5 Essential Marketing Tips for Fitness Studios

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You may no longer need a marketing degree or big budget to create content that reaches hundreds, if not many thousands (or more) of people, however exerting action-inducing influence has become more difficult than ever before.

The modern consumer is overloaded with media and marketing coming at them from every angle, everyday – they have become savvy and can easily discern advertisements and sneaky sales pitches. Consumers are tired of the hard sell, what they are looking for is value.

Below are 5 key tips for creating real value that captures the attention of your audience and converts them into clients, without actually having to sell.

1. Content marketing

Content marketing is revolutionizing the way services are bought and sold. Instead of overtly promoting its services, a business that embraces content marketing demonstrates its expertise and builds a group of followers, many of which eventually become leads and clients.

A good content marketing plan is one that provides a constant flow of free information and content, particularly to those who express interest by, for example, providing their email in exchange for a free fitness video. It’s this valuable, free content that will build trust and liking between your brand and your target audience.

So find out what interests your target clients and provide a steady stream of related content (articles, blog posts, e-books, videos, etc.) in exchange for email addresses or other demographic information.

Your followers will begin to know, like and trust your business for the valuable content you provide to them and when they are ready, many of them will become your clients.

This may be a slower process than other marketing approaches, but in the long run it pays dividends.

2.  Facebook ads that convert

Facebook is such a great way to target a very specific audience for a relatively low cost, however many businesses struggle because they don’t understand which kinds of Facebook ads actually convert.

Instead of running an ad linking to your website, send your target audience to an action-oriented sales funnel, such as a landing page with a clear call-to-action.

Do you want them to provide their email for a promotional discount? Or provide name, address and email for a free fitness tips video? If the content you’re offering is compelling to your targeted audience, many will gladly exchange information for what they perceive as valuable content.

These conversions will provide you with the audience you need for the next tip…

3.  Implement retargeted Facebook ads:

Retargeted Facebook ads are based on your audience interaction with previous ads you’ve run.

For example maybe your first ad asked your audience to provide their email in exchange for a free “10 Foods for a Flat Belly” article. By running a retargeted ad, you can directly target only those who interacted with your previous ad – maybe this time with an ad which more directly promotes your studio, such as a free class, an instructor profile or a discount on a class package.

With retargeted ads, your lead conversion should be much greater as you narrow down your larger audience into smaller groups of clearer interest.

4.  Live stream on social media

Live streams whether on Facebook or Instagram are becoming incredibly popular ways to bring existing clients and potential clients, into your world and position your brand as an industry leader.

Live video of a class in progress is an excellent way to provide your audience with a virtual experience – they may be hesitant to try your classes because they aren’t sure what to expect – but a live video will draw them into the action and let them virtually experience what you offer.

You could also do a live tips video, such as “Six Moves to Achieve your Summer Bod,” with one of your instructors demonstrating each exercise. Again it’s about determining what would excite your audience and providing them with real value, for free (free is the keyword here).

Once you’ve determined what that is, promote the live event to your followers on social media – if it’s something people are interested in, you can bet they’ll make a point to be there watching.

This may convert some into clients but more importantly you are building reputation among potential clients as an expert in the field and as a brand willing to provide value for free, a sentiment that goes quite a long way in today’s consumer market.

5.  Implement a solid referral program

Referrals are still one of the greatest marketing tools available, yet many businesses don’t take full advantage. If the service you offer can provide value to those you’re serving, you’re almost guaranteed organic referrals, however it would be a wasted opportunity to rely solely on organic referrals versus direct.

The first key is to track how your clients found your business – you need to understand where your clients are coming from and how many of those are referral based.

Second is to offer a simple rewards program that rewards both the referring party and the referred – for example the referred client receives their first class free and the client who referred them receives 20% off merchandise. Incentives are a huge referral driver.

This program should be front and center – clearly advertised in your studios and on your website, possibly in the form of a pop-up. You don’t want your clients having to search for this information. Incorporating a third-party referral tool can make this process very simple and effective – we like Influitive and Referral Rock.

Last, leverage your existing brand advocates. You likely have a group of fiercely loyal clients who would promote your brand for free. Ask them if they’d be willing to film a video testimonial. If you don’t know of any clients like this off-hand, contact those who have written positive reviews about your company. You could ask these advocates to promote your brand for free, such as referring friends, or you could take it a step further and implement a brand affiliate program where they are rewarded or reimbursed in some way for each new client they get to sign up for classes.

Conclusion

By implementing one or more of these strategies, you should not only see a higher yield in client acquisition but better yet, clients who feel connected to your brand before they even set foot in your studio.