You already know just how important your franchise’s Web presence is – it is the ‘face’ of your company and often the only touch-point you have with your customers.
Franchising in the digital age can be tricky business. We turned to Diane Beattie, Director of Web Products for Primero Systems, Inc., to give us insight on how to successfully leverage the power of the Internet to create consistent, engaging and impactful online experiences delivered through branded websites. Content is your currency here, and your goal is to arm your franchisees with everything they need to make their business a success – while enforcing brand control at all times.
Do the Work for Them
You’ve already invested time and money into fine-tuning your brand over perhaps years of trial and error – it’s not time to stop now. Your franchisees want to leave the branding to you. This clears the way for them to focus their resources on local marketing.
They expect you to continually refresh franchise content on the website with product, seasonal and national promotion information.
Reach Their Local Market
Customized, location-based experiences. Targeted content that resonates and speaks directly to them. A repeatable, familiar brand experience they can trust – from anywhere. Your customers expect all of these things – here’s how you can help your franchisees deliver them:
- Make sure franchisee websites have sections where they can focus on local content that will draw customers in – places where they can start conversations.
- Feature local promotions and campaigns to support team fundraisers, community events and local interests.
- Design mobile-friendly, responsive websites to ensure a superior customer experience – from any mobile device or desktop computer.
“It is key here to think of your franchises as what they actually are – independent firms led by local entrepreneurs that provide unique offerings and touchpoints tailored to individual markets,” Beattie says.
Keep the Conversation Going
At corporate, you may have national offers running, but it is imperative that your franchisees have the flexibility to offer specials specific to their markets. Local autonomy is important. All franchisee websites should include an area designated to specials that are exclusive to their city or region. Other things you can do to stimulate local conversations and activities:
- Include a subscription form on franchisee sites to collect visitor email addresses for newsletters and coupons.
- Encourage the use of social media and email marketing campaigns to drive customers to landing pages featuring local promotions.
Keep it Simple
Your franchisees have a business to run, after all.
- Provide a professional, effective website – right out of the box.
- Make it easy to use. Anyone on their business team should be able to add local content or promotions to their website – with no specific IT experience required.
Serve Corporate and Franchisees Alike
Two birds, one stone. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Any number of idioms apply here, but the point is that the content management system used to manage franchise websites needs to meet the needs of both corporate and franchisees. It needs to offer brand consistency and enable local franchisees to manage content related to their local focus and customers.
Your franchisees have questions – and you need answers. Start with a content platform specifically designed for franchising. One such platform, Webtreepro, gives franchisees everything they expect from their websites – and more. Developed by Primero Systems, an international software development company with a strong franchising background, Webtreepro lets you enforce brand control every step of the way – giving franchisees the ability to add content and local marketing while ensuring a universally consistent brand look and feel. In addition to enabling brand control, Webtreepro gives you the ability to launch sites quickly – ensuring that new franchisees hit the ground running with everything they need to make their franchise a success.
And, you’re in good company with Webtreepro – it’s currently fueling thousands of sites, including some of the fastest-growing national franchises in the USA.
The bottom line? You are only as successful as your franchisees. Now, go give them what they need.