Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Over the past decade, selling franchises has become an extremely competitive business, and any advantage that one brand can develop, cultivate and deploy can make or break annual sales goals. Now more than ever, video marketing and production is beginning to fill that void. According to an internal survey from Franchise IQ, 87% of its customers indicated that the use of video — especially testimonials — was an important factor in their decision to purchase a franchise opportunity. Why is that? Because videos create lasting impressions in the minds of current and future customers.
For franchisors, the full version of the sales funnel is an important aspect of the brand’s marketing program and initiatives. From a comprehensive standpoint, it’s important to deploy resources that have a profound effect during every stage, including the top, middle and bottom of the funnel. Visuals — whether in print or video — are an incredibly powerful tool for conveying information and creating a connection with potential customers and franchisees —which isn’t surprising considering people spend a third of their time online watching videos.
Here, we’ll look at the specific type of video content that can help franchisors maximize their sales funnel potential at each stage of the buyer’s journey. As you’ll see, video just happens to be one aspect of the marketing mix that can be initialized in all three sectors. Here’s how:
Top of the funnel videos
At the top end of your franchise sales funnel, the most valuable type of video simply introduces customers and prospects to your brand. Videos featuring the brand’s CEO or founder are great for this purpose because they give viewers an understanding of who is behind the company while creating a personal connection. But the C-suite is by no means the only recommended option for spokespersons. It can also be effective to feature current franchisees that have developed and maintained a successful operation under the brand’s watchful eye.
Additionally, this stage is also an opportunity to create videos that respond to the most common objections prospects may have about a particular franchise opportunity. Lastly, for the top end of the funnel, it’s recommended that brands develop videos that cover the many different candidate personas, for the purpose of establishing a personal connection with prospective franchisees. Ultimately, the top of the funnel is where brands should showcase their story, explained in simple terms that are easy to comprehend and evaluate.
Middle of the funnel Videos
As for the middle of your sales funnel, this is a great opportunity to focus on building trust between the franchisors and potential candidates. This is precisely where franchisee testimonial videos come into play. How so? Because this is the moment to demonstrate how real entrepreneurs have benefitted from becoming part of your growing franchise family.
The middle of the funnel can also be a suitable time to feature videos that reveal the actual level of support candidates can expect from the brand. These videos can be extremely convincing because they show exactly whom the prospective owners will be working with on a day-to-day basis once they themselves become owners.
Another effective middle of the funnel video includes the popular “day-in-the-life” montages, featuring typical routines at the office — or home office if it’s a remote-based concept. This is an opportunity for candidates to get a sense of what their own lives might be like as owners of the brand.
One caveat here: Don’t skimp on the storytelling aspect of this stage. You don’t exactly want a movie-length segment, but it’s important for people to see something that truly reflects franchise ownership with the brand. Done right, this video can really paint a picture, convincing a candidate that they, too, can succeed as a franchise owner and enjoy a better life and future.
Bottom of the funnel videos
When it comes to the bottom of your sales funnel, this is the time to create hype about the impending discovery day. Why is this important? Because it’s the literal crossroads where potential candidates make their final decision on whether or not to join your growing franchise family!
What might a good hype video look like? A great way to approach this stage is a video that demonstrates all there is to learn about being a part of the franchise family — especially the nitty gritty details like systems and operations. Quick jump cuts of interrelated scenes can not only be effective but entertaining as well!
To close out examples of good bottom of the funnel videos, it’s important to round out the whole experience. Make sure your potential customers know they’ll soon be welcomed into the franchise family. A great example is a quick “sizzle-style” highlight reel highlighting all of the corporate employees working as a team. A “welcome to the family” montage might just be the emotional closer you need to get that candidate to sign on the dotted line.
More and more, video content is proving its worth as an effective tool for engaging customers and increasing conversions. It can be a vital part of any marketing strategy, but it’s proven exceptionally effective for franchisors. By taking a comprehensive approach that breaks down the type of videos you should be creating at each of the three sales funnel stages, you can be sure that your strategy is well thought out and well planned. Video is indeed a powerful medium. It’s quite an effective way to demonstrate to prospects that they aren’t just buying into a concept — they’re buying into a family that cares about their success as an entrepreneurial small business owner.