Case Studies, Franchise Development

The client

Aveda, owned by Estee Lauder, is a leading botanical hair and skin brand with more than 9,000 salons and spas worldwide.

A distinct challenge and opportunity

Aveda faced increasing pressure from salon and spa owners to provide greater marketing support and help drive new business to their individual business locations. With strict brand identity standards to uphold, it was crucial for Aveda to gain a thorough understanding of proposed marketing solutions prior to rolling out any new strategy on a large scale.

Aveda business units vary in focus: some cater only to salon or spa services, while others include both. Thousands of individual business owners bring their own visions and demands to the table. All of them in different markets and at different stages in their business growth, their needs ranged from getting as many people in the door as possible to attracting only a very specific type and quality of client.

An innovative, data-driven solution

iluma Agency developed a four-phase marketing test for Aveda. Each phase included a Facebook advertising campaign, display advertising campaign, and pay-per-click ad campaign rolled out to a small group of salons and spas. These campaigns included full integration with a lead-capture landing page, call tracking, email follow-up automation, and a referral page. All marketing strategies and creative assets were presented to Aveda prior to execution to ensure their understanding and approval.

Within each campaign, iluma performed A/B testing to determine which creative images, videos, messaging, promotional offer, and call to action drove the best results—while also thoroughly tracking demographics and platform-specific performance data to optimize targeting.

In addition to quantitative data collected from campaign performance, iluma maintained a close working relationship and communication with each of the salons and spas in the test to gather insight about changes in business, conversions of leads into long-term repeat clients, and the business owners’ level of satisfaction with their results.

Each subsequent test phase was developed based on the results of the previous phase, with additional layers of testing added. Goals were updated to reflect the diverse and complex needs of Aveda’s business owners.

In addition to thorough internal tracking, all results and findings were shared and discussed with Aveda throughout the duration of the marketing test.

The results

iluma Agency developed successful digital marketing campaigns that yielded unprecedented business growth for Aveda salon and spa owners.

Phase 1 alone generated more than 6.5 million impressions and 30,000 clicks, with a click-through rate of 6.2%.

At multiple points in each testing phase, business owners requested to pause the campaign so they could handle the overwhelming amount of leads and new salon guests.

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Blog, Franchise Development, Uncategorized

Your franchise brand is growing, opening more operating units exponentially each year. You’re executing a successful marketing campaign at the national brand level, profits are steady, and you’ve got your eye on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list—but you know you could grow faster if your franchisees were doing more at the local level. Your franchise location owners need to generate more leads, convert them into paying customers, and increase retention by maximizing engagement with current clientele.

Leveraging events through strategic digital and social media marketing tactics is crucial to boost local success across all markets and can elevate your brand’s growth from “good” to “great.”

Every business has marketable events, starting even before the business opens. Think pre-sales events, a “sneak peek” or open house sign-up event, and grand opening. Once open, a fitness franchise might host an annual weight loss challenge, and a salon might have a recurring makeover tutorial led by a popular stylist.

Powerful events do more than get customers in the door; they build awareness and excitement for your brand.

Many of these events can and should be planned and guided at the corporate brand level, but smart execution at the local level—including local digital marketing—is critical for success.

Think of local event marketing like a web. A single unit hosting a local event could garner a few thousand impressions, but a brand planning a nationwide event marketed through a multi-faceted digital approach could achieve exponentially more reach. If the event is promoted consistently, the same brand message will be delivered to hundreds of thousands of people, covering much more ground. With proper marketing before, during, and after the event, your customers and targeted leads are likely to share the event with their friends, creating viral visibility at no additional cost.

BEFORE THE EVENT

The success of an event depends on local marketing executed well before the event begins.

Franchisees can encourage a sense of urgency by creating a Facebook event page and scheduling social media posts counting down to the event. Local e-blasts can include messaging about the event and drive traffic to an RSVP page or lead-capture landing page designed specifically for an event.

Digital ads as well as boosted, sponsored, or pinned posts on social media can generate a high level of buzz about an upcoming event while simultaneously boosting brand awareness. Strategic targeting and ad spend deliver an event to current and prospective customers who are a fit for your brand in a specific local market.

Consistent use of on-brand event assets throughout integrated marketing activities across all locations drives a unified, recognizable message that showcases what’s unique and special about your brand. Typos, improper logo use, and clip-art at the local level can dilute the brand, show it in a negative light, and fail to attract new customers.

DURING THE EVENT

While marketing prior to an event is key to participation, keeping the momentum going throughout the event’s duration is equally important for engagement and retention. Whether an event is a few hours or a few weeks long, thoughtful digital marketing tactics can foster a sense of community that increases brand loyalty and referrals.

With attention to brand messaging and consistency, franchisees can employ these digital marketing activities to maximize event engagement online:

  • Set up a branded Snapchat geofilter to make it fun for customers to share pictures of the event with their friends
  • Upload videos from the event to Youtube and share them across multiple channels
  • Share fun event pictures and videos during the event via Instagram Stories
  • Communicate with event participants in a Facebook Group, where members of the group, including customers and staff, can all post to and interact with each other

AFTER THE EVENT

When an event ends, it’s instinctive to move right into what’s coming up next. But the best event marketing continues to keep up the buzz of an event well after it’s over.

Through email newsletters, social media, and blog content, franchisees can showcase an event’s best moments, promoting a sense of pride in attendees and a strong push for others to join in next time.

This is an ideal time to curate user-generated content by searching for event- and location-specific hashtags. Incorporating user-generated content shows customers your brand is listening and engaging—and encourages other customers to share their own content about your brand in the future.

MANAGING EVENT MARKETING ACROSS 100s OF LOCATIONS

Brands can encourage all open and pre-open franchise locations to follow these simple, replicable event marketing strategies. Before the event, develop cohesive brand assets to increase awareness across all units. During, build a sense of community by encouraging discussion and user-generated content through social media. At the event’s end, recap and repurpose content from their location for future events.

While important, managing hundreds of individual franchise locations’ events isn’t the best use of time for your corporate marketing team. Working with a franchise-focused digital agency partner for localized marketing support can help streamline event marketing success across all markets while protecting the brand. A branded event, promoted properly in all markets throughout its life cycle, earns interest from new clients, loyalty from current customers, and engagement from all—for growth at the local and brand level.

To learn more about how iluma Agency can make your brand shine with frictionless franchise digital marketing, contact us today.

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Blog, Meet the Staff

The Content and Creative Director of iluma Agency, Sarah Rosenblum, has been with our company for more than 2 years and plays an important role in our LocalLight marketing program for franchisees and multi-unit businesses, including Orangetheory Fitness, Aveda, Massage Envy, and Tapout Fitness.

From social media and blog articles that drive engagement, traffic, and brand awareness to e-blasts and ads that generate clicks and leads, she manages the creative strategy and production of influential digital marketing assets that serve as a perpetual source of growth for the franchise brands we work with. She also develops and hosts a webinar series we developed for Orangetheory Fitness to help local studio owners learn the latest marketing techniques and trends, including “Snapchat & Video Marketing Techniques to Amplify Studio Growth” and “Studio Event Marketing to Increase Growth & Retention.”

Sarah was born in the northeast, moving from Arlington, Virginia, to Dublin, Ohio; Doylestown, Pennsylvania; and Columbia, Maryland before residing in South Florida. She studied sociology at Flagler College and pursued her graduate degree in writing from Nova Southeastern University. Passionate about traveling, some of Sarah’s favorite adventures include hikes in the Faroe Islands and Peru. She also taught English in Nagoya, Japan.

Recently, some of her favorite stories to share with her colleagues are about joining Orangetheory Fitness as a member of their Miami Lakes studio. She is excited to be participating in a workout program that’s efficient, fun, and helping her live a better, healthier life. She completed Orangetheory’s Hell Week fitness challenge in October and is getting ready to experience their 8-week transformation challenge.

Sarah also enjoys circulating her workout summaries around the office for everyone to see. Orangetheory Fitness is a high-tech, heart rate monitored workout that shows results in real-time on screens throughout the class and tracks cumulative performance over time.

From a marketing perspective, Sarah says she gains additional insight by experiencing a brand the way a customer does. Whether it’s working out at Orangetheory or getting a haircut at Aveda, “it helps me connect with prospective new members and clients on an emotional level,” she says. “And I love knowing that I’m not only helping brands find new customers—but that I’m helping people find service or brand they’ll love.”

Sarah and the content, social media, and creative team at iluma Agency are part of our company’s integrated digital marketing approach designed to maximize reach, engagement, leads, conversion, and growth. To learn more about iluma Agency’s LocalLight digital marketing program for franchise brands and multi-unit businesses, please call 786-703-3083, email sales@ilumaAgency.com, or contact us here.

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Case Studies, Franchise Development

The client 

Massage Envy is the first and largest massage and spa franchise in the market, with more than 1,000 locations and 1.5 million members nationally.

A distinct challenge and opportunity

Massage Envy’s individual franchise locations are grouped into regional co-ops. Spanning a large geographical area with diverse target client demographics, Massage Envy South Florida needed to provide their spa owners with individually focused marketing and increase return on regional marketing to justify pooled spend. National campaigns, branding, and promotions would also have to be adhered to, leveraged, and maximized at the local keep reading

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Blog, Meet the Staff

Samantha LeWinter, Digital Strategy Manager, joined iluma Agency in April 2017. She brings a wealth of expertise and talent to our team, the value of which can be seen every day as we continue to drive better and better results for our clients. Equipped with bright ideas and strong opinions as she lights the way to successful digital marketing campaigns, Samantha truly does what it takes to help brands shine. She’s also a pleasure to work with and simply to know.

Samantha grew up in Weston, Florida, but has also lived in DC and New York, where she gained experience in her roles as Digital Advertising Consultant, Key Account Manager, and Marketing Director. A graduate of Florida State University and jack of all trades, her major in interdisciplinary studies included a focus on public health and administration. Samantha is now a certified HIV counselor who has a passion for helping others and making the world a better place.

Her acts of good will extend to the animal world as well. With a self-professed “rescue problem,” Samantha sometimes tries to find homes for animals she can’t adopt herself. Even when she was little, she cared for injured turtles she found, then released them once they were better. Her current fur family includes a hound mix named Penelope and a shepherd mix named Tela.

One of Samantha’s recent hobbies is renovating the new house she shares with her husband, Eric. Eric is also a graduate of Florida State University. He and Samantha met each other 8 years ago, started dating 5 years ago, and have been married for 2 years. A rainy day, complete with a tornado, wasn’t enough to stop their wedding at the Stranahan House in the New River area of Fort Lauderdale. For their honeymoon, they enjoyed island hopping in the Southern Caribbean.

Traveling is another passion Samantha shares with our team. Her travel bug has taken her spelunking through rainforest caves in Belize as well as off-roading to a beach in St. Lucia surrounded by gorgeous mountains. She likes trying food from around the world, too, with a special love for Thai, Indian, and Korean food. Whether traveling the world or keeping it local, Samantha has an appreciation for the outdoors and any outdoor activities, recounting learning to sail with her dad in the Keys and expressing interest in hiking Kilimanjaro.

One more fun fact about Samantha is that she loves music and going to concerts—especially small music festivals. A fan of Lollapalooza, she also attended the first ever Hangout Festival.

iluma Agency Digital Strategy Manager Samantha LeWinter looks forward to continuing to drive results for your marketing campaign or beginning to work with you in the near future. If you have any questions for her, don’t hesitate to ask.

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Blog

Referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers fast. Existing and new customers who love your business are excited to share it with the people they love.

An integrated digital marketing strategy can take your referrals to the next level for uncharted growth. By integrated, we mean optimizing and coordinating across platforms (like ads, social media, email marketing, and blog) for greater success across the board.

Here are 3 tactics you can use to generate more referrals for your business:

1. Consistent and on-brand referral message, creative, and incentive.

Let’s say you’re promoting a referral incentive, like giving someone a $25 gift card for each of their referrals who signs up or buys. When promoting, be sure to use the same image, message, and offer on every channel—and do use every channel.

It might seem like overkill to show the same thing on an ads, organic social media, and email, but repetition strengthens memory and keeps the promotion top of mind, ensuring that interested customers do take that next step to refer a friend.

Data from our marketing experience has shown that this approach leads to greater success across the board. Businesses and brands promoting a referral consistently across channels like social media and email get better results on each of those platforms than if they just used one or the other.

2. Make it easy for current customers to share your business with their family and friends.

What’s your current referral process? If a customer wants to refer a friend, do they have to tell you in the store? Fill out a form? Call in?

We build referral lead-capture pages into our digital marketing program. These pages can be linked to from ads, emails, social media posts, your website, and more. When you prompt a customer to help spread the word about your business, all they have to do is push a button, enter a few names and email addresses in a matter of seconds, and they’re all set.

The easier you make it, the less excuses your customers will make to procrastinate.

3. Consistently respond and engage with online comments and reviews.

No marketing platform is isolated—and new potential customers will investigate your brand across most if not all of those platforms. Before giving your business a chance, the first thing a referred customer will do is look you up on platforms like Yelp and Google and check out your social media pages.

Don’t let any comment or review, positive or negative, go unanswered. Show referrals that your business is listening, involved, friendly, and engaged. Your online reputation matters.

These are just 3 things to keep in mind for your next referral promotion—but our ideas don’t end here. In a webinar we recently hosted for one of our fitness franchise clients, we shared referral marketing strategies and demos specifically designed for their brand.

If you’re interested in exploring additional ways to promote referral marketing for your brand or business to drive growth, we’d love to hear from you.

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SEO

Think you know SEO? Think again. The ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing brings new trends and strategies the moment you’ve caught up to the last round. Stay on top of these SEO trends to keep your business’s website and digital marketing campaigns successful.


1. Nurture leads.

Studies and reports about e-consumer behavior suggest that customers do their research and take their time with the decision to buy. Capturing them as a lead isn’t enough. Email provides a constant line of communication and allows you to share additional resources with them, from testimonials and reviews to social media stories and news coverage.

  • Design for mobile first, because that’s how most customers are browsing the web. Use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and a responsive design with clear, easy navigation. Mobile-friendly is customer-friendly (and customer-friendly is SEO-friendly).
  • No time to watch a page load! Check your website’s speed and invest in quality hosting before your bounce rate jumps off the charts.


2. Create amazingly amazing content.

Most people now understand that you shouldn’t just write for search engines—you need to write amazing content that people want to read. This means that “amazing” is no longer enough to stand. Google is looking for content that’s amazingly amazing.

  • Blog articles should drill into a specific topic in-depth. 800 words laser-focused precisely on what your customer wants to know will out-perform 2,000 words that ramble vaguely around a topic your customer is interested in.
  • Use formatting to guide readers easily through your content. Assume they’ll only read about 10-25% of what you write. (And that’s probably a generous estimate!) Numbered lists, bullet points, bold key phrases, spacing, and strategic images or infographics can keep them scrolling through to the end and help them get a digestible overview of what they need to know.
  • Keep your visitors engaged with attention-commanding images and videos.
  • Stay ahead of the trend by utilizing the newest types of technology and content, like VR (virtual reality). Start building up ranking before the masses catch on.


3. Steer traffic to your amazingly amazing content.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your content is. If all you do is create and publish content, all it will do is sit there.

  • Build up your social media networks, and use social media to share content. This is an easy way to direct traffic to your website. Different platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, have the potential to drive traffic from different target groups of customers and potential industry partners.
  • Build up your professional networks, and share your content with industry experts who find value in sharing your content with their followers. One link into your website from a quality source with a large following is much more valuable than 50 links to your website from irrelevant, unpopular sources.
  • Regularly invite content from credible guest bloggers. These contributors will promote this content to their own followers and help drive additional traffic to your site.
  • Practice content repurposing. You may have written the blog, published it, and promoted it two months ago, but if there’s a new demand for the topic, don’t miss out. Put the right content in front of the right audience at the right time.
  • Search for broken links with outdated URLs on websites where you would like your content to be linked to. Bonus points if the broken link was directing to a competitor in your market. Offer a link to your content as a replacement for their broken link.


4. Think about links in a new light. 

It’s no secret that links are linked to SEO, but the criteria for SEO-worthy links continues to evolve.

  • Link to industry expert material that is perfectly relevant in the context of your content. These links should open in a new window or tab so they do not navigate away from your website.
  • Internally link to other relevant content within your site. Keep your customers on your website longer.
  • Create anchor text within certain pages so internal links direct readers exactly to the most relevant part of the content. Make their experience as easy as possible. Know where they’ll want to go, and take them there.
  • Consider an approach to content where you write a larger piece immediately followed by smaller, focused articles that drill into detail on the subcategories of that larger piece. This will allow you to easily set up a structure of internal links.


5. Key in on keyword strategy.

It has become common knowledge that there’s more to SEO than just keywords and links, but that doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t valuable.

  • Understand LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Search engines like Google don’t only calculate exact keywords and phrases. They also analyze other related terms according to relevance.
  • Don’t overdo your keywords. Again, the focus should be on readability and interest for your readers and your customers. If you focus only on keywords, you’ll end up with unnatural sounding content that readers don’t enjoy engaging with. 

By focusing your brand’s SEO strategy around these 5 trends, with time you can expect to see higher search rankings, more website traffic, and ultimately higher profit and ROI. It can take time to make Google trust you, so it’s important to start now and to stay on top of it. Part of staying on top of it means staying on top of the always-evolving trends. Keep your content marketing current.


To learn how Illuminati Studios can help your brand optimize its SEO and content marketing strategy as part of an integrated digital marketing campaign, please contact us.

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Marketing

Learn how to utilize this powerful marketing tool to generate valuable business growth across platforms.


Think about your marketing goals. You want to generate leads, increase awareness of your brand, keep current customers interested in your products, and pump up the profit.


You’re posting and engaging with customers on social media, running digital ads to reach new eyes, and using “grass roots” marketing such as flyer distribution and local event sponsorship. But if you’ve overlooked email marketing, you’re missing an integral part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.


Email marketing alone boasts the ability to promote your brand and products or services, but here are 6 ways a consistent email plan helps you reap even more success from your other marketing endeavors:

1. Nurture leads.

Studies and reports about e-consumer behavior suggest that customers do their research and take their time with the decision to buy. Capturing them as a lead isn’t enough. Email provides a constant line of communication and allows you to share additional resources with them, from testimonials and reviews to social media stories and news coverage.


2. Convert leads.

Emails that utilize strategic calls to action can guide a potential customer through to the buying or sign-up process. They’ve already expressed interest. Stay top of mind and keep sending them emails until they buy. Then keep sending emails until they buy again. If they’re members who’ve already signed up, encourage them to buy the swag, sign up for that extra class, and refer their friends.


3. Boost social media engagement.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram use an algorithm that limits organic reach so your posts are only shown to a small percentage of your followers. Boosting engagement (likes, comments, etc.) triggers the algorithm to share your posts with more people. More people seeing your posts leads to more people sharing your posts with their own networks. And even for those who already know and follow you, seeing your posts ensures you stay top of mind. Emails can link to social media and generate clicks through to your profiles for additional engagement.


4. Improve Google search rankings.

Emails that promote blogs or other website content can increase traffic to your website, which is beneficial for SEO. Most people won’t even go past the first page of search results when looking for a business or product, so anything you can do to boost your search ranking can help new customers find you.  


5. Develop your online reputation with positive reviews.

By including screen captures of positive reviews that have been left on Yelp, Google, and Facebook, you can encourage other satisfied members to also take the time to leave a review. These positive reviews will seriously aide your online reputation management efforts and demonstrate credibility to anyone who’s considering trying your product or service for the first time.


6. Build recognition and sentiment so “grass roots” efforts work better.

Consider a lead or member who has received consistent emails from you. One small moment of recognition when he or she sees your logo on a billboard and suddenly it becomes a full conversation with friends and family members you haven’t reached before. Equipped with the information and fun content you’ve provided through emails, he or she becomes a knowledgeable ambassador for your product or service.


Email marketing is a powerful profit-generating tool that deserves recognition, utilization, and optimization. If you are interested in an integrated email marketing strategy developed specifically for your brand or business, along with full production and management, please contact iluma Agency at 786-703-3083.

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SEO

You may have heard that a complete digital marketing campaign for your business should include a blogging and content marketing component.

One of the primary ways that blogs can boost your brand’s growth is by maximizing SEO, or search engine optimization, so your business appears higher in Google search results. This is especially crucial when you consider that most people won’t even click or tap through to the second page of results.

Here are two of the more commonly known tricks for an SEO blog boost:
  • Blog length of more than 300 words
  • Use keywords likely to be entered in a search engine when searching for a business similar to yours

But these can’t be the only techniques that go into a blog post, or what you’ll end up with is something that people don’t want to read. Keyword density should not be your sole focus.

Search engine optimization goes beyond just keywords and word count. Search engines like Google have evolved in complexity and rely on a complex algorithm to determine SEO and page rankings.
 

Readability is equally important to your blog’s SEO, so keep these points in mind:


  • Grammar and spelling matter.
  • Short words, sentences, and paragraphs make it easier to read. Aim for a conversational tone, and check your Flesch-Kincaid readability score.
  • Page design, formatting, and typography (including font, size, spacing, and header structure) can affect whether people read it.
  • Breaking up text with relevant images improves readability and shareability.
  • It must be interesting to your audience.


The length of time spent on a blog page helps search engines determine readability and assess whether people can and want to read your blog.

Aside from increasing search ranking results, you do want people to read your blog. By providing relevant, interesting, and readable content to your customers and prospects, your blog allows you to position your business as an industry leader. Use your blog to connect with your audience on a human level while you teach them about your brand and ultimately increase sales.

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