Fitness Marketing 101

Posted on 02. Nov, 2011 by in Marketing Fitness


Fitness Marketing

While it is true that Facebook can be a popular tool for fitness marketing, the best fitness marketing techniques incorporate a lot more than just social networking. While a fitness marketing system should not over extend itself, two or three different methods of advertisement should be utilized. The internet provides a multitude of promotional tools that fitness marketing experts can take advantage of. Simply having a Facebook puts a business on the map as far as marketing goes. But having more than just a Facebook going is what puts a business ahead of the competition when it comes to advertising.

Fitness Marketing Potential

For example, having a regularly updated blog that is properly Search Engine Optimized can greatly improve the fitness marketing potential that might otherwise be squandered. Search Engine Optimization is not rocket science. The blog writer just has to keep in mind what would annoy them about a blog post and avoid it. For example, a reader would not read a blog post that was nothing, but repetitious “Come to Tony’s Gym” over and over. Also for English readers, they want to read blog posts that make sense. They do not want to read a post that sounds like a computer wrote it. The sentence, “Our great equipment is only outmatched by our commitment to excellence” should not read “Our countless tackle is lone outmatched by our promise to distinction”. Blog readers want to read a post that sounds like a real person just got out of a yoga-aerobics class and plopped down at the computer to rave about how well the class has done.

Fitness Marketing Strategies

Blogs can be effective when it comes to offering deals for potential customers. Some fitness marketing strategies encourage offering a free month membership. Others advocate bringing a friend along for free to existing clients. The offers should be reasonable. For example, it is not a good idea to offer a “One Hour Only” discount entry. The offer will most likely be ignored or people will complain about missing the hour they could have gotten in for free. Common sense is the best tool anyone has when considering what kind of blogs to write and offers to make for potential customers. Blog entries can especially help newer gyms. Mentioning the town the new gym is in as well as one or two different programs it uses can help greatly when it comes to drawing clients. Many people will try something just because it is new and no one else has done it. If these people get hooked on a particular gym or system that person may bring in more people to also patronize the establishment. Word of mouth advertising is and will always be the best type of advertising.

Fitness Marketing System

However, chances are that a fitness marketing system will have to start in person in a practical or brick and mortar sort of way. The proprietor and staff will have to work hard in the first few months offering a lot of free months to a lot of people in person to get them started in on the business. Customer service is going to have to be better than could ever be expected of a corporate chain of gyms. Fitness marketing involved keeping customers as well as acquiring them and a customer will not continue patronage unless they feel special every time they come to the gym. Having a gym with a few diversified facets, like aerobics, yoga and free weights with the potential to grow into other facets, such as cardio kickboxing, Pilates or machine weights will do much better than a gym that only focuses on one type of exercise. As part of the fitness marketing strategy, having this kind of potential will keep many customers merely on the off chance that new classes or types of exercise are offered.

Diversified Fitness Marketing

Once clients have been gathered from offline pursuits, a gym has to make sure their fitness marketing does not falter in any fashion. A diversified fitness marketing solution will make sure there is never a weakness in the fitness marketing solutions for a gym. With this in mind, existing systems exist because they work. While there should be a lot of exploration with different techniques, there is a certain amount of following the status quo which should be done. Take a page from the books of successful fitness marketing experts, but do not be afraid of expanding and changing some of the techniques to suit a particular strategy. Building the business is what is most important.

Having a strategy in mind before undertaking such a huge idea as starting a business is a good idea. This plan can be piggy backed from an existing business’ plan, but there should be facets that are unique to the business being explored at the moment. The fitness marketing for this business should be willing to explore the various on and offline advertising techniques available.

Online Fitness Marketing

Online fitness marketing includes the purchase of Facebook ads which can broaden the reach of a particular business to everyone in a particular area near the business. Google and Bing offer pay per click ads on their sites and businesses can utilize these through Google Adsense and Bing advertising services. Search Engine Optimization, as previously mentioned, is effective in blog posts as well as for written website content. Online banner ads can be helpful especially when considering partnerships between a gym and neighboring businesses that are similar. Email fitness marketing is losing vogue compared to website marketing, but it can still be effective to have a fitness marketing newsletter to send to current and potential clients telling them about the great things the gym has to offer. YouTube Optimization is a budding technological advancement. Using the right keywords in the description of a YouTube video of the gym doing some sort of easy or impressive exercise can be just the thing some people need to try the gym out. The sending of newsletters does not have to be limited to only the contacts roped in through the gym. Utilizing the email lists of other businesses is not off limits by any means.

Offline Fitness Marketing

Offline fitness marketing techniques include direct mail post cards or letters using addresses acquired through surveys or free membership weekends. These addresses can be acquired by using lead boxes offering “free information” or something else for free. The local newspaper can be utilized for publication print ads. If there is a college nearby consider using the newspaper there as well. Acquiring car decals to stick to the vehicles of those working at the gym is an effective way to inspire questions. It may also be prudent to canvas the neighborhoods near to the gym with door hangers with information about a promotion by the gym possibly involving the return of the door hanger to as a coupon. If there is an especially consistent amount of capital that can be used, it may be a good idea to incorporate gift cards for potential clients. This works the same way a discount card would, except the gift card could be used for towels or other amenities at the gym. Human billboards are another effective fitness marketing technique as long as the gym is using people who look like they might have just come out of a gym. Endorsed mailings take the earlier idea of direct mail post cards or letters and amp them up. An endorsed mailing can be incorporated into fitness marketing, but it has to be done professionally as if it were coming from Richard Simmons himself. Paying for TV and radio spots is also a good idea for fitness marketing. Showing clips of the equipment being used or people exercising can sometimes be enough motivation for some people to give it a try if a discount or some other incentive is offered. For existing customers, a referral generation contest might be a good technique to garner more clients. The client with the most referrals could win a free month of membership or some other prize that would be worth the effort made.

Choosing a couple different methods of fitness marketing both online and offline can help a gym start to prosper. To get a step ahead of the competition when it comes to fitness marketing, lead generation should be a focus for any gym proprietor. Many business owners forget about the idea of setting up leads and when the idea is considered they often do it without thinking ahead in the plan. But if a gym sets a plan of advertisement taking a different approach each month the advertisement will never seem rushed or done half way.

Fitness Marketing Awareness

When a gym has been established with enough customers to keep it running there will inevitably be more competition against it. This is where fitness marketing takes a big turn online and offline. A gym needs to be exciting and highly visible. A big part of fitness marketing is making customers aware of the brand and curious about the brand enough to give it a try. Fitness marketing professionals have to be aware of the trends in fitness. If a new trend of high impact horseshoes takes flight a gym has to be able to service this need for the customers. People also are caught up in their daily lives and often times their fitness needs take a back seat to work or whatever else keeps them busy. With high brand awareness, it gives people one less thing to think about because they already know and trust the brand being presented.

It is a good idea to have a fitness marketing strategy set up for every month of the year. Incorporating different strategies of advertisement will help perpetuate brand awareness in both online and offline markets. This kind of brand awareness in fitness marketing leads to increased revenues for a gym especially after the completion of a particular promotion. If there is a promotional plan that covers the whole year then new customers are being drawn to a gym all year effectively increasing both the brand awareness (since more clients are patrons and in turn spreading the word) and income to spend on more advertising and amenities for the clients. Attention should be paid from grand opening stages to sale promotions. Repeating successful gym promotions is also helpful.

Fitness Marketing Techniques

When selling memberships it pays to sell according to the benefits of the membership as opposed to the cost of the membership. Promoting the different advantages of memberships including the equipment, services and staff will help gain more attention for a gym. Representing a gym with integrity and professionalism will ensure repeat clients. It is important that clients get what they pay for. If a client pays for the maximum service then it is the duty of a gym as part of fitness marketing strategy of retaining clients. As part of this maximum service, clients should never be badgered with upselling associates. Certainly clients should be made aware of new offers through other fitness marketing techniques, but most of the staff of a gym should be focused on giving the customers what they need as it pertains to exercise.

Proper Fitness Marketing And Investments

Every business has to deal with competition and doing so will test the sanctity of a gym and its fitness marketing. This is especially true for the first gym in an area. The second and third gyms follow the example set by the first and the first has to be ready to deal with the competition. Competition is healthy and can even help a growing business. Proper fitness marketing can expound upon the virtues of a gym without mud slinging against the other gyms in the area. There are always going to be more customers to draw to the business, but that does not mean a gym should have to lose any of their existing customers. Analyzing the history of the health club industry around the area of a gym can help a proprietor to tailor the fitness marketing techniques to what works. If there is no history of gyms around an area, examining the demographics can give a leg up on the competition as it pertains to fitness marketing. Keeping abreast of trends and successful designs can also help a business get the upper hand of their competitors in the area.

With proper investment, fitness marketing can be the best thing to happen to a gym. Direct mailings can show confidence in the fitness marketing techniques. Sales campaigns dealing with the dues paid by clients are used to generate long term stability for a gym. This also helps to keep the income coming over the slower months. Contracts are a good way to keep income flowing. Having clients sign up for 12 or 18 month contracts can be the most effective way to generate residual income.

Fitness Marketing Sales

Once a sales campaign has generated some contracts it is beneficial to keep going and continually changing up advertising methods in order to bring in more customers. Not every customer will respond the same way to the same advertisement. Also, just because a client has signed up for a contract does not mean they will always come to exercise. Monitoring no shows is a good idea and showing interest in getting them back into the gym is a good way to make them feel more special and thus more likely to work out and in effect renew their contract. The needs of clients change sometimes over night and a gym that can accommodate these changes will prosper because referrals will keep rolling in from satisfied customers.

Changes that are necessary to be made involve helping clients switch from negative to positive thinking. However, thoughts are only the beginning. These thoughts also have to bring about an action. Positive thoughts can be a catalyst of massive positive action. If this action helps others then all the better. Focusing on a purpose leads to actions that will help others, this aid can give a proprietor of a gym and the staff something more valuable than money and all the things that fitness marketing involves, happiness and success.

Blogging And Fitness Marketing

One of the easiest ways to do this is by blogging. Sharing experiences with others can help magnify the help gained. Blogging is the fastest way and one of the more effective fitness marketing techniques. A gym can have a weekly or daily blog that updates as needed. Proprietors can learn how to properly utilize words both online and offline to help make sales. Fitness marketing can be geared towards bringing an emotional response or an entertaining one from potential clients or customers. It is hard to know what will bring responses and eventually sales, but it is often a good idea to go with what would bring the biggest emotional response to the writer of the blog. Good marketing evokes an emotional response this also applies to fitness marketing. Fitness marketing written the right way can convey a sense of hope for the future or simply some motivation. With the right fitness marketing techniques any gym can prosper.f

Fitness Marketing Expert Dr. Sam Bakhtiar

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2 Comments

Kaiser Serajuddin

03. Nov, 2011

Fitness Marketing, Fitness Marketing, Fitness Marketing. Just trying to help out :-)

Siddesh D

18. Jan, 2012

need suggestion on how to brand and market gym equipments…? needed help and suggestion..?

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