Whether you are a growing franchise or managing a multi- brand, large corporation, you need to spend your time on what matters. You know technology can help you be more efficient and effective, but there are also old-school principles which are important to master.
For example: one of the best things you can do for your franchise development team is to build a franchise recruitment website that is a high-functioning sales tool. Candidates who land on your website should be able to quickly identify if your brand appeals to them through engaging content, easy navigation, and discoverable information before guiding them to complete an inquiry with full transparency of next steps.
Assuming you have taken those measures, the next step is getting the right candidates to the website in the first place. Whether you are working with a marketing team or on your own, evaluate the following areas for improvement.
1. Define Your Target Prospect
It’s very difficult to be specific about who fits with your brand. Each brand is unique in its culture, operational processes, and therefore the type of candidates who have success.
Evaluate franchisees who are successful and create a candidate persona. By specifying who you want to attract, you can create content that attracts those candidates to your site, which helps qualify them before they even enter your funnel. Ask these types of questions to develop a persona for your target prospects:
- What type of job or career have they pursued?
- What is/was their income level?
- What do they do in their free time? What do they read?
You get the idea. The point is to put yourself in their shoes and really figure out who your ideal candidate is. You can even go so far as to identify your persona with a name, age, gender, and marital status. By doing so, you will unlock insight that will help you attract those candidates to your concept.
2. Get comfortable with website analytics
As the leading source of leads – including qualified leads – it’s important to understand the analytics behind your website so you can focus on the things that work. Don’t publish a development website and never return to it. It is important to continuously evaluate which pages are generating qualified inquiries so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Even if you work with a marketing team that focuses on website analytics, it’s important you have insight as well. Make it a monthly habit to obsess about these leading indicators:
- Conversion rate of pages
- Time on site and bounce rate (monthly average)
- Number of inbound linking domains
- Total new leads/form submissions (per month)
- Time on top performing pages
- Number of visits/unique visitors (monthly average)
- Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation)
The last bullet point cannot be emphasized enough. Conduct a full SEO audit, as this is the number one tool in your arsenal that guarantees you will attract the right audience.
3. Develop your marketing plan
This topic is a full book on its own, but the message here is that if you execute on #1 and #2 and create an in-depth guide for the marketing team, then it will be much easier to target the right audience, create a content marketing plan, and identify the best places to allocate the marketing budget. In turn, measuring the results of channels, such as franchise portals, digital ad spend, events, and referrals, will be based on how many of the leads match the persona you developed. If the leads are not matching the persona, reevaluate the channel or how you are using it.
Mastering the above principles will help ensure not just that you are getting the right people in the door to grow your franchise, but that your investments are being directed toward attracting the right people.
Interested in which tactics were successful for franchise growth in 2020? Check out the key takeaways from our annual Franchise Sales Index Report.