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LSM Dashboard Wins MarCom Platinum Award

The 2018 MarCom Awards have named LSM a Platinum Winner for our use of our proprietary client reporting dashboard technology with our franchise clients. Administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. Entries come from professionals in a range of fields, including corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.

MarCom’s Platinum Award is presented to those entries judged to be among the most outstanding entries in the competition. Platinum Winners are recognized for their excellence in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness. There were over 6,500 entries from 20 countries in the MarCom Awards 2018 competition and only roughly 17 percent were chosen for this award. LSM is incredibly honored to be recognized by the MarCom Awards for our hard work in developing the best possible reporting tool for our clients.

Creating a Scalable Reporting Platform for Multi-Location Businesses

When managing a multi-location business such as Massage Envy or TITLE Boxing Club, overseeing and managing lead tracking and reporting can become even more complex. Our proprietary dashboard technology makes it easy for our clients to understand the origin and lifetime value of customers generated from their web assets (i.e. websites, landing pages, online ads, and local listings), helping them to make informed decisions about their digital marketing strategy.

“We had tried a number of off-the-shelf reporting solutions, but nothing we tried had all of the integrations and features we needed,” said Jeff Siebach, LSM’s Chief Technology Officer, on the origin of LSM’s reporting dashboard. “By building our reporting platform internally, we can include KPIs from all of the tools we use, as well as directly communicate with our clients through the platform. We’re nimble and able to adapt to new technologies more quickly thanks to our fast-acting and brilliantly talented dev team.”

As General Manager of TITLE Boxing Club in Rockville, LSM client John Reber enjoys the heightened lead generation tracking capabilities of the LSM dashboard. “Prior to using this tool, I was tracking our prospects with a color coded spreadsheet to see where our lead generation was coming from. I absolutely love the dashboard… it’s very easy to use and the content it generates for you is super helpful in tracking where your dollars should be spent. Not only can see where your leads are coming from, you can see the money it’s generating for your business!”

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your business, contact us at (615) 387-9153.

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LSM Named Best of Industry Winner at 2018 WebAwards

The 2018 WebAwards recently named LSM the “Best Small Business Website” Winner! This award recognizes our website development work for our client, Pure Barre Chicago. Hosted by the Web Marketing Association, the WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for website developers and advertising agencies. At last year’s WebAwards, LSM won the “Small Business Standard of Excellence” Award, and we are even more ecstatic to be a winner this year.

Building an Effective Website

Our Pure Barre landing page stood out from other entries based on seven criteria: design, ease of use, copywriting, interactivity, use of technology, innovation, and content.

Cait Rechel, Pure Barre Franchisee and President of the Chicago co-op said, “It’s been so easy working with LSM, and we’ve really appreciated their willingness and ability to make changes on the fly, specifically with the website in terms of the design and, of course, the data we receive from it is really great as well.”

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your business, contact us at (615) 387-9153.

Team LSM Takes On The Escape Game

For our last quarterly meeting of 2018, LSM decided to hone some team-building at The Escape Game Nashville. The Escape Game is a timed 60-minute interactive challenge. It’s just you and your team against the clock, racing to see if you can solve a series of puzzles and successfully escape before time runs out. While your exact escape challenge differs depending on the escape room that you choose, they all have one primary objective: to escape as fast as possible. After dividing our office into two mission-ready teams, we headed over to The Escape Game Nashville to test our problem-solving skills.

Why The Escape Game? LSM is always looking for new corporate team-building activities to build our team’s confidence and skillset in tackling difficult challenges together. The Escape Game is the perfect company outing because it requires our team to come together and practice effective communication, teamwork, and trust. Without a strong team foundation, it’s that much harder to pull off a successful escape. Escape games are highly interactive, engaging, and memorable, making them a great way to have fun with your company while also practicing some crucial collaborative skills.

Choosing Our Escape

The Escape Game Nashville has seven escape rooms total: Special Ops, Playground, The Heist, Mission: Mars, Gold Rush, Prison Break, and Nashville. Each escape game is a completely immersive experience, with custom-designed rooms that make you feel as if you’ve been transported right into a movie. We wish we could have had the time to try out all of them, but we had to narrow down our escape room choices to two rooms: Gold Rush and The Heist. With sixty minutes on the clock, each team had to work together to figure out how to escape the room before the time ran out.

Gold Rush

In the Gold Rush escape game, Team LSM was on the hunt for gold. For one hour, we traced the footsteps of Clyde Hamilton, a greedy gold prospector in Northern California. A gambling addict, Clyde disappeared after making too many bets with the wrong crowd. We were tipped off as to where he stashed his gold before his mysterious disappearance, but the mob was onto us. We only had sixty minutes to find the gold and escape the room before it was too late. We made it out of the escape room before the mob found us with just 13 minutes to spare!

The Heist 

The Heist escape game was just as intense. In this escape room, LSM had to try and beat a thief at his own game. An expert thief had stolen a famous piece of art and it was our job to try and recover this irreplaceable masterpiece before the authorities found us and mistook us to be the real thieves. Just like our first team, this LSM team was able to escape the room…with only 13 minutes left as well! Both teams were given free “I Escaped” stickers to prove we had made it out in time.

LSM’s Top 3 Escape Room Tips

Thinking about heading down to The Escape Game Nashville and trying out an escape room for the first time? After our day of escaping, we’ve got a few tips we can share:

  1. Split up. It takes a big group to successfully escape the room before time runs out, so make sure you use your numbers to your advantage. Each room has dozens of puzzles to solve. If everyone in your team is only focusing on one puzzle at a time, you’ll never escape the room in time. Instead, make sure your team is dividing themselves into small groups and taking on different puzzles so that you can be working on multiple at once and hopefully increase your escape time. 
  2. Mix it up. Been working on the same puzzle for several minutes but not having any luck? Try mixing it up by asking other team members to take a look. Fresh eyes and a new perspective can help you spot something you may have missed before.
  3. Use your hints. You’re given three free hints with each escape game. Don’t be afraid to use them! Even the best escape room teams will get stuck a few times during the game, and since the first three hints are free, using them won’t affect your overall escape time. Just make sure that everyone on your team agrees to use a hint, and let your game monitor know!

Want to try your own luck at escaping from The Escape Game rooms but don’t live in Nashville? The Escape Game has 7 other locations, including The Escape Game Austin, The Escape Game Chicago, The Escape Game Dallas, The Escape Game Houston, The Escape Game Minneapolis, The Escape Game Orlando, and The Escape Game Pigeon Forge.

Check out The Escape Game’s blog, Facebook and Instagram to learn more about escaping the room!

LSM Cleans Out the Office


The Leaves Are Changing, But LSM Is Staying Green

This past August, the LSM team spent some time going around the office collecting a number of old flash drives, cords, and other electronic devices that were no longer in use. Not wanting to throw these items away and harm the environment, we decided to go on a recycling spree. We asked our team to contribute any plastic or electronic items they had around the office and at home to make sure we could have the greatest impact possible.

Why recycle electronic devices?

Since 2015, Metro Nashville has asked for businesses and residents to recycle their electronic waste. Electronic devices can contain materials and chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and can cause some pretty bad damage when thrown in the trash. Plus, many devices have components that can be reused, reducing the energy spent when manufacturing new electronic devices. We’re a pretty tech-heavy team, so we had a hefty pile of electronics that was growing with each passing month. We wanted to make sure that we disposed of our old electronics properly to avoid causing any harm to our community and to respect and follow Metro Nashville’s guidelines.

So what did LSM do?

Together, the LSM team gathered all the recyclable items from both our office and our homes. All packed up, we drove over to our neighborly Best Buy on Charlotte Ave, which has an electronics recycling center. We made sure to check with Metro Nashville’s Public Works Department first to ensure we had identified the proper location to recycle our devices.

Between all of our employees, we successfully recycled over 70 electronic items. We packed the recycling bins with so much stuff that they actually started to overflow! But we didn’t just stop there – we also made sure to recycle 75 more plastic bags and containers that we’d had hanging around the office. All in all, a pretty good haul. Check out our graphic below to learn more about how LSM keeps green.

Join LSM on our recycling mission!

While LSM is grateful for the recycling services offered by our local BestBuy, that’s not the only location around town where you can recycle your electronics. Visit Nashville.gov to learn more about electronic waste recycling and find your nearest drop-off location.

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Google Names LSM A Finalist for Advertising Award

LSM was once again named a finalist for the ‘Growing Businesses Online Awardat the 2018 Google Premier Partner Awards. That means Google considers us and our fellow finalists to be high-performing leaders in digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth. Having won this award last year (we won the “Americas” category), we’re thrilled to be finalist for a second year in a row. A big congrats to our fellow finalists!

So, what have we done to get this far? Well, we showed Google a portfolio of how we helped one of our clients, L.A. Bikini, meet and exceed their expectations for online growth. An emerging beauty franchise, L.A. Bikini enlisted us as their full-service digital marketing agency in 2017, giving us oversight over their SEO, UX, Google Advertising and Facebook Advertising efforts. Our goal? Simple: generate more foot traffic to L.A. Bikini’s studios.

Teaching a Franchise to Optimize

To understand how best to strategize for growth, we performed a full audit of L.A. Bikini’s website, local listings, and previous digital campaigns. We came up with a 5-point strategy that included a simple, targeted Google AdWords campaign that would simultaneously benefit their site’s SEO standing and accomplish our two key objectives:

  1. Positioning their brand and unique sugaring services in front of more people online who are searching for hair removal services, or are demographically-accurate candidates for these services.
  2. Providing users with a better onsite experience that makes it easier for visitors to educate themselves on L.A. Bikini’s offering and convert them into new leads (appointments, memberships).

The results? In six months, organic conversions increased by 228% while paid cost per conversion decreased by 62%. Not too shabby.

Check out the video below or view our case study to learn more about our 5-part strategy to improve L.A. Bikini’s SEO standing and get them more leads.

 

 

2018 Inc. 5000 List

LSM Named to 2018 Inc. 5000 List

2018 Inc. 5000 List

 

     LSM was recognized by the 2018 Inc. 5000 List for the third consecutive year, coming in at #4851 with a 3-year growth rate of 62%. The Inc. 5000 ranks America’s fastest-growing private companies according to the company’s percentage of revenue growth over 3 years. Founded in 2006, LSM grew their revenue to $3.7M in 2017, and plan to continue growing by finding innovative ways to support our clients. This year, we’ve even been recognized alongside a few of our clients: Amazing Lash Studios, Advanced Financial, European Wax Center, and Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint!

“It’s great to be back on the Inc. 5000 list for a third consecutive year and see some of our clients recognized for their growth as well,” says CEO Trevor Emerson.

LSM will be recognized at the 2018 Inc. 5000 Conference this October in San Antonio, Texas.

 

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The Power of Influence

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It’s no secret that the buyer’s journey is constantly evolving. In order to truly create a connection to customers and leave a lasting impression, your brand needs to generate awareness and build trust with consumers in their target audience. Although word-of-mouth marketing is still important, as times continue to change many people are looking online to find the products that their peers or online community are using. In fact, Nielsen reports 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals—even if they don’t know them—over brands.

Building Awareness

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Brand awareness is a necessity for most brands. Whether you’re an established franchise or a small business, it’s important to get exposed to the right customers. One of the ways to get in front of potential audiences is through a brand awareness campaign. This can be vital to an expansion into a new market, product launch, or just to keep your brand in the public eye.

Most brands don’t have the budget to partner with a celebrity,  however, finding micro-local influencers is an option that boasts well for most brands. By honing in on people who are active in the community and have an engaged online following, there is an opportunity for your brand to develop a content partnership that caters to the individual’s needs while ideally using their presence to reach their audience. This tactic not only helps to spread awareness, but it can position your brand in front of an audience by using a source they already know and trust.

Who is an Influencer?

An “influencer” is an individual or publication that may have influence over potential buyers in your target market or industry. This can include:

  • Local guides or publications
  • Individuals with a large social media following on Facebook or Instagram
  • Bloggers specific to your industry (Fitness, Beauty, Lifestyle)

instagram post girl standing

This person doesn’t have to be a celebrity. In many cases, these are individuals who are able to create content that is relevant and engaging to their audience. Whether it’s an Instagrammer who supports local businesses, someone who shares fitness tips, or even someone who does beauty tutorials on YouTube, Google has even found that 40% of millennials say that their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their friends (Google).

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Why are more brands adding an influencer initiative to their marketing campaign?

  • By partnering with an individual or publication that their target consumers already trust, brands are able to share their message through authentic storytelling and content development.
  • Through a sponsored post, feature, event or giveaway, a brand’s message can seem less like a traditional advertising and more like organic content.
  • By finding the right influencer, your brand is able to get right in front of a specific target market that is already active and engaged.
  • Content produced by influencers can be utilized into a current content strategy and repurposed into blog posts, social posts, and email content.
  • There is a potential opportunity for building credible backlinks, which can positively impact SEO.

Do you think that an influencer marketing campaign might be beneficial for your brand to reach individuals on social media? Get in touch! Our team would love to discuss your needs.

 

 

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Top 5 PR Agencies for Franchise Brands

Man in suit reading newspaper

 

Partnering with a Public Relations agency that specializes in franchising offers a new host of benefits for both emerging and well-established franchise brands. When a PR firm has experience with brands similar to yours in size or industry, they possesses a better understanding of what strategies will help you business separate from the competition and accomplish your goals.

Part of LSM’s job is to support the overall success of our clients, which can involve collaboration with their PR firms on certain campaigns and initiatives. After 11 years of experience in the franchise space, we have determined 5 PR firms (in alphabetical order) that we recommend your franchise brand consider hiring:


All points public relations

All Points Public Relations

Founded: 2011
Brands: Huddle House, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Kona Ice, Junk King, Pearle Vision, The Joint Chiropractic, Dale Carnegie Sales Training, Etc.
Size: 25 Employees

team of coworkers standing together

All Points PR, which is approaching its seventh anniversary (August 15th), is a full-service PR company that focuses in the franchise space and develops and executes cost-effective, integrated PR strategies. In addition to offering the traditional PR services, they also have a collection of “creative services” that integrate to form a strategic campaign, inclusive of social media and content marketing. These services include national publicity, franchise development publicity, grassroots PR, grand opening support, existing franchisee support, consumer and franchise development social media, content marketing and media training.

fish public relations

Fish Consulting

Founded: 2004
Brands: Dunkin’ Brands, Jersey Mike’s, Wendy’s, Massage Heights, The Dwyer Group, FOCUS Brands, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, 1HUDDLE, FASTSIGNS International, etc.
Size: 22 Employees

women coworkers talking at desk

Fish Consulting is a PR agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with operations in Washington D.C. and London. It’s been around for about 14 years, so Fish Consulting has plenty of experience. They offer support for clients that ranges from brand building, national and local media relations, franchisee recruitment, and consumer campaigns to crisis communications, cause marketing, internal communications, and print/digital marketing.

fishman public relations logo

Fishman Public Relations

Founded: 1991
Brands: 85+ franchise brands!
Size: 40+ Employees

coworkers sitting at conference table

Fishman Public Relations provides strategic PR and content marketing services for franchise brand awareness and franchise lead generation. For over 25 years, their media relations results and content marketing pieces have driven system growth and closed countless franchise deals.

franchise elevator public relations logo

Franchise Elevator

Founded: 2013
Brands: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, Rising Roll Gourmet Cafe, Dat Dog, Cherry Blow Dry Bar, Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, Cody’s Original Roadhouse, Woops!, Etc.
Size: 7 Employees

coworkers talking in cubicle

The smallest and newest agency on this list, Franchise Elevator offers a more personalized approach than other PR agencies. Their services are designed to help emerging franchise brands build their brands. Franchise Elevator’s parent company is Fishman PR, offering their clients both the ideal experience and the personalization from both agencies. Their services include, among others, franchise lead generation PR, consumer brand awareness PR, crisis communications, grand opening PR, and media training.

no limit public relations logo

No Limit

Founded: 2008
Brands: Dairy Queen, Checkers & Rallys, Rent-A-Center, Mosquito Joe, MOOYAH, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Etc.
Size: 35 Employees

coworkers standing together for photo

No Limit is a Chicago-based content marketing agency that specializes in PR, content, digital, marketing, and advertising. They aim to be “the last agency you work with.” They started off in 2008 as a social media and PR agency and have evolved into everything content-based. They also run 1851franchise.com, their franchise trade publication and content marketing platform. They offer tailored services such as strategy & insights, content creation, design & development, and audience development.

Clutch Award

LSM Named A Top Web And UX Design Company

Clutch Award

A B2B ratings and review company, Clutch, recently named Local Search Masters one of the top web and UX design companies in the United States. LSM’s industry expertise was determined by 5 criteria: services offered, client base, case studies, awards received, and social media presence. Clutch analysts also conducted 5  phone call interviews with LSM clients to confirm their spot as one of the top agencies in the U.S.

“LSM was featured as a top design and digital marketing company thanks to their demonstrated dedication to clients across the U.S. and their consistent high quality work,” said Clutch analyst Katie Wonders. “The Clutch research methodology focuses on clientele, experience, and market presence – LSM has the ability to excel across the board.”

As a data-driven company, Clutch interviews real clients and collects data as they sift through the best B2B companies in the United States. This is LSM’s fifth recognition from Clutch in the last 5 years, as we’ve also been listed as a top SEO agency during the previous 4 years.

 

google my business
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Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing – LSMinute

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Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

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google my business

Google Enhances ‘Google My Business’ Listing

What Happened?

  • Business owners can now highlight products and offers/promotions directly from their Google My Business (GMB) listing. This piggyback’s off last summer’s introduction to Google posts, allowing business owners to post general information about their business and associated events.

What This Means For You

  • Posting information about your business’s separators (special offers, unique products, etc.) onto your GMB listing makes it easier for potential customers to see; they don’t need to make that extra click to your website to find these details. It’s likely to have a positive SEO impact as well. So, in our early opinion, businesses should consider regularly updating their GMB listing with product, service, event, FAQ, and promotional information.

Next Steps

  • We’re already optimizing our clients’ profiles for these updates, and so far, we’re seeing positive returns! Business owners can update their profiles themselves as well. We recommend that you ponder what information should be highlighted on your GMB listing. Then, log into your GMB listing, fill out your product/service information, post about a special/promo, and monitor your GMB analytics to gauge your results!

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Google My Business Video

Google Launches Outstream Ads to Boost Video Reach Beyond YouTube

What Happened?

  • Google just introduced a new video format, Outstream Video Ads, which will operate on mobile devices across Google Video Partner mobile sites and apps. The videos will appear in banners for mobile web placements and as banners, interstitials, in-feed, and native for apps.
What This Means For You
  • This format provides advertisers the ability to reach an audience with video content when a YouTube video isn’t present; thereby expanding the overall reach of Google’s video ad platform.
Next Steps
  • Brands in possession of high-definition video content should investigate implementing Outstream Video Ads into their brand awareness strategy; we’ll be doing this with our clients over the next two months. Brands without high-def video content are “behind the 8-ball;” video content’s only going to become more prevalent over time!

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gdpr

Understanding GDPR

What Happened? 

  • Businesses in the European Union (EU) were originally required to follow data protection guidelines outlined in the Data Protection Directive. The Data Protection Directive was recently replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR requires that organizations across the EU follow stricter data protection restrictions.
What This Means For You
  • Although these laws are confined to the EU, any business conducted with EU citizens has to follow GDPR guidelines. So, if you do business in the EU, you need to be made familiar with GDPR guidelines. Here’s a resource to help you get on the right track.

Next Steps
  • To keep in compliance with GDPR guidelines, we updated our privacy policy to reflect the recent changes to data sharing. We also won’t share your data with anyone; however, we never did that to begin with, so nothing’s really changed there.

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nashville food project

 

Recently, part of the LSM team got the opportunity to show off their green thumbs in The Nashville Food Project’s community garden! Who knew weeding and making compost piles could be so much fun?! Watch the video above to see us in action!

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awards

Award Season Continues

We recently picked up the ‘Marketing Effectiveness Campaign – Content Marketing” award at the 2018 Communicator Awards, an ‘Online Campaign: Content Marketing & UX Optimization’ award at the 2018 Summit Creative Awards and are being recognized at the 2018 Small Business Awards here in Nashville (for the 6th time!). None of this could be done without the continued support of our clients. We appreciate each and every one of you, and we’ll work hard to continue producing award-winning results in 2018 and beyond!

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