Curves International is a global fitness and wellbeing franchise designed specifically for women, with over 6000 clubs across 80 countries. Famous for its 30 minute workouts and supportive club environment, Curves aimed to grow its European community across UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden, strengthening awareness of the Curves brand and introducing the benefits of Strength Training to more women.
The opportunity and challenge of franchise communities.
Curves’ members are engaged with the clubs they are involved with. Which is great. The fanbase exists and is active on social channels, predominantly Facebook. The challenge, however, was to encourage members to interact and engage with each country’s social media brand page, in addition to their local club’s profile, without taking away from the local community. We needed to give the target audience of 40+ females, reasons to engage with their national Curves brand. In addition, we needed to engage the clubs, and encourage them to become more involved in the national Curves social media communities.
With active social communities already in existence, albeit of differing sizes and levels of engagement across each European market, Curves’ franchise communities were in a healthy place. So Dog set out an integrated pan-European digital marketing strategy with the purpose of introducing new members, and adding another layer of value to existing members’ experiences of Curves, beyond that of their member clubs.
The content strategy.
The content strategy focused on capturing Curves’ global brand values of encouraging healthy lifestyle, body confidence and a sense of community support through engaging content relevant to each individual market. We aimed to expand the Curves’ experience beyond the club, while recognising the role played by the clubs themselves.
Content themes centred around healthy eating, exercise and confidence-building. Dog’s social media team worked closely with Curves’ marketing team, in-house nutritionists and exercise coaches to develop content including recipes, exercise tips, success stories and motivational messages. Emphasis was on localising content to ensure relevance – for example, a recipe that might be popular in Italy, may not resonate with Swedish audiences.
In addition to this ‘always on’ communication, we implemented 'quick win' tactics to boost engagement including, for example, ‘Club of the Month’ and contests in each country using Facebook’s lead generation cards.
We used a full range of organic and paid social communications to maximise the impact and reach of content across each market.
Nurturing the community....in 5 languages.
Throughout the campaign, social community management remained vital. There’s no point having amazing creative and great messaging if members’ questions remain unanswered. Having reviewed past interactions and discussing with the Curves team, we created a set of robust FAQs in each language for our team to refer to, minimising response time and ensuring members receive the information they need. Open communication between our social team, Curves and our partner translation agency, mean that communities are attended to, quickly. Take a peak at the Curves UK Facebook page. Or Curves France perhaps...
You get what you pay for, and a bit ( or a lot) more!
The paid strategy was key to grow the Curves community. During strategy sessions, the team identified that September & October were potential periods of growth. A seasonal trend in demand for gym memberships during these months in the run up to Christmas presented opportunities. A paid strategy to support the launch of the heavily incentivised "Curvette of the Year" campaign, together with the seasonal demand, was expected to drive a large proportion of the targeted increase in members for the whole of 2016.
Dog took this on board and came up with an aggressive, multi-channel expansion to the always-on paid activity that was already in place. Channels such as YouTube, media placements in relevant Trinity Mirror publications, as well as programmatic platforms and increased spend on search activity were identified as opportunities to maximise new member sign-ups during this period.
Connecting the dots.
To monitor engagement and behaviour across digital touchpoints, we implemented tracking across all social media links. By gaining such granular insight into each user’s journey following engagement with each social post, the team is able to analyse performance – both creative and messaging – optimising content weekly, and informing future organic and paid marketing strategies.
Within 6 months, the social media campaign across 6 European countries and in 5 languages, smashed social media fan acquisition KPIs set out for the entire year and at least doubled engagement rates. The budget has also been optimised, with active management of tactical paid campaigns ensuring that cost per leads in each country have been reduced by one third on average.
Comprehensive community engagement and a steady blend of ‘always on’ social media communication, together with quick win tactical campaigns, has resulted in a number of positive outcomes for the brand and ultimately, the business.
For example, during one 14-day tactical Facebook contest, almost 1800 leads were generated among target audiences. Oh, and 2000 fans were acquired.
The 'Curvette of the Year' campaign, during September and October, was very successful at promoting the Curves offering to people at different points in the customer journey from product research to purchase. Thanks to this enhanced presence, paid search conversions across all 6 territories cumulatively rose by 149%, with the UK being particularly successful, seeing a 221% rise in conversions. Despite strong competition from other advertisers in this month causing CPCs to rise steeply by almost 20%, Dog acted to improve efficiency wherever possible to keep cost per acquisition down.
Ultimately, Curves has seen an increase in community engagement across social networks; a leap in the amount of user generated content across the European campaign; and an increase in leads and membership enquiries for Curves clubs across Europe. Like its growing member community, the brand is healthier and stronger than ever before.
A note from the client, Maud David, International Marketing Coordinator:
Curves is much more than a fitness facility, it’s a community of women who support each other in changing their life. Our challenge was to create this same community feeling on our social media channels and reach new members. We believe that Facebook is one of the best platforms to connect together our members and Curves enthusiasts. Dog has helped us in reaching this goal by growing a stronger community while engaging them. They have done a great job in bringing our members to the national brand pages and engaging with the club owners. The team at Dog shares the same ambition for Curves, they’ve been using their expertise to expand our social media activities to new platforms and increase our investment in paid search and social advertising.
If you would like to discuss this integrated digital marketing campaign, or have any questions around our approach to social media management, paid search, media planning & buying, and / or SEO, feel free to drop us a note.