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Blogging for Franchisees: SEO Means More than Just Keywords

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A blog that promotes your franchise location should focus on consumer readability in order to boost search engine optimization and enhance overall digital marketing success.

Your brand’s complete digital marketing campaign should include a blogging and content marketing component for your individual franchise location.

One of the biggest boosts blogs can have on brand growth is that they help maximize SEO, or search engine optimization, meaning that the brand’s website and your individual franchise location’s microsite appear higher in Google’s search results. This is vital when you take into account the statistic that most consumers will never even click or tap past the first results page.

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These are two common tricks utilized for blog SEO:

  • Keywords likely to be searched in Google by target consumers
  • More than 300 words in length

While these techniques are useful, they aren’t and shouldn’t be the only ones used or you’ll end up with a blog post that people don’t want to read. Your franchise’s blog needs to focus on more than just keyword density.

Search engine optimization involves factors beyond simply keywords and word count. Google and other search engines have evolved to a complex algorithm that assesses a number of components in order to determine SEO and page rankings.

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Your blog’s SEO depends on readability. Keep these tips in mind when writing a blog:

  • Grammar and spelling should be flawless.
  • For ease of reading, use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Try to write in a conversational tone. Consider testing for a Flesch-Kincaid readability score.
  • The design, format, and typography (font, size, spacing, header structure, bullets, etc.) of your page can increase readability.
  • Break up text with interesting images for content that is readable and shareable.
  • Be interesting and relevant to your target consumers.

Search engines take the length of time spent on a blog page into consideration when assessing readability and determining whether people actually want to read your blog and are easily able to do so. Someone who is frustrated by a hard-to-read font, overly complex sentences full of typos and grammatical errors, and keyword-heavy content that’s not interesting to read will likely leave your page pretty quickly.

In addition to improving your franchise’s search ranking results, you really do want consumers and prospects to read your blog. Position your franchise as the leader in your market by providing interesting, relevant, readable content. Appeal to your target audience on a human level and they’ll be more receptive to become loyal, long-term customers or members. Written right, a good blog will ultimately increase your sales.

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EMMA Email Marketing for Orangetheory Fitness

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Don’t ignore this powerful marketing tool to reach current members and prospects.

Your goal is to grow your studio. You want to strengthen your existing member base and convert new members.

This requires a multifaceted marketing approach. You’ll need to use a variety of techniques in an integrated strategy, as each component works to enhance the results of every other piece.

Some of the big ones you’re probably already using are digital ads, social media posts, and ‘grass roots’ marketing (flyer distribution, local event sponsorships, etc). But one component is often overlooked and can have a tremendous impact on the success of your overall campaign: email marketing.

As an Orangetheory Fitness franchisee, you have access to an email marketing platform called EMMA. Corporate email templates are populated into the platform every month, sometimes with features like a healthy recipe or information about a national promotion. There are empty spaces for you to fill in information pertinent to your studio. The OTF corporate marketing team urges all studios to take advantage of this marketing device.

Here are a few pieces of content that can be incorporated in your newsletters:

  • Engaging social media content or a blog teaser (that links to your social media pages or studio webpage)
  • A positive review your studio has recently received (from Yelp, Facebook, Google, Listen360, etc.)
  • Current promotions, including the national promotional offer and your member referral campaign
  • Upcoming events, including corporate-approved fitness challenges (Peak Performance, Dri Tri, Hell Week, etc.)
  • Trainer tips
  • Member testimonials or transformation stories
  • Member accomplishments outside the studio (e.g., running a marathon)
  • Weight Loss Challenge winners—and other achievements in the studio
  • Your studio in the community

What is the optimum blend of content?

  • Include one social media story, blog article, and review each month, because these will boost your organic reach on social media, improve search engine rankings of your studio’s webpage, and reduce fear of new members trying the workout.
  • Include the latest promotion and upcoming special workout dates (for awareness and conversions).
  • Highlight up to two studio stories per email. These trainer tips, member stories, challenge winners and other spotlights help build a sense of community—which is appealing to both current members and prospects. Any more than two of these will devalue them and reduce click-through.

Quick Tip: Adhere to branding guidelines to make sure you’re getting the most out of being part of the Orangetheory Fitness franchise. Images and text should be consistent with brand messaging and tone. Avoid deviating from the default formatting and colors in the templates from OTF corporate, and avoid superimposing text over photos.

What is the ideal emailing frequency?

We recommend one to two emails per month. If sending two emails, one of these should contain much less content and draw attention to one content piece that is geared toward action, such as referrals (Refer and Receive), purchases (the latest OT Beat or OTF Gear), conversions (sign up today and be entered to win a 10-pack), or signing up for an upcoming event at your studio.

Why is email marketing so useful?

  • It targets those who are interested in you, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
  • It increases brand awareness and keeps your studio top of mind.
  • Content is easily shareable, which means it may reach additional viewers. If a member was featured in a story in the newsletter and wants to share it with family and friends, all it takes is one click of the forward button.
  • Success is easy to track. The EMMA platform shows open and click-through rates.
  • It provides measurable insights about customers. The EMMA platform provides a map that shows which stories were clicked on, meaning you learn what content to focus on in the future to increase your conversions.
  • It’s affordable and efficient—especially compared to direct mail, which requires printing and mailing fees and is sent to a large number of people who are not potential Orangetheory members.
  • It allows for segmentation of your mailing list to send certain content only to active members or only to leads.
  • Calls to action, such as linking to a lead-generating landing page, are easy to integrate.
  • You can immediately start seeing results as soon as an email is sent.

Where to start?

Email marketing is crucial to studio growth but can be too time-consuming when you’re focused on studio-level operations and sales calls.

Illuminati Studios provides email marketing management as part of its LocalLight Digital Marketing program. For more information, contact rich@illuminatistudios.com.

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Meet the Staff: Matthew Abad

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Digital Advertising Specialist Matthew Abad works behind the scenes here at Illuminati Studios to perpetually monitor, strategize, and optimize your digital campaigns for maximum performance and results. He pours his heart and energy into everything he does both in and out of the office, and we feel fortunate not only to have him on our team but also just to know him.
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Drive New Membership: Online Reputation Management and Social Engagement

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The holiday season is a beautiful time of year—for getting new members! New Year’s Resolutions can be the perfect motivator to bring new faces into your Orangetheory Fitness studio. And thanks to the Holiday CORE 4 Gift Pack, current members can give their friends and family access to your studio as a gift for Christmas or Hanukkah. With the potential for new membership so high, this is an especially crucial time to make sure your online reputation and social media community strategies are optimized.

When resolution-makers search for a new fitness regime, what will they learn about your studio? Even before trying a free session, prospects gather information about your studio from multiple sources, two of the top contenders being Facebook and Yelp. Both of these platforms showcase reviews, including star ratings, detailed feedback, and your responses to that feedback. A prospective member who sees a low star rating, negative feedback, and/or complaints that have not been responded to properly (or at all) will likely never step foot in your studio.

More than just a review platform, your studio’s Facebook should also serve as an online extension of your studio’s community. This publicly visible page allows prospective members to get a feel for the environment and culture of your studio before ever stepping through the door. Orangetheory Fitness produces the real results people want—but it’s also a place for bonding, friendship, and fun. It’s a tight-knit fitness family made up of people who are excited to be there and who have fun while supporting each other’s goals and reaching their own. Engaging posts and campaigns that encourage interaction among you and your members can show a prospect the additional perks of joining Orangetheory Nation.

The Holiday CORE 4 Gift Pack is a powerful word-of-mouth referral backed by four free sessions and a heart-rate monitor for the recipient. Even referrals who learned about the studio from a friend will collect additional information from multiple sources. Overly negative reviews on Yelp will lead them to trying the workout with an already negative preconception, possibly having a negative impact on their actual workout experience. Positive reviews and a fun, engaged online community can help prepare them to see your studio as a place they want to be—and ultimately make them want to sign up for more than just the four sessions they received as a gift.

Ask yourself these questions as you begin to consider whether your online reputation and social media engagement are optimized for the holiday season:

  • Where are people leaving reviews about my studio?
  • How many of these reviews are positive/negative?
  • Have I responded to all of these reviews?
  • How many reviews have been left?
  • Am I doing anything to encourage more reviews to be left?
  • Am I doing anything to increase exposure of positive reviews?
  • Do my social media posts show what’s special about my studio?
  • Are my social media posts eliciting any response from members?
  • Am I responding to all members’ comments on Facebook and Instagram?
  • Am I monitoring analytics for insights about social media engagement?

Building your online reputation and strengthening your social engagement can be a time-consuming endeavor but when executed properly can have a significant impact on your studio’s leads and conversions.

LocalLight Digital Marketing social media plans include options to fully manage your studio’s online reputation and social engagement. For more information, please contact Rich Feinberg at rich@illuminatistudios.com or 786-360-0350.

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Meet the Staff: Allison Krupp

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You probably don’t know Allison Krupp, but if you know our LocalLight Digital Marketing program, then you know and love her work. A graphic designer at Illuminati Studios for four years, Allison leads our creative team in developing the eye-catching animated social media graphics, advertisement images, and lead-generating landing page layouts that have become so crucial to the success of our clients. Her in-depth knowledge of brand guidelines for the franchises we work with, the time she spends in and outside of the office exploring new artistic trends and lead-generation techniques, and her intuitive eye for marketing design are just some of the characteristics that make her such an integral part of our team.
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Boost Pre-Open Sales with LocalLight Digital Marketing

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The LocalLight Digital Marketing experts at Illuminati Studios have developed a thorough understanding of the Orangetheory Fitness brand and the best marketing practices to grow a pre-open studio. By working with Orangetheory since Studio 0002, we have proven success helping 53 studios reach the famed 500 Club, including Orangetheory Fitness Nona.

What makes our program for pre-open studios so effective?

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Shine a spotlight on prospective members.

The LocalLight Digital Marketing Program is specifically designed to identify, target and engage with potential members in your local area across multiple online media at the same time. It’s a turnkey program to drive new member leads. Illuminati Studios provides the complete account setup, creative assets, content development and management of the entire campaign while providing monthly reporting on all activities through an easy to use online portal.