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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.

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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.

 

 

instagram on iphone
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The Power of Influence

instagram on iphone

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

instagram post man leaning on fence

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.

 

 

Man in suit reading newspaper
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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.

LSM Wins Communicator Award
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LSM Wins ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ Award

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Google Publishes Case Study About LSM’s Advertising

The Logo of FCMC 2016
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4 Things We Learned At The Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

6 ways to avoid having your ads blocked by people online
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Don’t Get Blocked: 6 Tips to Stay in Front of Consumers

According to a May 2015 report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, nearly 3.2 billion people use the Internet worldwide; up from 738 million in 2000.

How does one go about introducing all of these potential consumers to their brand? Through effective digital ad campaigns of course! Google’s Display Network already reaches 90% of global Internet users. Mix that with ads on Google’s Search Network, Facebook, and YouTube and you’re in front of almost every viable customer in the world.

Effective ad campaigns can do wonderful things for a business. Among other things they can:

Benefits of online advertising

Pretty powerful stuff!

 

Businesses Flew Too Close to The Sun

Remember Uncle Ben in Spider-Man? He said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” The same message applies to digital advertising and, unfortunately, we’ve seen too many companies abuse this great power. These bozos:

  • Put the wrong message in front of the wrong person at the wrong time.
  • Send people to poorly designed landing pages that have little to do with the originally advertised message.
  • Direct people off web browsers and into mobile app stores. Everybody loves that one, right?

People need something to combat these maddening ads ruining their digital experiences; a “digital advertising Spider-Man” if you will. Our hero doesn’t come in the form of a guy web-slinging around town, unfortunately. It comes in the form of ad blocking softwares and new privacy features that block brands from showing up on the Internet’s most popular sites.

 

Witness to The Blocking Revolution

Over the last few years we’ve witnessed the rising availability of softwares and new personal privacy preferences that modify who and what gets to track your “online persona” and place their ads in front of you:

  • According to a September 2014 report completed by PageFair and Adobe, nearly 150 million people have downloaded ad-blocking software.
  • Overall add blocking software downloads are increasing by 43% each year.
  • Popular search engines and social networks such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give users the ability to close ads immediately, effectively blocking that brand from ever showing up in front of them on that site again.
  • The new Apple iOS 9 software allows ad-blocking software to be distributed in the App Store, and they’re dominating the Apple download charts.

The takeaway: ad-blocking technology is here and growing in popularity. Between ad blocking software and website privacy features, businesses that continue running poorly managed digital advertising campaigns will end up wasting money and hindering their brand’s ability to flourish.

 

How to Avoid Being Blocked

All is not lost! On many sites people still need to manually remove your ads from ever showing up again, and many people are still too busy or too lazy to take that extra step. Even when someone purchases ad blocking software, they can modify their personal settings and allow certain ads to show up on certain sites. Your responsibility as a business is to get the right message, in the right format, on the right sites, at the right times.

Here are 6 tips that can help your ads stand out and decrease your chances of being manually blocked:

 

1: Be a Good Business!

This one isn’t rocket science. If people loathe your business they’ll most likely block your online ads, even if you’re running a terrific campaign and offering a product they desperately want. So remember to provide an excellent product or service along with excellent customer service on the back end!

 

2: Follow The “3 C’s” Principle

The ‘3 C’s’ principle states that a strong digital advertisement will be compelling, concise, and clear:

  • Compelling: include clear pictures, video elements, animation and/or interactive elements in your ads. It requires more time and effort, but can result in an increase in traffic compared to standard banner ads.
  • Concise: convey key points about your solution and use language that’s easy to read and understand, ideally involving words and phrases used by your customers.
  • Clear: communicate one strong message about one particular solution that will resonate with the consumer.

 

3: Make Sure You Have a Quality Landing Page

Make sure that the web page(s) you direct your visitors to reflect everything that initially interested them about the ad. It should be engaging, simple to navigate, informative and easy for visitors to convert into new leads. Use conversion optimization softwares like Optimizely and VWO to help you improve the effectiveness of your landing pages.

 

4: Show Up In The Right Spots

Research where your target audience spends their time online, and then set up advertising campaigns that gets your brand onto those sites. Before advertising on the Google Search Network, do some keyword research to see which keywords make the most sense for you to buy ad space on. If you’re doing Display Ads, make sure that your ads are showing up on sites likely visited by your target audience. Don’t spend money or energy buying ad space on sites that your audience never visits.

 

5: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes

Continually running poorly performing ads isn’t helping your cause. Track the results of your ads, analyze the findings on a regular basis and then spend more money on what’s working and less on what’s not. Rinse and repeat.

 

6: Don’t Overload Your Customers

Pushing the same message in the same place for too long can overwhelm consumers and make them lose interest in your brand. Changing the format and placement of your ads keeps them from becoming stale, and gives an entirely new group of people the opportunity to learn about your brand.

 

Summary

The increasing popularity of ad blocking software and online privacy preferences will make it more difficult for brands to position themselves in front of the online population. The best way to minimize your brand’s chances of getting blocked is to create compelling ads that show up to the right people, with the right message, at the right time.