Recruiting franchisees, is it all about Google?
Are you recruiting franchisees for your franchise business? Franchisee recruitment can be extremely difficult. Lead generation can be expensive & generally conversion rates are very low. Their are other methods to generate leads including events & exhibitions but in this article my focus is online lead generation activities as for many it is more cost effective & a prospective franchisee can access the information 24/7. So is recruiting franchisees all about Google?
Search engines in the UK
Google are the leading search engine in the UK, the UK search engine market share according to Statista is a follows;
- Google – 87.46%
- Bing – 8.2%
- Yahoo – 2.24%
- DuckDuckGo – 0.71%
So if that’s the case why bother optimising your website for any other search engine other than Google? Well let’s put this into perspective. Bing also provides search results for Yahoo there the total market share for Bing results is actually 10.44%, more but not much? Well consider this Bing on it’s website claims to have a huge 21.6% of the UK desktop search, that’s 378 million searches each month just in the UK!
Why use Bing? Lower CPL, increased ROI
So what does the above mean for your business as a Franchisor? Bing has far less competition, both for organic & paid search. This equates to more organic traffic, lower click costs for paid search leading to a better Return On Investment ( ROI ) & lower Cost Per Lead ( CPL ). At Franchise UK we have always considered the huge potential of the Bing network & our website ranks highly for hundreds of high volume search terms & the Bing network has helped us generate thousands of leads for our advertisers.
SEO versus Paid Search ( PPC )
So if you are going to use search engines to drive franchisee recruitment leads where do you focus your attention, organic search ( SEO ) or paid search ( PPC )? Ideally you need to use both but SEO is a long process, you do not get instant results. Organic does take time to build so you need to make sure you have a long term budget allocation for SEO. Paid search is an instant result, search engines make billions from paid search & the benefit of paid search is that regardless of where you rank from an SEO point of view as all paid results are above organic results you can compete with any business regardless of their size. When running paid search also consider Bing. You can import Google Ads campaigns in minutes into Bing & benefit from less competition, lower click costs & better ROI. I would suggest put say 10% of your paid search budget into Bing for a month, track where the leads come from & the CPL & see if it works for you.
Don’t try to put a square peg through a round hole!
BIG warning with all paid search which anyone that has read previous articles or a post I wrote on LinkedIn a while back will know. Don’t try to put a square peg through a round hole! What do I mean by this? Well let’s say you own a food related franchise & you are using paid search to drive franchisee recruitment leads. Search terms like “franchise”, “franchises”, “franchise uk” etc get lot’s of searches & the paid search tools will dangle these in front of you when creating your campaign as suggestions, why? Obviously they want you to spend more money, more searches equals more spend & higher click costs but are these going to work for your business?
Let’s say in the above example, your are marketing a food related franchise & someone searches “franchise”, is this likely to be a cost effective way to drive leads? Firstly being that “franchise” is a high volume search term it will have LOT’S of competition which means will cost you a lot more per click. Secondly how do you know someone that clicks on this is actually interested in a food franchise? You could argue that the narrative of the advert will make it clear you are a food franchise so surely only people interested in this sort of franchise would click right? Wrong. People click on ads all the time out of curiosity, sometimes errors, particularly with mobile searches ( I know I do all the time with my stubby fingers! )
Track everything. When running any paid search regardless of which search engine you need to know the following;
- What is the search term, not keyword that has triggered the conversion/lead?
- What is the Cost Per Lead ( CPL )?
- What is the level of engagement, by search term?
The above will enable you to remove the dead wood in your campaign & drive more quality leads at a better CPL. At Franchise UK we use a state of the art lead conversion platform for this we have used for 4 years that even advertisers can see where the leads come from.
Using social media to drive quality franchisee recruitment leads
So other than searches engines how else can you drive quality franchisee recruitment leads online? We have found social media very successful for driving quality leads. As mentioned above we invested in a state of the art lead conversion platform almost 4 years ago & this provided us with very valuable data. What we saw was not just that we generated quality leads from social media but which platforms & which type of activities worked for us so we could invest in the areas that would directly benefit our advertisers, here’s what we found;
- Facebook – We have found this to be #1 in terms of lead generation for us, why? Facebook is a platform for individuals. It has great tools to target demographically to both build followers & drive leads. Franchise UK has invested heavily in Facebook & now has over 50 pages & groups & a following of over 10,000 people, most selected demographically with an interest in franchising or business opportunities. We run both organic & paid campaigns ongoing to build our audience.
- Twitter – This has not been as effective as Facebook but we have driven thousands of leads via Twitter & Franchise UK has over 8,000 followers. Paid boosts are also very useful for certain posts & the beauty of Twitter is delivery/exposure is VERY fast so great for short term campaigns
- LinkedIn – This #3 for us. We do drive leads but not to the extent of the other two platforms.
Test & measurement. As I mentioned above regarding paid search you need to be able to track all lead conversions so you know where they are from, what they cost & the engagement level from them to know what’s effective for you. The same applies for social media marketing.
About Franchise UK
Franchise UK has generated thousands of franchisee recruitment leads each year for Franchisors for almost 16 years. Franchise UK has over 32,000 email subscribers, over 10,000 SMS subscribers. Franchise UK is at the forefront of use of the latest technologies to maximise leads for our advertisers including;
- Free access to our state of the art lead platform with every campaign. See where the leads come from & even connect directly into your CRM, never type a lead again!
- Phone leads – Our platform can generate call tracking numbers we can direct anywhere, allow hot leads to call you & track the calls.
- SMS marketing – Send to over 10,000 franchise seekers via SMS. Faster delivery, no spam
- Great value, advertising packages from just £79 a month! Find out more