Director of Marketing Nicole Cassis and Web.com’s supplier team provide insight into creating, maintaining and upgrading franchise development sites.
Web.com for Enterprise is a digital marketing consultancy designed to help small businesses succeed by providing easy solutions for growing a company. With over 20 years of industry experience servicing more than three million customers, Web.com for Enterprise helps companies build a powerful online presence and optimize content.
Nicole Cassis, Director of Marketing for Web.com for Enterprise, noted that franchisors should always ask suppliers about their experience before making a decision on who to partner with. : ‘Tell me about your depth of experience serving clients or individuals like me?’ According to Cassis, some people tend to only an experience question of, ‘How much experience do you have?’ For Cassis, depth of experience is an important quality in a supplier, but the results are truly what matters.
Nicole Cassis, Director of Marketing for Web.com for Enterprise, noted that franchisors should always ask suppliers about their relevant experience before making a decision on who to partner with. According to Cassis, some people tend to only address experience with questions like, ‘How much experience do you have?’ instead of ‘Can you tell me about your experience serving clients or individuals like me?’ For Cassis, depth of experience is an important quality in a supplier, but the results are truly what matters.
“Don’t stop your line of questioning after you hear how long the supplier has been in business or how many websites they’ve designed,” said Cassis. “Think like an investigative journalist and ask probing questions that will indicate how this supplier will help you solve challenges specific to your business, industry or market. Remember, the customer journey is unique; just because the supplier created a website for a cleaning franchise that lead to improved conversion rates doesn’t mean that the same secret sauce applied to your fitness franchise is going to yield the same results.”
Other questions Web.com deems important include ‘What is your approach to onboarding networks to new products and websites?’ Just as all franchises are not created the same, neither are all suppliers. Cassis noted that asking about the education, onboarding and training a supplier offers a network is critical. To this end, Web.com provides necessary tools such as collateral, email communication, webinars and onboarding guides to help their corporate partners access its network of franchisees through a new website and other digital solutions.
Cassis encouraged franchisors to pose a challenge they face and have the supplier walk through how they’ve solved a similar problem for a different client and what the end result was.
“There exists an approach to responding to interview questions called the S.T.A.R. response technique, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result,” said Cassis. “By applying that guiding framework as you ask your follow-up questions, you’ll get the depth of answers that you need to make a sound decision.”
As a standout resource for franchise development website design, Web.com knows what businesses need to succeed online. The Web.com for Enterprise division of Web.com works exclusively with dealer-networked businesses, franchises included. The supplier's products and services are built to serve both the corporate and the franchise unit sides of the business, understanding that corporate’s success starts by fulfilling the unique needs of each individual franchisee or location.
When Web.com develops franchise development websites, enterprise team members begin with the understanding that a powerful franchise development site must articulate the brand’s vision and offer multiple points of differentiation, from not only direct competitors, but also from other franchisors. No matter the company, all franchises are competing for a limited pool of prospects.
To narrow down the pool of individuals, or perhaps widen it for others, there are trends the company recommends including in franchise development sites.
“Happily, we are noticing that most franchise development sites are being updated so that they are consumable on a mobile device,” the Web.com team said. “We are also seeing more compelling content, with basic information on the site presented in easy-to-consume tidbits.” The company also noted that a new trend rising across the marketing world is the inclusion of more video content.
Conversely, the Web.com team is well aware that not everyone is on board with trends, noting that one of the most outdated tactics their team has encountered is the “brochure” website format. Candidates who land on a franchise development website should be able to quickly determine if the brand appeals to them through easy navigation, compelling content and discoverable information.
When working with a digital marketing supplier, Web.com for Enterprise provided feedback on how to leverage new franchise development sites. First, and most importantly, brands need to consider the customer journey and include links to their new franchise development site at the appropriate points.
Beyond that, franchisors have to prioritize the customer journey, Web.com said. It’s important for franchisors to keep in mind how potential franchisees are working through the discovery process and let that thought process drive the way their content is organized and when and where it is promoted.
“Like all good websites, it needs to be advertised to be found; a sound digital marketing strategy will ensure that a well-built, compelling site is visited by prospective franchisees,” the Web.com team said.
As long as there are rich snippets available within the new franchise development site, it will populate in SEO—if not from the website, then somewhere on the web.
To put a bow on the advice-giving, the Web.com team made sure to note that some of the fastest-growing franchises in the country are the businesses that respond to inbound leads immediately. “When a lead comes in to your franchise development website, make sure your franchise consultants follow-up with those inbounds leads within the hour.”
Being personal and accessible to potential leads is necessary in a time of instant gratification. The faster a franchisor can respond to an inquiry, the greater the chance the brand will connect with the candidate.