Successful Franchises Use Microsites - Part 1 of 4
Today’s marketing landscape is vastly different than 5 years ago and franchisors need to recognize the importance of multi-channel marketing. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), “The fragmented media landscape requires franchisors to cover all their bases: local directories, e-mail and mobile marketing, social media, search engine marketing and optimization, as well as the all-important corporate Web site.”
There are a few problems that franchisors are now running into because of the complicated and confusing multi-channel marketing options that they have. Many seem to have the problem of too many choices. There are so many options that the franchisor, or franchisee, don’t know where to start, how effective any of the options are, and why they even need to use them. So instead they keep the same marketing strategy that has shown little promise.
Each franchisor is unique and needs their own strategy to pass along to their franchisees. The problem is managing the message across the multi-channel marketing freeway. How do you manage the customer experience, while also keeping up customer satisfaction and the marketing for your business without going way beyond your budget? According to the IFA a simple best practice is to provide each dealer or franchisee with their own microsite that allows them to provide localized content, event promotions and updates to their area. In addition, brand controls must be placed on key messages and positioning statements to maintain the highest level of your brand’s standards. This can be done with syndication from one central hub or website. This method helps your organic search presence by having more relevant Web sites available for search engines to index and rank.
Sometimes branding and messaging problems occur across different types of marketing platforms like social media, local landing pages and microsites because they are not being monitored. They are stagnant and don’t provide any value for consumers or franchisee owners. The International Franchise Association (IFA) recommends that your digital marketing strategy needs to utilize a multi-pronged approach and offer solutions for creating multiple sites or for maintaining one primary site on each medium that each location can access.
ClickWrite is a platform that allows the company’s central hub or site to control certain brand messaging or national marketing on all of the franchisee sites and solves the budget problem of monitoring and updating multiple microsites. Selected content can be easily syndicated and access is determined by the administrator for each site. This also allows franchisees to control most content for their site and create a unique microsite that appeals to their customers. Everyone is happy and the right message is being received by the most important part of the equation, the end user.
Next week we will look at how a franchisor can use a “microsite” dedicated to franchise sales and whether it is a wise move for franchisors.