When you buy a franchise, you’re buying a proven business model with the tools and resources you need to succeed. But a franchise location is still a small business, and your small business needs marketing. Franchise marketing agencies understand the unique challenges of helping franchise owners grow their small business. Here is a list of the best marketing agencies for franchise owners to position your business for long-term growth.
- Best overall franchise marketing agency: ChoiceLocal
- Best social media management agency: LYFE Marketing
- Cheapest all-in-one franchise marketing agency: SEO Discovery
- Best for local franchise search engine optimization (SEO): Straight North
- Top marketing agency for franchises with integrated customer relationship management (CRM): WebFX
- Best franchise marketing agency for Google and Facebook Ads: Big Rush
- Best project-based franchise marketing solutions: FiverrPro
Best Franchise Marketing Agencies at a Glance
Services Starting From
Top Franchise Marketing Services
Custom pricing by client
Custom from $750 per month
Custom from $199 per month
Custom from $1,500 per month
Custom from $300 per month
Custom pricing from $399 per month
From $15 for a la carte services
ChoiceLocal: Overall Best Franchise Marketing Agency
ChoiceLocal is the best overall choice for franchise marketing, working exclusively with franchisees and franchise systems. It provides an impressive slate of services to help franchise owners grow their businesses.
This agency will manage your PPC campaigns, social media advertising, and reputation management—among other services. While ChoiceLocal does not publish pricing, it works with each franchise owner to craft a budget that fits their needs.
As a franchise marketing agency, it stacks up well against the competition. However, the lack of web design services may mean it isn’t the best fit for your small business. If you need web design in addition to other digital marketing needs, consider Straight North or SEO Discovery instead.
You can get the marketing services you need to rank on Google, show up in news feeds, and gain customers with ChoiceLocal. It offers a free digital marketing report so you can know where your business stands before you get started. Find out more on ChoiceLocal’s website.
LYFE Marketing: Best Social Media Management Agency
LYFE Marketing primarily focuses on social media marketing and managing social media accounts for small and medium-sized businesses. This includes both posting and ad management on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. While it’s not the cheapest solution, it still ranks highly among the best social media marketing agencies.
If you’re on a tight budget, LYFE Marketing may prove too expensive for your franchise needs. While it provides comprehensive social media marketing services, there are cheaper options. You can choose to manage your social media yourself or bundle social media into another plan from SEO Discovery or WebFX.
For your investment, you’ll receive top-shelf social media management and advertising from LYFE Marketing. While LYFE Marketing does not publish its pricing, it will create a social media plan complete with deliverables so you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for before you get started. Best of all, LYFE Marketing does not require long-term contracts, which means you can take your social media needs to another provider if it’s not working out.
SEO Discovery: Cheapest All-in-one Franchise Marketing Agency
While SEO Discovery is not exclusively a franchise marketing agency, it does have extensive experience in the franchising space. It also happens to be the least expensive agency we reviewed, with a la carte services starting at just $199 per month. Even as you bundle services like content creation and pay-per-click (PPC) services, SEO Discovery remains relatively affordable, which is why it landed high praise in our article on the best local SEO services.
While SEO Discovery provides plenty of services to fit pretty much any need, the website leaves visitors looking for information that isn’t easy to find. Also, because SEO Discovery lacks a performance dashboard, you have no way of knowing how your campaigns are performing (minus evidence of conversions) until you receive a report from the company.
SEO Discovery delivers a whole lot of bang for your budget. The entry price of $199 is hard to beat. Book an appointment on the website to find out what SEO Discovery can do to promote your franchise locations.
Straight North: Best for Local Franchise SEO
Though it does not specialize in franchises per se, its offerings are exactly what many franchise owners will need, especially if they’re tasked with managing their own website. Straight North provides excellent SEO services for local SEO, including local content creation and website design.
Straight Local stops just shy of being a full-service digital marketing agency because it does not offer some services that franchise owners may need. Particularly lacking are social media management and reputation management. If you need social media or reputation management, consider WebFX or SEO Discovery.
Local SEO increases the likelihood that a potential customer will find your business when they search for products or services like yours in their area. Focusing on local SEO, Straight North can help drive leads to your website, increase customer retention, and grow revenues through its robust online SEO and digital marketing campaigns.
Local SEO plans start at around $1,500 a month, which can be pricey for some small businesses. However, Straight North has a reputation for producing results and offers a free consultation that includes marketing strategy advice and options for getting started that may come in at a lower cost.
WebFX: Best Digital Marketing Agency for Integrating CRM
WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency that can fulfill the needs of almost any franchise owner. For service-based franchises, one of the top benefits of working with WebFX is integration with a host of customer relationship managers (CRMs). This provides you with an easy way to track incoming leads and follow each lead through the sales process. When coupled with WebFX’s local SEO services and pay-per-click (PPC) services, CRM integration becomes a powerful tool for driving sales.
The downside of WebFX is that it tends to be more expensive than other alternatives, and some services require a one-time setup fee in addition to the plan cost. If you’re looking to save money, and don’t need an integrated CRM, consider SEO Discovery instead.
WebFX’s services are priced on an a la carte basis, though you can work with WebFX to build the right package for you. A la carte services start at just $300 per month, which is relatively affordable, and you’ll work with a dedicated account manager to craft the perfect strategy for your franchise location.
Big Rush: Best Franchise Marketing Agency for Google & Facebook Ads
Big Rush does one thing—and it does it very well: manage digital advertising of franchise locations on Google and Facebook. This allows the company to grow your digital brand presence and generate leads. In fact, Big Rush is a registered Google Partner and Meta Certified company, which underscores its clout in the space.
That being said, Big Rush lacks many of the services other agencies offer. It does not provide web design, social media management, reputation management, or local SEO services. If you need more from your advertising and marketing provider, consider Straight North or ChoiceLocal instead.
With plans starting at $399, Big Rush is an affordable way to meet your Google and Facebook advertising management needs. You’ll work with your account manager to craft a strategy to help you generate leads and grow your business. Find out more at Big Rush’s website.
Pro tip: Don’t see the perfect provider on this list? Check out our report on the best marketing agencies for small businesses for more marketing agency options.
FiverrPro: Best Project-based Solutions
If you have a special project you need handled for your franchise marketing efforts, you might find a good fit on FiverrPro. It is a network of freelancers who connect to you via the FiverrPro website. You contract with each freelancer to come up with the scope of your project and a price for the work. The work you get can be among the best you’ll find. In fact, FiverrPro landed a spot on our best social media marketing agencies list.
FiverrPro is not for everyone. Its freelancers can sometimes be hit or miss, and finding the right freelancer can take time and energy. If you’re looking for a more straightforward process for a la carte services, WebFX will be a better solution.
FiverrPro services start as little as $15 and go up from there. We recommend taking your time to browse through each provider’s previous work and reviews to make sure they’re a good fit. Start searching for your perfect freelancer on the FiverrPro website.
How We Compared Marketing Solutions for Franchise Owners
We evaluated more than a dozen companies, including doing deep dives on their website, into customer reviews, and even conducting phone interviews with key stakeholders. The results were a list of providers who excel in their market space. Here are the factors we considered:
- Pricing: While the bottom line played a significant role in which providers made the cut, we didn’t just look for the cheapest solutions. We weighed each provider based on what they offered for the money they charge.
- General features: Most providers have a set of general features in common, such as PPC management, reputation management, or local search engine optimization (SEO). We explored which general features each provider offers and, more importantly, weighed the value of what they didn’t offer.
- Niche features: Every provider has unique offerings and services they perform exceedingly well. We took into account these niche features and how useful each is for franchise owners.
- Client support: One of the key factors we examined was client support. We chose providers who provide exemplary customer service to their clients, including providing a dedicated client services liaison, monthly reporting, and performance dashboards to track progress.
- Expert opinion: We relied on our years of experience in marketing and franchising to evaluate each provider as a whole, to look at the value it offers franchise owners, and to assess the quality of services it provides.
How to Choose a Franchise Marketing Agency (Decision Drivers)
Each franchise system provides various levels of marketing support and collateral. Only you can assess what services you’ll need from a franchise marketing agency. Here are a few key things to compare when choosing an agency to work with.
- Price: How much can you afford to pay, and what are you getting for your money? Are there any setup fees?
- Services needed: What services do you need that your agency provides? Do they fulfill all your needs?
- Quality of work: Ask for examples of the agency’s work. Is it of sufficient quality to meet your needs?
- Referrals and reviews: What do other customers say about the agency and its work?
- Reporting and performance: Is there a performance dashboard? Does the agency provide regular reports so you can evaluate how well the agency is performing?
To help you get off on the right foot in your search for the marketing solution, download our free checklist for choosing the right marketing agency.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What kind of marketing does a new franchise location need?
Like any new business, a new franchise location needs to get the word out about its products and services. This can mean building a website, establishing social media pages on the major platforms, or running Google and Facebook ads. Before you dive in, check with your franchisor liaison, as the franchisor will likely provide you with guidance about what you need to spend and when you get ready to launch your business.
How is franchise marketing different vs small business marketing?
While similar, marketing a franchise location is different from other small business marketing in several key ways. First, as a franchise, you have certain responsibilities you must meet with your franchisor in any marketing and advertising you run. Second, many franchise opportunities provide marketing support as part of your franchise fee and royalties. Finally, the franchisor usually invests heavily in marketing the overall brand so that each franchisee doesn’t have to.
How much should a franchise spend on marketing?
Most small businesses reinvest around 10% to 13% of gross revenue back into marketing. But before setting a marketing budget, review your responsibilities as a franchisee. Each franchise system has guidelines for how much you are required to spend on marketing, and many require owners to pay into a marketing fund as part of their royalties. To help you get started, read our guide to creating a local marketing plan, complete with a template.
Our top choice for a franchise marketing agency is ChoiceLocal. The team specializes in franchise marketing and knows how to work with franchisees to achieve goals affordably. ChoiceLocal also knows the ins and outs of franchise systems, so it won’t leave you guessing as to whether or not you’re wasting resources on something you can’t use. Request a consultation to find out how ChoiceLocal can help you meet your marketing goals.