3 Ways to Ensure Franchise Portals Don’t Intercept Your Franchise Leads



Optimize Your Management of Franchise Portals

The Web Reigns Supreme for Franchise Sales

The Internet remains the king of franchise sales. According to the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report, which analyzed 139 franchisors and a little over 36,000 units, the Internet is the leading source of franchise sales for the second year in a row.  The report showed that 42 percent of all franchise sales come from online sources. All hail the king!

The ways in which franchise leads are generated through the Internet shifted between 2013 and 2014:

When a franchise executive reads this data, they may very well assume that it makes sense to spend more advertising dollars on franchise-related portal websites. Upon further investigation, however, one may find that the leads provided by these portals are not as cost-effective as you think.

Why? Because certain portals set themselves up to capture your online leads before they arrive at your franchise development/recruitment website.

How? By running pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google and Bing’s search engines that show up at the top of clients’ branded search queries (also known as keywords).

For example, let’s say that someone is keen on purchasing an Elements Massage franchise, and would like to contact them about setting up a time to chat. To find the proper contact information, they go to a search engine and search for the phrase “Elements Massage franchise.” Here’s what they’re likely to see in the search results:

These ads push the organic search result for Elements’ franchise development website, likely the best answer for a search related to Elements Massage’s franchise opportunity, further down the search results. This gives the portals, and not the franchise recruitment site, first dibs on this lead. These portals’ ads are highly relevant to what the user needs. In this case, the contact information of someone who can explain Elements’ franchise opportunity in more depth. This gives the ads more legitimacy in the eyes of the searcher and a greater chance of being clicked on first.

Takeaway: you might be paying portals for franchise leads that you would have received for free organically if the portals weren’t buying ad space above your franchise recruitment site on your brand related search queries (keywords).

Mobile = More Challenging

This strategy is even more effective for searches performed on mobile devices, where people must scroll further down the page to see the organic search results.

Mobile devices are used extensively in the franchise lead generation process. The percentage of prospects making contact using their mobile devices nearly doubled between August 2013 and August 2014 (going from 23 percent to 42 percent).  What’s the takeaway? It’s easy for portals to obtain and take credit for franchise leads and franchise sales that would likely have come straight to the franchisor’s recruitment site for free in the first place.

What Your Franchise Can Do

Here are a few things your franchise can do to make sure you optimize your management of portals:

1. Make sure that the portals you work with are not spending as much of your budget buying ad-space on branded keywords. For example, if I’m recruiting new franchisees for my make-believe Italian restaurant/bar franchise “Bocce & Beer,” I wouldn’t want portals buying ad space on brand-related keywords that I know my franchise recruitment site, boccebeerfranchise.co, will likely rank number one for organically by default. Examples of these keywords include the following:

  • “Bocce & Beer franchise”
  • “Bocce & Beer franchise opportunity”
  • “Bocce & Beer franchise cost”
  • “Buy a Bocce & Beer franchise”

Instead, consider purchasing ad space on non-branded keywords that you think your target audience may use when searching for their dream franchise opportunity. In our make-believe case,  my keywords selections might initially include the following:

  • “Bocce business concepts”
  • “Franchises for young entrepreneurs”
  • “Unique bar franchise concepts”
  • “restaurant with lawn games franchise”
  • “Outdoor bar franchises”

2. Ask your portals to show you more information about the origins of their leads. Figure out if their leads come from an ad that they ran on one of your branded keywords. Google and Bing both have outstanding tracking capabilities, so it should be very easy for a business to show you the results of PPC campaigns performed on these search engines.

3. Buy the ad space yourself!! Purchase space on your branded keywords to effectively reduce the number of portals that show up at the top of the search results. Plus, because your franchise recruitment site is the best answer to users’ search queries, the quality score of your ad will be higher, and search engines will be willing to position your ad at the top of the results for a cheaper price than everyone else.

Conclusion

Online portals can be an excellent source of new, quality leads for your franchise if they are properly managed. Improper management can transform these portals into under-producing investments that take credit for quality leads that your franchise earned on its own accord.

4 Reasons Why Remarketing is Important for Franchise Sales

Remarketing is quickly becoming the tool of choice for businesses looking to increase online conversions. An estimated 43 percent of companies are using some kind of remarketing tactic to bring back former website visitors. Applying these ideas to franchise recruitment marketing allows you to target prospective franchisees as they go through the research and decision-making process.

What is Remarketing?

If you’ve ever searched for something on a website and were served ads for the same product or service somewhere else later on, you’ve seen remarketing in action. A remarketing campaign displays ads for your brand across the web. Ads may appear in search results, on other websites, and on social media networks. The goal is to bring people back to your website until they “convert,” which typically comes in the form of a phone call, form submission, shopping cart purchase, or newsletter subscription.

 

How remarketing campaigns work in relation to recruiting and selling new franchisees on your concept and message

 

The Google Display Network (GDN) has one of the widest reaches for remarketing. Its display ads appear on 90 percent of all websites. Popular social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube also offer remarketing tools. The takeaway? A properly managed remarketing campaign ensures your brand is in front of prospective customers no matter where they are online.

Benefits of Remarketing for Franchise Recruitment

Here are some reasons why franchises should strongly consider implementing ad remarketing campaigns for their franchise recruitment efforts.

Keep Top of Mind When it Matters Most

Determining which small business or franchise concept to purchase is a major decision, not to mention expensive. The decision-making process often involves extensive, in-depth research.

 

graphic that shows how someone who is interested in purchasing a franchise unit should do their preliminary research before making a purchasing decision

 

The sales process doesn’t always end when the prospect makes contact with the brand; almost half of qualified leads are not ready to buy just yet. They need more time to evaluate all options, attend open-houses, revisit their finances and life-goals. With an effective ad remarketing campaign, you can ensure that your brand and your message keep top of mind with all potential prospects during the entire decision-making process.

 

Remarketing = Non-Pushy Sales Rep

Most people don’t like having their days interrupted by sales reps that are contacting them about purchasing a product or service; we have enough on our plates already. Sometimes sales reps do more harm than good by constantly reaching back out to the prospect for an update on their decision. With remarketing your ads act as a gentle reminder about the benefits of choosing your brand, allowing prospects to easily reconnect with you on their own time.

 

Prospect Knowledge

The GDN and other remarketing platforms help you acquire valuable data about your ideal franchisee prospect, including demographics, hobbies, interests, locations, and device usage. Brands can use this data to enhance their overall marketing campaigns. For example, if your remarketing campaign shows you that a majority of your leads visit cycling related websites, then you may consider buying ad space in a particular cycling magazine or sponsoring a cycling-specific event.

When remarketing through Facebook, use their “Lookalike Audience” feature to reach out to a wider audience by displaying ads to people with characteristics similar to those of your targeted audience.

 

Cost-Effective

With traditional advertising, you pay for every ad even if people don’t act on it or even see it in the first place. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, however, allow you to only be charged if someone actually clicks on your ad. If they see your ad and don’t click on it, then the end result is a free branded impression. Furthermore, thanks to Google’s recent updates to AdWords, impression based ad campaigns will only charge you for ads that are viewable. This means that your budget will only be spent where it can have an impact.  

Without a good remarketing campaign, you may lose most of your prospective franchisees when they navigate away from your website. Understanding how to take advantage of remarketing’s perks can put you a step ahead of the competition.

 

Tips for Running an Effective Remarketing Campaign

Successful remarketing relies on a number of factors working together to bring your brand to the right audience:

  • Diversity in ad types and channels to meet people where they are. Use a combination of the GDN, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube based on the data you gather about your target audience.
  • Categorize ads by dividing visitors into specific lists. Show different sets of ads to people based on how they engage with your franchise recruitment website. For example, consider setting up one set of ads to those who only view the homepage, and another set for people who submit a request to learn more information about your franchise opportunity.
  • Monitor your campaigns and make changes to your ad copy and your targeted audience on regular basis. Allocate more advertising funds into the channels and ad types that create the most quality leads and less on ads that are not generating new conversions.

Conclusion

Remarketing sets your franchise brand up for growth by keeping you in contact with potential franchisees. A strong campaign creates a consistent brand image and a positive reputation. Together, these draw visitors back to your website and prompt them to get in touch with you. Local Search Masters gives you the tools you need to create, deploy, monitor and manage a successful remarketing campaign for franchise sales. Contact us today at bizdev@localsearchmasters.com to get started.