7 Fitness marketing strategies to boost revenue for your gym or fitness business
While 2020 turned out to be a challenging year for the fitness industry, the first quarter of 2021 can be a game-changer.
Before you disregard that just as our new year optimism, hear us out!
New year resolutions are all the rage around this time of the year. And guess what’s the most common resolution for people around the world? It’s getting into shape, losing the extra pounds, or just focusing more on their health and fitness.
And we have the numbers to back that up. About 50% of Americans say their top resolution is to exercise. Especially after the Covid19 pandemic, people are even more motivated to pay attention to their health.
Whether you own a gym, fitness center, health club, or an online fitness business, this can be the right time for you to finalize your fitness marketing strategies for the year 2021. And that’s what this blog will help you with.
Whether you offer a virtual, in-person, or mixed membership model, we have got your back!
Sweat it out in January!
About 11% of new memberships take place in January, which is higher than that of any other months! Therefore, it’s a smart idea to plan your January marketing around getting new members.
However, that’s not where your job ends. To enhance your customer loyalty and in turn, your fitness business revenues, you need to focus on keeping your members enthusiastic and motivated about their goals. Nearly 80% of the people give up on their fitness resolution by February.
That’s why your fitness marketing plan should have strategies centered around attracting, converting, and retaining members.
Here are a few ways in which you can do this:
Attract new customers:
Targeting new customers in January will require you to ramp up the marketing game for your gym/ fitness center/ health club/ online fitness business. Here are the most effective ways to achieve this:
1. Boost your advertising
Rigorously advertising your fitness business can work wonders! Target both online and offline channels.
While the traditional advertising methods like print, radio, or outdoor advertising might seem outdated, they still have a place in the market and can be a great way to directly reach out to your local audience. Give out ads on the radio, local newspapers, outdoor spaces, flyers, etc.
Not just that, leverage your personal and professional networks as well. Spread the word out about your promotions in your personal network – your customers, family members, and friends, and also in the fitness clubs or networks that you’re a part of.
Additionally, you can also adopt your business through digital marketing methods – Google PPC, social media, and online communities. These ads can be highly effective as they are very targeted. You can reach out to people who are looking for similar services on Google with pay per click advertising. You can also run social media ads where you can target an audience of a particular age group, gender, location, or specific interests, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Post about your gym/ fitness center/ health club in the relevant online communities of fitness enthusiasts, where you are more likely to find potential customers.
2. Strengthen your online presence and reach
The significance of having a strong online presence in today’s times cannot be emphasized enough. Establish or strengthen your presence online on multiple platforms. To achieve this, the following are must-haves for your fitness business:
- Fitness business/ gym website
- Social Media profiles – Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, etc.
- Google My Business profile
Creating these profiles (in case you do not already have) is a must, but it’s only the first step in your fitness branding. This won’t ensure online success for your business. For that, you’ll need to expand your reach and engagement.
Make your website rank higher on search engines with Search Engine Optimization of all your content, URLs, meta descriptions, alt-texts, etc. You don’t need to hire a professional for this. You can perform basic keyword research and incorporate these keywords into your website content on your own.
To make the most of your social media marketing efforts, ensure that you post regularly on your handles. Upload stories and posts with relevant content and hashtags specific to your industry. Post the workout pictures from your gym/ fitness center, customer feedback and success stories, and user-generated content on your social profiles to generate interest. You can even run interesting contests to keep users and followers engaged.
Also, don’t forget to keep your social media and Google My Business profiles complete with all the details about your fitness business including contact information and address. You can better convert your followers into customers by adding a booking call to action to these profiles. Some fitness booking software like Appointy let you add a Book Now button to your Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business pages.
Remove the objections potential customers may have about the prices, services, or the experience. Boost your conversions by applying the following methods:
3. Create and promote special offers
Promotional offers can go a long way to engage your potential customers and convert them into paying members more easily. New people might be interested in joining your fitness company but might hold themselves back due to objections such as”
- “Your services are too expensive!”
- “What if I don’t like it?”
- “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage.”
- “I won’t be able to continue for long!”
If you can remove these objections successfully, they’ll join you easily. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Offer a joining discount to new members like 15-20% off for the whole year, so that they don’t feel it’s too expensive.
- Provide easy access to free trials for 2-3 days or a week for the people who think they might not like the experience. Use this time to change their mind by providing excellent services.
- To help them stay on track with their fitness journey, you can introduce offers such as “Join with a buddy”. This will help the two people give company to each other in their workouts and stay together to achieve their goals.
Introduce these offers and deals especially during the peak times like the New Year, and the pre-summer time when people want the perfect beach bodies.
That’s not it. Help your customers set realistic and achievable fitness goals for this year. Help them track their progress over time so that they can see the results in terms of numbers.
4. Share customer reviews and success stories
Customer reviews are the number one prerequisite for a prospect to choose your services to enhance their fitness regime. They’re meaningful to understand the results your fitness center or gym can yield to the members.
Encourage your customers to share their feedback and reviews about your fitness company on your website or review platforms. You can incorporate the positive reviews from your happy customers in your fitness marketing strategies. For example, you can add Google reviews to your Google PPC ads.
You can also share your customers’ fitness success stories on your website and social media profiles, with their permission, of course! Don’t forget to mention the weight gain/ loss figures in these stories. These are bound to make a substantial impact on your prospects. You can make these stories more interesting with some element of humor or motivational quotes.
Retain your customers:
A month or so into the new year, keeping customers engaged and motivated can get tough. In fact, it can be one of the most frustrating things for fitness professionals and business owners. So here are few ways to motivate your members to keep up with their goals and keep coming back!
5. Personalize your members’ experience
Let your members feel taken care of by delivering personalized experiences to them through your fitness services. To achieve this you need to know them, and that’s where member data comes into play.
Fitness professionals can get some of the data from their records, such as:
- Form of workout – HIIT, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, etc.
- Personal trainer
- Attendance (or number of appointments)
- Goals and milestones
- Most used equipment
- Items purchased – certain protein shake that they prefer
Some other data can be requested from customers at the time of signup or booking. This data should include their personal information like their fitness goals, current metrics like weight, body fat, BMI, etc. A good fitness management software can help you easily collect, maintain, and use this data to enhance your customers’ experience.
Apart from using this data for a better customer service, be empathetic with your members. Listen to their fitness problems and offer relevant solutions. Help them enhance their fitness experience. Keep your members engaged and make the process interesting for them by keeping a track of their progress and helping them achieve their goals.
6. Run customer loyalty programs
Frequent visits are crucial to the success of gyms or fitness businesses. One thing that boosts the same, for old and new members alike, is customer loyalty programs. Reward your customers for consistent efforts towards achieving their fitness goals.
- You can start a points system where you reward clients with a certain number of points for each visit, or a higher number for achieving a milestone. And then on collection of a fixed amount of points, they can get exciting rewards. For example, a 20% discount for the next three months, or 30% off on their favorite health drinks, or a gift card for a healthy restaurant down the street.
- Similarly you can use punch cards or loyalty cards wherein the member will have to punch this card at each visit. When they complete the required number of punches, they receive gift cards, or other benefits or rewards.
- VIP memberships can also be a great way to boost customer retention. In this program, members with VIP membership will receive exclusive access to special benefits like certain discount or retail items, etc.
7. Keep your members motivated
Consistently maintaining interest and motivation can be tough for your members. And they might even want to quit or feel like shifting their gym visits/ virtual fitness sessions to a lower priority, leading to lesser attendance.
Create interest for your customer by introducing engaging challenges for them. They are an excellent way to keep members motivated to achieve their fitness goals, what they signed up for initially!
These challenges have multi-fold benefits for your members and, in turn, for your business:
- They help you create a fun and conducive environment for workout that will help your members stay motivated.
- They create a healthy competition among members which can push them towards achieving their targets in a fun and friendly manner.
- Challenges help gamify the whole fitness experience for your members, and keep them more engaged and interested.
- That’s not it. People usually share such content on their social media. This will help you gain more user-generated content, and help you enhance your business’s online reach.
There can be many types of competitions or challenges that you can run for your gym or fitness business depending on the services you offer, demand among your members, etc. Here are a few generic ideas to help you get started:
- A ‘No Junk January’ challenge where your members start with totally avoiding junk food for the first month of the year. It’ll be tough for them but if you help members push through this you’ll build their confidence and trust in you.
- Running or walking challenges for members per week or per month, with a small reward at the end of the challenge period.
- ‘Highest calories burned’ or ‘Highest weight lost’ challenges to help members achieve their goals faster and better. You can use some interesting names for them like “The Biggest Loser”.
- Another way to boost member attendance is to run a ‘Most Club Visits’ or ‘Highest Class Attendance’ challenge.
Encourage your customers to participate in these challenges to enhance their fitness experience with you, and to help them stay on track on their journey to a healthier body.
Get yourself pumped up!
Since you’re aiming to get flooded with memberships with marketing strategies for gyms and fitness centers for this year, you need to make sure that you’re well prepared to handle all the work that comes along with it.
You should focus on spending more time with your members rather than in admin work like taking manual appointments, sending reminders, manually maintaining a member database.
To automate these tasks, you can use a fitness scheduling software, like Appointy. It will help you automate your bookings, send automated email or text reminders, manage dedicated member profiles and employee data, allow customers to self-schedule their appointments 24×7, and more!
In fact, you can also set up your virtual classes in advance and make data-driven marketing actions with Appointy.
If you’re looking for some more marketing ideas for your gym, you can find them in our blog post linked below:
Get back into the business without breaking a sweat! Update your fitness marketing strategies for 2021 or create them from scratch if you haven’t done so already. Stay well prepared for any obstacles that may come your way this year, and boost your fitness business revenues.
Do tell us if you found our tips and advice helpful in the comments below.
We wish you the best for 2021!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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