Today, we will be sharing with you the top 6 digital fitness marketing methods for gyms and fitness studios.
The fitness industry saw some drastic transformations with all of the changes 2020 brought.
There are over 63 million fitness clubs in North America, and a huge percentage of them started offering online training and classes last year to keep up with global events.
So how do you keep up?
For fitness facilities that both are and are not able to offer online services, how do you adjust and stay ahead of the curve in today’s market?
Well, stick around to find out because today we’re sharing the top 6 digital fitness marketing methods for gyms and fitness studios.
- Social Media
- SEM and Google Ads
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Website Design
- SEO – Organic Traffic
The fitness marketing strategies above will empower you to strengthen your brand awareness.
These methods will also help you attract targeted leads to convert into loyal customers.
Let’s get started!
6 Fitness Marketing Methods For Your Gym & Studio
The first fitness marketing method that gyms and fitness clubs everywhere must use is social media.
Social media gives the consumer a voice which makes it a great place to forge connections and engage with your audience.
Social media marketing can be thought of as two separate pieces.
These two pieces are social media management and social media advertising.
Let’s take a look at social media management first.
Social media management focuses on developing brand awareness, building relationships, and increasing website exposure.
The best way to build brand awareness through social media is to increase your following first and then your engagement next.
By increasing your following on social networks, you are building a group of targeted people to access.
These are people who are interested in fitness.
Or, live in the areas where you provide service and are likely to avail your services once they are nurtured through your marketing funnel.
Building a following isn’t enough to get the job done though. As we mentioned previously, social media gives consumers a voice.
You’ll want to make sure that you are building a strong connection with your audience by engaging with them on various social networks.
The stronger your connection is with your audience, the more likely they are to buy from you.
To attract relevant followers and increase engagement, you have to provide your audience with valuable information in your social media posts.
One way you could do this is by providing quick workout tips.
Another example would be to use personal trainers.
If you have them at your facility, you can ask them to show proper form on popular exercises such as bench presses and squats.
You can also provide your audience with nutrition tips to help them reach their goals faster.
When you provide your audience with valuable content, it helps them trust your brand.
This reassures them that you are the right choice for reaching their fitness goals.
Measuring your engagement such as likes and comments is a great way to see if you are really connecting with your audience.
Once you start building your following and engagement, you still want to make sure that you are driving them through your marketing funnel.
This is where the other important piece of social media marketing comes into play: social media advertising.
The next piece of your marketing funnel can look different depending on the nature of your business.
But a few common CTAs you want your audience to take could include:
- clicking to your website
- calling your business number
- booking a class online
Whatever action you want your followers to take next, social media advertising can help you nudge them in that direction (and track everything along the way).
This is where you’ll actually spend advertising dollars to directly promote your business.
Social media advertising gives your business a way to reach more of your target audience than ever before for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
Social media advertisements often drive fast results too since you can reach thousands of people almost instantly after launching your campaigns.
What makes social media advertising so effective?
You’re able to collect a lot of data through social media advertising that you can leverage to create specific advertising campaigns.
For example, even if you don’t generate conversions on your first attempt, you’ll be able to retarget those same individuals.
And then remind them of…
- the great facility,
- classes, and
- training options
…that your fitness facility has to offer to send them back to your site and convert them later.
You may be asking yourself, do some social networks have advertising benefits that others don’t?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Much like how different social networks provide a different user experience, the same is true when it comes to advertising.
Facebook has lots of features for advertising based on demographics as well as people’s interests and behaviors.
All of these are helpful for creating highly targeted ads.
Instagram is owned by Facebook so you’ll find similar advertising features on this platform.
Instagram is also one of the most visually engaging social media platforms available today.
That’s why it’s a great option to showcase images and videos of your fitness facility and classes.
Twitter is another great platform to connect with your audience because it is known to have very interactive users.
When it comes to advertising on Twitter, 92% of the total user interaction with brand tweets is link clicks.
If your fitness facility is looking to reach the female market specifically, Pinterest can be a great platform to do so.
A study shows that 98% of Pinterest users surveyed said that they like trying new things they found on Pinterest.
And 83% made purchases from branded content!
This is a great opportunity to advertise a new fitness routine or product since Pinterest users are likely to try it out for themselves.
If your gym or fitness studio isn’t incorporating social media into its marketing strategy, you’ll not only be missing out on a huge part of your target audience…
…but you’ll also likely fall behind the competition.
Don’t just take our word for how effective fitness social media marketing is.
Take a look at how we helped F45 Training increase their member signups with social media advertising!
Over 30 days, we were able to generate 93 targeted leads at $16.13 per lead through the use of Facebook ads.
You can expect similar results when you use social media advertising effectively.
When searching for a gym or fitness studio on Google, how often do you scroll past the first page? Do you even scroll past the first 5 results?
If not, you are definitely not alone.
According to Forbes, the first five results on a search engine result page receive 67.6% of clicks.
This means that it is essential that your business falls somewhere within the first five results when someone performs a search query that is related to what your gym offers.
If your gym isn’t currently at the top of the search results, SEM and Google ads are the tools to help get you there!
Search engine marketing, or SEM for short, can help put your business on top of the search engine results almost immediately.
By targeting the right keywords, your gym can appear in front of a qualified audience that is sure to increase website traffic fast, as well as your sales!
Google is arguably the most powerful search engine today.
When a consumer decides it’s time to find a gym or fitness program, they’ll most likely take to Google to find results.
This is what makes Google ads such an effective way of promoting your business.
Google ads are great at allowing you to target the exact audience you are looking for based on various demographic filters and keywords.
This is why strategic keywords are essential to running effective PPC campaigns.
Google has a valuable tool known as Google Keyword Planner.
Here, you can see various analytics on the keywords that you search such as the monthly search volume.
It is important that you focus on:
- the relevance of the keyword,
- the monthly search volume,
- the top of page bid (how much are you willing to spend per click to be at the top of the search results?)
Keywords that have a higher monthly search volume aren’t always more relevant and vice versa.
Some keywords may be super relevant but nobody is searching them.
Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you choose the best keywords to target and pay for for your specific business.
Your pay-per-click search ads should speak to a fitness goal or pain point your target audience has, and solve them with your services.
You should also use these ads to showcase important details regarding your facility such as its hours, membership options, and location.
Google ads are so effective that we were recently able to help Crunch Fitness in Pennsylvania increase their conversion rate by 19%!
One of the best marketing methods for gyms and fitness studios to utilize is email marketing.
Gym owners and fitness studios are seeing an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent!
How are they doing this? There are two ways: email newsletters and email drip campaigns.
Email newsletters are a personalized way of letting your members know about membership specials, class changes, and updates on fitness schedules.
You can also build a connection with your audience through the use of fitness newsletters.
For example, you can have a newsletter that provides your clients or members with healthy lifestyle tips and tricks that are exclusive to your email list.
By providing your audience with insightful information on a regular basis, they will be more engaged with your brand.
And it is because they are constantly receiving valuable information from you.
You can also upsell current members and clients by informing them about new fitness programs or product lines.
You might be asking yourself, what can email do for new leads as opposed to an audience that has already been sold to?
With the help of email drip sequences, automated email marketing can become your number one salesperson.
Email drip sequences are a form of an email marketing campaign in which emails, or “drips”, are sent out to new leads.
And based on the lead’s behavior, this will trigger a new email to be sent out to that same lead.
For example, let’s say a new lead signs up for your email newsletter to learn more about your facility.
In the first email they receive, there is an option for them to claim their free calorie tracking worksheet.
If they click the call to action button such as “claim my free worksheet,” they then automatically receive another email with their worksheet attached.
This is how drip campaigns work. The consumer’s behavior dictates what type of message they get next.
When set up correctly, these drip campaigns will show new leads how your fitness facility meets all of their needs.
And the best part is these drip emails can be set up in advance! So after you set them up the first time, they continue to do the work for you from there on out.
Now you might be thinking, “Well, you’ve talked about new leads and current members, but what about former members?”
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to former members with an enticing offer to get them to rejoin the gym.
However, wouldn’t it be great if email marketing could help you with retention and stop current members from becoming former members in the first place?
With an effective email marketing strategy, this is absolutely possible!
You can run reports on members with low attendance or check-in rates.
And then, send those members emails with an offer like “one free class” to get them back in and re-engage with their fitness goals.
Overall, email marketing is a great tool to meet leads wherever they are in your sales funnel and nurture them accordingly from there.
As the saying goes, content is king. This is especially true in the fitness industry.
If you’re not providing the right content, then you are missing out on qualified leads.
As a gym or fitness studio owner, your content should educate members and non-members alike about topics surrounding:
- how your services will help them reach their fitness goals
This content can be published on your fitness blog or website.
When starting a fitness blog, you should also utilize the professionals around you when generating content.
If your facility has a team of experienced personal trainers, talk to them about ideas for future blog posts and other content that they can help with.
Whether the content is coming from your marketing director or a personal trainer or class instructor, your members are going to appreciate it.
After all, your members came to you because they want a healthy lifestyle which, as we know, extends beyond the time that they spend at your facility.
This means that you can view your content as an extension of your services for your members.
And this is because you’re giving them more than what you have to offer just by walking through the doors of your facility.
Your website is often your first impression for potential customers.
This makes your fitness website design a critical piece to your overall marketing success.
As we previously mentioned, your social media advertising efforts, as well as your SEM and Google Ads, will all drive traffic to your site.
If your site is not visually appealing and fully functional, users will look at other fitness options in your area.
You also need to pay attention to the overall user experience of your website.
Potential members will most likely want to view everything your facility has to offer.
This means they’ll be looking through class calendars, personal trainer profiles, available equipment, and more.
If every page of your website isn’t optimized properly to help keep potential members on your site, they most likely won’t want to visit your gym or fitness studio.
It is also essential to make sure that all necessary information is readily available and easy to find such as:
- membership pricing
- services you offer
- results that the people have achieved from using your facilities
With a great web design, you’ll be able to encourage potential members to stop in, chat with your staff, supervise a class, and ultimately join your gym!
Did you know that you can appear at the top of search engine results for free?
You heard that right. We said FREE.
Search engine optimization is the way!
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website to rank higher and appear at the top of search engine result pages.
Now you may be thinking, “Hang on a minute! Isn’t that what you guys said about SEM and Google Ads?”
The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is an organic search method.
This means that the traffic you receive from your SEO efforts is free (or organic) traffic whereas traffic received from SEM is paid for.
SEO results appear underneath the paid results on the search results page.
Local SEO is extremely important for gyms and fitness studios.
This is because, when a consumer is looking to find a gym, they will most likely Google search “gyms near me.”
If your gym is not found at the top of those results, there is a big chance that the consumer will settle for one of your competitors.
In fact, based on the statistic that we looked at earlier, there’s a 67.6% chance that they will not click on your site if you’re not in the top 5 results!
So your goal is to be the first business to offer your services that will help consumers reach any of their fitness goals.
After all, it’s hard to get new leads if your business isn’t being found when searched online.
So why would you choose SEM over SEO if the latter is the free route to the top of the search results?
The biggest reason is that SEO takes time.
Performing SEO includes a wide variety of processes that all affect your website’s rank.
These processes include optimizing your website for keywords you want to rank for (this makes it readable for both website visitors and Google), acquiring backlinks and a lot more.
We have a whole post on what is SEO that you can read next.
But in short, SEO is a more time-consuming alternative to SEM in order to push your website to the top of the search rankings.
Another plus side to SEO, however, is that statistics show that 94% of users click on organic results versus paid results.
By appearing at the top of search results organically, your business’s website will not have the “Ad” label next to it.
And it will often seem more credible to consumers as a result.
This builds a sense of trust between the consumer and your fitness studio before they have even set foot in your facility.
So the biggest tradeoff to consider when deciding between paid SEM and organic SEO is time vs money vs quality of website traffic.
So those are the top 6 digital fitness marketing methods that gyms and fitness studios need to optimize to see success in 2021.
If you need any help with your fitness marketing, our team of marketing experts is here to help you. Simply contact us today to get started!