Marketing on the Internet can seem pretty intimidating, especially for offline businesses that don’t sell anything on the web. For fitness businesses, in particular, it can even seem like a waste of time. Of course, people will attend it offline. So why bother building a gym online presence, a website, communicating with your customers, or promoting your business to prospects on the web?
Because in today’s world, staying in the dark about digital advertising can put you in a very vulnerable position. Imagine a few simple scenarios:
- A potential customer sees your signboard or hears about you and doesn’t find a website to learn more;
- A prospect browses social media to find nearby fitness professionals and finds your competitors instead of you;
- A person looks up your facility in Google Maps to get to it but finds the wrong address.
In all three scenarios, these people are leads with strong buyer intent. However, by not meeting their expectations for digital presence, you fail to earn their trust. As a result, you will likely lose them forever and harm your reputation. But there are ways to avoid this.
Gym online presence might seem hard to build. However, it’s the key to excellent customer experiences, better brand recognition, and, thus, higher profits. Read on, and we will share with you some of the greatest gym marketing ideas that will help you get your studio in front of online communities.
Focus on Local Marketing
Establishing a strong gym online presence through local marketing is one of the most powerful tools for gym businesses It helps you extend your outreach, rank higher in search results, drive more traffic, and also get noticed by prospects in your local community. Simply put, it is a way to bring new customers from the web right to your doors.
In order to use this to your benefit, create a Google My Business profile. This is an easy tool to establish your facility’s visibility across Google, including presence in Search and Maps. By having a well-maintained GMB profile, you will ensure that potential customers can easily find you when looking for gyms nearby.
Once you have an account, follow these simple tips to optimize it:
- Provide accurate NAP info (name, address, phone), and keep it relevant across all online platforms;
- Provide relevant hours of operation;
- Write a compelling description;
- Incorporate locally-driven keywords to rank higher;
- Upload high-quality photos and videos;
- Solicit reviews from satisfied customers, actively monitor new reviews to identify areas for improvement, and deliver better customer experiences.
These simple tips will help you start building a presence and get noticed. Additionally, focus on tracking your local ranking to assess the effectiveness of your profile. Leverage SE Ranking’s Local Rank Tracker to keep an eye on how your gym ranks in Google Maps. This tool will give you a wealth of helpful insights, such as overall average position, average position per keyword, average position per tracking point, and rankings distribution.
Partnership marketing is a major driver for establishing a strong gym online presence in the fitness industry. There are lots of different business types and established professionals in this niche that can help you boost your credibility and awareness.
Consider teaming up with other businesses, niche influencers, and community organizations. Together, you can create joint health initiatives, events, social media campaigns, and referral programs that can significantly enhance your reach.
Nurture Brand Loyalty
According to the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS), the fitness facility industry has always suffered from fairly low retention rates. The organization reports that the average studio retention rate is 75.9%. Although this number isn’t very low, it often turns out to be not enough due to a few core roadblocks:
- Over 80% of fitness facility clients attend other studios, which means they can walk through the back door at any moment.
- Acquiring a new client is 3x more expensive than retaining an old one.
These simple statements indicate only one thing – the huge need for brand loyalty. In a nutshell, brand loyalty is manifested through customers’ favorable associations with your brand and their repeat purchases despite competitors’ marketing efforts. Building loyalty is possible through positive customer experiences and increased online presence.
One way to ensure loyalty and retention is to focus your online gym marketing strategy on brand awareness. Also, more active and meaningful online engagement with customers can improve overall satisfaction, boost your retention rates and establish a strong gym online presence.
Deliver Value for Free
Due to the recent outbreak of Covid and consequent lockdown, online activity and content consumption has increased a lot. Today, users want to access more content than ever. That’s why content creation and distribution has become one of the primary focuses for many companies. However, consumers don’t want just any content. They want it to be relevant, valuable, and free.
This brings us to the importance of adopting content marketing strategies through blogging and publications on other web platforms. By providing prospects with a wealth of high-quality content that helps them, you increase your outreach, deliver better experiences, and also build a presence. So don’t hesitate to leverage a blog and social media to share valuable nutrition tips, workout routines, and other relevant information to get more people to know your facility.
Don’t Neglect Paid Advertising
While there are many ways to promote your gym online organically, paid advertising still works. By leveraging paid ads on Google, you can target your audiences more accurately and increase the outcomes of your gym online presence.
Advertising on social media also keeps growing. According to Statista, global spending on social media advertising is projected to hit $20.10 billion in 2023. So don’t hesitate to use this to your benefit!
Create compelling and attention-grabbing ad campaigns to enhance your digital presence further and drive more prospects. To get the most out of every ad, be sure to highlight your unique selling points and include special online offerings in them.
Share Reviews and Success Stories
This is probably one of the best gym marketing ideas of all. Online reviews and customer success stories showcase a brand’s reputation. They show real people who use the services and products of a business and highlight how it has changed their lives for the better.
Respectively, reviews and stories can boost your visibility and search rankings, and also increase sales. After all, 90% of consumers confirm that they trust reviews more than any other information provided by a salesperson.
In order to use this tip to your benefit, encourage your current clients to share their feedback and success stories with you. Integrate this information into your Google profile, website, and social networks. Let your online communities see how your facility changes people’s lives and delivers the best experiences, and more people will be willing to give it a try.
Provide Personalization at Scale
Just like it is in any other business, when it comes to building a gym online presence, understanding your prospects’ needs and catering to them are the two major keys to success.
These days, consumers are looking for personalized experiences. They want all products and services to meet their unique needs and goals. By understanding and catering to them, you should be able to increase your presence, recognition, and sales.
To do this, you need to analyze your members’ personas and needs. Then tailor your content, online offerings, and services to match those needs. For example, if you see a lot of new moms taking an interest in your gym, create special programs for them and tell them about it on the web. This approach creates a whole new level of communication with your prospects, which builds trust and loyalty.
Try a Cross-Promotional Tactic
When you are just getting started with promoting your gym online, gaining a following and expanding it can be rather difficult on your own. But what if we told you that you can tap into other businesses’ audiences to extend your reach and drive clients?
That’s what cross-promotion does. In a nutshell, this approach implies partnering with another business in your niche to reach each other’s audiences and advertise your services to them.
For example, you can team up with a local sports store. It can offer exclusive membership deals in your studio to its buyers. And you can offer discounts for the shop’s products in your gym as well.
Such cross-promotion allows you to tap into a new target audience. If the store already has a large following, you can drive new followers without a hassle. At the same time, this approach builds trust and establishes you as a leader in the industry because if the buyers trust the store, they will also trust the recommendations it gives.
Building a gym online presence might feel overwhelming, especially when you are just getting started. Nevertheless, it doesn’t necessarily require an enormous amount of effort to reach your goals.
The gym marketing ideas we shared with you here are time-tested and proven to be effective. From engaging in local marketing to making cross-promotion partnerships – each of these tips can help you advertise your gym online and drive a lot of new customers.
So don’t wait any longer. Use the information and tips from this guide to take your online gym marketing strategy to the next level!