Y ou could have the best gym in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you will struggle to keep it afloat. Your gym’s success is directly linked to the success of your marketing plan. And at the outset, it might seem like a daunting task to market your gym alongside managing it, but as you will soon realise, a little marketing can go a long way.
Whether you’re a small gym or a large chain of gyms, your Fitness Marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of running your business. In some situations, word-of-mouth marketing can make up most of your member acquisition. However, in more competitive markets, word-of-mouth sometimes isn't enough. Fitness clubs are local businesses, meaning that they have to compete in a very competitive local market for clients.
Here are some ways to give you the chance in a highly competitive market.
Create a professional website
A professional website is non-negotiable. Your fitness website should explain your fitness philosophy and offer a list of your services, but it's more than a pretty face. Your website can also help you manage bookings, >sell products and communicate with gym members. Remember: Your website will often be your clients' first impression of your business, so make sure it reflects the energy and ethos of your brand.
Use a mobile fitness app
We’re all on our phones—probably more than we’d like to admit (you’ve seen it on the treadmill)—so you'll need a mobile app. For example, you can manage your classes and create a bookings calendar for your staff and your clients. You can also sell memberships and accept payments directly within the app and collect feedback from members. They can also track their attendance, book classes, and view workout plans and diet charts.
This is probably the most important item on the list. You want prospective clients to find your facility when they Google gyms in your area. To make that happen, you’ll need to embrace search engine optimization, also known as SEO.
To start, think about keywords (the specific terms people type into search engines) most relevant to your gym or fitness business. Maybe it’s “calisthenics gym in pune” or “pilates studio in ahmedabad.” The more specific the better. Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find strategic phrases and keywords to promote your gym.
Location is importantInclude your location on your website’s home page, as well as in the meta description (the snippet of text that appears under your website on Google). You don’t just want anyone to see your site, you want potential clients to see your site. It’s not helpful if your gym is in Bangalore, but most of your site traffic comes from Mysore.
On the same note, when potential clients are searching “fitness clubs near me,” you want to appear in their local search results. Include localised keywords, known as local citations throughout your site’s content: your name, phone number and address will help your business appear in local directories. If you have multiple locations, say so on your website for this reason.
Make data-driven decisions
You have access to more data than ever before due to Gym Management Softwares like Okfit. When you make decisions using data, you can increase your marketing ROI, find new opportunities, and make better marketing decisions. By understanding exactly who your members are, you can find out who is likely to stick around and who is the most likely to leave your gym or fitness club. From this information, you can determine who your best members are and target these types of people going forward.
Try video marketing
Next, promote those videos on social media. Fitness social media marketing strategies promote your brand, cultivate a community and build meaningful relationships online. Whether you’re using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, engagement is essential. That means communication is a two-way street. Respond to comments to create lasting relationships with your audience, just as you would in person.
Be social media savvy
Secondly, most gym owners go for monthly packages or camps. Don’t do that. If you offer a 6-week program or a 3-month program, your members will leave you when they’ve done the time. Set goal after goal for your customers. Make sure that they achieve short-term goals but give them new, long-term goals so that they feel like they constantly need you to train and become the best versions of themselves.
Work with influencers
Fitness influencers are social media personalities, bloggers, health experts, lifestyle brands, industry leaders, celebrities or even your current gym members. Influencers can make a huge impact on your fitness marketing efforts, driving both traffic and clients to your website and gym. Think of influencers as ambassadors for your gym or club.
Like you, influencers are entrepreneurs, and they make money through promotions. Influencers can endorse meal plans, nutritional supplements, and of course, inspire people to join your gym.
Outline your goals so that you partner with influencers who understand your brand and core values. You can search hashtags to explore relevant influencers and brands. Hashtags like sponsored and ad can narrow your search to those open to paid partnerships.
Cross-promote with other businesses
Reach out to other local businesses (not competitors) with a like-minded client base. Think: the organic juice bar around the corner or the acupressure spa down the street. This is called co-marketing. You’ll promote each other on social media, in newsletters and on blogs with links to the other site’s content.
Also try co-branded giveaways: You could offer a prize bundle that includes 10 free classes, a free juice cleanse and a spa treatment. In order to win the prize, people must follow all three businesses on social media. Alternatively, offer reduced rates, like a discount on juice and spa treatments, with a valid gym membership.
Affiliate marketing partnerships can help you grow your audience, too. Affiliates make money when they sell a product or make a referral to your business. Affiliate payment methods include pay per sale, pay per lead and pay per click.
Send marketing emails and newsletters
You’ve got the content. Now package it in a fitness newsletter, featuring videos, Q&As, workouts, recipes and success stories. Ask for email addresses when people register for a membership, then follow up to keep them engaged with your business.
Having a easy-to-use gym software helps here that allows you to broadcast emails from one place to all members, or a select category of members.
Start a referral program
A referral program draws in new customers and rewards current ones. To encourage referrals, offer reward points, free classes or merchandise to members who bring new customers to the gym. You can also offer guest passes, so gym-goers can invite friends or family to join a class or a workout for free. Your current clients are your best brand ambassadors, hands down.
A referral program is a great way to encourage referrals that benefits both your members and you. Turn your customers into brand cheerleaders and encourage them to share your brand with friends and family. To create a referral program, you offer the referrer and the referee a treat that is too good to turn down. For example, you could offer members a personal training session or an individual fitness program for every referral. The best offer really depends on your members and their needs.
Host an event
Events, either virtual or IRL, bring awareness to your gym. Say you have a yoga studio. Host a pop-up shop with your latest merchandise, like mats, blocks and towels. Serve tea, light a few branded candles and play music from the Vinyasa playlist that's also available on your website. Encourage members to invite their friends or family and hold contests or fitness challenges to get everyone involved. It’s all about the 360-degree experience. Whatever the event, promote it on all of your channels: website, social media accounts and newsletters.
Retarget to encourage a sign-ups
Retargeting is a great way to keep your gym at the forefront of customers’ minds. These are for the prospects who have visited your website a couple of times but are yet to commit to a purchase or sign up. The idea is that when they see your targeted ad, it gives them the encouragement to make the final step.
Ask for customer reviews
What better way to promote your fitness business than with real testimonials? People want results, so customer reviews are a powerful way to gain new clients. Ask your current members to leave reviews based on their experience, or offer a coupon or free session in exchange for feedback and photos.
And remember that Google My Business account we mentioned earlier? Customers can leave reviews to help your fitness business stand out. Also add testimonials to your site, with a dedicated section or page to highlight what your customers are saying. Again, don't expect people to do this on their own—offer a free session to anyone who leaves a review. Like the other fitness marketing tips here, the effort is worth it.
Another way to collect testimonials would be to use a service called EchoSnap.io which let's your members record audio testimonials.
Offer transparent pricing
Transparency is key throughout your business. Unclear pricing is frustrating and will deter customers away. If potential members feel deceived about your pricing in any way, this can have a negative and long-lasting effect. Make your pricing clear and easy to find with no hidden costs.
When it comes to fitness marketing, it can be difficult for your gym to stand out in such a crowded marketplace. By understanding exactly what the consumer needs and adapting quickly to provide the right services with a seamless user experience, you can implement an effective marketing strategy.
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