Who do you listen to most when it comes to purchasing a new product or service? The brand or the happy customer? It has become so simple for customers to share their experiences on multiple online platforms and there is a wealth of information out there for us to see when it comes to buying that new TV, car, latest gadget or joining a local gym. Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business?
Long gone are the days when we just go to our nearest shop and buy what we need – research is key, and online reviews often come top of the list in that research. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of customer reviews and here are a few reasons why they can be so great for your business…
Trust in a brand is of utmost importance when it comes to purchasing from a new company so how does a new customer know they can trust you? You can tell them how great you are until you’re blue in the face, but if your happy customers tell everyone how great you are then that means so much more! In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation and 77% of consumers say that a positive review makes them trust a business more.
2. SOCIAL PROOF
There is no doubt that a business with a lot of positive or 5* reviews will get more sales than a business with less or no reviews. If you see that lots of people think that buying from a particular business is a good idea then you are far more likely to go along with the crowd and buy from them too.
Without going into the depths of SEO (we’ll leave that for another day) regular positive reviews are looked on favourably by search engines and will help your business appear higher in rankings. Not only does this help people see your business they are more likely to click because they will see that your website is a leader in your area and therefore more trustworthy. More reviews will also help with keyword content, another thing that will help your SEO and improve your online visibility.
4. INCREASED SALES
We can’t 100% promise that you will suddenly start hitting all your targets if you get some good online reviews, however, studies have shown that improving your star rating and getting more online reviews can have a positive effect on your bottom line. In fact, customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
5. BETTER CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Having lots of online reviews is one thing but what you do with them is another entirely. They are, in fact, a great opportunity for you, as businesses, to get great interaction with your happiest and most loyal customers…the ones that are so important to you and your biggest raving fans! You can comment on and thank people for great reviews, you can even treat them to a freebie from time to time. Let other people see that there is a lot to be gained from saying nice things about you! Similarly, for those that might not be so happy, it gives you a great opportunity to deal with a poor review and a negative experience that a customer may have had. To show people that you care about your customers and take note and act on their concerns.
6. SPREAD THE LOVE
Increasing positive reviews on your own websites or Facebook pages is important but spreading that love and getting people talking about your business far and wide is what you need. Big review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp are hugely influential in expanding your company’s online reach and getting more people finding out about the great things you are doing. Make sure your customers are aware that they can leave reviews about you in multiple places.
7. REVIEWS BREED REVIEWS
It appears that when a business has some reviews already, people are more encouraged to leave their own reviews. Almost like a crowd mentality people feel confident to leave positive feedback when others have left similar comments before them.
TA6 have a wealth of experience in interpreting and acting on the data created from our clients’ digital marketing campaigns, and we’d love to share our knowledge with you. To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please fill in your details below.
Among the many positives of the insurgence of digital marketing is, without a doubt, the invaluable data that it provides us with. We all know that data is invaluable – why else would people be so fiercely protective over it? – but do you know why? How can we use the data left in the wake of people’s virtual actions to enhance both our digital advertising activities and the success of our businesses? We’d like to share with you 5 crucial pieces of data used by marketers to analyse the performance of digital adverts.
1. Click-through rate / CTR
Arguably the most important piece of data of them all, this little number represents the percentage of people who clicked on the advert having seen it. When you know how to use it, the CTR can tell you how well your advert is being received, whether it’s aimed at the right audience, and how tantalising your call-to-action is.
Whilst it is, of course, important for people to see your advert, a high amount of people having seen it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been successful. If your overall objective is for people to sign up for a free day pass to your gym, the number of impressions that your advert has received is almost irrelevant. Of most importance is the number of clicks and the click-through rate.Read More
As TA6 celebrates its one year anniversary, Paul Woodford, aka ‘Woody’, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at TA6, reflects on the achievements of the last 12 months and reveals his ambitions for the brand moving forwards.
Why was TA6 introduced?
Originally set up to drive the sustainable success of leisure facilities redeveloped by Alliance Leisure, the client services division needed its own identity to promote services direct to market and support leisure providers not necessarily investing in development works. Enter TA6.
The brand name is the postcode of Alliance Leisure’s office in Somerset and the ‘6’ represents the number of service categories offered: training and development, digital marketing, sales and retention, creative, insights and power packs.
What is the brand’s mantra?
To improve the health and wellbeing of local communities, plus empower and develop the leisure sector workforce. This in turn will drive income and make local leisure more sustainable.
What does TA6 offer?
TA6 provides bespoke marketing, sales, retention and training services focused on driving community engagement. Our services are driven by an experienced team of individuals, passionate about getting more people, more active, more often.
We offer leisure providers the chance to build a viable future through effective community engagement. Our training and development division also works to embed cultural values at all levels of the business. This ensures everyone pulls in the same direction, working towards common goals and service standards.
Partnerships are hugely important. We develop strategies which promote ongoing growth and development. Our services are all managed in-house, simplifying processes and ensuring control over quality and turnaround times. Clients are appointed an Account Manager who acts as a single point of contact, drawing on a rich resource of creative, digital, training and sales expertise.
Who are your clients?
Working with leisure trusts and local authorities, TA6 is currently partnering with more than 200 leisure facilities across the UK, including:
- University of Warwick
- South Lanarkshire Cultural Trust
- Active Luton
- Abbeycroft Leisure
- Village Hotel Group
- Vibrant Partnerships
Each organisation has its own culture and every community is unique. We conduct a full assessment at the start of every project and create a tailored solution that will deliver the required outcomes within the framework of the organisation’s mission, vision and values.
How is the TA6 team structured?
We have three key service areas:
- Marketing – headed up by the legend that is John Leaver
- Training & development – driven by trainer extraordinaire Marina Thomas
- Strategy – developed by industry veteran Neil Harrison
I oversee all three services and each of the service leads are supported by a team. TA6 is currently a team of 12.
Why should clients work with TA6?
We deliver. It’s as simple as that. We are straight talking and realistic. We implement strategies which achieve success, based on years of experience. We don’t over promise to win a contract. If we say we will achieve a KPI, we will achieve it.
What are your ambitions for TA6 moving forwards?
- To continue to drive engagement in physical activity. We are totally aligned to ukactive’s ambition to get more people, more active, more often
- To create a sustainable future for leisure provision in the UK
- To empower workforces to achieve success in both of the above
If you are interested in finding out how TA6 could re-energise your organisation, get in touch with Woody direct on 07789998624 or drop him an email at paulw@allianceTA6.co.uk
Marina Thomas, Head of Training and Development at TA6, has delivered training and education to all levels of the public and private sector workforce for more than 25 years. Passionate about empowering others to realise their full potential, while meeting organisational goals, she is one of the most inspiring trainers in the sector. Here she explains her role with TA6 and why she believes education at all levels of business is vital for commercial success.
Education is key to success. That’s the bottom line. I’m not just talking about the practical skills needed to satisfy a job specification; I mean the education needed to embed a brand’s vision, mission and values into the DNA of every person working within the organisation, regardless of role. The aim has to be to create a team of advocates who truly believe in their cause and who outperform the requirement of their roles, every minute of every day, not because their manager tells them to, but because they have the personal passion, desire and drive to do so.
Working in partnership with leisure providers, instilling this cultural allegiance to the organisation’s vision, mission and values is what TA6 does best. Yes, we can (and do) deliver individual courses to segments of the workforce and yes, this does drive success but where we see the most profoundly positive commercial results is where we involve the whole workforce, involving everyone in the team.
TA6 is not about investment for short term gains; we work with organisations to create a long term sustainable future. We rally individuals at all levels of the business to stand behind the values of the organisation and empower them to act on their own initiative, in line with those values. Once everyone is pulling in the same direction, striving for the same goals, driven by a personal desire to achieve, it’s amazing how the business will flourish.
The role of the TA6 education team is not to directly deliver operational or commercial outcomes. It is to empower all team members to play their part and perform to the best of their ability. To achieve this, everyone must understand the objectives of the organisation as well as their personal value and the impact they make to the bigger picture.
When we deliver our training and education, we often have the CEO and senior management team in the same sessions as those who are delivering front line services. This is because a receptionist, gym instructor or swimming teacher is arguably more influential when it comes to the day to day delivery of brand vision, mission and values. Everyone plays a part and every part is valuable.
Recognising that leisure remains a transient industry, especially in consumer-facing roles, we also work with senior teams to provide the skills and confidence needed to enable them to pass our teaching on to other team members. This ensures the allegiance to vision, mission and values remains intrinsic at all levels of the business, creating cultural sustainability.
Instilling loyalty among all team members and getting them truly behind an organisation’s cultural values is no easy task. It requires long term investment and commitment to education and training. My experience has taught me that a commitment to training and empowerment gives back far more than it takes.
If you would like to talk to TA6 about how we could empower your workforce to drive your business, contact us here.
In this short article I’ll be introducing the concept of advertising on social media channels using a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. I find the majority of advertising in leisure revolves around fitness memberships with some marketing also directed towards swimming lessons, courses and a few other activities. I’ll be using memberships as an example to show how you can start to use PPC advertising for your facilities.
Traditional, or offline, marketing focuses on leaflet distribution, newspaper adverts, outreach events, posters, roadside banners, radio advertising, etc. Many leisure operators find it difficult to track the effectiveness of these advertising channels but continue to invest in them year after year. What’s your go-to channel of choice? What has always given you guaranteed returns for your investment? Tricky to answer isn’t it? Because we often rely on a inefficient tracking methods and anecdotal evidence from years of experience.
So what if there were ways to monitor the effectiveness of your advertising AND guarantee returns? As you’re reading an article on digital advertising you can probably guess where this is going!
Digital advertising opportunities exist on many channels including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to name a few. We’ll focus on Facebook for now and I’m sure you can read about Google advertising in another of my articles in the future.
Facebook has been around since 2004, generates over $40billion of revenue each year and has 30,000 employees worldwide. It offers advertising through its Facebook Ads platform and as it also owns Instagram you can schedule adverts on that channel too.
Facebook Ads are shown to a user in a variety of ways, the most common being the mobile newsfeed, i.e. when you’re on Facebook on your phone and you’re scrolling through the newsfeed you will see ‘sponsored’ posts appearing.
One of the huge benefits of digital advertising is the targeting options available to marketeers when placing their adverts. Facebook allows you to target users based on location, gender, age, interests and a few other demographic traits. For example, if you want to promote a new class membership you might want to target 25-50yr old females living within 5km of a centre who have “gym, fitness, dance and exercise” interests. Your adverts would then only be displayed to this group of individuals when they’re on Facebook, regardless of whether they follow your page or not.
The next benefit of Facebook Ads is that most advertisers will probably use a pay-per-click strategy. This is exactly what it says on the tin – you only pay Facebook when someone clicks on your advert. So if you’re advert to female class users gets zero interactions, you won’t pay Facebook a penny and yet your advert will have been seen by lots of potential customers. However, don’t go celebrating the free advertising yet as there must be a reason why nobody clicked on your advert – wrong image, no specific call-to-action, poor offer, wrong audience?
The quality of your advert is obviously important when planning a digital campaign, but the real effectiveness of your advertising is probably based more on the outcome from where people are directed. I should say at this point that there is an alternative to PPC which is CPM (cost-per-thousand) and is based on displaying your adverts to an audience and charging you for every 1,000 impressions. This is useful for awareness advertising when you have no obvious destination to send people to. However, if you do have a landing page to send ‘clicks’ to then make sure it is mobile-friendly (over 85% of advert traffic tends to be on mobile devices), provides information on the subject that caused the user to click, captures data if appropriate and uses video and images to be attractive yet informative.
So how much does a ‘click’ cost then? In our experience a typical click is around 30p. But this can fluctuate from a few pence to over £1 depending on a range of factors. The size of your target audience, the quality of your advert, your budget and the length of the campaign can all have an effect on your spend. However, when setting up an advert Facebook does give an indication of how many clicks you are likely to receive based on your targeting criteria. And you are always in control of your budget so you can set a daily limit of say £5 so once your advert has received enough clicks to spend your £5 then the adverts won’t be displayed any more.
Alongside setting a daily limit you can also limit the length of time your campaign runs for. So you can setup an advert that runs for a week with a daily limit of £5 per day. At the end of the week you should have gained approximately 115 clicks to your website of choice (£5 x 7 days / 30p average cost-per-click). If the campaign is working well then at any time you can extend the duration or daily spend, or alternatively if you are not getting the results then you can pause or stop the campaign.
Through years of experience and regular contact with our Facebook account manager we have developed an expertise within TA6 that is hard to match in the leisure industry. Our adverts have been seen by almost 20% of the UK adult population and we have created over 1500 Facebook campaigns to date.
To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please complete your details below.
So 2019 is here and with it brings another huge opportunity for the leisure industry to continue its growth in participation numbers. With 1 in 7 of us in the UK being a member of a facility the State of the Industry report from last year shows the industry going from strength to strength. And long may it continue as one of our core drivers is to improve the health of the nation.
And we also have two key other drivers: income growth for our clients, and to develop the workforce within the leisure sector.
So what did 2018 deliver? Well us for a start! We launched TA6 back in May of last year and we have had some fantastic successes since. We have taken on new clients from Ipswich, Vibrant Partnerships, Cheltenham, Monmouth, Blackburn, Chesterfield, Hertsmere, Haverhill to name a few! We have also continued to work alongside a number of other organisations and partners. Thanks to support from ProInsight, Power2SMS, Falcon, Brand Chatter we have seen amazing results for our clients.
In the last 12 months…
- TA6 worked with over 250 leisure centres
- TA6 trained over 3000 staff!
- TA6 reached nearly 4 million people through Facebook advertising on behalf of our client
So if you’re interested in working with us in 2019 get in touch. We can help with website design, training, sales, marketing, service, customer retention, print & design, app, e-marketing, digital marketing, mystery shopping and lots more. CONTACT US HERE