Competition among fitness businesses has ramped up considerably over the past few years for several reasons. The most compelling reason is people have become much more health conscious, from engaging in workouts that bolster strength and the immune system to consuming healthy concoctions containing vitamins that meet daily nutritional requirements. The intense competition within the fitness industry has led to one indisputable truth.
Businesses dedicated to enriching our lives need to implement fitness marketing plans that attract more members.
Over the years, fitness businesses relied on a few time-tested marketing strategies, including word of mouth referrals and publishing visually appealing advertisements in the Yellow Page. The advent of digital marketing changed all of that and now, businesses offering weight training and aerobic classes have transformed their fitness marketing efforts to digital platforms.
The highly competitive nature of the fitness industry means as an owner or operator of a gym or a health club, you need to use proven digital fitness marketing strategies to make your business stand out in the community.
Let’s see how your fitness business can push ahead of the competition by using the following digital fitness marketing tactics.
Create a Digital Storefront
Many fitness businesses create wide open storefronts to allow anyone walking buy to marvel at the advanced equipment that gets members in shape. How do you produce the same visual appeal online?
The answer is by creating a visually appealing online fitness center and more importantly, a website that represents everything you want to establish for your brand.
More than half of American consumers search for a business online to be their first or second contact point during the buying process. Think about that. More than half of your target audience has already whittled the choices for a fitness business down to no more than two options.
This is why developing a member friendly website should be an integral part of your fitness marketing plan.
Your fitness business website should be easy to navigate, as well as present useful information about the facility that includes location, amenities, and hours of operation. Above all, you want to create a website that ranks high in the three major search engines, which are Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
As we will see, presenting useful content plays an important role in getting your fitness business ranked on the highly coveted first page of the three primary search engines. You also want to develop relationships with other authority businesses in your operating niche by adding backlinks. All of this might sound overwhelming, but you do not have to be a digital marketing guru to create an engaging and informative fitness facility website.
Here are three options where you can launch your fitness marketing digital home:
Remember to design your website to be mobile device friendly, as Google data shows around 75% of people searching for a business located nearby use a Smartphone to find the right business.
Make a Local Push for Members
Fitness businesses typically attract members that either live or work nearby. With our time-strapped lives always keeping us on the go, finding a convenient way to burn off a little steam is an essential factor in choosing the right fitness business. How does your business stand out locally?
By implementing effective local SEO strategies.
You probably have heard about search engine optimization (SEO), which is the digital marketing practice of getting your business to rank high in each of the three most influential search engines. For your fitness marketing campaign that includes using the best local SEO strategies, you want to start by using the same keywords prospective members when searching for businesses like yours online.
Here are a few examples of the types of keyword phrases your member prospects will use to find you online:
- Health clubs near me
- Fitness centers near me
- Gyms in (location name)
- Gyms one mile away
- Health clubs near (work location)
Google My Business
Google is much more than the most powerful search engine. The company also offers several fitness marketing tools that can help your business soar above the competition. One highly effective tool is called Google My Business.
As a type of online business directory, Google My Business provides a platform for companies to list their names, addresses, and phone numbers (NAP). The acronym NAP is a crucial element of any local SEO plan, as it establishes what is called citations online. A citation refers to the mention of your NAP across all Internet channels. Your NAP must be accurate and consistent everywhere an online platform has listed your fitness business information. Google penalizes businesses that upload NAP information that differs from channel to channel.
Online Business Directories
As the most common way to get your NAP listed for local SEO, online business directories act as the modern era Yellow Pages. In fact, listing in the Internet version of the Yellow Pages is a savvy way to expand awareness for your fitness business in the community. As with Google My Business, you NAP must be the same for every online business directory where you make a strong listing presence.
Here a few suggestions for listing your fitness business in an online business directory:
- Trip Advisor
Upload Fitness Content that Educates Members
In addition to offering a wide variety of ways for members to get in shape and remain fit, fitness business are rich sources of information that enhance the health of their members. Since Google rewards businesses that present useful content, it makes sense for your fitness marketing campaign to include the most effective content marketing tips.
As with any business, one of the keys for your success is to build the level of trust that motivates potential members to take action by signing up with your gym, health club or fitness center. Website content written to educate members goes a long way towards building your business credibility and hence, the trust you need to develop with members to encourage them to enroll in health and exercise classes.
You can write content discussing the importance of consuming nutritional shakes, as well as present instructions on how to maximize the health benefits of a wide variety of workouts and exercises.
Show them How to Do It
It is one thing to describe different workouts and exercises via content fitness marketing. It is quite another thing to show members and potential members how to get fit and healthy the right way.
A few years ago, Google bought YouTube and integrated the online video king seamlessly into its portfolio of businesses. Because of the new relationship with YouTube, Google now ranks YouTube videos high on its search engine results pages (SERPs). This is especially true for videos that provide helpful information, such as how to build muscle by participating in certain exercises.
YouTube has become the perfect digital platform for explaining how to do things. Uploading videos that demonstrate how to perform exercises and maximize the fitness benefits of weight training will help your fitness business move up Google SERPs.
Google Loves Positive Customer Reviews
The consumer buying process unfolds in the same manner for most product and service purchasing decisions. Towards the end of the buying process, most consumers conduct research by reading online reviews of the businesses that have made the short list of candidates. This is a critical step in the decision process for fitness business members, and it is a step that you should take seriously when developing a fitness marketing strategy.
Google places an emphasis on ranking businesses high that generate a substantial amount of positive customer reviews. From Yelp and Google to the reviews left on your Google My Business page, you want members of your fitness business to sing your praises. Encourage members to post online reviews by offering small incentives, such as a week of free cardio training or a limited number of discounted nutritional shakes.
Positive online customer reviews represent the modern day version of old school word of mouth advertising.
Connect on Social Network Channels
A recent study examined the activity more than 100 fitness businesses had on social media networks Facebook and Instagram. The results of the study included a startling statistic: 82% of the fitness businesses surveyed posted daily on either Facebook or Instagram.
Social media marketing for fitness businesses has been an effective fitness marketing tool since the dawn of social media networks. From announcing real time specials to uploading useful health and fitness content, social media networks like Twitter and Snapchat can boost the power of your fitness center website. You can upload images of members working out, as well as post messages that answer member questions.
The Bottom Line
The large number of fitness marketing strategies can make it difficult for an owner or operator to devise a clear plan that attracts more members. By following a step by step fitness marketing plan that focuses on just a few digital tactics, you should be able to welcome plenty of new members to your fitness business. Working closely with a digital marketing team is a great way to increase recognition for your fitness business in the community.