Take a second to think about some popular content that you’re following right now. Is it a book series? Movie franchise? Maybe an ongoing podcast? Nearly everyone is keeping up with at least one, and if you’re anything like that, you get excited for every new release. That’s an audience connection in action, built through a content franchise meant to help build loyalty between you and the content.
You can put this idea to use in your business’s marketing strategy, too, with just a bit of planning and elbow grease. Read on for a full breakdown of the concept — and to see what types of content you might want to create.
What is a content franchise?
Do you have a favorite author? Someone whose work you’d swear by, even if it’s a book you’ve never read? If so, you’ve already got an idea of what a content franchise is.
A content franchise is a recurring content series built around similar themes, stories, and topics, or made by the same content creator. It’s a longer-term, more connected content strategy than, say, standalone pieces about different relevant topics. It focuses on building a loyal audience over time rather than casting as wide a net as possible with each new entry.
4 benefits of building a content franchise
Content franchises offer their fair share of advantages over other marketing methods. We’ve listed a few below to help you decide whether this is how you want to handle your content creation.
1. Strengthens your brand
Many people pick the brands they interact with based on their reputation, making your public image vital to your success. How does a content franchise fit in? Well, it makes you look successful. If people in your target audience hear other people talking about your franchise, they’ll likely check it out themselves.
2. Improves morale
A positive brand image does more than encourage people to engage with your content. It can also motivate some people to apply for a job at your business. The better a company’s reputation, the more desirable having a position there starts to look. Creating a content franchise feeds into that positive reputation, helping you get the best candidates possible without putting too many resources toward your recruitment strategy. Plus, the content team responsible for your successful franchise will almost certainly experience a morale boost, given their successes.
3. Increases loyalty
Attracting new people to your brand is only half the job — when they’re hooked, you have to keep them reeled in. You’re likely working against a lot of competition to attract as many people as possible. Building your audience around a continuing content series or a few superstar creators can keep the people you’ve hooked coming back for more.
More than that, you’ll keep your audience even if other brands offer a similar franchise. Because why go to someone else when, in their eyes, they’re already getting the best from you?
4. Offers valuable customer insights
Like most marketing efforts, franchise content is usually made with a target audience in mind. This means everything from tone to word choice is carefully picked to attract people within that group as best as possible. While that doesn’t mean a franchise is immune to failure, even missteps can help you hone in on what has the best chance of success. What you learn from them can help you create more effective content franchises and make your next marketing initiatives more successful.
Examples of content franchises
1. Red Bull
If you’ve heard of Red Bull, then you’ve probably heard of their famous slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings.” Red Bull has leveraged this slogan to guide their content strategy, highlighting all kinds of sports and top athletes alongside helpful, informative guides. By telling its sponsored athletes’ authentic stories and leveraging those across all marketing avenues, Red Bull has shown its audience that it’s selling more than a drink — it’s selling a lifestyle.
GoPro’s marketing process initially focused on extreme sports and adventure. However, the company realized the opportunity its products could provide to its marketing process — its users inherently create a first-person perspective. That’s why GoPro expanded to focus on unique, user-generated content posted on its former central content hub, The Channel.
There were still sports-focused videos, but GoPro offered a glimpse into the everyday, too. Some examples included videos of pets going about their day or parents seeing their child ride a bike for the first time. By providing content for everyone, GoPro demonstrated that anyone can make great content with the company’s main product. This is why, in 2023, GoPro revamped its video content franchise with an ad-supported, free, 24/7 streaming TV channel.
What types of content could be a part of your content franchise?
Franchise content creation has few limits beyond the ones that you set yourself. So, ask yourself: What content do you want to include in your franchise? Or, more accurately, what content do you think your target audience would best respond to? Some of your options include:
- Articles and blog posts
- User-generated content
- Case studies
- Social media posts
There are even more options beyond this list. If the medium fits your audience and each piece of content remains centered around a central theme, the sky’s the limit.
How do you know if a content franchise is right for you?
Creating a content franchise isn’t the right marketing strategy for every company. For example, smaller businesses might not have the resources to cast a net this wide. But the bigger your business gets, the more people you’ll have to attract to keep growing. Some scenarios you might run into that a franchise could help with include:
- Having a popular CEO. A CEO with a friendly smile and charismatic personality can easily be the center point of a content franchise. Having a face to put to the company can make your products more approachable.
- Catering to a niche market. A little-known topic could be just what many people didn’t know they needed in their lives. A franchise centered around it can help spread awareness with little competition involved.
- Setting yourself up as a thought leader. Focus your franchise around educational content if you want to set yourself up as an authority on a specific topic. This thought leadership content can also help you get guest blogging placements with other websites.
- Building a community. Companies often set up a content franchise to gather a loyal base around their product. This community of loyal, excited customers can create a solid foundation for the company to build more success.
How to build a content franchise
Now, with a decent idea of what a content franchise is and why it’s great, it’s time to learn what goes into making one.
1. Develop a goal
The most important thing you should have before creating a content franchise is an end goal. What do you want to accomplish with this new marketing plan? Building brand loyalty is a given, but do you want to set your business up as a thought leader? Do you simply want to entertain your audience? Knowing your goals helps you decide the rest of the brainstorming process.
2. Define success
Decide how you’ll measure your progress. Having metrics in mind that tell you exactly how your audience is reacting to your content can help you adjust your plans on the fly. However, the metrics you use will probably differ depending on the type of content you create. For example, you’ll likely go by view count if you make videos, and you’ll likely go by unique visits if you create blog posts.
3. Know your audience
It takes a special kind of marketing process to appeal to everyone, everywhere. Honestly, getting everyone to love you is probably impossible —- defining a more specific audience is more likely to help you succeed. Knowing who you’re making content for means you can, for example, use tools like Google Analytics to see what topics resonate with your audience. Then, you can center your franchise to attract as much of that audience as possible.
4. Decide your central theme
Just like Red Bull unites around athletics and GoPro unites around the first-person experience, how will your content franchise elevate a core idea? Leverage your audience, your product or solution’s use cases, and how you want your business to be perceived to come up with a catchy and impactful theme.
5. Research and recycle old content
Once you’ve figured out who’s in your target audience and what types of content would most appeal to them, look at your past work. Find things that already fit your audience and use them as a jumping-off point to refine your creative process. Refresh your old content with more recent information and a revised call-to-action to save time. You never know what could be a success given a few tweaks.
6. Get started — and explore new horizons
With the first few steps complete, it’s time to get to work. Start creating a content plan that strengthens your theme and connects with your audience. And with the content written, you can begin diving into the vast galaxy of possibilities, from guest blog placement to video content to a social media campaign.
Lay the foundation for a successful content franchise
Creating your content franchise can be a time- and labor-intensive process, but it’s worth it to elevate your brand to new heights. Your future success is more than just a matter of having a target audience and a clear franchise in mind. The quality of your content also has to be top-notch.
At The Stellastra Effect, we’re ready to exceed any content standard, creating article-level blog posts you’d be proud to make a part of your franchise. Led by an award-winning former journalist, we have the skills and resources to create articles your audience can sink their teeth into. Book a consultation today to ensure your content franchise always puts its best foot forward.