Think about what happens the minute someone signs on the dotted line, committed to taking your brand as their own. It’s a big moment. It means someone is so confident in you, the brand, and the systems that drive it, that they have decided to change their entire way of life to give it a go.
Their entire way of life.
This may be the most important thing to remember when crafting content for your franchise development website. You are asking someone to invest in much more than a business concept or system. It’s a business decision, but it’s an emotional one as well. This single transaction is going to impact everything they do each day from their commute to their income, to how they plan their retirement. This is especially true for start-up franchise candidates who are heading into business ownership for the first time. They are buying into a vision for their future, and hopefully, it all begins with a simple click on a link to your franchise website.
A franchise website is a tool to increase the volume of high-quality leads to your sales funnel and should make a compelling case to the marketplace as to why anyone should invest in your concept. Equally as importantly, it should strike an emotional chord with the potential investor.
It’s for this reason the tone of your website content must be a balance of information and inspiration. Any time (and by that we mean every time) you create content for sales, you need to have your target audience in mind. Ask yourself two questions: What do they need to know, and why should they make the move to invest in your brand?
Did You Know?
- Users often leave web pages in 10–20 seconds, so to add several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.1
- People retain 65% more information when there is a correlated image presented with it.2
- 51% of B2B marketers prioritize creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy.3
- Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years.4
Every franchise sales website should have a basic framework of initial information. The copy should be optimized, and you want to give the visitor enough content to answer the preliminary questions they have but leave them curious enough to ask for more. A HOME page welcomes them with an introduction to the brand and the opportunity at hand. Each page, including the HOME page, should feature a call to action and a form to fill out to request more information. For even better odds of a visitor filling out the form, offer them something of value, a white paper or eBook for example. This not only successfully collects lead information, but it validates your business as an expert within your industry.
The meat of a franchise sales website lays within multiple tabs/pages which may include ABOUT, OPPORTUNITY, and SUPPORT. They may seem self-explanatory but let’s dive in briefly to each one.
ABOUT PAGE: This is where you briefly explain why every community across the country needs a business like yours. What kind of business is it? What do you sell or service, and what is your value proposition? If you have a bakery business, what specialty item do you offer that appeals most to customers? If you are a home service brand that cleans houses, what makes your concept so different and in-demand? The ABOUT page is your concept overview with a focus on what it means not only for customers – but for potential franchise owners. As part of this page/section, or as a subpage tied to it, you may also include information about the people behind the franchise. Often in franchising, because there is such a reliance on the franchisor for guidance, knowing the face behind the brand can be attractive to prospective franchise owners.
OPPORTUNITY PAGE: This page answers the question ‘Why is now the time to make the move?’ There should be solid, credible, and citable industry statistics that support growth within the market, preferably from third-party sources. If you have links to good PR (reviews in the press, community outreach, testimonials), you should list them here with links. Include your key selling points as well. Do you offer protected territories? Do you use technology that stands well above your competition?
Some franchisors will choose to create a second page, or sub-page titled INVESTMENT. This is a page for any financial declarations the franchisor chooses to disclose on the website. For example, Item 7 from the Franchise Disclosure Document, or a summary of it, along with a disclaimer recommending further review of the FDD, would be found on the INVESTMENT page. It is highly recommended franchisors seek guidance from their legal counsel before sharing any investment information apart from the FDD.
SUPPORT PAGE: The Support page is very important. This is the place that calms fear and apprehension, that says, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got you.’ List initial and ongoing training, easy to use technology, comprehensive operations manuals, help with site selection and buildout, guidance with marketing and anything else you offer that gives a franchise buyer peace of mind.
ABOUT, OPPORTUNITY/INVESTMENT and SUPPORT pages build the foundation to house the content on those topics. In addition, a well-performing franchise website will include information on available franchise locations or territories. This can be displayed as written content; however, this is a real opportunity to utilize maps, images or interactive software within your website. An FAQ page would invite those prospects looking to skim and not dive in to the written content. A BLOG can provide a substantial boost for organic search for the site as well as create a broader sales funnel to catch leads via content marketing.
People want to see what is possible! It’s your job to show them. Go back through each of your tabs/pages and find places to drop some inspiration. Testimonials are paramount, whether they are quotes on a page with an image or preferably, a video. Show your visitor there are people who are just like them, who come from similar backgrounds, who share the same dreams. You want your website visitor to say, ‘hey, I want to be like that guy!” Don’t worry; if you don’t yet have franchise owner testimonials to feature, then start with customer testimonials to demonstrate the strength and popularity of your brand. Headlines should reflect the voice of your company and consistently be a reminder that a new and better professional future awaits.
Remember, a franchise sales website is a tool to inspire visitors to want to learn more. If your site is brief, informative and inspiring, then the quality of leads you receive from it should be gratifying.