I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that your need to have a partner online marketing strategy. Still, an important part in getting it to succeed and to improve your company’s lead generation online, is training your partners on the subject.
Yes, it’s probable that they won’t take on the full responsibility of getting their franchisee websites to a visible spot in the search pages; however, they should still be in the know about it. After all, the whole point of having franchisee websites is to reach to local audiences, so your partners should chime in from time to time on the SEO strategy.
If you’re a bit lost on how to train your partners on franchise local SEO, here are a 10 tips that can help you out!
Training Your Partners into SEO Masters
1. Get Help
SEO is a lot of work, which is why your partners and you will need some external help to get it together. A team of SEO experts, writers, community managers, among other online marketers can bring your brand online and position your partner sites in the top spots. They can also set examples for franchisees who would like to venture in content, for example, from time to time.
*Remember to include them in the training portion of online marketing as well!
2. Define an SEO Strategy & Set Goals
Before approaching your partners (and with help of your online marketing team, if need be), you’ll need to figure out what is it that you want to get out of SEO, what specific tactics you’re going to use to achieve it, and in what time period you expect to reach your goals. And yes, your strategy will change in the future to adapt to different trends and consumer demands, but no matter what, always keep a defined goal and let your franchisees know about it.
3. Create Guidelines
It’s true that your partners probably won’t do much marketing for their franchise local SEO. Still, if you want a targeted strategy, they’ll need to provide input once in a while. Create guidelines they can follow so your strategy is always focused.
For example, here at Empowerkit we have a post on How to Produce Compliant Content in a Partner Marketing Strategy, that can be a reference for you to put together some guidelines on online marketing for your brand!
4. Explain the Basics
In your training, aim to answer the basic questions about online marketing. Remember that, more likely than not, your partners won’t have a clue about online marketing (this is why they need training in the first place!). Try to answer questions like these:
- What is online marketing?
- What is it good for?
- What does it entail?
- What is expected of your partners?
- What’s corporate’s role in it?
5. Look for a Platform
Another important part of training is getting a platform to train your partners on. You need to share the knowledge but how will you do it?
A webinar could be a good option because you’ll be able to bring your partners together without them having to move or leaving their work behind for more than a couple of hours.
Another great option could be in meetings. Some companies (the ones that are large enough) have partner conventions or regional meetings that partners are required to attend. Speaking face to face with them is sure to get the message through more effectively!
Email is a time/money saving option that will transmit your training material to your partners in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, emails stay unread, questions go unanswered, and, at the end of the day, the training objectives aren’t fulfilled.
6. Produce Shareables
Whether you choose email, a webinar or a meeting as your main mean of communication, it’s a great idea to put together documents that your partners will be able to take with them (videos, texts, infographics, etc.) and serve as reminders of what was talked about.
7. Provide the Tools
If you’re training a group of people on how to do a specific task that will require a set of tools, be sure to provide them and explain how they fit in the strategy and how to use them. Remember that, no matter how good of a strategy you plan out, it won’t work if your partners don’t opt-in on it, so be sure to give them everything they’ll need to succeed online.
8. Test Their Learning
As teachers do in school, it can be a good idea to apply a test on your partners just to make sure the students have understood what they were being trained about. A simple computerized quiz could do. Plus, not only are you reinforcing their knowledge, you’re also giving them a chance to absorb what was learned and formulate any doubts that may have been left behind.
9. Give Feedback & Offer Support
Not only should you provide feedback on their overall work, but let them know how the online marketing strategy is going, any changes it may need, and if their role in it will change. Be sure to set examples and praise best practices, so they are inspired and know what direction the company is following.
At the same time, be sure to answer questions and always be there for them to offer assistance and explain anything to them. Ongoing support is extremely important (not only with training!) so make sure you’re there for when your partners have any doubts!
10. Tweak Your Training Strategy
Like any strategy, once it’s implemented, you start seeing what could be improved or changes you could make so you and your partners can take more out of it. Make sure you take note of this so you can put it to good use when you’re training new recruits in the future!
How Empowerkit Can Help
Of course your partners should know about online marketing and SEO! But, as stated above, it can be a hassle to handle an online marketing strategy of that size! If you would like some help to get your franchise local SEO strategy going, we’re here to help!
Empowerkit is not only a website builder aimed at offering flexibility to partners, and control to corporate; it’s also a service provider that can take care of online marketing for you (from SEO, to content marketing and social media management), so your partners aren’t stressed by this task!
It’s hard for any marketing strategy to succeed when the people involved in it don’t even know what it’s about! Make sure to train your partners on online marketing and offer support so their local sites can prevail.
If you have any tips that you think we should add to this list or any other question regarding Empowerkit, let us know in the comment section below!