Before the pandemic, fitness enthusiasts preferred traditional gyms and fitness studios for their workouts. However, during the pandemic, people were forced to work out in their homes with what limited equipment they had. They were limited to virtual training and sessions with DIY equipment. And eventually, people began to celebrate its convenience and flexibility. But, post the pandemic, people are craving a change. Over 80% of consumers have expressed their desire to return to the walk-in gyms and fitness clubs, and the rest wish to continue the convenient virtual sessions.
Hence, fitness studios and gyms should strive to accommodate the needs and desires of both clientele groups. This is a guaranteed way to ensure sales and better brand visibility.
So, how to ensure that your business is a cut above the rest?
How to ensure that your target audience becomes your loyal consumers?
And how to ensure that your revenues are high to sustain and flourish your fitness studio?
Although the answer is quite complex, it can be fundamentally narrowed down to dynamic digital marketing.
Digital marketing is a blend of traditional marketing practices with the latest digital mediums. It is a marketing strategy that involves promoting the goods and services of a business to consumers through digital channels like social media and search engines. It has become a necessity for businesses worldwide, and several reasons exist to make such a claim.
It is cost-effective and customizable yet does not compromise the quality and reach of the product. It facilitates the identification of high-conversion leads which saves time and resources. And finally, it directly markets to consumers through mediums like social media and the internet, where users are already highly active and engaged.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Gym and Fitness Clubs
The top 10 dynamic digital strategies that will improve the visibility of your fitness studio and contribute to higher revenue generation are:
1. Create And Market A Unique Brand
With so many similar businesses out there, establishing a brand identity is integral to the success of your gym and fitness centres. It facilitates consumers to form informed opinions and act on those opinions. Those opinions will often be in your favour when your brand identity is consistently and innovatively marketed.
Branding is a very important factor for scaling your business and increasing your visibility. SoulCycle is a great example of how it has consistently continued to market its brand since its grand launch in 2006.
They are a simple, highly specific business that caters to a particular niche and is extremely bright and positive. Gaining clarity on your brand identity will facilitate the effective marketing of your business.
Start with what your values are as a business in the world of fitness. Then focus on your ideal consumer base, interiors, methods of instruction, and exercise. Whether you wish to be a regular gym, a Zumba club, or an aerial aerobics centre, customize your marketing campaign.
Finalizing your brand logo with colours and symbols that reflect and appear cohesive to your entire business is important. And finally, devising effective digital marketing strategies that can accurately expose your business to your niche clientele will ensure revenue and sales.
2. A User-Friendly Website And Mobile Application
A fully optimized website is a need for every business. It allows people to find your business and interact. A fully optimized and engaging website will facilitate a medium for communicating with your consumers. There are several reasons for investing in a quality website. First and one of the most important reasons, your members and consumers expect it.
Consumers are looking for gyms and fitness studios whose information can be accessed online. Without it, 57% of consumers will not be considering your business over others in the market. It is a great platform to curate all the necessary information at one location to ensure easy access by consumers.
It allows the facilitation of targeting directly to high-conversion consumers through sign-ups and clicks, saving time and resources. It also helps with better revenue and lead generation. And finally, improves local SEO ranking.
Here are the best practices to create an engaging website:
- Quick site loading, seamless navigation, and adaptability to different devices ensure a credible and loyal approach to customer interaction.
- A highly professional web design that appeals to the general consumers and incorporates the latest standards like dark modes, animation, and brand hues.
- An updated security system and privacy features.
- Engaging blogs with fitness content like healthy recipes, workout regimes, candid conversations, and expert advice.
- An email sign-up sheet that allows lead generation.
- Videos, pictures of events, and live sessions conducted by in-house trainers, both online and offline, are great ways to engage and introduce transparency.
- Location and contact information and a brief framework of the kind of sessions and classes, along with flexible timings, will allow consumers to form accurate decisions.
Mobile-friendly applications like HealthifyMe and FITTR are great tools to communicate directly to a narrow pool of customers. They improve brand awareness, identity, and value. Hence, this results in better quality leads and a successful business model.
3. Marketing Through Email and Remarketing
Email marketing is a great strategy to market to high-quality leads that result in conversions. It is a personal channel for communicating with customers directly and creates a sense of personalization.
Several different tools, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, can be utilized to generate high-quality custom emails to appeal to your consumers directly.
Email marketing is extremely beneficial. They are not affected by trends and variables, which often affect other digital marketing channels like social media or SEO. They market to the ideal consumers through a narrow and specific list and hence have a high probability of conversions. And finally, they offer a convenient communication mode through personalization, improving brand identity and credibility.
Initially, a welcome email to welcome new members into your gyms and fitness clubs. They make the consumers feel appreciated and will encourage their continued support.
Reminder emails for retargeting ideal consumers. Often, consumers are unable to buy your membership due to distractions, lengthy processes, or payment issues. Reaching out to them and solving their issues will encourage them to complete their purchase.
Update emails with the latest events offer, and new information regarding scheduling and referral programs allow consumers to gain access to valuable intel and keep them engaged. Daily updates on classes and timings and feedback about sessions are a great personal touch to reflect brand value.
Emails informing your members of incentives for referrals and the end of membership and trials are an added benefit.
And finally, feedback emails to collect valuable information from your members regarding their experience and facilities that can be improved. It is a credible and accurate way of collecting measurable user data and can be analyzed to implement strategic plans to counter the same.
4. Optimize your Reach Through Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the latest trend in marketing strategies. It builds on the concept of word-of-mouth but has a much higher engagement level. It involves businesses collaborating with influencers on social media like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It is an endorsement or a sponsorship of capitalizing on the credibility and following that these influencers have amassed over the years.
There are several advantages to influencer marketing. It is extremely budget-friendly in comparison to celebrity endorsements. There is a high level of flexibility and scope for creativity and innovation with the content. An untapped consumer base can be positively influenced, which increases brand awareness. And finally, it is one of the most trending and effective marketing strategies and hence has the potential to scale the reach and the business.
There are three different categories of approaches that can be initiated with influencer marketing. Paid collaborations, mutual content, and intel exchange or creative collaborations. Depending on the quality of content and the domain, successful collaborations can be initiated. Those in the field of nutrition, fitness, sports, sports equipment, and athletes are a great start to influencer marketing. Instagram reels and videos can be uploaded to market to the ideal consumer base. Rather than chasing numbers, chasing high-quality content and authenticity is key. Focusing on nano and micro-influencers would reap more benefits for your gyms and fitness clubs.
An optimized website allows seamless conversions of leads generated by influencers and enhances brand value and experience.
5. Reviews and Testimonials to Enhance Credibility
Reviews and member testimonials are the ideal way to establish credibility and brand value for your gyms and fitness clubs. They are an unbiased source of information that can help market your business to avail more members. Both negative and positive reviews are beneficial for the progress of your business.
Over 87% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase. Hence, they are an invaluable asset to the growth of your business. Positive reviews enhance SEO performance, and credibility, and reflect customer satisfaction. Negative reviews have the potential to be converted to positive ones with the right approach. They also provide valuable insight into the framework of your business model.
Reviews, when displayed, have the potential to increase your conversions by 270%. Reviews can be collected through your website, social media handles, direct emails, and even through Google. Invest in guiding your members on a unified structure for these reviews and encourage them to post through attractive incentive schemes. Reviews in the form of training received, transformations achieved, and quality of equipment and support are necessary to create the right traction.
Gold’s Gym, for example, has a variety of portals through which they display and collect their reviews to reel in more members. They have reviews on Facebook, Mouthshut, JustDial, Glassdoor, and Google reviews to name a few.
6. Optimizing your Online Presence for Better Visibility
Better online presence correlates with higher search engine ranking. Search Engine Optimizations or SEO facilitate your website to perform better and engage with a wider audience. SEO is a series of processes that involves auditing the content and technical aspects of the website of your gym or fitness club. Online presence is the most important aspect of digital marketing, and an updated and highly optimized website is a great path to creating an immaculate online presence.
Either by outsourcing or through DIY SEO audits, your website can be analyzed and improved. There are several added benefits to SEO. It is cost-effective, flexible, and increases brand awareness. Investing in analyzing keywords associated with your website content is a great first strategy. You can analyze the usage and frequency of keywords on your website through tools and applications like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Soovle, Semrush, and Jaaxy.
Before a consumer makes a purchase, they do a quick online search to gather information to help with their decision. Phrases like “Best gyms near me”, “Fitness studios near me”, or “Top fitness centers in my area” are some of the commonly used keywords to find out about operating gyms. So, having more of these high-probable words incorporated into your website facilitates higher ranking and greater visibility.
Along with keyword analysis, analyzing and organizing your blog content, reviews, testimonials, email signups, updating your GMB page, and a virtual gallery to create a user-friendly navigation experience are ideal. This is a content SEO audit of your website.
A technical audit needs to be performed to ensure that search engines like Google and Yahoo can crawl your website much faster and at a higher position than your competitors. Analyzing the backlinks, codes and technical framework ensures the implementation of higher-quality plans. Focusing on local SEO is ideal for your gym and fitness clubs as distance and travel play a key role.
7. Social Media Marketing
With almost 59% of the global population being active users of social media, it has evolved into one of the most engaging and beneficial digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing involves promoting your business online through applications like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest to reach a much wider audience. This form of marketing is highly effective, extremely budget-friendly, flexible, and has room for exploring creativity. Here’s how you could do it:
- Broadcasting training and sessions live occasionally through Instagram and YouTube is a great way to provide a trial class for members to generate high conversions.
- Trending reels and posts from members and trainers will gain more valuable traction.
- Updating your website blog and sharing it with your Instagram and Facebook members in the form of story highlights is an innovative way to keep your members engaged.
- Another best practice to create long form content could include recording and documenting a few basic training sessions and a walk-through of your fitness studio. This can be a great way of curating content for YouTube.
- Creating fitness challenges and trends and marketing them through relevant hashtags is one of the most engaging social media strategies that will propel your gym miles ahead. These hashtags also allow social media users to access information related to the location of their gyms and clubs, thereby generating more foot traffic.
- Constant but short-form updates shared via Twitter act as a reliable and user-friendly communication channel. It can also be the best place to solve customer queries or concerns.
El Cid’s Fitness has an engaging and creative Instagram feed. It applies the latest and the most effective social media marketing strategies to generate more traffic and leads.
8. Invest in a Memorable and Seamless Customer Experience
From in-house nutritionists to the latest technological equipment, fitness studios and gyms across the world are investing in creating a seamless customer experience. Customer satisfaction will differentiate your business from that of your competitors. No great company can take customer satisfaction as an afterthought while building a community of superfans.
As an online presence generates more leads, investing in a seamless website is crucial. Customer support and help desk information need to be included to ensure easy access by consumers and members. For example: making provisions to accommodate members’ preferences regarding trainers and session matter is integral to reflecting brand value.
Flexibility in the mode of classes and scheduling is key. Incentives and loyalty benefits need to be provided to ensure long-term retention. An approachable channel needs to be provided for your members to communicate feedback effectively. And finally, free trial classes and sessions can be arranged to generate more conversions through quality checks and persuasion.
There are several benefits to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for your members. It shows loyalty from your end and increases trustworthiness. By matching customer expectations, you will be able to retain existing members, thereby increasing their lifecycle. This also contributes to significantly more referrals. It increases your brand value and creates an environment for custom and superior pricing. The rule is simple – happy customers will make your business thrive.
9. Provision for Exclusive Benefits and Incentives for Members
Humans generally gravitate towards exclusivity. So naturally, a gym and fitness center that provides additional benefits to its members is bound to outperform its competitors. There are several advantages to this form of digital marketing.
It creates brand awareness through loyalty programs resulting in referrals and improving brand value. It is aimed at retaining loyal members over the acquisition of fresh leads and is highly cost-effective. By being flexible and customizable to the business model, it is a power packed punch (pun intended) to all your competitors. It facilitates better visibility and hence generates more traffic.
Benefits like free access to sessions, exclusive merchandise, free access ta o certified nutritionists, additional incentives like extendable membership, referral incentives, and occasional recreational outings are a great way to show and receive loyalty from gym members. Other incentives like giveaways, celebratory gifts, and benefits on holidays and special occasions are also great for marketing your business through digital channels.
10. Paid Advertisements
Paid advertising can be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. It refers to paying an ad publisher a certain amount every time the ad generates leads through clicks. Hence, the name pay-per-click advertisements.
There are several advantages of paid ads. It has a higher ROI due to its predictable nature. It is a customizable and flexible strategy that can be adjusted according to your needs. It is highly measurable and generates valuable online traffic for your websites and other online platforms. And lastly, it promotes brand awareness through highly specific client targets and also helps in acquiring new clients for your business.
Different strategies can be deployed once the needs of your gyms are identified. Content or performance-based strategies can be created based on the need to bring the desired results.
Social ads, remarketing ads, display ads, and search ads are a few different styles of paid ads that are strategically placed to generate measurable traffic for your business. Collaborating with the right publishers who focus on measurable, data-driven reports and tactics will ensure easy ROI.
Also, read how these top 20 gym influencers in India became popular with the help of digital marketing.
The above-mentioned digital marketing strategies are dynamic and in-trend. Any business following a traditional, modern, or hybrid channel of operation will need to up its marketing game to attract ideal consumers from a saturated market. Gyms and fitness centers are experiencing a new wave of consumers who are predominantly looking for convenience without compromising on quality. Hence, if your business ticks all the above boxes, these marketing tactics will help promote your brand and also contribute to quality sales.