I come across a lot of franchisors seeking to gain instant attention. I recommend a sound PR strategy for cost-effective lead generation; in fact, an integrated public relations strategy, forming the core of creative content across both free and paid online and offline media channels, is what I am referring to here.
Another important point here is that any PR campaign strategy should have the right mix—content marketing, social media and content marketing that will capture the intended marketing goals: putting across your message in front of your prospective franchisee and establishing a strong ‘call to action’ that is likely to generate a sale or two.
The key is clear and consistent messaging– your target audience shouldn’t have difficulty digesting the content on all media platforms. Consumers today are snowed under an avalanche of data and information at every point, therefore franchisors should ensure that all their outreach efforts stand out from competition, both in the packaging of message and meaning. Here are some of the PR channels I recommend, and how they can be best utilized for lead generation:
Emphasizing a brand’s personality:
As I said earlier, it is important to understand what separates your franchise brand from the rest. When you have so much information at your disposal, why not use it to reach your target audience and convert them into sales prospects. Think what gives your brand an edge over the rest: community outreach, giveback program or product or service preference in a particular site as a result of outstanding service. Whatever be the choice of media channel, the objective is to hit home the brand message.
An effective angle to look for generating public attention is to leverage the power of personal storytelling of successful franchisees in your franchise network, and ensure that you create a similar visualization effect for prospective franchise consultant of the franchise system. Similarly, hit the right emotional chord with a well-honed founding story.
Use the power of social media to reinforce your pitch:
Smart franchise brand makes the optimal use of the power of social media. Whether it’s concerning the opening of a new outlet or staffs of a successful franchisee posing for a photo op, ‘say cheese’ moments, etc on social networking platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc can instantly relay the success stories to prospective franchisees. There is greater brand awareness and acceptance on social media as people respond instantly via likes, comments, personal messages, and video sharing to visual elements as and when posted on the brand’s page.
Franchisors should follow the initial brand success up with blogging, storytelling-based email campaigns, high-quality content marketing, graphic messages, event news, product/service animated videos, case studies, infographics, live videos, white papers, slideshows, Press Releases, E-newsletters, Video testimonials (shared by franchisee stars) and webinars updated on a frequent basis. The website of the franchisor should contain content that really sells or convert with a strong landing page and call-to-action (CTA) buttons for a better user experience and improved lead flow. The key is to put across your brand message across a myriad of cost-effective channels, as an industry expert.