Franchise advertising isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a tricky business that can yield amazing results when executed correctly, or waste valuable dollars on low-quality leads, or no leads at all. Whether you’re an experience franchisor, or novice franchisee, the following franchise advertising pitfalls explain exactly how some franchise digital marketers are missing the mark.

1. You don’t know your franchise candidate.

Understanding your target audience is the most important aspect of a good franchise advertising campaign. It is the launching off point, which means direction is key. Understanding your franchise candidate dictates what type of ad will perform best. Google ads by keyword search? Or social media ads by demographic? How much money do you need a candidate to have, and most importantly – what is driving them who your audience is, where to find them, what they’ll be attracted to, and how to entice them. With a clear understanding of who is searching for your type of concept, or who may simply take a fancy to it, you can better target your advertising dollars.

2. You are missing key messaging opportunities in franchise advertising.

Potential franchisees want to understand your brand and the people behind it. Although it is important to measure analytics, it is equally important to make an emotional connection with franchise candidates. In franchise advertising this is the right moment to showcase your leadership teams, validate your opportunity with success stories from thriving franchisees, and highlight support, training and other tangible deliverables that show what they receive for their investment,

3. You are using the wrong keywords. 

Keywords that attract the wrong audience defeat the great benefits of search in advertising. For example, if you are targeting potential franchisees, using a competitor name without adding the word “franchise” defeats the purpose of your efforts. Also, you must constantly monitor the terms being searched that cause your ad to appear. If you find your ad turning up in the wrong searches, in front of the wrong people, categorize those keywords as “negative keywords” to keep from accruing clicks that drive down your quality score (more on that below.)

4. Your Franchise advertising is on the wrong platform

Part of understanding your target audience is knowing where they “gather” on social media. Are you targeting male and female corporate executives? Look on LinkedIn. Blue collar 40-something foodies? Facebook. Entrepreneur majors and millennials? More likely to find them on Instagram and SnapChat. Social media platforms can be general or extremely specific, are often reasonably affordable and can be an asset to your overall franchise marketing campaign when utilized correctly. But caution should be used to monitor your results as your budget can quickly be exhausted.

5. You are missing an opportunity on Facebook.

Facebook can be great for franchise advertising because it is cheap, and can be very, very specific when it comes to your target market. It is possible to literally target someone like “female vegans who own dogs.” The trick, however, is to use video. If you aren’t using video on Facebook, you are wasting your advertising dollars when looking for prospective franchisees. We recommend a founder video between 60 and 90 seconds.

6. You are paying too much for a lead.

This is where analytics are extremely important. Every bit of advertising spend, with the exception of public relations, should be measurable and monitored. If you aren’t getting quality leads for the money you are spending, you should analyze, adapt and revamp. There are some great tools, like Agency Analytics, that will ensure you are tracking every source of lead that comes through your website.

7. Your landing page is poorly designed.

Landing pages exist to convert. If they are not capturing leads, you are doing it wrong. A good landing page offers a value proposition potential franchisees can’t refuse. Hook them with an eBook, an industry study, or something that explains exactly why they should become your newest franchisee. Keep in mind that 75% of your franchise leads will come from a mobile device. The landing page needs to quickly provide all the information they need to express interest without the need to navigate through several pages on your website.

8. You are using bad copy.

Spelling and grammar aren’t just for grade school. Misspelled words, run-on sentences, slang. These all bring an unprofessional vibe to your brand. Your franchise website, profile or blog often make the first impression to franchise candidates. If you fail to intelligently portray your franchise concept via written language, why would a potential franchisee believe you can intelligently support them in business?

9. You are ignoring your Google Quality Score.

Quality Score is a form of measurement (from 1-10) used by Google Ads to inform advertisers of the likelihood their campaign will perform well. If the score is low, that means your campaign is failing in one of these areas: key words, ads, a landing page that doesn’t correlate with the ad copy, or low user interaction on your site after they click the ad. The higher your quality score the lower your cost to show high in the search results.

10. You are not retargeting your online visitors.

If a visitor to your website leaves without converting, you should be showing ads to them as they browse other sites. These are called retargeting ads and are an inexpensive ad strategy that commonly results in a lower cost per lead.

11. Your franchise advertising isn’t popping up with the competition.

You should absolutely be placing search ads when someone searches for your competitor name. Be careful not to mention your competitor’s name in your ad copy as it could result in a cease and desist order, or worse.