The competition amongst fitness centers, clubs and gyms is fierce, and facility owners often need to become master marketers just to stay ahead of the game. While it may seem like an excessive step to some, developing an effective digital marketing strategy can put your gym directly in front of your target market and help you to retain present members and boost new client acquisition rates.

The reality is that establishing a strategic, customized marketing plan could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. For those of you who feel like your gym marketing strategy is in need of a makeover, we’ve compiled our top five digital marketing tips to help get your facility ahead of the rest!

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1. Perform extensive market research

Market research is all about finding out what you don’t already know about your existing and potential gym members, and it is a crucial step for properly identifying your target audience.

It isn’t enough to simply assume the age range, income level or even fitness level of your typical client. Seeking answers to specific questions concerning your client demographic can help you to easily break your target market down by gender, age, location and interests.

Some of the information you will need for your market analysis is publicly available, such as statistical data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. Other information can be pulled from social media sites, especially as it relates to the people who follow you.

As well as these available resources, you can also gain valuable market information by surveying your current customers. Consider asking them what they like about your gym membership program including pricing, location, facility ambience and more. Listen carefully to their responses to gage what they are looking for in their gym experience and what kind of people they are.

Since you’ll be competing for clients, you should also consider taking a look at what types of fitness marketing your competitors are engaged in. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses by reading online reviews or visiting the facility yourself and learn from their mistakes and successes.

young woman checking a gym's facebook page

2. Invest in targeted paid advertisements

With platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook and Instagram, investing in targeted paid advertisements has become a prominent way to pull in specific customers. With these tools, users can narrow down the amount and type of people who see an ad to make sure it lands in front of the right people at the right time.

Some gym owners avoid this type of advertising because they are daunted by the cost. However, paid advertising can cause a gym’s growth to explode overnight and may be worth the additional expense, if you can afford it. Using targeted paid ads can make it possible to receive several new leads every day and as many as 150 new leads per month. Consider if investing in targeting paid advertisement is right for your facility.

group of gym members posing for a selfie

3. Maintain a strong social media profile

There are several reasons to prioritize your social media presence as a business. Firstly, people who visit social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat enjoy seeing photographs and are typically more inclined to follow profiles that catch their attention with consistent, engaging posts. Consider posting photographs of past or upcoming events with high quality photos that showcase members enjoying themselves at your facility.

Social media is also the perfect place to celebrate your gym members and share relevant personal interest stories with your followers. Whether it’s a post about someone who has reached their fitness goals or about a gym contest winner, human interest stories are more likely to resonate with your followers than ordinary posts and can add a sense of personality to your business.

woman checking her email while stretching

4. Launch an email campaign

If email marketing isn’t already on your radar, it might be time to look into it. Emails allow you to reach potential customers that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get in touch with. It’s important that you look for ways to build your email list without falling to harmful techniques such as buying email lists. One way is to ask for the email address of anyone who visits your website, perhaps offering an incentive in exchange for the information.

Once you build up a targeted email list, you can then use it to promote any number of gym marketing events to your recipients and remain at the forefront of their minds throughout their customer journey. For such a strategy to be successful, make sure the content you are sending out is engaging, concise and informational and be prepared to respond quickly to any emails you receive.

working out using a phone app

5. Create a user-friendly website and phone app

When a potential client is interested in finding out more about your business, one of the first things they will do is check out your website or phone app, so it’s important to make sure both are optimized, responsive and user-friendly.

Your website needs to be easy to find and easy to use; it should follow key search engine optimization (SEO) practices so that potential customers can find you easily online. Once they find you, your site should be attractive, professional looking and easy to navigate.

It should have an effective call to action (CTA) that collects as much information as possible from your site visitors. You also might want to think about including blogs and other inbound marketing materials that promote upcoming events and demonstrate why your gym is the best choice.

Wrap-Up

Of course, without a top-notch facility, high-quality equipment, trained and welcoming employees, reasonable prices and a convenient location, a digital marketing strategy can only take your facility so far. Once you’ve established a facility that you’re proud of, a strong digital marketing strategy is what will take your efforts for growth, client retention and sustainability to the next level. Focus on building a customized, effective digital marketing strategy for your gym and reap the benefits of keeping these top 5 tips in mind.

It should have an effective call to action (CTA) that collects as much information as possible from your site visitors. You also might want to think about including blogs and other inbound marketing materials that promote upcoming events and demonstrate why your gym is the best choice.

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