8 Online Fitness Marketing Ideas You Must Apply This Year

Go Digital to Reach Out to All Clients

COVID-19 may have changed the fitness business forever. It used to be that the gym and fitness studio were the favored places to work out and get fit. Now it’s the living room or home gym. Because of lockdowns and pandemic fear, the fitness club is now at home. Personal trainers are coaching virtually.

Of course, there is still a market for brick-and-mortar fitness businesses. But your target audience has now shifted. They have gone online. This means the fitness business owner must adjust fitness marketing strategies.

You need to go online to create and engage a new client base. Scary? Maybe. Packed with potential? Certainly.

To unlock this potential, you must adopt best-of-breed digital marketing practices. These fitness marketing ideas will get you out of the blocks fast.

Adapting to the new normal: Why you must go digital

As fitness studios were forced to close through 2020 and beyond, people have changed their fitness habits. They still exercise and work out, but are now more likely to do so from home.

A recent survey found that 80% of consumers would be happy to return to the gym, but only if they could be certain that the gym was a safe place to be. Even if the 80% do return, you could be missing one in five of your old members. That’s a big cut in business.

Another survey found that almost two-thirds of Americans have made significant lifestyle changes. These include starting or modifying any exercise program. Further, a quarter of the survey’s respondents said they are now exercising more.

So, expect fewer people in your gym, and greater numbers of people exercising virtually. Some fitness business owners were quick to adapt to this model. Many have captured more business than they had before.

Local businesses have potential clients numbering a few thousand. The virtual gym has a worldwide reach. That’s a total market of more than 4 billion people online.

The savvy fitness business owner will target their fitness marketing campaign online, and seek to exploit the potential that COVID-19 has dropped in their laps.

Fitness marketing tips to build into your marketing campaigns

There are a lot of trends in fitness marketing that will help brands stand out in the marketplace. 

Digital marketing offers several benefits that are worth exploring for your company. As well as reaching a far bigger target market, digital marketing – including tactics like inbound marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization – is highly cost-effective and efficient.

Here are eight actions that will boost your business.

  1. Build your brand loyalty

Online campaigns can be used for reaching out to your audience on social media, spreading the word about your gym and virtual fitness programs, or running contests that build brand loyalty. Gyms can also use these campaigns for events like Black Friday or the Christmas season.

To be effective with these online campaigns, it’s important that gyms have a plan for the whole year – what memberships they will offer, which promotions they will run, what events the gym will be participating in.

  1. Start creating content for inbound content marketing

The term ‘inbound marketing’ refers to the process of attracting clients without relying on expensive promotions and advertising. Instead, inbound marketers focus their efforts on providing high-quality content for potential consumers – content that will drive clients to their website by being helpful, valuable, and engaging. In contrast, traditional marketing campaigns rely heavily on paid ads in magazines or television commercials.

Another advantage of creating engaging content is that it is ever-present. It can market your fitness business endlessly, unlike, say, a newspaper ad that is yesterday’s news tomorrow.

  1. Promote digital memberships

For an online audience, you must offer digital memberships. Market these successfully, and your digital business could explode. Promote the value of your services by showing the value you are offering. For example, access to a personal trainer, fitness tips sent to the member’s email address, and exclusive online discounts.

  1. Be active and consistent on social media

You must be present and consistent on social media. This means posting at the same time every day or once per week, depending on how often you share content. It also means mirroring what your other marketing campaign does. This builds trust with your clients and sets expectations for the standard of service you deliver.

(Extra tip: share images of your members or of the gym itself, showing that it is an active space full of people who are living a healthy lifestyle.)

  1. Reach out to clients to motivate them

It is hard to get people to exercise and go to the gym without good motivation. You need to reach out to them. For example, you might send content to the client’s email address, email newsletters, and use inbound content marketing strategies. 

When you’re ready to send the email or create content for your audience, use these tips:

  • Keep it short and sweet. A short email will encourage people to read it.

  • Include plenty of images and graphics. People can get bored easily if there are not many visuals.

  • Add a call to action that tells them exactly what you want them to do next – such as subscribing to online exercise classes

Remember that to be successful your marketing must be compelling and relevant. Make sure your content includes the lifestyle benefits of going to the gym or working out at home.

  1. Create ‘Welcome back’ campaigns

When a member doesn’t use their gym for a long time, it can be tough to get them back into the routine. Creating ‘Welcome back’ packages could be the push your clients need.

The packages should be customized for different types of members. For example, for members who are returning after a long absence, you could offer discounts on entry fees or even free personal training sessions. 

  1. Offer free passes

Most gyms encourage new members to sign up by offering free passes or other incentives. For example, you might offer a free month of unlimited classes, a free massage, or a free personal training session. 

You may offer free passes with a limited duration or discounts on other services such as personal training and healthy foods. You may also offer a loyalty pass, giving members a free class for every 10 they attend.

Whatever your free offer, make it relevant to your clients and target audience, and incentivize them to try out a new exercise program or fitness classes.

  1. Don’t forget about clients who want to come into your gym

In all your marketing, don’t forget about the clients who want to come back to your gym. They will always have the option to return, but they may not come back if they are not offered equal value for their business.

You can use all the above online fitness marketing strategies to attract people to your fitness studio as well as your online fitness business. The secret is to incorporate personalization onto your marketing campaigns – and demonstrate that your clients receive an exclusive experience that your competitors can’t match.

Boost your fitness business with an online marketing strategy

The virtual fitness market is huge, but, as we discussed in our article, ‘Is the Future of Fitness at Home?’, a hybrid fitness business model is most likely to win. 

The beauty of online marketing is that it reaches out to all your clients and potential clients. Because of the nature of digital marketing tactics, you can do far more for less, too.

Are you ready to get started?

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