With so many new gyms, fitness studios and wellness centers opening up around the city each day, it’s more crucial now than ever to properly market yourself in order to make sure your fitness facility stands out amongst the noise. With a variety of different techniques, strategies and membership promotions available, having the right marketing approach has the ability to expand your membership base and become a leading facility in the fitness industry.

Active Entities has compiled some of the best ways to market your fitness facility to ensure maximum member retention and draw in new clientele:

engage your current and prospective members on social media

1. Prioritize Your Social Media Presence

In today’s world, simply having a website isn’t enough; an effective online presence requires productive inbound marketing and consistent activity on the right platforms to attract new customers.

Consider who you’re trying to reach and how that group majorly consumes their content; do you cater to a younger demographic who prefers platforms like Instagram and Snapchat or does your customer base more frequently browse websites and online articles? Identify your target audience and work to cater your social media strategy to align with how they access information.

Depending on your desired brand voice, don’t be afraid to have fun with how you present yourself on your chosen social media platforms. Consider posting blogs, photos and videos to portray who you are and exactly what services you offer in a fun, interactive way.

Remain consistent with the content you post so as to establish a recognizable brand and avoid confusing your customers. Social media is a great way to build brand credibility and reach new customers all while communicating your brand personality.

woman receiving a text message on her phone at the gym

2. Send Automated Reminders and Encouragement Texts to Clients

While it’s important not to bombard your customers with consistent messages and reminders, the occasional text encouraging them to hit the gym can be a huge motivator for customers. Setting up automated reminders and promotional texts is a great way to stay relevant in your customers’ minds and let them know that you care about their fitness! The use of automated reminders and promotional texts offers your customers a truly personalized fitness experience that makes them feel like they’re a part of a group that cares.

2 gym members high fiving each other

3. Start a Refer-a-Friend Promotion

One of the most frequently-used fitness marketing tools is a referral promotion, and there’s no wonder why. You already have satisfied customers; why not let them market for you?

A refer-a-friend promotion is when members are rewarded for referring their friends and family to join the facility. This kind of referral promotion doesn’t have to be complicated; simply give your members an incentive for each new friend they convince to sign up for your services. The incentive could be anything from a cash bonus, a free class or a free week — let your customers know about this new program and start reaping the rewards of word-of-mouth marketing.

24 7 hours on a gym

4. Consider Adjusting Your Hours

Customers want to go to the gym when it’s convenient for them and if you’re not open during the times they want to exercise, you’re most likely going to lose them to a facility that is.

That being said, it’s nearly impossible to foresee the type of customers you’ll be attracting to your gym and what kind of schedule they’ll have; some people prefer hitting the gym in the early hours before they start their day while others like to blow off steam before bed.

Consider reducing your staff during the daytime when traffic is likely slower and hiring more personnel for the hours that tend to bring in more customers, including early in the morning and late at night. If possible, offering 24-hour gym services will eliminate the risk of losing customers and will ensure your facility remains highly competitive. Once you’ve made these adjustments, be sure to promote your extended hours so that all of your existing and potential customers are aware of the change.

women playing tug o war

5. Host a Fitness Competition with Prize Incentives to Motivate Members

Everyone loves to win prizes! If you’re feeling like traffic is slowing down, try motivating your members by starting up a friendly fitness competition and offering prize rewards for the winners. These competitions can be as simple as testing who can refer the most friends during a certain time period or who does the most workouts in the month of July. These simply promotions can be as creative, interactive and silly as your imagination allows and can be exactly what your facility needs to engage more customers.

Creating a fun and engaging environment not only works to increase the gym attendance of your existing customers, it also inspires them to share their unique experience with their friends and promote your facility via word-of-mouth or on social media.

group of gym members working out in a park

6. Offer In-Class Training Sessions and Outdoor Bootcamps

People tend to get bored easily and it can sometimes be tempting to call it quits on a workout regime, especially when it becomes repetitive. Many of your customers will be happy with the services you provide when they first sign up, but may tire of the same old workout routine day after day.

Keep your customers motivated and inspired by offering fun training sessions, outdoor bootcamps, zumba classes, yoga classes and more. Don’t be afraid to spice things up by giving your customers enough choices to keep things interesting.

The best part of these unique promotions? They don’t have to cost a thing! When hiring your team, make sure you’re finding fitness trainers that are qualified, energetic and willing to try something new to make your facility the best it can be. Get the input of your staff as well as your customers to learn more about what they’re looking for in terms of the classes offered and try and make their workout dreams a reality!

company employees working out in a fitness center

7. Encourage Corporate Wellness

Many corporations promote health and wellness to their employees in order to limit insurance costs and workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, the current ideology is that a healthy, active employee is a more productive employee. Because of this, some corporations will pay a percentage of the employees’ monthly membership fees.

If you’re willing to offer a discounted rate to corporations, you may be able to work out a membership agreement that guarantees you a minimum monthly income. Even without an agreement, you can boost your membership deals by offering discounted rates to corporation employees.

By offering these rates and working with corporations, your facility will attract a whole new demographic of customers and encourage corporate wellness.

happy group of gym members

8. Celebrate Your Customers!

Many of your customers show up week after week without any fanfare or incentive beyond personal fitness. By featuring those dedicated customers in your gym and on social media, you can show your clientele how much you value their patronage.

Consider offering your “member of the week” a special gift, such as a water bottle or a branded t-shirt, and promoting their hard work on social media. This recognition provides your customers with a totally personalized experience that they will likely share with their friends and family. This kind of celebration works to motivate your customers to attend your facility more frequently and contributes to a fun, welcoming, collaborative environment.

There are so many different ways to market your fitness facility; consider your available resources, your target audience and your brand voice to create a marketing strategy that works for you.