15 Gym Promotion Strategies To Drive New Client Acquisitions
Whether you’re a small gym or a large chain of gyms, marketing as a fitness professional is one of the most important parts of running your business.
Word-of-mouth marketing can make up most of your member acquisition. However, in more competitive markets, word-of-mouth sometimes isn't enough.
Here we’ll go over 15 fitness marketing strategies and on how to promote your gym or fitness studio effectively to drive new customer acquisition.
1. Create a Great User Friendly Website
Roughly 54% of people look online for a business as their first or second contact point. That’s over half of your potential audience!
This is where your website can help. In order to attract clients online, you’ll need a website that is:
simple to navigate
informative about club location, hours, facilities, etc.
present in the search engines
When creating your gym’s promotional marketing campaigns, you can direct users here directly with a link or from your website for a quick sign-up to get them in your club. Once that’s all set up, you’ll need to get users to your website.
2. Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of fitness marketing as it’s free and can have huge ROI if you’re ranking highly for local searches.
Whether you’ve got one fitness club or several, people need to find them easily enough and most of the time turn to local search. They’ll use phrases like “gyms near me”, “fitness clubs near me”, or “gyms in [city name]”.
These are very competitive keywords so you’re not going to rank highly for just these keywords automatically no matter what you do. You'll need to work on your local SEO to rank highly for the keywords so that you can appear in local packs like the one below.
To optimise your website to rank locally, you'll need to:
use local keywords in your content
have consistent (name, address and phone number) across your website and citations
create lots of local citations
getting a Google My Business page
3. Google My Business
In the UK Google is the most widely used search engine. It’s a good idea to create a Google My Business page so that:
you can appear in local packs
people can find your address, hours and phone number easily
potential members can see your facilities in images
existing or past users can review your business
A complete Google My Business page will result in your brand showing up in the search engines like this when people search for your brand:
People can easily see your information on the right hand side and choose to visit your website to get additional details. Make sure that all information is updated and you choose the category of your business correctly. If you’re managing multiple locations, you can create multiple entries under one account.
Perhaps one of the most important local SEO factors for fitness clubs are citations. Citations are online references to your business that don’t necessarily need to link to your website.
All they need to do is have consistent name, address and phone number as your Google My Business page and Google will automatically know to attribute the reference to your business.
These citations carry authority as the more authoritative the citation is for your business on that site, the more weight it will carry when Google needs to rank your website for searches.
The most common local listing sites are:
There are many more, but some are very location dependent, so make sure you find as many as possible that are locally relevant to your business.
For example, if you are a gym in Milton Keynes, you will want to look for a Milton Keynes local listings to list your business in.
Furthermore, these listings often have ratings and reviews and the higher your ratings and reviews are, the more weight they’ll carry in the search engines. In most cases, you can view the ratings from other local listings on the business’ google my business card in the search results.
Some citations will cost money, but if they’re from reputable local listing sites, they are worth it.
5. Content Marketing
While it’s always a good practice for fitness professionals to utilise content marketing, you should be aware that in the world of search engine marketing for fitness brands, fitness related keywords are extremely competitive.
Ranking for a keyword like “how to do a pull up” isn’t going to bring you a lot of targeted results as people coming to your website for that keyword 99% of the time won’t be local users.
However, ranking for keywords that are fitness and local oriented, can help you.
For example, locally oriented content has local targeting built into it:
best outdoor workouts in Manchester
best hikes in Southampton
where to buy cheap supplements in Newcastle
Simply create a blog and start writing about fitness in your area.These results will bring website visitors that use your city’s name in the searches, meaning they are more than likely living there.
6. Video Content Marketing
With social media outlets all promoting video content, it’s a definite no-brainer to promote your gym or fitness studio.
Video content allows prospective members to see what workouts are like in your gym and your club’s facilities
You can use things like Facebook’s live-stream to show people who have liked your page what’s going on in your club in real-time.
Instagram is also a great outlet for marketing your gym’s video content. It can help when people search via location and/or hashtags to find workout plans, classes or personal trainers in their areas.
It’s a great way to engage with your existing club members and also market your gym to prospective members browsing through social media.
Keywords are the terms that people type into search engines to find your club. 72% of the time when users search for a business online they will visit that business within 24 hours.
Coincidentally, if someone already knows about your gym, they will search for your brand name. Other times, they’ll use local keywords to find your gym like the ones described above.
Whatever the case, be sure to always be as specific as possible when marketing your gym in local search.
If you have one fitness club in a city, then include the city name in your home page and in your meta description.
If you have multiple clubs, create a dedicated page for each club on your website with the city name or town in the title of that page.
Each example has the city in the title and meta description and in the case of the G gym, it’s included in the URL as well.
Your descriptions are not only a good opportunity to advertise your fitness business effectively, but also a surefire way to help your search rankings if written well.
8. Track Your Marketing Campaigns
Many client acquisition happens online. When you’re trying to drive users to your website or landing page, it’s important to know which marketing channels are the most effective for your gym.
That’s why you should always set up goal tracking in Google Analytics to monitor the success of each campaign.
Once you set up goals, you’ll need to attach utm tags to each link you send out on social media, newsletters, etc.
You can build utm tags here by simply naming each campaign, the medium, and the source.
Once you send out the link and someone clicks it and reaches the goal you’ve set up on your website, it will be reflected in Google Analytics.
This will come in handy whenever you send a link out or come up with any other digital marketing ideas for your gym and want to know your ROI. (Return On Investment)
9. Start a Referral Program
Sometimes the best marketers for your gym can be your existing members. If you provide excellent services and facilities and incentivise your members, you can create a gym referral program to get them to invite their family and friends.
When your members refer a friend or family member to your gym and that new prospect becomes a member, you can reward them both so that they’re both more likely to keep referring people.
There are several ways to implement a referral program:
Have it built into your club’s mobile app
The most important part about starting a referral program for your club is making sure your members are aware you have one.
The second most important aspect is to ensure that claiming ownership of a referral for your members is easy enough. Then you can reward your member (and the prospect if they become a new member with whatever it is you chose to incentivise them with.
Club referral programs should be a universal aspect to any fitness marketing campaign for clubs.
10. Gym Promotions
“New year, new me”. Probably the most over hyped New Year’s resolution is always to get fit.
Gyms typically respond to this fitness related new year resolutions with massive membership discounts for people who sign up within a given amount of time after the new year begins.
There’s never really a bad time to offer a promotion, but make sure you take advantage of the “scarcity” factor, meaning that people are more inclined to purchase something if it’s only available for a limited time.
It’s important not to let your promotion run year round otherwise the value of that scarcity is heavily diminished and people will begin to associate the discounted price as the normal one.
A few good tips for marketing your gym’s promotions are to:
Add extra incentives for your members to refer friends
Do some paid digital marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram or Google
The problem with the last two is that they are difficult to measure, so ensure that your front desk person or sales representatives are asking new leads how they specifically heard about the promotion.
However, billboards and print advertising can be especially helpful in cities with a lot of fitness clubs as there is less space on digital channels for every club to stand out.
Clubs that operate in cities that don’t have a lot of fitness clubs should try and be as present as possible in digital marketing channels like Google and social media.
11. Social Media
Social media marketing for fitness pro’s has been around since the social media platforms became universally used, as they have the added benefits of engaging your current members and showing potential clients what workouts and life is like in your club in general.
Social media has become one of the most widely used channel embedded into any fitness marketing strategy.
Just remember to attach utm tags if you want to measure how many people specifically signed-up for your club from any post or campaign you market on social media.
If you want to streamline your social media posts, you can use a free tool like buffer or hootsuite ahead of time, cross-post between different social media platforms, measure engagement and track your results.
It’s a great tool for keeping your gym’s social media marketing on track and up-to-date.
12. Affiliate Marketing for Gyms
Affiliate marketing is when you set up a process for people outside of your club to refer other people who might be interested in a gym membership to join your gym.
Even in the most remote locations there are a few different businesses that can refer their clients to your club such as:
Fitness apparel stores
You can incentivise these businesses by offering their company heavily discounted memberships or just a flat fee for every member their refer, like 25% of their contract value.
For personal trainers, you can offer them a place to train their clients commission free as long the members have an active membership there. Then the clients will associate their trainers with your club, which helps you retain them for longer periods.
Remarketing is what happens when someone visits your website and doesn’t make a purchase so you position ads elsewhere on the internet hoping that they will see them and come back to your website to make a purchase.
You can create remarketing ads for people who visited your pricing page with content that offers a promotion only redeemable online.
Then they can reap the benefits of a discounted membership and you can measure the success of these campaigns more easily.
Typical re-marketing platforms include:
Google Display Network
To initiate an effective re-marketing campaign, you’ll first need to drive people to your website or landing page.
From there you can track which pages they visit so you better understand their intentions and display ads to them based on what pages they viewed.
For example, If you set up Facebook Pixel. If someone visits your website and goes to a section about yoga classes, you can choose to display an ad about discounted yoga classes at your club to appear in their news feed next time they’re on the platform.
Then you can link to your sign-up page so they can register. Again, remember to use utms tags when performing re-marketing campaigns so you can measure your success when people click on your gym's ad.
14. Send out a E-Newsletter
Gym newsletters do not need to only be for existing clients. Yes, they should contain up-to-date club news, but they can also be used to market to churned members or to old leads that didn’t buy a membership.
Your churned members may have cancelled their membership, but most often they still stay subscribed to your emails which means you can still reach them with club updates, promotions and fitness advice.
Just remember to leave an unsubscribe link so that you’re not infringing on your members’ privacy. However, if they don’t opt out you can continue to email them as long as you have consent.
15. Host an Event
Host a social event at your club or at another venue and tell your members to invite their friends. It’s a good way to network and meet some of their peers so they can experience the positive atmosphere that your staff and members enjoy.
Good gym marketing ideas for events are:
Membership milestones like reaching 500 club members or more
Market your gym as a place for transformation, community and positive change and your members will be your strongest marketers.
To find out more about how the Revival Media Group could help your business, or to arrange an initial meeting, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our fitness marketing experts on:
0800 030 6924
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