In today’s post, our franchise development team shares 6 essential strategies for attracting prospective owners and expanding your brand in 2017.
Website Design And Development
Your website is a reflection of your business in many ways. In terms of franchise development, your website will often be the first impression your brand makes on a prospect. In the same way that a professionally designed and developed website will help you convert customers and promote specific products and services, it will also dictate your appeal to potential franchise owners.
Unfortunately, franchise development is often hindered by the brand’s online assets. Cluttered layouts, poorly written or uncompelling content, and slow load times will actively deter prospects, who will see these fundamental errors as red flags about your company’s relevance and understanding of the modern marketplace. Moreover, badly designed sites rank poorly, which makes your brand less visible to those conducting franchise research.
Your site should focus on simplicity, drawing attention to important franchise selling points, contact information, and territory availability. To really satisfy readers and web-crawlers, it must incorporate high-quality multimedia. And if you want convert prospects to really spur on your franchise development, your contact forms and call-to-actions must be responsive, intuitively placed, and clickable on any device.
Shameless plug-alert! ClickTecs has designed and built many Franchise Development sites that have won awards for their UX and UI. Drop us a note if you want to see some of them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As we mentioned above, your franchise development depends in large part on the visibility of your site. Web searches are the most popular form of franchise research today, and ranking high is very important. Prospective franchise owners are reassured by sites they can find easily (and organically!), because it means that their customers will also have no trouble. If your brand’s website is buried on the back pages of Google’s search results, you could be losing out on major opportunities for franchise development.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
The social media climate has narrowed the gap between consumer and business owner more than ever before. Users engage with businesses on social media to leave reviews, resolve complaints, and make recommendations to their friends and family. When properly managed, social media is a boon for your business, but missteps can be costly. Franchises that do not join the conversation on social media – or worse, those who make poor contributions – are generally considered to be “out of touch,” which is obviously bad for business. But these social media mistakes are also bad for your franchise’s development. Prospective buyers will be less motivated to join forces with a brand lacking social media savvy than they would to join one with a fully optimized, professionally-managed presence.
Pay Per Click Marketing
One of the most reassuring things for a prospective franchisee to read about is marketing support. In fact, marketing is usually one of the most unfamiliar aspects of business owners for new entrants. With this in mind, we can see how individuals researching franchises to buy would be comforted seeing paid ads promoting your brand. Not only does PPC marketing directly support franchise development by increasing the odds that your brand is seen by potential owners, but it’s an indirect assurance that your franchise invests in branding that benefits all involved.
Online Reputation Management
Once a prospective buyer has identified your franchise, what is the next step in the research process? Finding reviews. They’ll certainly look at what your website has to say, but smart buyers will cross-reference your company’s claims with information they find online about your reputation. If your reputation has been impacted by a previous owners’ mismanagement, a disgruntled ex-employee, or a ruthless competitor producing fake reviews, you’ll lose out on leads.
This one’s a no-brainer: the majority of searches today are made on the go, and that’s especially true of the busy entrepreneurial crowd that your franchise development efforts hope to attract. If you want to speak directly to your target audience, mobile marketing is key.
These six essential strategies are really just the tip of the iceberg that is franchise development. Drop us a line or browse the ClickTecs blog to learn more about what’s possible for your brand.Back