Goodway Group Wins Best Search Campaign at the 2021 Digiday Awards

man lifting weights

Goodway Group has another win to celebrate: Best Search Campaign at the Digiday Awards for our work with Anytime Fitness, one of the country’s largest fitness chains.

According to Digiday, the Digiday Awards is “the industry’s annual recognition of the companies, campaigns and creative modernizing media and marketing,” and the results were announced during a virtual award ceremony on December 16th.

Read on to learn about our award-winning search strategy and how we worked with Anytime Fitness as its agency of record to increase new member growth by creating brand awareness, prospecting new franchisees and driving leads through a comprehensive digital media strategy at the national and local franchise levels.

How Goodway and Anytime Fitness Used Search to Prevail During the Pandemic

To say the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the fitness industry is an understatement. According to ClubIntel, 18% of gyms permanently closed last year. Anytime Fitness had to pivot and make tough decisions to support its network of franchise owners. See how the Goodway team stepped in to help Anytime Fitness succeed during a challenging time and what you can do too if you’re in a similar predicament.

Goodway leverages search to reach a relevant audience looking for gym or fitness information and to ensure that Anytime Fitness is part of their consideration set. As consumers conduct their buyer journey, they usually perform multiple searches, and Goodway wants to make sure that Anytime Fitness appears during crucial touchpoints.

Set the Right Search Strategy

Use Anytime Fitness’ search strategy yourself to reach prospects throughout the marketing funnel:


Purpose: Competitive Conquesting

Goal: Increase awareness and become part of a user’s consideration set.

Keyword Examples: Planet Fitness, LA Fitness


Purpose: Non-Brand

Goal: Lead searchers down the funnel and help drive consideration and evaluation.

Keyword Examples: gyms near me, gym membership


Purpose: Brand

Goal: Get the highest attribution for conversion as most people perform multiple searches as they work their way down the purchase funnel and convert on branded terms.

Keyword Samples: Anytime Fitness, Anytime Fitness Membership

Anytime Fitness search strategy infographic

Develop and Fine-Tune Your Search Campaigns

Goodway manages an always-on and a fall promo campaign for Anytime Fitness. In a typical year, Anytime Fitness would set advertising goals by reviewing the prior year’s goals and then increasing them accordingly. Of course, the pandemic threw a wrench in the plan.

When shutdowns occurred, the team noticed increased searches from current members checking on their local club, so Goodway recommended Anytime Fitness pause its always-on campaign from mid-March to mid-June. Running then would help new member acquisition. Here at Goodway, we felt it was more important to help our partner make the best business decisions rather than heed our own interests. The team also updated location closures constantly through the second half of 2020 and added negative keywords around COVID-19 and closures so budget didn’t go toward non-converting terms.

The campaign restarted with a limited budget, so the Goodway team chose to use Google’s “target impression share” feature to keep the campaign live as long as possible. We also were nimble at reactivating locations at different times. We started with states, went down to zip codes and then to individual clubs. That way, Anytime Fitness wouldn’t have to spend money on closed clubs.

Always-On Campaign

The always-on setup prevents local franchisees and the national campaign from bidding on the same keywords, eliminating self-competition. Franchisees bid on branded keywords first, and when their budgets run out, the national campaign supports branded terms, followed by general keywords, then competitive terms. This approach allows for a strong focus on the best-converting terms but also includes competitive terms, preventing competitors from conquesting Anytime Fitness’s prospects.

Fall Promo Campaign

The fall promo campaign launched In September, inviting prospects to join for $1. The campaign ran from September 8th to September 25th, and the strategy mirrored the always-on campaign, with a heavier emphasis on branded terms. Goodway held daily meetings with the Anytime Fitness team to keep them informed during the campaign, talking through performance and optimizations.

With forced gym closures and heavy restrictions upon reopening, it was impossible to predict new membership patterns. As a result, the 2020 always-on campaign didn’t have a set goal, but Goodway aimed to deliver as low a cost per lead (CPL) as possible. The fall promo campaign DID have a set CPL goal, and it was set through evaluating current market conditions.

Analyze Your Search Campaign Results

For the always-on campaign, the Goodway team kept the average CPL under $10 from June to December and drove 58,952 leads, which met Anytime Fitness’s overall business needs.

For the fall promo search campaign, our CPL came in 7% lower than the goal and 52% lower YoY than 2019’s fall promo CPL. Goodway drove 25,993 leads, an increase of 52% over 2019’s 15,818 leads. The campaign also drove 4,848 calls.

Anytime Fitness campaign results infographic

After analyzing reporting from Goodway’s proprietary G90 platform’s cross-channel insights tool, the Goodway team also found awareness channels had an impact on search performance. With additional channel exposure, search performance improved by up to 200%. Goodway’s analysis and findings reinforced how important it was to include search in Anytime Fitness’s holistic media campaigns.

Setting up and running successful search campaigns can be complicated, but it can be a breeze when you work with the right partner. Take a look at our other recent search campaign success stories, how we demonstrated the value of a holistic media strategy to our CPG client or how we focused on a national search strategy and local campaigns to improve each tier of Kubota’s business.

Anytime Fitness client testimonial infographic

With Goodway by your side, you get the smart media strategy, impeccable execution and thoughtful collaboration you need now. Contact us to learn more and get a free custom assessment from our expert digital media team. Now’s the time to discover the clever search strategies, campaign setup and optimization techniques you can wield in the new year to take your search marketing and business to the next level, no matter the challenge.