Instagram advertising requires additional considerations to meet the complex needs of franchise systems. Let's look at some strategies franchise brands can use to leverage instagram ads and achieve marketing objectives.
With its inception in 2010, Instagram has rapidly evolved into a thriving social media network with a broad and diverse user base. Now, with over 1 billion active users and growing, Instagram stands as one of the largest social media platforms globally. With its emphasis on visual storytelling, a large and engaged user base, and a continuous stream of innovative features, Instagram enables individuals and brands to maintain meaningful connections with each other.
Instagram is an invaluable platform for brands. With a free business account, companies have access to a vast and diverse audience of engaged users and visual and interactive features that allow brands to create content to showcase their products and services and organically connect with their audience on a personal level. With 90% of Instagram users following a business account, 200 million Instagram users viewing one business profile or more daily, and 60% of users actually purchasing new products found on Instagram, it is an essential tool that brands should utilize.
In addition to organically creating and using an Instagram brand page, brands can create paid ad campaigns to target specific audiences. Business accounts have access to a diverse range of ad formats, including single image ads, story ads, reel ads, carousel ads, video ads, collections, and explore ads, allowing brands to create visually engaging content to achieve marketing objectives.
Instagram ads that include sponsored content can closely resemble organic posts, which can create an immersive experience that seamlessly integrates with the user’s feed. Paid ads are clearly labelled with a sponsored indicator for transparency and allow brands to include a CTA button with a clickable URL. This feature directs users to the destination that the brand intends.
As with any advertising platform, there are optimal approaches to creating effective Instagram ads for franchises; tailoring the ads to suit the specific requirements of franchise brands adds an extra layer of complexity.
Franchise systems can face several challenges when it comes to creating effective ads that perform consistently across a diverse network of locations.
Let’s look at how franchise brands can best leverage Instagram advertising to achieve objective and marketing goals.
Ensure a Locally Relevant Focus
Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all campaign to cover a wide network of locations, franchise brands should focus on creating relevant localized ads. Ads localized to regions or communities have consistently outperformed generic campaigns, primarily because they resonate with consumers on a more personal level. Adding locally relevant copy and images has been shown to increase engagement and superior results, yielding highly effective and high-performing advertising campaigns.
Instagram ads can be localized through imagery by including photos or videos with local landmarks or community storefronts that consumers may recognize as being in their neighbourhood. Ad copy can be tailored to local addresses or neighbourhoods, local community preferences, upcoming events, localized offers, and even real-time local weather conditions. This approach ensures that ads are relevant to the audience and create a feeling of being personal, thus enhancing the campaign’s overall impact.
Localized advertising can be achieved by allowing franchisees to create their own ads, or by using software that dynamically changes the ads based on the franchise location it is targeting. Once localized, ads can then be targeted to audiences in specific regions or communities, bringing us to the next opportunity for franchise brands to leverage with Instagram ads: precise targeting.
Use Precise Targeting
Paid social media advertising allows franchise brands to target their audience quite precisely. In fact, Instagram ads are fully integrated with the Meta Ads Manager Account, which means brands have access to Facebook’s superior campaign customization options and targeting capabilities.
Brands can take advantage of demographic and behavioral data targeting options to expand their reach and connect with a custom audience, targeting people based on location, interests, keywords, past purchases, and even their similarity to a core audience.
This is key from a franchise brand perspective, as it allows the franchise to target consumers specifically in the areas where they operate. Audiences can be targeted broadly by country or region or locally by postal code and even specific address radius. Instagram ads also allow brands to target audiences specifically via geo-fencing, which allows an exact location to be pinpointed, a radius selected, and then the addition of location exclusions to create a very tight, specific geo-fenced radius to target. Defining a geo-fenced radius may be ideal for locations situated close together but with different owners or recently opened locations running a “grand opening” campaign targeting their community.
On top of localized targeting, franchise brands can also build local audiences and unique data sets for each community as they have their own unique characteristics, demographics, and preferences.
Instagram ads also allow brands to create look-a-like audiences that share similar interests with their current customers and who will likely be interested in a brand based on demographics, interests, purchase history, and behaviours. This allows franchise brands to target a broader but qualified audience, which can further be refined by location.
Create Consistent Content
With a diverse network of locations that can often spread over a vast area with differing demographics, owners, and audiences, it is still important to maintain a consistent brand image across the entire franchise network. Franchise brands can do this through centralized local advertising, which ensures that all marketing messaging, images, and targeting align with the brand’s overall strategy but are customized to meet local preferences.
One way to ensure a consistent brand image while still accounting for localized customization is to create a library of approved images and ad copy that can be utilized by franchisees to create Instagram ads across the network. This allows individual locations to run additional ads and contribute to ad spend and individual location performance while maintaining brand consistency.
Franchise brands can also leverage A/B testing for both national campaigns and localized ad variations. A/B testing is ideal for franchise brands to make data-driven decisions about what ad creative and ad copy resonates best for individuals in a particular area or which targeting strategy drives the best performance, helping to refine localized results.
A/B testing also allows franchise brands to identify audience preferences, refine customized ad content for localized areas, and optimize ad performance across a vast network of locations to benefit both the franchise as a whole and each individual location and franchisee owners.
Optimize Local Spend and Performance
Another opportunity for franchise brands is the ability to fine-tune their Instagram ads strategy by optimizing local budgets and monitoring the performance of localized ads.
Franchise brands can strategically distribute budgets based on the unique needs of local markets, the potential for market expansion, and the performance of individual franchise locations. Additionally, franchise locations or owners can add an additional budget behind ads in their area to reach a larger audience and gain more business for their franchise.
Franchise brands can also analyze results and adjust their spending or campaign content on a location basis to ensure ads perform based on key performance indicators and modify strategies and budgets accordingly.
Instagram ads are a highly beneficial social media advertising platform for franchise brands, providing the flexibility to implement strategies that cater to the diverse needs of their entire network of locations while delivering on marketing objectives. Within the larger franchise system, individual franchise locations have unique marketing opportunities based on location and customer preferences.