers are better prepared to weather this crisis than others — and many of them are the partners of franchise brands. Why do they stand a better chance of survival? Well, in the immortal words of Bill Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin’ Donuts and one of the innovators of the franchise business model, franchisees are “in business for themselves but not by themselves.” Simply put, franchisees have help during times when they need it most — and this is one of those times.
Aspiring business owners have long gravitated to the franchise model for precisely that reason, and if nothing else, the COVID-19 outbreak brings into stark relief just how important it is to be able to rely on the corporate support of a franchisor. But beyond that, it’s an important reason why franchisors should not let up on their franchise digital marketing campaigns, though they might be tempted to do so. In fact, perhaps now more than ever, franchise brands should be striving to reach a bigger and broader audience to tell their stories and to reiterate why partnering with them is a smart alternative to going it alone
“Right now, business owners are in a fight or flight mode,” says Eric Stites, CEO and Managing Director of Franchise Business Review. “For many of them, decision-making has all but stopped. But for others who are part of a franchise system, they can count on a checklist of things they can do to secure their businesses and improve their chances of coming out of this whole. Independent operators are paralyzed in the same way. The difference is, they don’t have the support.”
That support doesn’t just begin and end with the home office, either. Franchisees of all brands can tap into the comforting network of their fellow franchisees, knowing they aren’t alone.
“Many, many franchisees are taking part in online support groups and networking opportunities that allow them to hear others talk, share ideas, voice concerns, and just feel less alone,” says Stites.
The benefit of the support and connection that franchisees feel during tough times is just one critical distinction that franchisors should be highlighting now through their franchise digital marketing presence. Now is also the right time to share with people how your brand is making a difference in the lives of the communities you serve.
“Let’s face it,” says Stites. “Everybody is at home right now, and most of us are online. Now is the perfect time for brands to share their stories about the community services they’re performing. People want feel-good stories right now, and brands that are doing something to relieve suffering deserve to be noticed and should be telling their stories — and encouraging others to do the same.”
Remember, your brand isn’t some empty entity; it’s a collection of people, of ideas, of values, and goals. Now is the time to emphasize the humanity of your brand, and there is no better way to do so than through your well-planned and ongoing franchise digital marketing efforts.
It’s important to remember that the coronavirus is not going to hinder us forever. There will be a time when it subsides — or is even eradicated — and we will no longer be susceptible to it or to the impact it has on our daily routines. Life will return to normal, and now is the time to prepare for that.
“Brands can start educating folks now about the opportunities to come, after this is all over,” councils Stites. “For people who may have lost their jobs and who might be looking to reinvent themselves, franchise ownership can offer a path to recovery, especially for those who were in senior career positions."
A robust franchise digital marketing campaign can help you reach your best audience and put you in place to meet their needs and grow your brand as a result.
Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS) is a recognized expert at franchise digital marketing and can help you reach your target audience and grow your brand through a variety of highly effective means, including SEO, SEM, robust optimized content, and beautiful and informative websites.
“Our team knows the value of a well-tailored approach,” says Steve Galligan, CEO and co-founder of IDS. “It’s what we do, and we make sure to listen to the needs of our clients to deliver a digital marketing campaign that is intelligent and responsive.”
Like thousands of other businesses across the country, IDS has taken the steps necessary to stay safe during this exceptional time in our history. But we remain ready and prepared to do business. We think you should be, too.
Ready to find out more about how a strong franchise digital marketing strategy can make a difference? Get in touch with us today!
The International Franchise Association (IFA) held its annual convention in sunny Orlando, Florida, for a receptive audience filled with some of the most accomplished names in the franchise industry. Integrated Digital Strategies’ (IDS) co-founders Steve Galligan and Joe Mohay attended the convention and had the opportunity to network with clients, participate in breakout sessions, and learn about the latest trends in the franchise industry.
Franchising is all about collaboration, so we want to share a few of the takeaways that Galligan and Mohay plan to adopt in their IDS franchise digital marketing agency in 2020.
The theme of this year’s IFA convention was “Franchising’s Future Starts with Us”, what does that mean to IDS?
Joe: Franchise brands must be empowered to control their presence and their online reputation -- it can’t always be done for them in their home-office. Brands need to have the right tools and be able to utilize those tools to grow their business. I feel like a company like IDS is going to be the ideal franchise digital marketing resource for these brands as they look to grow.
What do you see changing in the mentality of the franchise buyer? What trends were mentioned that showed a shift?
Steve: There was plenty of discussion around Millennials, and how they are a driving force within the franchise space. In fact, young franchise founders were highlighted and nominated as top franchisors. Those younger people are coming in with innovative and creative ideas that the market is very accepting of.
What was your most valuable takeaway from the 2020 IFA convention?
Joe: Learning how to adapt to the different types of stakeholders and team members you have in different organizations. Making sure you know how to communicate in the language that they are most receptive to. We want to lift each other up and work for the common good of their business.
Another theme of this year’s convention was a decline in the number of franchise broker deals -- where do you think this decline is coming from?
Steve: In the past, we did not have the wealth of knowledge and information we have today. Now, you can go online and do as much homework and research as you want. Franchisor’s sites are enriched with content in the form of blogs, downloadable e-books, and now you can even see day-in-the-life videos of a franchisee.
Ten years ago, fifteen years ago, you didn’t have that abundance of information coming your way. You relied on a broker to source and deliver the best analysis to you. It’s very analogous to real estate; these days people can go online and do a full tour of the house before they even speak to a realtor. This theme has grown every year. When IDS first came into franchising the concept of inbound marketing was relatively new. It has now become the norm versus five or six years ago.
“Collaboration” was a big theme of the convention as well. Could you touch on how you see that changing in this evolving world of franchising?
Joe: Prospective clients that came by our booth asked plenty of questions about how we are different. When they see the accomplishments, we’ve had they wonder, “How is this smaller nimble agency able to serve such a large variety of franchise organizations and maintain high client retention?” It’s because we are collaborators. We are tied more into the business than a vendor, we don’t like being called a vendor, that’s not in our name. We are partners in their success, and we build personal relationships with our clients.
What does IDS bring to the table that other agencies can’t seem to match?
Steve: A big part of what we do is franchise development, and we have many ways to impart the value-proposition of a franchisor. It could be in the form of search engine marketing, social media advertising, or really good content on a website.
You combine all of that together and two things happen: First, Google picks up on the content based on the search that is being conducted because there is great information that is relevant to what the user is looking for. Second, the person who is searching to buy a franchise is able to garner so much information from so many different places.
IDS enables them to do that. Our developers create great websites, our writers produce rich content, and our SEM analysts know how to attract the best franchise buyer. We also have the technical acumen to optimize organically with SEO and raise our franchisors to the top of search results.
Can you talk a little bit about the kinds of people that make up the franchise space? Who are they? What are their goals?
Joe: I find that the people in the franchise community all really like each other. They may be adversaries in business, but they don’t come off that way. We all like talking shop, imparting ideas and knowledge, and we all like to share information that is working for our respective businesses. We are all here to support each other, serve our communities and keep the franchise industry growing.