How to Build Online Marketing Strategy in 10 Steps

date icon 5 minutes to read date icon 29th July, 2021

Constructing an effective marketing plan is easier said than done! 

The question many franchisors ask is, what are the franchise marketing best practices? Read on to find out what they actually are:

Why do I need a plan?

Everything in the franchising world needs a plan! Identifying what stage you are at, where you wish to be and how to get there is crucial for the success of your franchise marketing strategy.  A franchise online marketing plan allows you to focus your effort and guide you to invest wisely to achieve your goals. Revisiting your plan and taking the time to monitor and track your progress is important.

Understanding your priorities

Knowing the goals or objectives of your current marketing campaign will allow you to take the necessary steps in order to achieve them. The following are examples of KPI’s (measuring your key performance indicators) which provide an accurate indication of whether your franchise marketing strategy is on the right track for achieving your goals:

  • Sales growth
  • Life Time Value of a customer
  • Website traffic
  • How well your website traffic converts into leads
  • Email marketing performance

It is important to take into account that your franchise marketing strategy needs to be measurable in order for you to monitor and track your progress.

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Your goal must be realistic and achievable. Being a high achiever is admirable however, in the franchising marketing world, it is important to learn how to walk before you can run, so what is advised is that earlier on in the process you have to begin with smaller goals that can easily be achieved and then work towards goals that may require more time, effort and money.

Define your franchise marketing channels

Franchise marketing examples are: social media, online or offline channels to name a few. Having said this, not all marketing channels can successfully promote your franchise business. This is why it is important to carefully identify those channels that are helping to grow and expand your business. Those that are not should be neglected. Your attention should be focused on building a reputation and reaching out to a target audience. Social media and search engines are amongst the most popular in digital marketing for franchises, they are regarded as powerful tools, this is why it is important to establish a strong, unique brand identity. Focus on quality rather than quantity, you don’t have to feel obliged to choose all channels, choose those that are beneficial for the growth of your franchise business.

Focus your budget

Once channels have been carefully chosen, time needs to be taken to develop and expand them. You need to focus your energy on achieving the biggest return on investment.  You need social media influencers and verifiable figures helping you to promote your services and products to reach out to your target audience.

Work as a team

Each member of your team: social media specialists, professional copywriters, SEO experts, marketing team, IT team must all share the same vision as you in order for the successful running of your business. Each member is assigned responsibilities, appointed tasks that should meet clear deadlines and strive to closely practice the values set in your franchise business such as: respect, trust, professionality etc. Building a close-knit team both in the workplace and outside will prove to be effective in the long run.  It just takes one member of the team to not follow accordingly, for the dynamics of the entire team to change. It is crucial from the beginning of the process for each member of the team to follow the franchise marketing best practices.

Be specific with goals and deadline

Defining goals are important, the following questions must be asked: what do you exactly want to achieve? How long do you reckon it will take for you to achieve this goal? What needs to be implemented for you to reach this goal? You need to be realistic, but at the same time allow yourself to take risks, if you don’t at least try, you don’t know what will happen. It is worth considering that your goals should be primarily quantitative numeric figures that can be measured. 

Measure

In order to find out whether your franchise marketing strategy is effective or not, you need to take the time to compare the draw together the results from different marketing channels and allow for comparison. A question you can ask yourself is Channel A outperforming Channel B? You should aim to follow franchise marketing examples that have proven to be effective. In this way, you can take the necessary actions to divert your energy and focus on the channels that are giving results and neglect those that are not meeting your expectations. 

Manage your risks

After measuring data, the real work now begins. You need to take time to evaluate the data and draw conclusions from the statistics. What exactly is the data telling you? This will guide you to know how to proceed and what actions need to be taken to intensify the activity in different sectors of your business.

Check your work

In business, there are always opportunities to check, think and act. Your first franchise marketing strategy will not necessarily give you results immediately. You will need to be flexible and take time to make adjustments. Common mistakes that many tend to make when implementing a marketing strategy are:

  • Problems in communication: As a team you need to ensure each member is on the same page and shares the same vision as you in helping to contribute to the growth of your business. 
  • Awareness of tasks allocated: Each team member should be aware of their responsibilities and respect deadlines. Everyone needs to know exactly what they are doing, it takes one person to not correctly follow the instructions for the dynamics of the entire team to change. 

You should aim to engage in franchise marketing best practices that have proven to be effective. A solution to the above challenges that is faced by any business owner is employing someone who has knowledge in each sector of your business who can speak to members of different teams in a language that can easily be understood.

At the end of the day, whichever option you decide to implement when building your online franchise marketing strategy, it is important to take into consideration that circumstances can change very quickly, hence you need to be open minded, accept criticism and listen to feedback. It also comes down to measuring correctly your data within defined parameters and taking the time to assess and evaluate the data before taking action. Seeking help from an expert can prove to be beneficial as the success of your business rests on the franchise marketing plan you are developing.

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