What is content marketing? Why is it important for franchise brands? These questions are critically important and will guide the rest of the conversation.
What Is Content Marketing?
If you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. Content marketing is an ambiguous concept that could mean something different to every person you ask. However, this particular brand of marketing really comes down to motivation and practice. The Content Marketing institute explained content marketing as a technique that involves creating and distributing content that’s valuable and relevant to the audience. At the same time, it should be consistent across all channels. The ultimate objective is to appeal to a specific audience and motivate them to take action that will generate profit for your business.
So, what’s content? This is more difficult to answer than you might think. One of the most attractive and exciting aspects of content marketing is that allows for a lot of creativity. For instance, one type of content born out of the need to be visually engaging and information-rich is the infographic. As the name implies, this piece of content brings together graphic design with statistics and charts to create a compelling story about a specific topic related to the business.
Another type of ubiquitous content are the pages on a website. Each Web page is composed of text, images and variety of elements that compels the audience to take an action—whether that’s clicking through to other pages, downloading marketing collateral or signing up for an email newsletter. Many brands also take advantage of blogs, email, videos, webinars and podcasts to convey relevant information for a specific group of people.
Why Is Content Marketing Important for Your Franchise Brand?
Franchise prospects have taken charge of the buyer’s journey. This is largely thanks to the Internet.
Before, you could exert your influence over prospects as they sought out information about investing in your brand. Direct marketing, ad placements in various media outlets, face-to-face meetings and industry events provided a limited number of chances you had to keep potential franchisees interested and engaged.
Now, franchise prospects use Google to get at every available shred of information. They use social media to vet the opportunity and see what other franchisees and their customers are saying about the brand.
Let’s consider a couple parts of the process and how content marketing comes into play:
Discovery – Remember that your franchise opportunity isn’t meant for everyone. You have a specific audience you need to speak to. By trying to attract too many people, your message will come off as vague and have a muted impact. Through proper segmentation—and building accurate buyer personas—you can craft content that’s not only relevant but also engaging, so prospective franchisees will be attracted and motivated to investigate your brand more thoroughly.
Consideration – Once prospective franchisees are aware of your brand’s investment opportunity, they’re still a long way from filling out the franchise application. They need to conduct further research into your brand and conduct due diligence to ensure they’re pursuing a meaningful venture. Here’s where your franchise recruitment website, blogs, social media presence and media presence come into play. Along with the hard figures explained in your FDD, prospects want to know they’re buying into a system that aligns with their values, ambitions and expectations.
Bottom Line Results
With an effective, cohesive content marketing strategy, you can feasibly decrease the time prospects spend in the sales funnel. Powerful, relevant content helps you reduce the effort potential franchisees put forth to not only discover your brand but also consider the opportunity. On top of that, they’ll be more informed once they engage with your sales reps, making them higher-quality candidates.
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