Franchise Marketing: Blogging 101

A business blog can be an effective, low-cost franchise marketing tool that enhances your company by:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Improving search engine rankings
  • Driving sales
  • Engaging with customers
  • Establishing you as an industry thought leader
  • Creating conversations around your brand
  • Increasing web traffic
  • Answering customer questions
  • Sharing behind-the-scenes perspectives

 

As a franchise, however, your blog strategy is a little bit different than for a stand-alone business. You have to consider what’s helpful on the corporate side and for your franchisees as well. The focus for these two types of blogs will be different, but they will also have overlapping goals. Here’s the breakdown.

 

Your Corporate and Franchisee Blogs Should Both:

Convey a coherent brand identity. All of your blogs, whether corporate or franchisee operated, should convey consistent visual branding and brand messaging. This is why it’s critical for corporate to maintain control over all these assets. Inconsistent appearance, voice, and tone can dilute your brand and damage your reputation.

Be expertly crafted. There’s just no excuse for poorly written content. If you cannot produce content of an acceptable quality in house, you should engage a professional writer or a copyeditor. Having content that is poorly written, with grammatical errors and typos, can quickly damage your credibility.

Effectively showcase your offerings. Romance your products and services with compelling product descriptions and photography. Make sure your website uses an internal search engine to help people find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

Have a clear call to action (CTA). Whether you want customers to try out a new product or service or potential new franchisees to contact you, your CTAs should be clear, with prominent links, buttons, and contact forms.

Post new content regularly. A stagnant blog sends a bad message. Why should customers be interested in your business when you aren’t interested enough to maintain your blog and publish new content regularly? Remember, customer engagement is always a two-way street.

Communicate your social impact. Whether on a corporate or local level, customers like to see that your brand cares about something beyond its own bottom line. So highlight your charitable giving, volunteer activities, or sustainable business practices through your blog.

Improve your SEO. One of the main benefits of blogging from a franchise marketing point of view is increasing your visibility to search engines. So make sure your blogs are appropriately optimized and track your results with analytics.

Build community around your brand. With email contact forms, social sharing buttons, links to your social media profiles, and the ability to submit comments, you give customers an opportunity to start or join in on conversations about your brand. Customers want to engage on a deeper level with the companies they do business with, and blogs are one way to do just that.

Tell a story. Storytelling is a great way to engage your audience on the corporate and local level. Create compelling narratives about your products and services, give behind-the-scenes perspectives, and describe how your products and services help make your customers’ lives better.

 

Your Corporate Blog Should:

Promote brand awareness. As the official voice of your business, your corporate blog is a great tool to create the type of brand awareness that helps earn customers’ trust over time. Use your blog to offer informative and entertaining free content. It also gives customers a reason to stay engaged with your brand between purchases.

Attract new franchisees. Keep your blog up to date with successful sales statistics and other milestones to appeal to potential franchisees. Show how you compare in terms of customer traffic, sales, and retention. Everyone loves a good success story, so shine a light on yours and help grow your franchise into new areas.

Tell your brand story. Your corporate blog should create an engaging narrative about who you are as a brand and what you stand for. And that story should describe the value that you provide to customers while also giving some background about how the brand started and has evolved over time.

 

Your Franchisee Blog Should:

Drive local traffic. Your franchise blogs should speak directly to the community in which it operates. It should focus on products, services, and promotions that will appeal to the franchisees’ specific customer base.

Include testimonials. Word of mouth can’t be beat, especially for the cost, which is usually little to nothing. Testimonials can boost your credibility and show that you’re not all talk. Include photos and videos to bring your testimonials to life. But remember you should always obtain written permission to post anything on behalf of a customer.

Have corporate support. Corporate should provide content creation resources for franchisees — contacts for writers and editors to use, recommended editorial calendars with topics to post about, and a bank of photos and videos they can draw from. Local franchises can focus on blogging about things that will bring customers to their door while corporate maintains the website.

Kymera is your franchise marketing expert. Contact us today, and we’ll help you start a blog for your franchise or take your existing blog to a whole new level as a brand-building conversion tool.