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July 25, 2016

The Art & Science of Branded Local Landing Pages

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For franchisee and dealer-driven brands, the challenge of local marketing is growing more intense all the time. Consumers are moving to mobile and digital channels at a breakneck pace. Competition in the world of search, both paid and organic, is increasing even more rapidly. Social media has added an entirely new workload, and a whole new level of complexity, to the local marketing mix.

With all of these new demands, local dealers and franchisees — always more inclined to operate their businesses than to market them — are feeling increasingly overwhelmed. And that means brand marketers have got to find ways to lighten the load for their marketing partners in the field.

This is where a local landing page tool comes into the picture. Brand marketers provide the digital marketing expertise and designs that give the brand a polished presence, and local marketers supply the knowledge of the local marketplace that converts more customers.

A Quick Timeline of Brand-Compliant Landing Pages

For multi-location brands, one of their greatest assets – the strength of hundreds or thousands of local marketing partners – has posed a challenge in the digital marketing arena for many years. The core of the local digital marketing strategy is the landing page. But creating the volume and variety of pages that hundreds of franchisees or dealers require isn't easy. Here's a look at how branded landing page tools have evolved in recent years to keep up with these demands:

Branded Local Landing Pages: Generation One In their earliest iterations, local landing pages were extensions of the brand’s main website, with a few simple content management tools built in. These rudimentary tools would allow a dealer or franchisee to live “under the umbrella” of the master brand, and to update text content and perhaps a few visuals along the way.

The Second Generation: First-generation landing page tools proved useful and durable at first. But as web technology progressed, and consumer-oriented design platforms like SquareSpace and Weebly gained traction, local marketers began to expect more independence and a greater share of “voice” in the customer experience — without sacrificing point-and-click ease of use. They wanted much greater control over text, image, and sometimes layout. They also wanted the science of SEO to be “baked into” their customized site, so they could sleep at night knowing that their content was discoverable. And finally, they wanted integrated basic reporting on page views, so they could develop a sense of the visibility they were achieving.

State of the Art Branded Local Landing Pages: That brings us to the present day, where local marketers are now expecting fully responsive, brand-compliant, content-managed, SEO-optimized landing pages, with detailed demographic reporting built in. A tall order? Not as much as you might think. That’s because brands now recognize that local marketers see the landing page as a natural part of the local marketing mix, and are implementing templated landing page solutions that make an integrated approach seamless, simple, and even fun.

Evolution of Branded Local Landing Page Software

Branded Landing Pages timeline

The rise of increasingly robust local landing pages has mirrored the rise of the connected consumer. Local marketers can't rely on traditional methods alone to drive business, and they have to be prepared to meet the demands of customers who expect great, cross-device experiences from the brands they interact with.

The Business Case for Branded Local Landing Pages

As an example of how the demand for branded landing page tools has grown, consider how a major hospitality organization, with more than 4,000 properties around the world, recently implemented the CampaignDrive local landing page tool. The tool makes it possible for an inexperienced user to create and publish a polished, professional looking landing page in a matter of minutes, complete with local imagery, an integrated booking widget, brand-approved content and brand-defined SEO, all in a fully responsive format that looks great on desktop, smartphone, and everything in between.

Brand-controlled landing page tools like these provide five key benefits for franchise and dealer brands:

  1. Branded Local Landing Pages ensure brand compliance and brand integrity. This helps local marketers to leverage the brand more effectively both to win new customers and to support favorable pricing. Equally important, the discipline of a branded local landing page helps to prevent the erosion of brand equity that results from off-brand executions.
  2. They help local marketers build their social media presence. For many of the more than 10,000 unique pages published on the tool, the number 1 website referrer is the local property’s Facebook page. This symbiotic relationships demonstrates just how powerful branded local landing pages can be as a means of transforming relationships into revenue. By giving local operators the ability to market and engage situationally, branded local landing page systems encourage reinforcement, rather than inadvertent erosion of the brand.
  3. Branded Local Landing Pages save money and time. Lots of money and time. In the case of the hotel company, the creation of a landing page based on a brand-supplied template often required a web agency fee of $2,000 or more. With a well designed tool, those manual costs were reduced by more than 90%. Just as important, the time required to create and publish a branded local landing page declined from three weeks to less than three days — and that includes time for brand-level review and approval of the page's content.
  4. They can be optimized for discoverability. Rather than asking thousands of local property managers to learn the fine art of SEO, the branded landing page tool incorporates SEO best practices into the template-build process. This means pages are “born discoverable,” thereby driving traffic and revenue beyond the local property’s “natural” reach.
  5. Branded Local Landing Pages increase conversion rates. As independent testing by Omniture, has shown, adding landing pages to an upstream advertising campaign can lift response rates 25-50%. Localizing the landing page execution promises to increase this lift even more. As an example, in the case of the hospitality company, analysis of more than 3,500 unique landing pages showed click-throughs to the reservation system running at an average of 8% of visits, producing incremental revenue of more than $100,000 per month.

Although the digital marketing arena continues to evolve at lightning speed, and local marketers may be overwhelmed at the prospect of creating the kinds of digital experiences their customers want, branded local landing pages offer multi-location brands a perfect solution to the perennial local digital marketing headaches. With brand-approved templates available to customize and publish in just a few simple clicks, and integrated reporting built-in, franchisees and dealers can finally take advantage of the state of the art in digital marketing.

See how a hospitality giant improved digital marketing response rates for franchisees with local landing page templates generated from CampaignDrive by Pica9.

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