Case study: Afrodesia Salsa
First, a bit about the Client
Afrodesia Salsa is a popular and established dance school in Reading, Berkshire, run by founder Jerry Nicholls. The business has grown organically over the past several years mainly through referrals – a direct result of Afrodesia’s student loyalty and Jerry’s charisma and talent as a teacher.
To meet the objective for continued growth and compete effectively with strong local competition; Afrodesia could not continue to rely solely on word of mouth referrals to raise awareness and source new students.
In addition, due to a change in the business structure and renewed objectives for growth – the current website had become obsolete. The site itself was uninspiring in design with limited content. The content comprised class times, a limited photo gallery, and contact details. Afrodesia needed a brand refresh, but it was unclear as to what exactly this would be.
Furthermore, Jerry lacked the time and some of the key digital skills required to meet Afrodesia’s marketing objectives in-house.
And this is where we were asked to help.
Realising that Afrodesia needed a stronger online presence; Sanzen was initially briefed to ‘help set up a new website’. The request was to develop a site which was clean, coherent, and easy to navigate; with a professional and slick look and feel.
The overall objective of the website would be to generate new bookings for classes.
How we went about it
Step 1. Consultation
- 3 comfy chairs; 3 Cappuccinos; 1 laptop; and a good old chat about the potential project.
Step 2. Research
- Afrodesia’s immediate competition
- Afrodesia’s current offering
- The target market
- Afrodesia’s student feedback (including social media comments)
Step 3. Brainstorm
- Identify gaps in key messages and Afrodesia’s offering online
- Outline how those gaps could be filled
Step 4. Propose recommendations to Afrodesia
- Re-positioning of the brand (how Afrodesia could stand out from the crowd)
- The key selling points and benefits Afrodesia could be shouting about
- The tone of voice for the content (how Afrodesia would talk to its visitors) to help reflect the essence of Afrodesia, and convey Jerry’s personality
- Choice of suitable WordPress templates and site structure
Step 5. Develop and implement
Although Afrodesia’s brief was pretty straightforward, Sanzen recommended the new site took into consideration the following key elements for a meaningful and engaging web experience:
For improved visitor engagement;
- Provide meaningful information – highlighting key points and benefits
- A complete photo gallery
- Inclusion of a video(s) demonstrating classes and the dance
- Testimonials from students
- A comprehensive About section – which would be a key page for the site
- A website which had the capacity to grow with Afrodesia
For example, the inclusion of new dance trainers; more classes; additional class venues; a blog with the latest news; more class videos and further testimonials
The end result in a nutshell
- A complete brand refresh which is more aligned with Afrodesia’s overall business growth objectives
- Enhanced visitor engagement with the potential for further stickier content in the future
- A website which Jerry could easily manage moving forward
- A fully mobile optimised website
- A website where queries and request for bookings could be sent to him
Finally, whilst working on the project, we learnt a lot about the business quickly and were also able to provide Afrodesia with:
- Recommendations for longer term activity and ideas for further web content
- Recommendations on how Afrodesia could (and should) integrate website content more effectively and efficiently with its social media
- Recommendations on how to enhance Afrodesia’s social profile and activity
- Recommendations on how Afrodesia can stand out from local competitors
With my business growing and taking a new direction, I knew the time had come for me to start over with a new website also. A friend recommended Sanzen Digital and I’m so glad I got to have a chat with Lina and Umbreen soon after. They knew exactly what I needed (and plenty of stuff I didn’t know my business needed).
They’ve been great to work with and clearly know their stuff. Not only were they professional and delivered on time– they really did exceed my expectations. The new website and content is a massive improvement on what I had originally; and I can see how their recommendations make sense, and will help towards my longer term ambitions. I really can’t recommend them enough.Jerry Nicholls
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