W Academy | Education for Future Salon + Spa Professionals

Design • Development • Inbound Content Marketing • Social Media • Content • Copywriting • Photography • CRM Integration

What a cool project to be part of. W Academy of Salon + Spa is a top-tier beauty school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their mission is simple - Give aspiring artists the skills they need to become professional stylists, colorists, skincare specialists and/or make-up artists. With fear of coming off as "hippy-ish", there's just a really great energy flowing through their school in downtown Danville.

For us, this project has been unique on a number of fronts.

First, it's been our first foray into the education vertical. While there are only a handful of players in the Bay Area Beauty School market, it is a VERY competitive digital landscape with a handful of well financed competitors (national brands) actively pursuing competing strategies. This is especially unique because you're dealing with a small target audience, in a very localized market, with a 5-digit "average customer value" (These guys hate it when we refer to their students using the term "customer value").

W Academy Danville website mockup el nido website mockup

Building a digital marketing platform from scratch

Next, W Academy had a minimal digital presence prior to working with 4S Design Studio. While that's not unique in and of itself, we often find ourselves implementing inbound content marketing strategies with clients that have a decent digital presence and are looking to take it to the next level. Rather than trying go from 60mph to 100mph, W Academy was looking to go from 0-100 like a funny car on a drag strip.

This was one of those projects where we immediately saw the huge impact we could make in terms of helping them generate leads. With that came the need to give them a better solution for managing those leads internally - Specifically, setting them up with a modern CRM (client relationship manager) platform to help them manage a significantly larger volume of leads and then automating the whole thing so their team would adopt it easily.

W Academy East Bay Cosmetology School Subpage Screenshot

4SDesignStudio's Role

  • Initial content outline and information architecture
  • Wireframes and design mockups with multiple revision rounds
  • Short and long-form copywriting to bring together their core contentn
  • On-site Photography & Video with significant post-producion work
  • Multiple landing page templates and calls-to-action development, creating a solid, repeatable sales funnel targeting various channels: Organic Search, PPC, Facebook, Email and other platforms
  • Full content management system (CMS) integration with training and documentation for their admin team to easily update content on the fly as needed
  • Hubspot integration on the marketing and sales sides with a deep dive focus on implementing their CRM platform for use by the admissions staff to manage leads
  • Detailed, localized keyword research with additional targeted content to make some quick gains on "low hanging fruit" search terms and provide a road map for our longer-term keyword/content strategy
  • Deep analysis of localized search and social channels, with a significant pay-per-click component
  • A few hundred other things we're glossing over here
w academy promotional landing page w academy enrollment form screenshot

A Lead Generating Machine

This is a project that is going to unfold over time but our initial results have exceed even our high expectations. The site, which launced in mid-June 2017, has seen quadruple-digit percentage increases on the organic lead generation component and that number is only going to rise over the coming months as our organic SEO efforts really have the time to take root. That's happening quickly. Conversion rates are double the education industy average. We've gotten full buy-in from the admissions staff on using the new CRM platform and the marketing automation tools are adding efficiencies across the board.

It's taken a lot of hard work and dedication from both the W Academy team and ours. The payoff is watching the upward trending charts in basically every conceivable KPI. Ear-to-ear grins all around. In short, the ecosystem we've created for W Academy is a well oiled, lead generation machine that's only going to get better as our search engine optimizations have time to flourish. Stay tuned towards the end of the year when we'll launch a full casestudy on this project.

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