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How to Effectively Utilize Video in Your Franchise Brand's Marketing Strategy Knowing where to focus your effort will help you in many ways.

By Trevor Rappleye Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The ever-increasing competition among franchisors to get an edge on one another has led to some innovative marketing campaigns and initiatives. Amidst this backdrop, video marketing has become a vital component for many brands precisely because it can be utilized in so many ways. But it's also created a complication of sorts — where to deploy video that best serves a wide variety of brand-related challenges.

If you're a franchisor who hasn't yet developed a comprehensive video marketing strategy, there are three primary areas where you should concentrate your efforts: franchise development and sales, recruiting and training. Below is some advice on video usage for each of these important categories.

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need Video in Your Marketing Strategy (With the Stats to Prove It)

Videos that increase franchise development and sales

The last of the three areas of brand marketing with the highest value for video is sales development. And one of the best ways to communicate the social proof of your brand involves testimonial-style videos. Done right, what you're actually selling is the full vision that the brand has to offer. Not just the "who," "what" and "where" of your business model, but also the "why." If you need to boost your sales outreach efforts, use testimonials that feature successful franchise owners who were once uncertain entrepreneurs — just like the target market you're hoping to reach.

To boost franchise development efforts, use testimonials that get real. Feature real people sharing real experiences that include the real ways in which their lives have changed for the better. Be specific! Communicate actual experiences that demonstrate the freedom and flexibility that comes with franchise ownership — especially your ownership prospects. Testimonials that feature the CEO in his office, sharing the details of your brand's opportunity are great. That's what most people expect to see.

But you also need a second kind of testimonial — one that's set amidst an on-location filming site. Imagine a first-person testimonial video that features a successful franchisee in their own backyard with their happy kids playing in the background. Now that could be anyone, including the viewer, who's likely imagining themselves as a franchisee in your system while they watch.

Videos that benefit recruiting

Franchisors, whether an emerging brand or those who have already hit the magic 50-unit milestone, have a continuous need to fill their sales pipeline with high-quality prospects. New franchisees are the lifeblood of the brand, and each new unit awarded strengthens the system as a whole. And video can also be instrumental in helping franchisors recruit these prospects. If you're going to deploy video for internal and external recruiting, the key is to feature content that showcases your company culture. Make your key differentiators the star of the show by featuring the aspects of your business model worth investigating.

Shoot videos that demonstrate how existing franchise owners feel about working with the brand, highlighting the types of things that keep them excited about getting up each and every day. Video that provides social proof becomes believable in the viewer's eyes. They'll soon understand why the brand has changed other people's lives for the better. And naturally, they'll want that for themselves as well.

Related: Connecting With Your Target Audience Through Video

Videos that benefit training

A great deal of franchisors take their comprehensive training programs seriously. This is the period in which you're communicating how to own and operate your franchise opportunity to a captive audience. So, captivate them! Use engaging and entertaining (read: not boring) videos to introduce your business model to new owners.

Studies have long since determined that we learn best through visual mediums, but newer information reveals that we also retain much more of the material we're presented than with written guides and manuals. Instructional videos — especially those related to job safety — are vital aspects of the business model to communicate with new franchisees. And nothing gets the point across about workplace hazards and best practices for safety on the job than training videos.

Related: Why Video May Be the Most Effective Format When It Comes to Training New Franchisees

Hopefully, this information has been a helpful guide for deploying video that will enhance your overall brand marketing efforts. If you're unsure where to begin, simply think about the three areas where video can have the biggest impact: franchise development and sales, recruiting and training. When it comes to your brand's value proposition, the "who," "what" and "where" are certainly important features. But visual storytelling is what best demonstrates that all-important "why" that you're trying to communicate to your desired target market.

After all, there's no reason to keep that answer all to yourself — it's an aspect of your business model that you should be sharing with the rest of the world!

Trevor Rappleye

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO & Storyteller

Trevor Rappleye has been an entrepreneur since 2013 - beginning his first company at age 13 converting VHS to DVD. He now owns CorporateFilming.com & FranchiseFilming.com and is obsessed with storytelling, leadership, video marketing and filming social proof for brands.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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