The Complete Guidebook on Digital Marketing for Gyms
Ensure your website is comprehensive
First and foremost, ensure that your website is an easy to use and informative platform for both existing and potential members. The number one reason that consumers are likely visiting your website is to find information, so ensuring that they can find what they are looking for will make for a positive user experience and be more likely to lead to a membership sign up or enquiry.
Important elements to have on your website include things like membership prices and inclusions, available amenities, class timetables, FAQ’s and contact information. If you offer the ability to join or book classes online, ensure that this process is user friendly and simple to understand. Complex forms or unreliable systems can lead to frustration and high abandonment rates, and potentially a lost membership.
Make sure you are mobile responsive
On the topic of websites, the vast majority of consumers engage with business websites via a mobile device. For this reason, it is more important than ever that your website is mobile responsible and easy to use on screens of varying sizes. Including mobile friendly features such as adapting font sizes, sticky menu’s and search bars, and click-to-call phone numbers will ensure that website is accessible no matter how the consumer chooses to view it.
Know your audience like the back of your hand
What type of people are your existing members, and what type of people do you want to attract to your gym? Your fitness club might have a niche specialising in something such as Yoga, Pilates, or Cross-fit. In this case you want to get to know this audience segment thoroughly so that you can effectively market your offering towards them.
The best place to start is by defining a primary, secondary, and tertiary target audience, and then building out a profile for each of these segments. These profiles should include characteristics such as demographics, geographics, psychographics and behavioural traits to provide a wholistic picture of exactly who your ideal members are.
Be driven by data
Making data driven decisions will generate the best results in your digital marketing and ensure that you are investing your time and money in the right areas. Audience segmenting is a great example of how to utilise data to enhance your marketing. Different groups of consumers will have different motivations and obstacles to joining your gym, and it is important that you tailor your marketing campaigns to address these specific drivers and barriers.
Utilising analytics platforms such as Google Analytics for your website, and the back-of-house insights tools for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can provide a wealth of information that you can use to better your marketing efforts. Do some research about which key metrics you should be tracking to help you achieve your goals, as it can be easy to start over-analysing and tracking too many things.
Create a community
One of the great things within the fitness industry is gym-goers propensity to build connected and meaningful communities. Many of your most loyal members will be going to the gym multiple times and week, maybe even every day, and as a result they can create strong bonds with their fellow members.
As a gym owner, you should lean into this community and encourage these relationships. Showcasing the community you have built within your gym can be a powerful digital marketing tool, acting as a retention strategy for existing members and an incentive for potential members to join. Do so by sharing photo’s, video’s and highlights to your social media accounts and other digital assets – and encourage your community to share and be active online as well!
User generated content is your best friend
This relates closely to our last point about creating a community within your gym. Your members are likely sharing their personal bests and posting workout selfies to their own personal social media accounts. Leverage this content by encouraging your members to use your brands hashtags and re-sharing the photos and video’s to your own brands social media accounts.
This strategy allows you to pump out new and relevant content to your account without having to invest the time creating it yourself. Further, it shows your members that you are celebrating their achievements and encouraging them to engage with your brand not only in person but online.
Reviews, reviews, reviews
Once you have built a community of happy and healthy members, you need to share this with the world! Reviews are the cornerstone of digital marketing and provide an important element of social proof to potential customers. Collecting and publishing reviews across all your digital assets is a must and can help guide people through the decision-making process through to conversion.
Video is vital
Video is quickly becoming the most popular form of content across digital platforms and for a good reason. Research shows that when someone sees something 20% retain the information, whereas when they see and hear it this increases to 80%. Further, if you website has video content it is 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine results, meaning that investing in video content is not only an excellent engagement strategy but can fuel your SEO efforts.
Think about the big picture
Finally, we want to highlight the importance of looking at your marketing strategy as a large integrated operation. Ensuring that you adopt an integrated marketing communications approach means that you present a consistent brand image across all your marketing channels, and that customers are more likely to recognise and retain your brand image.
This doesn’t just apply to digital marketing, but also across traditional marketing platforms such as print, outdoor and television. Ensuring that all of your campaigns flow together and utilise the same call-to-actions to drive consumers towards one core conversion point makes your marketing investment more impactful.