So, what exactly is Franchise Cloud?

If you could find one platform where you could organise and manage all your franchise resources, why wouldn’t you use it!

As your franchise brand grows, you may start to come across niggly little issues, which if not dealt with, can lead to bigger problems. Especially when it comes to centralising marketing for a growing network of franchisees or controlling the often numerous informational resources. Here at Coconut, we understand franchising, and we understand how to help you achieve your goals, whether this is for recruitment, marketing, or keeping your franchisees on track. Which is why we have people in the team who are now working at resolving your system problems… not quite around the clock, but definitely at times when the rest of us are asleep!

Have you met Adam Knight, AKA Big Ad? He is passionate about helping you resolve issues you’ve shared with us, some of which you may not yet be aware you have. “We’ve been working on Franchise Cloud for 18 months, it started as a system which would allow us to work with whole franchise networks, not just with a franchise’s Head Office, for things like digital marketing and reporting. When someone is running online advertising for hundreds of franchisees, for example, we’ve experienced how difficult it can be to easily administer payments, issue reporting and regular network wide updates instead of email/telephone calls for each separate franchisee.”

So frustrating!

If you’ve also encountered this type of issue with your network, you’ll know, first-hand, how frustrating it can become. Which is why Adam, and the team, set about finding a solution. “We’ve created a system which allows Head Office to easily manage all of the resources the whole network needs to be successful, but also empowers franchisees to login, communicate with HQ, access anything they need and see their personal reports. They can also direct questions to HQ or the Coconut team as a marketing partner if we’re working on their campaigns, to ask for changes, without Head Office having to act as a go-between. Franchisees can also manage their payments, and receive regular updates on how their campaigns are performing, comparing data from across the network.”

Wait, there’s more!

We quickly realised Franchise Cloud could offer clients even more! As a hub, you can upload your operations manual, marketing collateral and templates, manage your franchisees’ websites or even their email marketing campaigns. “This isn’t some off-the-shelf software,” Ads continues. “Because we understand franchising, we know how unique every brand is. So, we tailor your Franchise Cloud to your specific needs. We use a franchise-aware, user-permissions system, to drive what people in your franchise network need to see and do. This ranges from Head Office to franchisee staff, to your marketing partners. Every module within Franchise Cloud can understand the various roles and relationships which make-up your business.

Your problems, our solution

We love franchising, which probably sounds twee! But, it’s what inspires us to never just be a supplier to our clients. “We aim to become a trusted expert partner,” Ads continues. “So, we see and hear directly, the problems which come from running a successful franchise system. The key issues we kept hearing were around centralisation, organisation, and controlling access to confidential information. There were also issues around permissions and how to, for example, share training videos in such a way they can’t be saved or shared outside the network. By building additional functionality within our internal client management tool, we believe we’ve empowered franchisors to keep control over who in your network can access any single piece of content.”

But, we’re not quite done!

As you can imagine, software is always being developed and improved, as new technology is created. “We’re currently recording a host of tutorial videos which will show exactly how each part of the system works,” Ads explains. “These will also show you how you can easily manage your content within the system, and how to manage some of the administrative tasks involved with keeping a network organised and successful, from within Franchise Cloud. There’s so much scope with Franchise Cloud, to bring you an efficient system which enables you to operate your franchise the way you need to, without any compromises. This is our ultimate goal.”

To find out more about Franchise Cloud, take a look on our website, or give us a call to arrange an in-depth discussion around your needs.

Content trends for attracting audience attention

In our Whiteboard Weekly #44, Adam highlighted the trends we’re seeing in Google for franchise recruitment. To help focus your content, Steph offers insight into how to aim it at what audiences want.

When thinking about what content to create it would be great – though a bit weird – if we could read audiences’ minds to know what they actually want! Sometimes, it can feel discouraging to create what you think is amazing content, to then check the post’s performance and realise literally no one has engaged with it. Am I right?!

However, by observing consumer trends, we gain valuable insight into what’s important enough to people for them to engage with. It’s important to be aware of these things, rather than sticking rigidly to a content plan you developed at the start of the year. If you can hit a “hot topic” whilst staying on brand – hit it hard, with passion, and gusto!

Reading your audience

In Coconut’s workshop at the bfa conference, I shared details about what consumers are currently attentive to. It determines the kind of content are search for and look at, because it’s forefront in their minds. It comes as no surprise to know we’ve seen a massive shift, likely a result of the pandemic. Right now, people are most attentive to content around:

  1. Health: Protective of their health (& family’s), choosing to be safe, and minimise risk
  2. Planet: Seeking to minimize their impact on environment
  3. Society: Working together for the greater good
  4. Experience:Living in the moment to make the most of life

What this means, as you think about content for your recruitment and core marketing, is how you can create content people will want to see. It’s not quite mind-reading, but it’s the next best thing.

So, because we know people are more protective over their health – physical and mental – focus content within this framework. Because we know people long to have a positive impact on the planet and their communities, use this angle to highlight how they can. And because we know, people want to enjoy life after lockdowns, by living more in the moment, show them how it’s possible.

Is your creative mind thinking, yet?

When I first saw this list, my brain started thinking about the what we could create for our clients. Maybe, yours is firing off left, right and centre in the same way?

If not, here are some ideas for the kind of content you could produce:

  1. For a number of years, franchising was unique because franchisees could enjoy work-life balance. This hasn’t changed, but it’s no longer unique. Use case studies, vlogs, photos etc. to show this isn’t just words; talk about the real life health and wellbeing benefits your franchisees and/or customers experience.
  2. Businesses are encouraged to aim for net zero. For some individuals, it’s also about being a responsible person, and doing “my bit for the environment”. Within your brand, you’re likely using systems, strategies, services etc for greener, cleaner living. Talk about them. Talk about the benefit to the environment. Talk about what running a business with you achieves.
  3. During the pandemic, stories emerged of the kindness of humanity. Delivery drivers checked on isolated customers, pausing to have a chat, companies and individuals made-up care packages for those in isolation, and people donated food parcels. But, these stories aren’t restricted to the pandemic. In January, one of our clients connected me with five of their franchisees, all giving back to others. These stories hit a chord with people, inspiring them to do the same. Share them.
  4. Living in the moment can be hindered by employment, sometimes! Talk about the kind of experiences you and your network have. Working from a campervan whilst touring the UK? Working from a beach in the middle of winter? Dreamt of racing a yacht around the Greek Islands? These are real stories I’d written for clients. Tell yours; inspire your audience.

Show, not just tell

I love words – I love writing them, I love reading them… but I’m conscious of the fact a picture is worth a thousand of them. Your content should include all mediums on your social media channels. Photos and videos “in the moment” shared to stories and reels, as well as pre-recorded, scripted videos, and photoshoot images.

They should be real, they should be vivid, and they should demonstrate the reality of you, your brand, and your network. Authenticity has become more than an online buzzword, it’s become the key to engaging your audience.

Curious about where to find your stories in your network? Speak to us about a Coconut strategy day.

Whiteboard Weekly #34 – Using Video Marketing During COVID-19

Without even noticing, we have all become video marketers in the past few weeks! This may have only been a Zoom call with colleagues, but it shows that during this time, video communication is the number one way to deliver your message.

I believe that the businesses who communicate via video through this crisis, and continue to be ‘visible’, will have a stronger audience to show for it! In this video, I talk over the new importance of video marketing ‘now’ and some ideas on the types of videos you could be creating.

Whiteboard Weekly #33 – Franchise Recruitment Update (COVID-19)

In my last franchise recruitment update in January, I spoke about how post-Brexit we could be seeing a better year for overall interest in franchising. Cleary the events of the last few weeks have changed any predictions made for this year!

At this very moment, things are tough, no doubt. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that what’s to come could be very exciting for franchise recruitment!

Insights from the PR Industry

Can the franchise industry benefit from the type of content the PR industry are publishing?

Just as we see spikes in Google searches, there are spikes in the type of content journalists – on and off line – produce. The journalism trends below, show the types of articles and PR, journalists are currently publishing.

What you might not expect to see, because of the prevalent focus on “Coronavirus” and “Covid-19”, is an increase in published articles about “Franchising”, “Run a business” and “Work from Home”.

At Coconut Creatives, we’ve always maintained, based on our knowledge of Google Searches during previous economic uncertainties, how well franchising does at times like this. Now, based on the PR industry, you can see this to be true at this current moment.

“Work from home”:

“Run a Business”

“Franchising”

What this means for you?

This the opportune time for you to raise awareness of your brand, and support your local journalist. Source good news stories from within your network. For example, I know of franchisees who are supporting the NHS, supporting people in isolation, or rushing PPE/equipment to hospitals. 

These real life stories are exactly what your local journalists are looking for. It is a great way for your brand to be named, and people will remember it, when this is all over.

Not sales: brand awareness. Now is not the time to push your brand or your key messaging. Now is the time to show how you and your network are actively supporting the fight against Covid-19. If published, the journalists will come back to you after all this, to ask for other stories – which will be your time to share more of your brand’s key messaging.

For further information on how to do this, email steph@coconutcreatives.co.uk

 

Source: MuckRack

Whiteboard Weekly #32 – Native Communications

Communication has changed immensely, and continues to do so all the time. But how often do you adapt how you communicate with your prospects?

Most businesses still rely heavily on phone calls and email, and I’m guessing you do too. Whilst these are still valid methods, most people today use text-based communications, like WhatsApp and Messenger. These are where people feel most comfortable, or you could say, more ‘native’. Are you able to reach your audience through these means? Developing how your business uses new technology to communicate is the best way to optimise all opportunities for reaching your prospects.