Today’s consumer controls their own buyer’s journey. In fact, it’s been reported that buyers today are from two-thirds to 90% of their way to a decision before they make contact with your salesperson or company.

A potential franchise owner can research a myriad of franchise opportunities online to compile as much information as they need to come to a decision about which franchise to buy. If you want to even be in the running, you need to make sure that your online content fuels their journey with appropriate information from initial contact to final decision.

How can you make sure your franchise stands out in the competitive world of franchise opportunities?

Create Purpose-Driven Content

Driving traffic to your website is only the first step in engaging with a prospect. Once you’ve gotten their interest, you need to provide content that will support that buyer’s journey throughout their discovery, research and decision making processes. Each step along the journey should involve consuming new information that propels the prospect deeper into the process. Your content should inform, answer questions and inspire a next action.

Types of content to fuel the journey:
  • Corporate mission statement, culture and values
  • Company history and stakeholders
  • Franchise business model
  • Your commitment to franchisee success
  • Candidate requirements: financial, location, personality
  • Success stories, franchisee’s testimonies
  • Investment cost, available sites, financing options
  • Consumer stories, satisfaction
  • Brand management strategies
  • Access to a current Franchise Disclosure Document (after they are a qualified candidate)
Consider this recently overheard comment when creating your content, “If I buy a franchise, I want really smart people to be running the show. Period.”

Effectively Distribute Your Content

This infographic by Lori Wizdo illustrates how various types of content are required to meet the needs of franchise prospects throughout the buyer journey. Contrary to the straight-forward sales funnel of old, it more closely resembles a Dr. Seuss creation as the prospective franchise buyer uses web content, social media, email, and peers to acquire information in their own way, in their own time.



We can clearly see the evolution of the journey from awareness to purchase:
  • Search/discover/Research
  • Share/Peer Review/Compare
  • Trust/Decide/Purchase
Since each franchise buyer creates their own journey of discovery, awareness, consideration and purchase, your content must be relevant, useful, informative and in the correct media format to reach your audience in every stage. Your content marketing/social media strategy needs to extend to various social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) hosting numerous content styles such as videos, blog posts, images, podcasts and interviews.

Setting Key Performance Indicators to Measure ROI

Knowing specifically what content is being consumed will help with planning future content strategy. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and various tracking and measurement tools (such as Google Analytics) let you track the specific content that your buyers are consuming, where they are finding your content, and the patterns of engagement. Not only does this information enable you to provide targeted content to improve engagement and increase conversion rates, you can measure the value of your content for proving ROI of your content marketing.

Conclusion

While the idea of franchise prospects mapping out their own buyers’ journeys may strike fear into the hearts of franchisors, by following the Cadence9® 7 Step Content Marketing Lifecycle best practices, you will be able to produce targeted content that fuels the process and shortens the buying cycle. You can actually control (most of) the information prospects see, so focus on creating the most engaging content that you can to represent the value and uniqueness of your franchise opportunity. By being transparent and open, you will attract the best qualified candidates for your company.