The New Year is of course a prime time to put your gym out there and draw in a veritable army of fresh-faced subscribers. But every advertising opportunity is a challenge to make your brand stand out in a crowded market. To succeed, you need a gym marketing strategy that is fit for purpose. Here are 8 marketing resolutions that will give your gym a new lease of life in 2018.
Resolution #1: Embrace social media
As a general rule of thumb, social media is a good place to start for most marketing activities. It’s a great way to test the waters in terms of what form of messaging is effective and what isn’t; it also gives you an opportunity to easily enter into online discussions and engage with topical subjects to which you can relate your services.
The New Year will see a flurry of articles, comment pieces, and user generated content relating to fitness. “Get more exercise” must be the most common New Year’s resolution, and even those who haven’t formally committed to getting healthy may want to find a way to shake off the stodge of Christmas hedonism.
If you have a marketing team you should make sure that someone is spending time posting and responding on social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. They should keep an eye out for trending topics, fitness hashtags, and so on. The aim is to generate social media content that can relate to fitness discussions and steer people towards your gym.
Resolution #2 Have something to offer
You need to be able to answer the question; why should customers choose your gym over your rivals? The answer could be some kind of material benefit like a special offer or discount; or it could be the friendly, no pressure attitude of your instructors, or exercise classes you offer that others don’t.
The chances are that fitness newbies are likely to be attracted to gyms that have an easy-going atmosphere and plenty of fun and low-intensity workout options. But perhaps you want to relate to more experienced gym-bunnies who have perhaps fallen off the fitness wagon or are looking to start the New Year with renewed commitment. To relate to these people you may want to promote your latest fitness gizmo or advanced workout class.
Resolution #3 Post engaging blog content
If you have a blog you should post informative content that relates to customers’ pain points. If you don’t have a blog, you should get one. Brainstorm different ideas for topics of interest, maybe something like:
“3 tricks to stick to your New Year’s fitness resolutions”
“5 achievable fitness goals for 2018”
“What’s the best gym package for you?”
These are just suggestions; it’s worth doing some googling to find out what sort of articles are popular and what topics are being discussed. Each article should end with a clear call to action (CTA) to sign up to your gym. The CTA should ideally link to each article’s subject in some way and not just be tacked on.
Resolution #4 Promote your content
You’ll want to put lots of effort into getting your blog content out there. Post articles on social media, send them out through your email lists and so on. These posts should convey the values and ethos of your gym, and include original photos if possible. Think of your blog content as pages of an informative brochure for your gym.
This is an essential “content marketing” technique; by positioning yourselves as expert guides to all things fitness related, you are increasing the chances that people will discover and select your gym for their needs. It’s worth remembering that customers tend to do a lot of research when making purchasing decisions. They’ll probably be looking for fitness related articles, and seeking out the best fitness options for them. If they’re drawn to your content, they may be drawn to your services.
Resolution #5 Calibrate your website for lead generation
Your website should be geared to signing up new users to your email lists and making it as easy as possible for them to sign up to your gym. Don’t make this an aggressive sell, but make sure signing up is only a few clicks away. Maybe have a permanent side bar with a signup form. Consider using a pop-up display to encourage people to sign up to free taster sessions, to your subs list, or whatever works for your sales needs. Pop-ups can be a bit disruptive, but they do work.
Resolution #6 Be responsive to user engagements
So you’ve put attractive, useful info up on your blog, have sent this content out to your lists and posted it on social media… and you have a site that can transform leads into new customers. Next, you want to keep an eye out for user engagements with your brand. If you’re not getting any, you may need to reconfigure your strategy until you do.
You’re bound to get lots of enquiries about your services. Make sure any communications staff are briefed on frequently asked questions and can respond to queries in a friendly and helpful way. Their job is to guide people towards your services without being pushy.
Resolution #7 Setup your Google Business Page
Let’s face it, a big factor influencing who selects your gym is going to be location. You’re going to be a draw to people who live or work near your gym, so you should capitalise on this fact. Oddly, lots of businesses assume that they’ll automatically be put onto Google’s listings, but this is not the case. You’ll need to register your business before it becomes searchable. It’s very easy to do and is an essential step for all businesses. Think about it; every time someone near your venues searches for gyms near them, that’s free advertising (also it helps them find you!)
Resolution #8 Advertise Outdoors
The most effective marketing strategies take a 360° approach. These days there are plenty of online advertising methods and many of them, such as those discussed above, are essential. But to have a really three-dimensional campaign, taking out out-of-home advertising (OOH) can be a real game changer. In an oversaturated online marketing world, adverts seen by audiences whilst out and about can really break through and have a powerful effect. A good first step would be to take a look at the Bubble panel map and search for assets near you. Book now if you want to advertise during January.
With these 8 marketing resolutions in mind, you can now gorge on turkey and nut roast guilt free. Happy holidays!