The subject of individual marketing website for franchisees has long been a “bone of contention” within the industry. The first thing that we need to agree on is the fact that a Franchise is a “Local Business” and in order for this local business to be successful in a geographically targeted marketplace the business must be marketed locally.
Many Franchisors are opposed to individual Franchisee websites and are reluctant to relinquish website control to Franchisees.
It cannot be overlooked that even though the Franchisee may be part of a national organization, each location is truly a stand-alone local business and is competing directly in their local marketplace and therefore must be marketed as an individual business in order to maximize their online exposure and lead generation.
Oftentimes, franchisees feel that their “hands are tied” since they have little or no control over the marketing decisions for their own business. These feelings become even more apparent when the local Franchisee determines that the Franchisor’s marketing campaign is ineffective and the resulting new business lead generation is virtually non-existent.
Regardless of the franchise you own, your franchise has an established brand. The brand portrays the company’s values and how it would like their goods and services to be perceived by the consuming public. It also attempts to position the company as a leader within its industry and helps it stand out from competitors.
Before you begin marketing your local franchise business online, it’s important that you understand the brand guidelines of your franchisor. Understand what the company’s values are and what messages it is trying to portray. Once you fully understand your brand, you should incorporate it into all aspects of your online marketing campaign for your local franchise business.
Building a web presence for your local franchise business is about more than just having someone design a “down and dirty” brochure-style website and use tricky SEO techniques to drive more traffic to your website. With proper local SEO for each of these franchisee marketing websites, the resulting increase in targeted traffic and online lead generation would serve as a positive motivator, increasing each franchisee’s enthusiasm and satisfaction while providing the franchisor with an excellent marketing tool to share with other potential franchisees.
A comprehensive online marketing solution involves leveraging a local business website, organic search engine optimization, local franchise marketing strategies, online business directories, customer review sites, and social media pages that establish your franchise business as a leader in your local or regional marketplace that will make the search engines sit up and take notice.
To better understand the best path to a successful local franchise marketing strategy, check out our most recent franchise marketing article: SEO for Franchise Businesses – What is the Best Strategy for Local Search? . The article explores how multi-unit enterprises and franchises can work together to develop a strong local online marketing program and narrow the widening gap between corporate control and the local franchise owner’s need for lead generation and business growth.