Acquiring new franchisees: the relevance of digital technology

Werven van nieuwe franchisenemers: het belang van digitale technologie

[Parole d’expert] In this article, the experts at Growth Room, a Growth Marketing agency, share their tips for running an effective franchisee recruitment campaign using digital technology.

Today, the franchise network development methods of the past century no longer suffice. Being present only on platforms dedicated to franchising no longer guarantees the growth of a network.

We’ve said it. But in concrete terms, what is the best way to grow a franchise network? Is digital, and digital marketing in particular, relevant? Zoom in on its role in acquiring new franchisees.

Digital: a real lever for acquiring new franchisees

Digital technology has become essential for franchise networks aiming to increase their visibility and attract new franchisees, for a number of reasons.

It enables a personalized relationship with customers and potential candidates, using tools such as geolocation and analysis of individual career paths. This approach, while 100% digital, retains a human touch thanks to the customized user experience it offers.

A well-executed digital strategy quickly positions the network in online searches, on social networks, and through targeted advertising, reinforcing its presence in the minds of future employees. Combined with inbound marketing, the network provides all the information needed to help future franchisees make the right decision.

Some have already understood: after the Covid crisis, 98% of franchisors boosted their digital investments. They have concentrated their efforts on two main fronts: 87% have modernized their internal processes and 86% have amplified their external online communication.*.

*Banque Populaire Annual Franchise Survey2022

The main digital marketing techniques to use

In digital, you can activate 12 channels, more or less relevant to your business. Here they are:

  • Bulk email: used to win and retain the loyalty of several prospects or customers at once.
  • Affiliation: remunerates affiliates for generating requests for quotes or information.
  • Sponsoring and partnerships.
  • Display advertising: online purchase of space for advertisements including graphic elements.
  • Sponsored links: paid advertisements that appear as normal links in search results (Google, Bing, Ecosia, etc.).
  • Website: a key element of a digital strategy.
  • Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn are ideal for reaching varied audiences.
  • Community management and social media optimization (SMO): to strengthen brand image and social referencing.
  • Brand community platforms: designed for exchanging and sharing information about brands and products.
  • Social Selling: exploits the potential of social networks to sell or buy products/services, with a focus on customer relationship management (CRM).
  • Online advertising: LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads for targeted distribution. Google Ads positions the site at the top of search results, targeting prospects who are actively searching.
  • Inbound Marketing for franchises: attract candidates with quality content, automation tools, and target behavior analysis to encourage contact with future franchisees.

The difficulties of acquiring new franchisees and the relevant channels to activate

Today, franchisors face major problems in recruiting franchisees. Which ones? The current crisis, the need to qualify leads (contribution, situation, location of premises), and to find the right momentum to attract a franchisee.

To achieve this, two of the channels mentioned above stand out:

  1. Platforms: offering an effective showcase where franchises are unveiled and candidates apply, responding precisely to the need to capture franchisees at the ideal time.
  2. Advertising networks such as Meta Ads (Facebook and Instagram): properly optimized, this channel is capable of generating a good volume of franchise leads, at a very reasonable cost. The difficulty lies more in qualification. On average, a franchisor will find a potential franchisee every 40 to 50 interested leads.

And that’s what franchisors are all about: ensuring a flexible model.

Not every channel brings in a regular volume of leads over the year, and at a smoothed cost. To be effective, you obviously need to diversify by exploiting several sources in parallel, and these two channels are the most relevant to begin with.

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