Ever wonder how some of the biggest gyms gain their large customer base? No, they don’t have some superpower of drawing in fitness enthusiasts. Instead, the most successful companies employ a planned-out array of gym marketing tactics.
Since fitness is hugely competitive, many gym owners remain hush about their best revenue growth methods. But we’re here to spill the beans.
What do gym businesses need to do to stay competitive in a crowded market and gain customers? Today we’ll go over the top-performing fitness marketing strategies. By the end of this post, you’ll learn ways to keep existing customers locked in and how to drive new customer acquisition.
Content marketing is a strategy that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content directed to your target audience. Unlike traditional advertising, this strategy acts as a storytelling vehicle that establishes trust with your customers. And naturally, this translates to a boost in business.
60% of marketers report that content marketing generates more leads and demands. How many more precisely? Research shows that it can produce over three times as many leads as outbound marketing, and it costs 62% less. So, it’s no surprise that 82% of brands actively invest in this marketing strategy.
How can you incorporate content into your gym marketing plan? Here are some strategies top fitness brands use:
Blogs are a staple of content marketing because they provide specific information about your business to potential customers. It also establishes your brand as an authority.
However, when it comes to gym content marketing, you must know that the fitness niche is highly competitive. Many businesses are trying to rank in the top search results for the same topic. So you want to publish content with keywords tailored to your target.
For example, you could use keywords that are fitness related and location-centric such as “outdoor workout locations in [city name]” or “best post-workout meal in [city name].” Specific keywords like these have less competition and bring website visitors who reside in the same location as your gym.
More and more brands are jumping on the podcast bandwagon. 53% of content marketers who incorporate podcasts say they are one of the most effective channels.
Why are podcasts gaining such prominence in the content marketing world? They allow businesses to promote themselves without coming off too sales-y. For example, it’s a great way to market your gym casually and conversationally. The research even shows that 60% of podcast listeners searched for a product after hearing about it in a podcast.
What’s also great about podcasts is that you can easily incorporate them into your gym marketing plan. Start by making a list of fitness-related topics to discuss. You can also take inspiration from a few popular fitness podcasts. Next, gather the right equipment, such as microphones, headphones, and a digital recorder.
Once you’ve recorded your podcast episodes, encourage listeners to share to spread the word. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works.
Virtual and Hybrid Events
Attending events allow consumers to interact with their favorites and derive value. Hosting events also foster a bond with your customers and builds a community. And research shows that 70% of event attendees become regular customers.
As a gym business, you have so many options for hosting events. You can either go virtual, in-person, or hybrid. Here are a few events to add to your gym content marketing plan:
- Zoom workout boot camp: Invite virtual attendees to complete a workout from one of your gym’s personal trainers.
- Healthy food fair and tasting: Nothing brings people together like good food. You can partner with a local health food restaurant or cafe to sponsor your event and provide food samples.
- Holiday-based events: Festive occasions are the perfect opportunity to host an event. For instance, you can host a fitness speed date for Valentine’s Day for singles.
Infographics are marketing gems. They’re informative graphics that help explain a concept and provide a visual for a piece of data. What makes these simple visual aids so effective in marketing is that they’re snackable and shareable bits of information. Not only that, but infographics are a part of the secret sauce that help website content rank higher on search engines.
This marketing strategy seamlessly fits with gym business content because you can list health and workout tips with an easy-to-read infographic. But the work doesn’t stop there. You must promote your infographic by posting it on social media or asking influential sources to share it. Infographics can even boost blog posts’ SEO when included in blog posts.
With social media outlets emphasizing video content more, it’s a no-brainer to include it in your gym marketing plan. Video allows your prospects to see what your gym offers.
And your videos might even turn casual viewers into customers. Studies show that 84% of people are more interested in a product after watching a video. So, whenever your social media feed is flooded with fitness brand videos, it’s for a good (and profitable) reason.
Don’t know how to get started with video content marketing for gyms? Here are some video idea examples to capture your audience:
- Showcase your team and facilities
- Diet plans and meal prep inspiration
- Class and training previews
- Equipment how-to’s
- Customer testimonials
- Tips from your team
Co-marketing is a strategy where two or more companies work to promote each others’ services. For example, Crunch Fitness’ Perks Partner Program allows brands to cross-market to Crunch members. Similarly, Planet Fitness partners with the Boys and Girls Club of America and Stomp Out Bullying as a part of their No Judgement Generation campaign.
Co-marketing will expose each company’s audience to the other, increasing brand awareness. This strategy saves time and money and helps you build your local audience quickly. And leveraging your partner’s reputation is a great way to help cultivate your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Not sure how to get started with gym co-marketing? Below is a quick guide to help:
Choosing a Gym Co-marketing Partner
- Make a list of businesses with a similar audience—some examples include vitamin supplement brands, workout gear companies, health food restaurants, or physical therapists.
- Determine if the leads you get from this potential partnership will be large enough to fit your goals. You want to partner with brands that are well-known and who can introduce your business to a broad audience.
- Pitch your potential partner and explain the benefits of co-marketing with your gym.
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)
Google Business Profile is a free business listing provided by Google. It lets you give details and photos about your business—such as your location and services.
Creating this profile is an excellent way to increase your gym’s visibility across Google services. For example, 76% of users who make a local search visit the business within 24 hours, and 28% of these searches result in a purchase. So, having your gym listed on Google is vital for driving business.
But many gym owners don’t know that optimizing your profile can give you a little edge over your competitors. An optimized Google Business Profile can increase your chances of appearing in Google’s local search results.
Below are some ways you can upgrade your Google Business Profile:
Use Relevant Keywords
Incorporate relevant keywords into your listing so that Google better understands what you’re trying to rank for. For example, add keywords to your business description, responses to reviews, and answers to frequently asked questions. Also, you want to avoid overloading your listing with keywords. Instead, they should naturally fit in your listing.
Add Photos and Videos
Businesses with photos receive 35% more website clicks than those without. So you want to add high-quality images and videos of your gym. Specifically, group shots of classes and happy customers are a great draw for potential customers viewing your search listing.
Choose the Right Business Category
Google lets you choose up to ten categories—however, you only want to choose a few. We’d say a sweet spot is two to three categories. For instance, if you are a boxing gym, your might choose “boxing gym” as your primary category and “boxing ring” as your secondary category.
Look at your Google Business Profile as any other social media account. Every time you post an update on Facebook and Instagram, share it on your Google Business page. Posting content regularly ensures that your listing ranks high in user searches.
Lastly, gym owners who promote their business effectively employ an omnichannel approach to communication. They reach their customers and prospects through various means of communication. Adopting this approach ensures you’re meeting your audience where they are with the right message at the right time.
An omnichannel marketing strategy also unifies the customer experience and streamlines the customer journey. This helps boost brand awareness and results in better engagement, increased ROI, and enhanced customer retention.
Nowadays, marketing platforms and customer relationship management software make it possible to keep track of multiple touchpoints. Some tools even allow you to manage email automation, SMS marketing, and chatbot conversations.
Here are a few ways to use omnichannel marketing:
A “geofence” is the physical boundaries of your target location. And with geofencing marketing, a software program uses radio frequency, Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular data to trigger a promotional action.
An example of geofencing is when a customer arrives at your gym and receives an app notification that says, “Today only! 20% off all workout gear!“
With geofencing, you can even track a consumer’s location, which helps you deliver print materials to their home. This brings us to our next example…
Contrary to belief, direct mail is not dead. In fact, over 63% of direct-to-consumer brands still use snail mail to deliver their marketing messages.
Mailing a simple flyer to your customers and prospects isn’t enough. Below are some gym direct-to-mail pieces that’ll get more eyes on your business:
- Personalized mailers: Personalized mail can boost response rates by as much as 135%. Personalization can include the recipient’s name and content that they might find valuable.
- Plastic postcard mailers: High-gloss plastic mailers capture people’s attention. Also, plastic mailers create a sense of exclusivity and value.
- Scratch-offs: Scratch-offs are fun to engage your customers and get them involved in exclusive offers. And getting them to interact with your mailer helps build brand awareness.
Email is one of the critical elements of the omnichannel approach. For starters, it allows you to collect data from each subscriber.
With email marketing tools, you can gather information about what they like, dislike, want from you, and what they expect. The more data you have about your subscribers, the easier it will be to create segmented lists and send personalized content. For instance, if a subscriber shows interest in meal plans, you can send an email promoting a blog about diet and nutrition.
Email automation makes it easy to harvest information about your subscribers and send relevant and engaging content.
You can also use email to bolster your SMS marketing. For example, recipients can opt-in for additional SMS marketing messages by texting a keyword from an email.
You can use the information harvested from your email campaigns to bolster your SMS marketing. For instance, if someone shows interest in nutrition emails, you can use that to update their customer profile and ensure they’re included in the nutrition-related SMS segmentation. But what about those who prefer one channel over another?
When you use multiple channels, you can also track open and response rates. Knowing this information allows you to segment users so that they receive marketing messages on their preferred channel. This boosts the customer experience and reduces the chances of your messages being flagged as spam.
Lastly, incorporating SMS can even improve customer engagement. For example, you might send information about an event via email, but the day before the event, you’ll send a text reminder.
Amp Up Your Gym Marketing With Gleantap
There you have it! Using the strategies we’ve discussed will help grow your gym. Of course, you can choose the tactics that best fit your business goals, but measuring your success is impossible without gym management software.
Often, gyms will market to a broad audience without knowing how each campaign impacts their budget. That’s why it’s essential to set up digital checkpoints that ask: “how did you hear about us?”.
Gleantap lets you gain insight into your customers and marketing efforts. For example, our text and email automation allow us to gather valuable feedback.
Discover how Gleantap can help improve your gym marketing plan. Schedule a free demo today.
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