Famous Brands’ iconic Mrs. Fields and TCBY brands leveraged a robust content marketing strategy to generate brand awareness and leads, resulting in a significant increase in lead generation via their franchise-specific site www.franchise.tcby.com. Let’s take a look at a case study to see how this was accomplished.
The challenge The Producers team faced was introducing a content marketing approach that franchisors may not know exists nor fully realize how it can benefit their business.
Around 2012, The Producers saw other B2B companies in its industry embracing content marketing, so they decided to implement that strategy as well to increase brand awareness for Famous Brands.
The team wanted to be at the forefront of the trend by providing valuable and relevant content to prospects for all parts of the sales cycle.
Since beginning its journey into content marketing, The Producers’ strategy has evolved to engage prospects through the sales process at the most opportune time.
The team developed creative content to help prospective prospects engage with Famous Brands.
“Content marketing has proven to be an effective and very important lead generation tool. We’re feeding our content marketing heavily to help generate leads at that front end of the funnel,” David Stein, Founder and CEO of The Producers said.
Step #1. Identify Valuable Content
To target potential franchisees with limited but very valuable time, The Producers team turned to creating an e-book to provide prospects easily digestible snippets of information.
The 22-page e-book focused on key questions about investing in a franchise as well as how Famous Brands’ unique offer helps provide prospects with tools they can use to help them navigate the sales process.
When creating this e-book, The Produces team strived to make it as appealing as possible.
“When prospects are delivered a visually appealing and informative content piece, it’s a huge support to the sales team. This delivery of strategic, highly targeted content helps move prospects through the funnel and to sale. I think this approach is both impactful and effective and helps explain the success of the Famous Brands approach,” Stein said.
Besides the lead generation opportunity, the e-book can help promote the company from an SEO perspective as well.
Step #2. Producing The E-Book
The Producers team looked to leverage content to share customer information and showcase the successes of Famous Brands.
Keeping the e-book relatively short and easy to digest — 22 pages — the idea was to create compelling, exciting content to provide high-level understanding of the business that Famous Brands offers.
“We identified frequently asked questions and did our best to match the answers with the success of Famous Brands,” Stein said. “That creates that light bulb moment, creating greater interest and incentive for prospects to learn more about Famous Brands.”
Step #3. Marketing the “Quick Guide to Investing in a QSR.”
To generate thought leadership for Famous Brands, the team developed and posted the e-book on the TCBY website.
Famous Brands and The Producers look to what the content did in terms of lead generation. On the flip side, they analyze the e-book content that perhaps didn’t perform as expected and determine reasons why.
Prospects must fill out a form in order to receive the e-book. The leads are automatically integrated into FranConnect for follow-up.
The team also leverages content to nurture leads using a marketing automation system.
“If you’re depending on that inside sales rep following-up, we would continue to nurture that person as well, based on the content they downloaded, and we’d follow-up with other relevant content, trying to continually educate and help guide prospects in their research process,” Stein said.
Overall, the goal is to warm those leads up so they want to engage with Famous Brands.
Step #4. Leverage content to generate leads
Using all of this content to help prospects in their research stage to generate leads and new business for Famous Brands is a key goal.
One way the team targets content to a specific audience is through advertising on LinkedIn.
“So, if Famous Brands is targeting multi-unit operators or entrepreneurs, we can develop a whole campaign just targeting those individuals on LinkedIn. We find that to be a really effective channel in terms of business investors. It’s a matter of helping educate potential prospects,” Stein said.
For Famous Brands other social media channels in addition to LinkedIn, the plan is to post as much content as they can. They monitor prospects coming back to the site via a link shared through social media, such as on Pinterest, SlideShare, and Facebook and then track behavior on the site. Paid search ads can also be leveraged to help promote the e-book content.
E-mail marketing is also a key channel to disperse valuable content through the company’s prospect list. This list contains prospects who signed up to receive e-mail communication.
Famous Brands has seen lifts in traffic and lead generation since embracing this content marketing strategy. Although specifics are proprietary, Famous Brands has committed to continue with this approach.
Stein has learned through this journey that prospects are now expecting franchisors to provide information and content to help them make the decision regarding what is the best franchise to invest in.
He has seen that putting in the effort to understand customers’ needs and provide the right information at the right time works and generates quality leads.