May 22, 2024 The Print Authority

Print Collateral: The Ideal Franchise Marketing Strategy

When was the last time you saw a piece of marketing collateral that you loved? If it’s been a while since any marketing stood out to you, you’re not alone. Most of the marketing collateral out there is inconsequential and forgettable. 

It’s all too easy to create mediocre marketing materials that never make it into the history books, which makes high-quality collateral all the more important for your brand image. When you stand out and make a name for yourself, people will remember you. 

Developing an effective franchise marketing strategy takes some work, but it’s rewarding. Whether you’re creating your very first franchise marketing plan or you’re a seasoned franchise business owner, here’s what you need to know to create print marketing collateral that gets attention and inspires action. 

Understanding The Basics of Franchise Marketing Strategies

Franchise marketing is the process of building and executing a marketing strategy for a franchise. It can involve paper marketing, online marketing, social media, and in-person marketing, all of which make a positive impression on your target audience. 

Franchise marketing both promotes your franchise’s brand and helps franchisees generate leads to grow their business. These marketing strategies are effective on the micro and macro scale. 

People don’t magically show up at a new business’s door. An entire process has to happen successfully so that people do all of the following: 

  • Learn about your franchise
  • Decide that your franchise is worth visiting
  • Make an effort to show up

Your marketing strategy makes these three factors possible. It gets them in the right mindset to be receptive, gives them the information they need, and inspires them to take action. 

Your marketing strategy can target each of these goals individually, or all three at once. By using a range of media, you’re able to reach your consumer base at multiple points in their days and appeal to them in many ways.

The world of marketing is constantly evolving, and customers’ preferences are, too. Therefore, update your marketing strategy regularly to stay up to date with consumer trends. This increases interest and shows consumers that you provide what they need. 

Refreshing your marketing campaign makes you more competitive, as you’re demonstrating to your audience that you’re aware of what they need and that you provide what they’re looking for. 

The Role of Print Collateral in the Franchise Business Model

Print marketing plays a key role in any successful franchise marketing strategy. Superb print materials are convincing and long-lasting, and they make a mark on readers. 

Effective print marketing is memorable. When reading on a screen, text makes less of an impact. You’ve probably had the experience of speed-scrolling through articles or closing tabs and popup ads without remembering a single word, right? 

When reading on paper, you’re much more likely to absorb what you read. Reading a piece of paper rather than on a screen increases both comprehension and retention of what a person reads. Providing your target group with paper marketing collateral helps them remember you. 

Paper products are also more permanent than digital. While a website or an online ad disappears the second a reader scrolls or clicks away, a paper flyer or mailer is easier to keep around. People even put effective materials on their fridges, so they see them every day. If you want to produce products with a long shelf life that are easy on your marketing budget, print is the way to go. 

Best Practices for Creating Effective Print Collateral

Compelling marketing materials inspire readers and increase profits. Here is how to print materials that get your point across and convince readers to take action. 

Proper Design and Consistent Branding 

When it comes to print marketing best practices, including your franchise’s design and branding on every item is one of the most important steps you can take. 

Marketing is a two-way street: readers will apply their current knowledge of the franchise to any marketing materials they receive, and all materials will influence their ideas and opinions about the franchise as a whole. By including the franchise design and branding in your collateral, you benefit from any positive associations your readers have with the franchise. 

If you’re building a franchise or multi-location business from the ground up, part of the process is creating your design and branding guidelines. This includes deciding on the typefaces and colors that your franchise will use in its logo and branding, as well as the general style that materials should incorporate. If your franchise already has existing design and brand guidelines, make sure to follow those. Lean into brand archetypes, such as the ones below, if they fit your franchise’s identity. 

As you’re creating your print collateral and brand identity, an important part of the process is ensuring that your design works with the type of product you’re creating. If you’re printing a brochure, for example, consider which brochure folding best helps you organize the information you’re presenting. If you’re designing a sales sheet, arrange your images, text, and white space so that readers quickly understand your franchise’s benefits. 

Arrange your headlines and images to direct readers towards your call to action. By maximizing your design’s effectiveness, you increase the chance that readers will be receptive to your ideas. 

Content Guidelines

As you develop your franchise’s marketing strategy, keeping content and tone consistent across materials and locations is a must. On the front end, establish what kind of content you want to produce and which channels it will be distributed through. This will provide structure and guidelines for everyone creating content. 

While some marketing will be handled by the parent company and the franchise as a whole, franchisees will also develop some of their own print collateral. Enforcing content guidelines ensures that all marketing materials, no matter where they are produced, contribute to the same company image and provide the same brand message. 

Create content guidelines that provide clarity about the following in your franchise marketing efforts: 

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Numbers
  • Capitalization
  • Titles
  • Content length
  • Tone
  • Franchise-specific words and topics

You are in charge of making sure that all franchisees produce materials with the same values, so provide examples of content that is in line with your franchise. You can even note specific words and phrases that the marketing team should or should not use. This will encourage a united image at every location nationwide. 

If you’re looking for an easy way for franchisees to access collateral that fits your content guidelines, use a customized web-to-print portal. The franchise owner can design the materials, which franchisees can order directly to their location. This ensures that all materials nationwide match in both content and brand identity. 

Printing and Distribution Strategies

Deciding how frequently to distribute print materials can take some thought. If you’re mailing print collateral to potential customers, sending mail every twenty-one days is an effective timespan. This exposes recipients to your ideas and branding so that they keep you in mind without feeling overwhelmed. 

Working with a professional printing company gives you access to great materials, including a range of papers and printing technologies, to ensure that you receive the products you’re looking for. They also offer all of the finishing processes that make your marketing look great, including die cutting, UV coating, folding, and lamination

It’s important to be able to get the print items you need when you need them. When you partner with a print company that offers on-demand printing services, you know that the items you need are just a click away. With on-demand printing, your print partner keeps digital files of your materials, and you request more when you need them for your franchise locations. This eliminates waste, lowers costs, and increases flexibility; plus, franchisees don’t need to store huge stacks of materials in-house.

Print Collateral And Other Marketing Channels

Executing an effective marketing strategy means developing materials across a range of channels that work together to get your message across. By combining materials, franchise owners create a recipe for success. 

Think of it like a sports team: every member has their own role, and they work together to make goals. Your marketing materials work in the exact same way. Each element of your marketing strategy has a different form, reaches different people, and serves a different purpose. When combined, they work together to reach your target audience effectively and convince them to make a purchase or take action. 

Choosing the best franchise development marketing channels for your particular business and strategy depends on your sector, your target demographic, and your intended goal. There’s no one solution that works for every business, so you can pick and choose the strategies that will help you the most. If you’re looking for advice, work with marketing professionals to ensure that you’re building a plan that will make the impact you’re looking for. 

Social Media Marketing

Did you know that there are an estimated 5.17 billion social media users? And that the average social media user spends 143 minutes per day on social media? Marketing on social media platforms is an easy way to be seen. 

Social media marketing also increases your presence in your target group’s eyes and humanizes your business. It’s a place for you to be responsive and incorporate yourself into people’s daily lives. 

Depending on your target audience and your digital marketing strategy, the specific social media sites you will want to focus your time and energy on can differ. Some social networks where you should maintain an active presence might include: 

  • Facebook. Franchisees can have their own accounts where they provide updates and posts about local events, opening hours, and special deals, and they can repost content from the corporate account. By responding to comments and answering questions, you demonstrate that you care about the customer experience. 
  • Instagram. On Instagram, make your business look beautiful. A picture’s worth a thousand words, which makes every Instagram post an important canvas. No matter your sector, you can use Instagram to attract attention: provide food or design inspiration, announce special offers, and get your branding out there!
  • TikTok. It’s not just young people who are on TikTok these days. The popular video platform will soon have a billion active users of all ages, and the platform’s algorithm makes it an effective way to reach your target audience. 

If you want to increase your posts’ visibility, consider investing in paid social media advertising, which will get you seen by an even wider audience. You can opt for social media advertising for users in your target demographics, which can lead to higher ROI. 

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases profits by increasing your visibility on Google and other search engines. Incorporating SEO into your franchise’s marketing strategy involves using high-traffic keywords on your website, as well as regularly posting informative content that your target audience will want to read. 

By establishing yourself as a thought leader in your sector and posting content that your readers find useful, Google will place your website more highly, which will help more people find your website. 

In addition to using high-traffic keywords, make your articles easily readable. Include multiple H2 and H3 headings on your website so readers can skim to find the information they’re looking for quickly. Include internal and external links, which help readers find more information about related topics. 

SEO is a strategy that can take some time to work, so stick with it. Don’t expect immediate results; by posting regularly over a long period of time, you’ll see results from your content marketing strategy. 

Email Marketing (& Direct Mail)

When you want to reach out to your target group directly, direct mail and email marketing is the way to go. When you initiate contact regularly, you keep a regular presence in your target group’s minds, which makes them more likely to think of you.

Direct mail and email marketing can include all of the following:

  • Advertising a sale
  • Announcing a new franchise location
  • Raising awareness about a new product or seasonal update
  • Sending information about your sector or long-form thoughts (more common over email)
  • Directing readers to your website

When designing marketing emails, make it easy for readers to take action. Make all relevant text and images into active links to your website, which makes it easy for them to learn more and make a purchase. 

Public Relations Campaigns

A public relations campaign is an organized opportunity to increase or change your impact on your target group. You can build a public relations campaign around a product, an update, or your franchise itself. A successful public relations campaign can take a range of forms, including: 

  • Community relations. This type of campaign builds a positive relationship between your franchise and a specific community. It often involves organizing local events, which takes a large number of resources but develops deep and lasting connections with community members. 
  • Media relations. When you do this kind of public relations campaign, you build relationships with media channels that can portray you positively. This involves working with bloggers, journalists, and influencers to create a positive image.
  • Strategic communications. A strategic communications campaign spreads a single strong message across multiple channels.
  • Public affairs. When you create a public affairs campaign, you develop relationships with politicians and research how you can influence political actors. 

Public relations campaigns include a range of tactics, strategies, and materials that can influence your target audience. Print materials play an important role in these campaigns, so consider which materials will benefit your campaign most. 

Depending on your goals, you can send mailers to households, distribute flyers in well-trafficked parts of town, or hand out stickers or bumper stickers to spread your logo far and wide. Your paper materials bring your ideas to life. 

Future Trends in Franchise Marketing

Marketing is a constant need, and best practices are constantly evolving. It’s important to stay on top of current and future franchise marketing trends in order to create strategies that accomplish your goals. 

One strongly emerging marketing trend is an increase in artificial intelligence (AI). AI can assist with simple tasks, letting employees focus on more meaningful work, as well as analyze consumer data and trends. 

While technology influences some aspects of marketing, other trends are constant. Print marketing is a staple of marketing, and it isn’t going away. Take for example the return to physical menus after the COVID-19 pandemic: while QR codes were extremely popular for a short period, physical menus quickly reemerged as the reigning menu form. Print marketing is a foundational marketing material, which people have always relied on and will continue to do so. 

Get Started With The Print Authority

Successfully executing a franchise marketing strategy takes a village, and The Print Authority is ready to be part of your village. With over three decades of experience creating effective and inspiring marketing materials for franchises of all sizes, we provide the high-quality products that help you make an impression on the people who need it most. 

We specialize in working with rapidly growing franchises with multiple business locations. We have the resources and production capacity to scale up with you and provide collateral for every franchise location. We also offer custom print portals featuring pre-approval so that every location can order the marketing materials they need without the hassle. 

If you’re looking for a full-service printing company that can provide the printing for your franchise marketing strategy, working with The Print Authority is the solution you’re looking for. To get started, contact The Print Authority to learn about the benefits we can offer your business!