Promoting Your Gym. Part 1: Marketing Online
: By: Sam Bodger
This is an updated version the ‘Guide to Marketing Your Gym‘ ebook originally made available for download on www.amazonleisure.co.uk on 25th January 2016. The new version will be released in sections and then uploaded as a pdf.
1. Set Up a Website
This is why your gym or club really needs to have a website, if you’re not online you are going to miss out on a substantial share of potential new customers. Also, by designing your own website (or finding a small local firm to do it) you will have control over the look and feel of the website and you can present your gym exactly how you want it to be seen.
There are a few things to think about before having a website built:
Mobile Phone Compatibility. Since the ‘tipping point’ in late 2014 more internet searches take place on mobile phones than on traditional computers and laptops and the gap will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. If your website doesn’t change to respond to different screen sizes, any future (or existing) customers will have a worse experience and be less likely to stay on your web page. What’s more, sites that aren’t ‘mobile responsive’ have a lower position in Google rankings.
Photos and Videos. As well as making your website look better, having photos and videos on your site will let your potential customers see what your gym or club is like and help them make a decision. Just think, if you were trying to find a new gym and you had a choice between one website with photos and videos and one that was largely text-based, which would you find more interesting?
Employee Profiles. Some people may be nervous about going to a gym, but if they can see pictures of your staff with a little bit of information about them, it shows them a friendly side of your gym or club and can help them decide to come in.
Testimonials. People have more faith in something that other people think that is good. Ask your regulars to say what they like about your gym or club and put on your website. This could be a largely anonymous text quote with just a first name but if your customers are happy to do so, ask for a photo or even a video testimonial. Photos give a human face to the quote and videos carry more weight because they are difficult to fake.
Link to Your Site. Make sure that you have control over your pages on directory sites like Yelp so you can make sure the contact details are up to date and the page links to your website. Google will give more authority (and a higher search position) to your website if many different webpages link to your site. Connect your website to your social media pages and consider a blog on a site like WordPress to increase your links further.
2. Engage with Social Media
While a website is good for attracting new business, social media is a very important way of connecting with your customers and may well be the most effective form of advertising for a gym with a low budget. Different social platforms have different benefits but at the very least you should be taking advantage of Facebook and Google+.
A gym or health club works well when your members feel like part of a community and can connect with the gym and each other, it can be a useful way of passing messages on to your members. Social media can work in many ways to promote your gym and we have a few suggestions below to help get you started:
Be Interesting and Relevant. People who use your gym and also engage on social media are going to be committed to their health and fitness. Providing information that your members will find useful, such as fitness and nutrition tips is a good way of keeping people interested in your social media pages.
Facebook Promotions. Offer a voucher for a couple of free visits or a personal trainer session, a branded water bottle or something similar for each new person who ‘likes’ your Facebook page.
Use Google My Business. The services on offer here used to be part of Google’s social network ‘Google+’. Google My Business is free and if your Gym has an account for any of Google’s other services like Google+, YouTube or Gmail you can use that to log in. Google My Business allows you to control over how your gym or club will appear on Google Search, Google Maps and Google+.
Upload YouTube Videos. YouTube is also owned by Google and you can use the same account that you use for Google+. YouTube is an incredibly popular site with over a billion users as these days many people on the web today prefer to consume their content by video. If you have new equipment or you run specialized classes, you should record and post some videos on YouTube to help promote your gym.
Like It! Always ‘like’ the comments that your members make about your gym, it doesn’t take very much time and it will show that you are interested and involved in the gym’s online community. Engage with any criticism you may get rather than ignoring it or deleting it, this also shows that you genuinely care about how your members feel.
Consider Pinterest. 81% of Pinterest users are women so if you are marketing a ladies gym or classes that are popular to women, having a page on Pinterest is a great idea. Workout routines and healthy-eating recipes are very popular topics on the site so posting content like this will be relevant to your gym as well as interesting to the site’s users.
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