By Oliver Brainerd
The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. Ad platforms change. Tracking opportunities grow and diminish. We saw a lot of things shift in 2022 and more changes are coming in 2023. It’s important to have experts on your accounts so they can pivot when necessary.
Franchise Ads in 2023
We’ve audited many Google, YouTube, and Facebook/Instagram ad accounts over the years and have seen A LOT of wasted money. Especially, for franchise locations. With inflation, the last thing you need to be wasting is advertising dollars. You need trained professionals who are attentive to each and every franchise location. You can request digital marketing account audits here.
A problem a lot of brick-and-mortar stores are facing in 2023 is reduced foot traffic due to inflation. In August of last year, 35% of people said they were spending less than normal. (Forbes) 81% of people reported that they had to adjust spending for the holidays. (Mass Mutual) So, we know businesses have been taking a hit, especially when they pull back on marketing. And we know that well-targeted, no-money-wasted ads are more important than ever.
Let’s dive into advertising for franchises. We’ll cover both ads for franchise locations, as well as finding franchisee leads.
Digital Marketing for Franchises
Building the best franchise ads comes with special kinds of challenges. It’ll sound weird, but a lot of people get into marketing because they like problem-solving and the challenges advertising produces.
Franchise ads have to successfully function in two ways:
- They need to maintain brand consistency.
- And they often have to iterate based on audience differences between franchise locations.
In a lot of marketing, especially digital marketing where materials (light and code) are relatively cheap, we do this as a matter of course. It is already our regular practice to retain brand guidelines, but then create, conservatively, dozens of iterations of a particular ad. We change the copy, or the size of the logo, or swap out images. Sometimes all three. We do this because there are a lot of “right” answers to a problem.
The best franchise advertising has brand-consistent iterations built into it. (MindStream) However, at the same time, different franchise locations have different marketing needs, so franchise ads have to change from location to location.
It can get fiddly, but we got into marketing because we’re attracted to fiddly details to optimize results. Whether you’re using franchise Facebook ads, advertising your franchise mainly on Google, or using a combination of digital platforms, the balance is the same. We use demographic data from specific locations and also speak to franchise owners to find out their specific needs. This approach helps to generate optimum foot traffic to each location. The bottom line is communication is key. That’s why each franchise has its own dedicated client account manager whose sole job is to talk to the franchisor and franchisees.
The great thing about running franchise ads is how precise our data nerds can be with the numbers. We can get really particular about collecting and parsing data. This means keeping different pixels for different locations on Facebook and different ad accounts for each franchise location in Google. We get precise about running ads that appear in front of people most likely to take action on them. While we’ve watched tracking options diminish for digital ad platforms, such as the ability to track iOS, we’ve adjusted to these data issues with third-party tracking software. Although we use software for tracking, our ads are always manually managed by well-trained personnel because that’s how you get the best results.
Franchise Ad Examples
There are many different places to create targeted ads for franchises:
- Google ads. Through its data analysis and audience design tools, Google has powerful tools for running localized marketing campaigns. You can run simultaneous ad campaigns tailored to different audiences. The price per click on Google ads can be higher than on other platforms. On the other hand, Google is one of the first places people go when they want answers to questions like, “Where can I get a cup of coffee?” or “Where is the nearest dog groomer?” Therefore, it’s a great place to run franchise ads.
- Facebook/Instagram ads. Meta’s tools for targeting ad campaigns are top-tier. Advertising on Facebook allows more design options. Running video ads, carousel ads, or just ads with pictures is suitable for a lot of brands. You can run promotions, feel-good ads, and even retarget those people searching for where to buy a cup of coffee on Google. Shopping behavior on Facebook and Instagram is more reactionary, and that’s suitable for some brands. Another attractive feature of Facebook ads for franchises is usually a lower price per click.
- Other digital ads. Listen, we don’t make the rules. We just live by them. Right now, the major players in digital marketing are Facebook and Google. However, they are not the only places to run franchise ads. Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, and even TikTok are all potential advertising platforms for your franchise. Where you run ads for your franchise will most depend on data and your ideal demographics.
- TV and radio. Many smaller franchises can’t afford national TV ad campaigns but that’s okay. Streaming services such as Hulu allow you to target local ads. You don’t have to pay for national exposure with streaming platforms. Instead, simply target ads in the cities you are actually located in. Radio ads are another brand awareness option. Note that because TV and radio are brand awareness only, you’ll need other options to ensure you actually get the customer’s foot in the door.
No matter where you run franchise ads for digital marketing, you want to approach them all with the same attitude. Brand consistency is important, and location-specific demographics is also extremely important. Also, keep in mind that most customers will require eight different touchpoints from an array of marketing methods. This is why it’s best to use multiple platforms and combine ads with other types of marketing.
Video vs. Static Ads
People are watching more video nowadays. It’s been said that video ads receive 30% more views or engagement than other mediums. (That seems to be a mixed statistic but it’s an eye-opener either way.) It’s important to include some video ads to test with your image ads. Don’t be afraid of video. Videos are a great way to connect with your audience. They don’t always have to be expensive to produce. User-generated content is all the rage and can be used to show your audiences how much people love your business.
Certifications aren’t the end-all-be-all of ad management but they do signal that a person at least knows what they’re doing. Ask if your ad account managers have certifications such as being Google Ads certified.
Selling Franchises to Franchisees
The potential group who might buy franchises includes a more narrow set of demographic data. Because of that, it takes more time and effort to market to them. More marketing touchpoints mean a higher cost per conversion but with higher profit. It also means it’s important to have a multi-ad platform approach. You may start with Google ads to target people looking to buy a franchise and follow up with them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, for example.
Franchise Ads and You
Digital marketing can get complicated at the best of times. Running a chain of franchises is far from easy. You’ll market better if you have the right allies.
ARC Creative Co. has a proven track record of digital marketing for franchises. We apply data-driven tactics to make your ad spend go further and increase your marketing effectiveness. We can work with your internal marketing departments to run industry-leading ad campaigns. Contact us today for a free account audit or to speak with a representative.
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