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What Franchise Brands Need to Know When it Comes to Lead Generation in 2020

Franchise Performance Group’s VP of Operations Dianna Bailer shares best practices for lead generation in franchisee recruitment.

Over the course of 2020, “business as usual” has shifted rapidly for franchises across many industries along with many established business practices — including digital marketing efforts. Many franchises have an optimistic outlook and are looking to continue to grow through the pandemic — and a key component in that effort is generating quality leads.

Dianna Bailer, vice president of operations with Franchise Performance Group, the nation’s leading franchise marketing agency, offers insights into the way that generating leads among business buyers is a changing game. 

Generate Buyers, Not Just Leads
Lead generation is a different game for every franchise, so what’s most important to know is a brand’s basic buyer persona — the market should be established up front. Franchise marketing teams should study the demographics of franchisees who already exist in the program to understand who their perfect buyer is. Bailer advises that it’s best to look at what the strongest franchisees have in common: Where do they come from, and how do they behave on the internet? From there, pay attention to website traffic. An interested investor will do in-depth research, spending hours on the site, whereas a lead will only spend 20 minutes.

Create Content That Communicates to Buyers, Not Consumers
Bailer notes that the most common mistake that many franchises and agencies make is that they use similar marketing content and strategies for both consumers and franchise buyers. Photos of products may work to influence consumers, but they’re not the most effective option when it comes to selling franchising as a concept. Helpful imagery for interested buyers depict someone behind a cash register, or a smiling face opening the door in the morning. It’s more about selling the idea of the experience rather than the product itself.

There is No One-Size-Fits-All Template For Franchise Marketing
When it comes to distribution of marketing efforts, Bailer explains that no two franchises should have the same spending allocations as another — and that’s because their needs are often different. Brands who are looking to recruit an older demographic of franchisees should allocate digital marketing efforts to Facebook while brands who are seeking younger buyers should budget their spending toward Instagram ads. For brands that are less established and looking to grow, PR is a helpful way to generate brand awareness and buyers know more about what to expect. 

Prospective Franchisees Want Brand Stories
In order for franchise advertising to see maximum success, the brand needs to communicate to prospects what its value propositions are and how it stands among other brands. Bailer says people are most interested in brands that they’re able to see themselves in, and how they relate to those who are already working within them. Franchisee Q&As can be a helpful tool in recruiting buyers because they show where existing franchisees were before they saw success with their brand and what their journey there looked like to get there.