Creating content for your franchise blog is an excellent way to reach current and prospective customers. But to do so effectively, you should have a strategic plan in place. Keep reading to uncover our blogging strategies to optimize this process.
Blogging on your main franchise website, as well as on your various location-specific microsites, can be a great way to increase traffic, generate and maintain customer engagement, position your brand as a thought leader, and convert website viewers into customers. Writing high-quality blogs can also help increase your visibility online through search-engine-optimization (SEO), as your posts can help you rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERP) for the topics you blog about.
Implementing blog posts on your website is a great way to showcase expertise within your industry, as it can help establish you as an expert surrounding the very products or services your franchise business offers. However, to obtain optimal results from these posts, you should first determine exactly who you are writing for and how you will get them to read your posts.
This post will cover three blogging opportunities that you as a franchise organization can consider, including some tips that you can implement throughout your posts to help optimize your blog.
1. Blogging for Current and Future Customers
Targeting customers is an effective blogging strategy because it often leads to more website traffic, which can be converted into sales. But before you get started, a question you should first ask yourself is, “what content are my current and prospective customers interested in?” After all, you are generating content on your blog with the hope of reaching your audience – the topics you select should reflect their interests and help answer their questions. From there, you can build your strategy around the answer to that question.
By providing relevant content that aligns with what your audience wants to know, they will hopefully convert to customers and possibly even share your content on social media, which further increases your blog’s reach. This can be especially important since 54% of internet users who regularly use social media use it to research products; if your blog readers are sharing your content on their social platforms, it can lead to greater visibility and higher conversion rates.
As we have mentioned in other articles, creating local content is an excellent way to generate website traffic (and potential sales) for your individual franchise locations, as each blog post can contain information that is specific to that store or area, which can help create local interest.
When writing this content, it is important to address customers (both current and prospective) using vocabulary that coincides with their communities. This means creating content or sharing information that is relevant not only to your business but to the people in your communities, as that is what your customers can identify with. For local franchise blog posts, that could mean referencing neighbourhoods, nearby landmarks, city-specific events, local sports teams, etc. It is that personalization aspect that customers are looking for, and it can help build an overall positive customer relationship with your business as a result.
Leaning into the specifics of a particular franchise location through blog content can help make a blog on a local microsite stand out. As a result, it can increase the chances of it being shared with others in the community and help create more local customers for your products/services.
Throughout your blog posts, link to other posts and/or to service pages on your website by hyperlinking certain terms or ideas to help readers discover more about the products or services you offer. This can be incredibly helpful if someone comes across your blog post first, such as from a search results page. Linking out to other websites throughout your content can also be beneficial, as it can provide credibility for the stats and the information you share, as well as encourage other sites to link to you. Combined, a singular blog post can act as a hub for readers to access information internally and externally.
If one of the goals of your blog is to address current and prospective customers through the content you create, it is important that you have a plan in place to determine exactly how you are going to do so. To effectively speak to your customers through your writing, you must first address their needs. What do consumers in your industry typically ask about? What are their pain points? Are there certain aspects of your products or services that involve further explanation? Is there a trending topic or issue currently in the news that is related to your industry? Does your customer service team get the same questions over and over? Whatever the case may be, planning what you are going to cover in each post can help you feel better prepared when posting.
One way to do this is by creating a content calendar; that way you know what your blog topics will be in a given period of time. One of the benefits is that it can help you strategize your content so that you are not writing about anything and everything. In other words, you should know why you are blogging and what your content serves to your target audience. Creating this content plan beforehand can help you feel more focused on the direction you want your blog posts to go.
Keep in mind that each blog post should cover one topic at a time – don’t try to fit six different topics in one article, as it can be confusing for customers and search engines alike! When writing blog posts, include keywords within your post, which can play an important role in customers discovering your topics. By covering one topic at a time, you can use more specific keywords about it. For example, if you run a franchise that sells paint, a blog post about choosing the right deck stain is more specific than one about choosing paint in general, and your keywords would be more niche, like “waterproof deck stain,” “deck sealer,” “exterior wood stain,” “painting pressure treated wood,” etc. This can optimize your SEO and increase the likelihood that someone will come across your content.
To understand what your customers are searching for on Google, it is important to conduct keyword research before deciding on your blog posts. This will help you deliver content that is both user and search engine friendly.
Bonus tips when writing blog posts for customers:
- Write using the active voice, not the passive voice
- Break down hard-to-understand information into easier terms
- Use research from credible sources to back up your writing, and link to your sources
- Let your writing be conversational yet informative
- Use images throughout your posts to help break up your content and increase SEO efforts
- Use your brand voice and stick to your style guide
- Look at the common questions/concerns raised by your current customers for topic inspiration
2. Blogging About Your Products or Services
Creating content strictly about your products or services can be a bit tricky, especially since 42% of consumersalready feel as though they see too much branded content on their social feeds. Consumers want to feel connected with a brand, and 53% say that starts when a brand’s values match their own, while 51% say a brand understands who they are and what their desires are. However, it can be extremely noticeable to consumers when brands are inauthentic or spend too much time in “sell” mode.
Your goal with blogging should be building relationships with customers and providing information, but if it feels like you are describing a problem and the only solution is your service, readers can feel like it is not genuine. A good way to move around this problem is by writing about topics that are trending, such as in the industry you are in. This way, you offer information to keep your readers informed, but you can also make the content very personalized to your company.
Blogging about the products or services you offer should feel authentic and illustrate that you have identified the needs of your customers. For instance, if you are a franchisee of a house cleaning business, writing a blog post about the most effective, non-toxic cleaning supplies on the market can help demonstrate you are skilled in your industry. However, if you outwardly promote only your business’s cleaning services throughout the post, a consumer may feel as though they are being deceived or that you do not have their best interest in mind.
It is also worth noting that while blogging about trends can help you stay current and generate greater reach, as using trending keywords within your content can increase the likelihood of someone coming across your content, creating evergreen content can also play an important role in your blogging strategy. Evergreen content remains relevant to readers regardless of timeliness. In other words, it is not a “one-hit wonder” kind of blog topic. Having posts that are relevant at any time of the year can help increase your search authority, especially when using long-tail keywords in your content that consumers are likely to use when searching for products or services.
3. Blogging for Potential Franchisees
Another blogging strategy for franchise systems, particularly for a franchise development section of your website, is to target potential franchisees. This means the content you create would strictly focus on topics related to franchising, and the style would be more informative compared to a storytelling tone.
This is a great option for franchise companies who want to acquire more franchisees, as the blog can act as a hub to learn more about the industry and your franchise system in particular. It can also be a great way to showcase some accomplishments and growth related to your franchise or at your locations, all of which can help entice those who are interested in your franchise to follow up.
Compared to the previous strategies discussed, this is obviously targeting quite a different audience, which means the way you write your content needs to be adjusted to their needs. For instance, someone who is interested in the franchise industry may already have a bit of background or familiarity with certain topics, so although it is important to provide information within your articles, it can be done so using a bit more industry-specific language, as long as you link off to definitions and further explanations.
Using this blogging strategy can also add some credibility and authenticity to your franchise. When writing content about the industry you are in, it not only positions you as an expert in the industry, but it demonstrates that your system is strong enough that you can inform others. This confidence can be very appealing to prospective franchisees because it illustrates there is experienced, knowledgeable support available to them.
Another positive about this blogging strategy is the chance for your posts to show up in search results. If your objective is to increase your number of franchisees, writing about the industry and using keywords related to franchising within your copy can help your website appear to potential franchisees who are looking for opportunities in that particular industry. Consequently, this can increase the likelihood of them reaching out.
Tip: Make sure to include a clear and enticing call-to-action at the end of each blog post so that readers can perform a follow-up step, such as filling out a form or downloading a brochure for more information.
Blogging Next Steps
Blogging can be a great way to bring attention to your franchise, and when you put a strategy in place, it can increase website traffic and attract potential customers. Blogging also allows for the opportunity to create conversations with current and prospective customers, both online and in-person, which can help build a greater customer relationship and offer long-term benefits.
Whether you are about to start a blog or the one you have needs a revamp, implementing a strategic plan for your content can offer your franchise organization greater opportunities for success.