HOW TO MARKET YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS ON A BUDGET
19 August, 2019
Marketing your fitness centre is key to growth, but if you are a small gym, stand-alone personal trainer or cash flow isn’t going so well, then you may be asking yourself how you can successfully market your fitness business on a budget.
Let’s take a look at some ways to advertise and grow your business without breaking the bank.
WORD OF MOUTH
Yes, we talk about word of mouth and referral marketing a lot, and there’s a good reason why. It is one of the CHEAPEST possible ways to promote your fitness business and to get yourself some quality leads.
People are more likely to trust a business that is referred to them by a friend or family. Don’t just rely on people doing this out of the goodness of their hearts though. Make sure you are prompting referral marketing by having several scheduled promotions in place, a few times per year….but don’t overdo it or it will lose its appeal.
You only need to promote this to your current members (or amongst local businesses), so use the channels at your fingertips such as SMS, emails, in-gym flyers, posters, announcements, social media. Also incentive the promotion as best you can to drive great results. Since we are talking about doing things on a budget, consider prizes that won’t require a big cash injection. Some ideas may be to approach local businesses to contribute vouchers in turn for you promoting their business, or give away some free PT sessions, or a discounted membership.
Think about what would be a driving factor for someone to recommend your business, and run with that. Also, make the process for referral easy and seamless, and the best results will come from the promotions whereby you collect the details of the lead so that you can contact them and get them into the gym, or onto your regular prospect communications to try and convert.
If you don’t have one, or if it looks a little outdated, then get your website up to speed! This is very significant as it is where most prospective members will look first. Make it easy to navigate around your site, and most importantly easy to contact you. Try and implement some contact forms within your site if you can, so people can easily enquire as they view things of particular interest. Use your website as a marketing channel for your fitness business. Specials, promotions, events should all be advertised here.
See below some notes on what you should be doing on your website to help SEO too.
Social media is AS important as your website. People will visit your social media pages to check out your business. There are a few things that you should consider to make social media work for you:
- Make it easy for people to find out information about your fitness centre or services, and nice and clear how they can contact you. The About Us section is important – make sure it’s completed and tells an exciting and relatable story. Make sure people can find your phone number, website and can send you an instant message should they want to find out more.
- If prospective members are visiting your website to check you out, then good and regular content is a must to capture their attention and to provide insight into what they can expect from your service. We’ve recently posted some other blogs on what content you should be posting, but in short, make sure you apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be informational and non-promotional, whilst the other 20% can promote your business including sales, referral promotions, services on offer etc. So back to the 80%, make sure you post organic pictures of your members enjoying their workouts, motivational quotes, tips and information relating to exercise and fitness, and whatever you can to position yourself as the fitness experts, and the best fitness centre or service in the area. We would highly recommend scheduling posts in advance, so you can spend some time upfront planning out your content, then use a program such as Later to schedule it to go live in the future, so the hard work is done and you can relax knowing that your social channels are working as they should.
- Social media advertising. This has been an absolute game-changer for businesses of all sizes and you can drive great results on a very small budget. Here are some tips for Facebook ads to make sure your budget is spent in the best possible way:
- Narrow down your audience – only promote to people within your local area and be specific with your audience demographics. We would recommend setting up ads specific to female or male, and specific to the target age range, that way you can choose imagery and copy that speaks to the needs and wants of that audience. There is no point running a blanket ad to all 18 – 65+-year-olds if your main audience at the gym is aged 25 – 35. Those are the people you want, so don’t waste money on the others.
- Choose your imagery and copy wisely. Firstly, the more organic your imagery the better. Choose one that your target audience would relate to. If you are speaking to 25-year-old women, then they don’t want to see a 40-year-old male working out. You also need to consider what are the needs of your target audience, and how can you meet them. Speak to their pain points such as weight loss plateaus or lack of nutritional knowledge, and then shine the light on your business as their new guardian angels who can help them get the results they have been wishing for. Side note – Facebook won’t allow ads to run that promise weight loss or big transformations…so you need to be clever with how you communicate you can do this, without blatantly saying it.
- Give them a reason to enquire. Don’t just promote your service, incentivise prospective members to join with a special challenge, a discounted membership, a special introductory offer….be creative, and don’t do what every other gym in the local area is doing. Be different, be bold!
- Did you know that Facebook can even run ads that collect lead details for you within their platform? This is perfect if you are a small business that doesn’t have the means to direct interested audiences to a site that seamlessly collects data. It provides for great customer experience and it doesn’t cost any extra to setup ads this way, so you are still only paying for the cost to reach potential fitness members.
When you want to research something new, where do you turn? Google of course! SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are steps that you can take to assist your website in appearing at the top of Google’s search results when someone searches for businesses like yours. It is quite complex, and if you are really serious about it then we would suggest seeking help from an expert, but here we are talking about low budgets….so for now take a look at a few things you can do yourself to help improve your search ranking, without costing you anything from Hubspot, and we’re going to deliver a full blog about SEO in the coming weeks.
So the above notes on SEO are things you can do for free that help you rank well organically in search. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or Google Adwords specifically, is what can be done to pay for you to appear at the top of google search, but it does cost some money. With 75% of people never going past the first page of google results though, it’s a surefire way to make sure you are getting in front of prospective members. The beauty of SEM is that you can pay-per-click, so you are only forking out money for people who are clicking to come and visit your website, and you are capturing their attention at a time they are actively looking to purchase.
It can be done on a low budget if you are willing to learn how it works, and spend the time to continually monitor, adjust and optimise. Our recommendation is to set a budget that you can afford and to be patient, this is going to take some time to learn and optimise. Here’s a great article from Hubspot on SEM, and stay tuned because we’ve got a blog in the works to show our much-loved fitness businesses how to make SEM work for you.
This one is a no brainer. The beauty of local business is that people will know of you if they can find you! Make sure you have signage that stands out to passers-by. Shop frontage, blackboard signs, flags, balloons…whatever helps you to be recognised. Make sure people know you are a fitness centre or fitness service, and make your signage look welcoming and inviting, with details on how they can contact you – website, phone or walk-in.
If you would like to nail your marketing, make your budget work for you, and grow your fitness business with the help of one of Australia’s leading fitness marketing teams, then click here to make an enquiry with More Gym Members, and let’s get your fitness business pumping!