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It’s been said that three-quarters of our knowledge comes to us from our sight — visually. This makes it all that much more confusing that franchise brands still fail to utilize the video marketing options at their disposal as part of their comprehensive sales development process. Especially as it relates to their brand‘s franchisee-based validation and recruiting efforts.
Most franchisors have a well-defined and fine-tuned sales process, carefully crafted to be a simple yet effective way to take candidates through their franchise investigative process. Some brands have as few as five total steps, while others may have as many as nine. Almost all of them have a placeholder for one of the most vital waypoints — validation. The importance of this stage cannot be underestimated, as this is a franchisor’s best possible chance to make all of the supporting arguments for business ownership.
Typically, franchisee candidates participating in validation sessions will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with brand representatives as well as existing franchisees in the system. No questions are off-limits, and it’s an incredible opportunity to communicate the value propositions of the brand, as well as provide an accurate account of the day-to-day activities of franchise owners. Knowing this, does it seem strange that the majority of franchisors only conduct this important step in writing or over the phone? Wouldn’t video marketing make much more sense?
Lost in translation
Without visual cues in our communication, a lot of nuances can get lost in translation. It’s rare to find anyone who hasn’t experienced a crucial misunderstanding or read a situation incorrectly thanks to non-visual (face-to-face) mediums like email, text and phone calls. Because when people communicate visually, they take in so much more than mere facts. Rather, they absorb the emotion, feeling and expression that visual settings provide. Even the immortal hit show, Seinfeld, made light of this aspect of life in one of their funniest-ever episodes. When one of the main characters asks his friends whether or not it’s acceptable to break up with a significant other via text, the response from the group was swift and telling. No way. That kind of serious communication event requires a face-to-face meeting.
Short attention spans
It’s a well-known fact that people have incredibly short attention spans. The rise of the smartphone, 10-second TikTok soundbites and other rapid-format social media channels have only made the problem worse. Only a few short years ago, companies were spending millions of dollars to produce slick marketing brochures, publicly traded companies developed investment prospectuses that were dozens of pages long, and product brands routinely created owner’s manuals that no one ever read. Think for a second. Suppose your washing machine stopped working, but you had diagnosed a symptom or two. It’s now becoming all too common to hear, “Just look it up on YouTube, and see if there’s a video on how to fix it.”
Why video is crucial for validation and recruiting
Brands, especially franchise brands, need to get with the times and deliver the type of content their audience prefers to consume. Using validation, again, as a recruiting example, just imagine these two scenarios:
You have a franchise candidate participating in a validation phone call with one of your more experienced and established franchise owners. Since there is no script, there’s really no telling how the existing owner may respond to questions about being a franchisee. Franchisors have zero control.
You produce a slick, one-minute reel — a testimonial – of an existing franchise owner — placing it in a library of validation videos on your website. As the franchisor, you control every aspect of what comes out of your franchisee’s mouth. Before candidates can even get to the validation stage, there lies the possibility that these first-person testimonials will draw in the viewer. Franchisors are 100% in control.
If you can visualize (and no pun intended there) how the target audience may respond to each of these methods, you now understand a valid point about the power of video marketing and production. Forget about the franchise industry for a moment — even HubSpot published an article stating that 90% of prospects who watched a positive testimonial helped them make a purchasing decision for a particular retail brand. The same percentage reports wanting to view additional video content from brands and businesses in every industry channel.
What’s truly at stake with video marketing and production is the establishment of an emotional connection to your target audience. In the case of franchisors, that means attracting a qualified candidate. This target audience responds to video testimonials because the presenter’s emotions, feelings and expressions can be evaluated and communicated in real time. In less than 60 seconds, they can view this type of promotional video and imagine themselves one day participating in the same type of testimonial validation. This time, in front of the camera themselves. And isn’t that the very definition of a customer conversion that franchisors so desperately seek in their recruiting efforts?