How franchises spend money on brand awareness has shifted drastically in the past decade and a half. In 2000, it was estimated around $79.5 billion was spent on print, yellow pages, newspaper advertising and only $8.2 billion was spent online. In 2013, online marketing was spending $42.8 billion and print was down to $19.8 billion. It’s estimated that by the end of 2017 digital marketing spend will equal $77.37 billion.

What’s Your Central Strategy?

The first step is to set up a brand and main account for strategy. This will just keep together the consistency such as using the right logos, especially if they are revoked and evolve over time, as well as the same voice overall. It can generally be as loose or tight as you want. If you only have a few locations that can be easily monitored you could give each location more freedom in content (as long as it’s on brand), which pulls better with local audiences and wider cultural sets.

Look at the Competition

You’ve got to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing. Say you are a noodle shop franchiser and you have been doing just fine in all your locations with pretty simple twitter and Facebook posts for your general specials and occasional event. You hear about a new noodle shop opening up that is getting tons of foot traffic, as well as a ton of online engagement. Don’t chalk it up to “They’re new, the popularity will fade.” Look at what they are doing, there is a good chance their digital marketing is more immersive, using videos, gifs, rich content, etc. There is someone actually at the helm of that media ship, instead of just using an oar to occasionally move forward.

Monitor Your Marketing Strategy Closely

See what works and what doesn’t. The strategies could be all but useless if you aren’t watching out. It’s one thing to be running continuous ads, assuming your brand is getting out there, when a tweak in the target audience or ad image could make the difference in clicks to your website.

And Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Many franchisers looks at the numbers coming from social media and don’t see anything they like. It’s very difficult to get a true conversion rate for leads generated off of posts, not ads. For the most part, if you have a good amount of followers and are getting clicks or engagement with customers, your doing well and should keep going. Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are all creating more in terms of paid advertising and tracking tools.

Branch Out From the Obvious

However, because there is more of an emphasis on those “Big 3” social sites, that means that putting a little extra effort into hitting places like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr, especially if you’re in a business that could really cater to a younger audience. Like the noodle franchise. If it’s located near a high school, college bar scene, or shopping area that teenagers and young adults would frequent, they will respond to ads or posts they see on the sites they are on when they aren’t out and about.

Using multiple platforms also means you can target audiences more specifically. Facebook users are a pretty wide age range,so targeting a slightly older audience on a static ad for your monthly noodle special and then posting a funny noodle Vine or gif on Instagram for teens will see better outcomes than trying to target an age range of 13-65+ on Facebook alone.


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