Small and independent gyms are under increasing pressure competing with large national brands and budget gyms, fitness apps and online personal trainers promising they can provide the same results at home. If this sounds like one of the challenges your business faces you can use digital marking to boost membership sales and improve retention.
In that past, the way gyms would attract more members was with paid advertising that included newspapers, local magazines, yellow pages, flyers, and mailers. Essentially, they would cast a wide net to reach the largest number of prospects possible. Nonetheless, the internet has decreased the effectiveness of these traditional methods. Today, when considering a product or service, the typical person will go online to do research. Therefore, your website, directory listings, social media profiles, online reviews, and other facts of internet life will all impact people’s decisions.
Why Digital Marketing Can Help Grow Gym Memberships
Through digital marketing, you can reach out to those most interested in joining a gym. Moreover, you can target your messaging to those who look like your ideal customers. Digital marketing can grow your brand awareness, identify you an authority, and make your gym the obvious choice. Would that be of benefit in your situation?
The first stage is identifying your target. This begins by knowing your ideal customers. Which groups are responsible for most of your business? Does your gym attract stay at home moms? Is most of your business coming from corporate types? Are they primarily looking to lose weight or are they more the fitness enthusiast type? Consider for a moment Planet Fitness. Their success relies on targeting those who want to lose weight, but are intimidated by what they think the inside of a regular gym looks like. Understand these four things about your members and potential members:
- The demographics of your member groups
- Your members’ fitness goals, needs, and motivations
- What or who influences their decisions
- How you can solve their fitness problems
Digital Marketing for Your Independent Gym
Once you know who you are going to talk to, you need to set up the channels of communication.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Ensure your website adheres to SEO best practices, especially when it comes to Local SEO. This will help ensure your website ranks well within search results and will boost your organic/free website traffic.
2. Content Marketing – Consistently sharing valuable fitness information using a blog, social media profiles, email newsletters, and more can grow your reputation, draw traffic, attract more leads, and help will membership retention.
3. Inbound Marketing – Essentially, inbound marketing combines web design, content creation, social media, and other strategies into creating a sales funnel that gently guides your audience through the customer life-cycle, from target to active member.
4. Social Media Marketing – Using informative or entertaining posts, images, and videos, social media is an effective way to promote your business, distribute your content, and stay connected with your audience, customers, and fans.
5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Using paid advertising is a reliable and predictable way to attract visitors to your website. Whether you are using Google AdWords or Facebook’s native advertising, you pay for the traffic you receive.
6. Email Marketing – Many small and independent gyms effectively make use of opt-in email subscriptions and newsletters to communicate with prospects and their membership. When done right, this is this is one of the best ways to promote content, discounts, and events.
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how your gym can use digital marketing to boost membership, or a related topic, please contact us.