Creating a digital marketing plan for your franchise can look like a massive mountain to climb. Where do you even start?
Simple: follow these seven short steps and you'll have a ready outline - an online marketing plan template - that will let you break the job down into smaller, more manageable tasks:
- Set your goals
Before you take your first step up that treacherous mountain path, you need to decide where you're trying to get to. Are you trying to boost your sales? Raise brand awareness? Recruit a set number more franchisees?
Set your goals down clearly - with set figures of what you want to achieve. These need to be quantifiable and measurable.
Then you need to make sure everyone's on board. All staff and stakeholders need to be committed to the implementation of a marketing plan if it's going to have any chance of success.
- Set your KPIs and metrics
Now you've got your goals down, you need to decide how you're going to track and measure your progress towards them. Because without clearly defined Key Performance Indicators, you won't be able to tell how effective your internet marketing business plan really is.
This is an area where lots of franchise marketing plans fail:
The plan gets implemented. But then the results are not correctly assessed or monitored. So your marketing budget gets wasted.
By making sure that you can measure your results, in the event that your KPIs show that your plan is not having the desired effect, you can reassess your strategy.
- Set your timeframes
One of the most important factors to consider when writing your digital marketing plan is the timeframe. How long are you going to give your plan before it needs to have produced the results your goal statement laid out? A month? A year? Five years?
Reasonable timeframes are key here - don't put in shorter timeframes if they're simply not going to be achievable with your level of funds or organisational structure. But how do you decide what a reasonable timeframe is?
Carefully assess your data, and measure your progress towards your goals at pre-decided intervals along the way. With a deadline of a month, you might want to measure your pre-selected KPI after a week, for example. Are you on schedule to meet your target? With proper analysis, an accurate forecast is possible.
Paid advertising campaigns in particular offer you a clear Cost Per Acquisition figure which will let you discover if your campaign is on the money.
- Detail your content marketing plan
Your content marketing strategy is the key component when building an integrated online marketing plan for franchises. Your content needs to be:
- Fresh and engaging - exciting and noteworthy content attracts positive attention.
- Responsive to feedback and trends - you might like the content you're creating, but does your audience? You need to constantly monitor feedback you're receiving through tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insight.
Key to content creation is knowing your audience's likes and dislikes. Exercises such as creating a buyer persona (a fictitious individual of the sort who would be interested in your goods or services - for a franchise this could be a small business owner in your industry) as well as surveys and other market research tools, can help you in this area. You'll be doing more of this is in Step Six below.
You'll also need to decide on which marketing channels you're going to use. This will vary depending on your industry and your audience - because you'll only want to use channels that have a positive effect when working towards your goal. This could mean you need:
- Social media content creation
- Website content creation
- Blog posts and articles
- Video content creation
- Image content creation
- A mobile app
And possibly even more. The sheer amount of work and expertise required here means that in-house professional content creation is usually reserved for only the largest companies.
- Planning for paid campaigns
Paid campaigns are a powerful tool when expanding your franchise into new locations. That's because they offer you:
- Instant reach to your target audience - organic lead generation is an excellent method, but it can take a while for the results to start coming in. A paid campaign gets the ball rolling immediately.
- Clear tracking opportunities - which allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your strategy right from the start.
As you reach your goals, it's important that you know which of the marketing channels you're using are the most effective in getting you there. All channels will be working together to achieve the same goals, but if one channel isn't giving you the right amount of bang for your buck...
It's time to reassess your strategy.
- Write a market overview
The most vital bits of information you need when you're planning how to write a strategic marketing plan are about:
- Your competitors
- Your audience
- How much your audience can actually spend on your products
The same is true in franchise marketing.
This information will help you to understand how much your audience cares about the specific benefits that your product - in this case, your franchise - offers. Your advertising efforts can then be structured around the most important.
An international marketing plan template will need detailed market information regarding the competition and audiences in many locations.
But with professional knowledge and experience, you'll be able to calculate what your market share should be within a given budget with a high degree of accuracy.
- Communication and the sales funnel
You, as well as all of your sales team and account managers, should have a clear understanding of your sales funnel from the very start.
Each team member has a role in this process. Everyone should clearly understand their role, and how it relates to those of other teams.
The Final Step - Your Executive Summary
Much like the synopsis of a novel, the executive summary of your franchise marketing plan will give you all of the information relating to the "plot" at a glance. This quick-reference guide will be there to help remind you of key points, like figures for your goals, metrics you've chosen, timeframes decided on, and more.
You'll find a good marketing plan executive summary template below:
For further information regarding building a franchise online marketing plan, and a free report on the current effectiveness of your marketing, contact the expert team at Local Fame - cost and obligation-free.