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3 of the Most Common Franchise Marketing Mistakes

While we all know that digital marketing is essential for brands in today’s social-media-dominated era, being thoughtful about your brand’s digital marketing strategy is even more crucial in the complicated landscape of franchise digital marketing. And yet, at Spark Growth we’ve witnessed franchises making the same mistakes in their social media marketing and digital advertising strategies over and over.

For one of our clients, an international franchise located in over 30 countries, Spark Growth was recruited to implement some deep changes to the structure of their existing digital marketing channels. Using the same platforms they had always been using, and without spending any more money than they were previously, we adjusted their advertising approach and succeeded in targeting and connecting with a higher-converting audience. This led to the client’s cost per conversion (the average amount spent on paid advertising to acquire each customer who signed up for their service) decreasing 55% on Google Ads and 67% on Facebook. 

So this begs the question: what is your franchise missing in your paid strategy and how can you pay less money for even better results?

Well, you’ve come to the right place and we can help. In this article, we’ve outlined the three major mistakes that we see many franchises make when executing their digital marketing strategy. Read on to learn how these missteps can drive up cost per conversion and render paid advertising efforts less effective.

 

Spending Too Much Time on Organic

We get it. You have a vision for your Facebook page to have a plethora of high-quality posts posted daily, each garnering hundreds of likes and heart reactions. But times are changing. Facebook’s organic reach (the percentage of your followers who will see each post) has been steadily declining for brands. The same is true for the organic reach on other social media platforms, too. Having some organic social presence is still necessary for all franchises in order to establish credibility, but if you’re spending more time crafting copy and professional custom graphics for each Facebook post than you are on optimizing your paid strategy, then you may need to re-order your priorities.

It may seem like a small thing, but reorganizing how you will distribute your franchise digital marketing resources will dramatically impact the efficacy of your ads. Many people seem to have this idea that you can launch an ad, feed it money, and forget about it; and many of these same people hold the misconception that organic social requires constant 24/7 surveillance! Although it may be less fun than scrolling through the Facebook feed, you’d be surprised how many improvements⁠ you can spot in your ads when you’ve allocated more time to the exercise—if you know where to look.

 

Over-Emphasis of Brand Awareness Advertising

So you recognize the need to pay closer attention to your paid advertising. What other changes can you make to your priorities in order to use your time—famously equated to money—more wisely in order to drive more conversions?

One mistake that we see franchises make all the time is putting too much focus and spend on brand awareness ads and boosting social media posts. This is an example of how franchisors can get caught up in the growth mindset⁠, which is understandable, considering that this mindset is necessary for becoming a successful franchise with an increasing number of locations⁠. However, once the franchise growth finds its footing, the paid strategy should shift as soon as possible to include a focus on actual conversions. Franchises often have the benefit of being more well-known and widespread than other brands, so in general, they can afford to shift more of their focus from brand awareness to converting potential customers. 

So the next time you’re about to dump all your ad spend into boosting a social media post on your page, consider instead allocating most of it to a retargeting ad with a clear call to action to sign up. Those users know who you are and what you do already, so don’t waste your time or the customer’s time with reintroducing yourself!

 

Accidentally Competing Against Yourself

When each franchisee is running their own digital marketing strategy, things can get messy quickly. Without even realizing that they are doing it, franchisees in overlapping geographic areas are often bidding and competing against each other with their digital advertising programs, driving up costs. From pay-per-click search engine marketing (SEM) on Google to paid social media programs on Facebook, Instagram or other platforms, any program that is geo-targeted and focused on the same keywords and/or audience groups may be costing more than it should because it is competing with other groups in your organization that are targeting in a similar or overlapping way.

Are you starting to sweat as you realize you may have done exactly this? Not to worry. As long as the franchisor and the franchisees are communicating effectively with one another, this one is an easy fix. We recommend having one central person overseeing all campaigns to ensure there is no overlap in targeting. This requires setting up a system for all franchisees to contribute a monthly stipend to a centrally managed marketing fund for the one person or team to manage all the accounts in order to avoid this costly mistake.

 

How many of these mistakes are you making? Keep in mind that these tips incorporate larger changes to your franchise digital marketing plan, so we highly recommend solving these issues before getting into more detail on the improvements that can be made to your campaigns. However, you’re now well on your way to a stronger franchise digital marketing strategy: one that costs less and delivers more concrete results.

Julia Pyo
Julia Pyo
[email protected]