As consumers continue to invest in their health and fitness, the global health club industry’s revenue has skyrocketed. In 2017 it topped $87 billion and included more than 201,000 clubs serving 174 million members worldwide. Orangetheory Fitness reached $1 billion in sales in 2018 and continues to grow, while cycling, yoga, pilates, and barre fitness studios flourish and expand.
In other words, this market is exploding.
While the popularity of fitness centers and studios bodes well for their owners, it also creates a lot of competition. Most studios cater to a similar demographic, thus pitting fitness centers against each other as they strive to gain market share. Tried-and-true fitness center marketing tactics like summer promotions, New Year’s fitness challenges, and referral discounts are excessively common, which means offering these kinds of incentives won’t set you apart from the crowd.
So what can workout studios and fitness centers add to their marketing strategies to distinguish themselves from their rivals while also gaining traction among their target demographic and attracting customers on an ongoing basis?
To build a healthier fitness marketing strategy, look to location-based advertising and these five best practices.
1. Pair your online and offline marketing strategies
When you’re devising marketing strategies for gyms, or creating a health club marketing plan, it’s important to integrate traditional marketing with digital. Using offline data to target potential customers and generate interest in your studio is the perfect way to capitalize on both online and offline opportunities.
GroundTruth’s proprietary Blueprint technology lets marketers leverage individuals visitation to different places in the world, so fitness studio owners can capture the true intent of their target audiences. This technology also provides additional insight into who your customers really are, and where to find them.
2. Personalize your messaging
Another advantage of using that customer data? It enables marketers to personalize their ads to create more relevant and engaging messaging. According to a recent report from eMarketer, 93% of US Internet users say they aren’t receiving any “relevant marketing communications,” and 90% are “annoyed by irrelevant messaging.” What’s more, 44% of consumers say they’d switch to a brand that’s more effective at personalizing marketing content.
The most impactful marketing campaigns are those in which customers know exactly what you’re marketing and how it applies to their individual lives, and personalization has the added benefit of appealing to both new and existing customers. By segmenting your database and customizing your messaging for each type of customer, you can:
- Promote membership or bulk packages to first-time clients
- Attract new customers with one-time offers and new customer deals
- Keep returning customers engaged with new classes, workout tips, content, and events
- Deploy brand awareness campaigns to a broader audience
To execute personalized campaigns, ask your customers to fill out a survey about their immediate goals (e.g. toning up for summer, training for a marathon, increasing overall body strength) when they register for your classes online or while they’re in your studio. Once you have this information, you can customize your ad messaging for their needs — just be careful not to promote new customer specials to customers who’ve already been to your studio, as they won’t be eligible for that promotion.
3. Use foot traffic insights to your advantage
Because fitness studios tend to set up shop in heavily trafficked areas, another great marketing strategy is tapping into foot traffic behaviors. This will allow you to understand the best days and times to reach gym goers.
Based on our data, we know that foot traffic to gyms is highest on Tuesdays — 18% above average, in fact. This kind of location-based information is crucial to maximizing your marketing spend.
4. Choose the correct targeting method for your gym
When it comes to ad targeting, you’ve got several options to choose from on our platform, each with its own unique advantages. Understanding these will help you select the right strategy for your needs.
- Behavioral Targeting. This approach lets you target consumers who fit the profile of a fitness enthusiast, along with other traits you look for in a potential customer for your business. Use it to influence their workout class decision-making process based on previous offline behavior.
- Audience Targeting. With Audience Targeting, you can reach people who have been to your fitness studio in the past 90 days. Add a personalized message to your campaign, and you can both generate awareness and encourage repeat visits.
- Competitive Targeting. This strategy lets you build a custom location group consisting of its 2 to 3 main competitor fitness facilities. You can then connect with individuals who enter your competitors’ locations, serve them your mobile ads and personalized promotions, and persuade them to work out at your gym or studio classes rather than at your rival down the street.
- Retargeting. This is an opportunity to build on each individual tactic by retargeting consumers who’ve already seen your ad. The advantage of this approach is that it reinforces your messaging while also driving consumers farther down the purchase funnel.
5. Determine the effectiveness of your health club marketing strategy
Your fitness marketing campaign wouldn’t be complete unless you tracked your cost per visit to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy. GroundTruth’s Ads Manager tool allows you to track the number of people who’ve seen your ads as well as entered your location after ad exposure. Divide your total ad spend by the number of visits driven by our ads as visible within Ads Manager, and you’ll know just how well your campaign performed and can optimize it as needed.
Just as total body fitness isn’t achieved overnight, it takes time to build a healthy fitness marketing strategy. With the right approach, however, you can start working toward your business goals knowing that you’ll see ongoing results.
GroundTruth’s platform enables your fitness center, studio, or health club to track real-time information about how consumers are responding to your marketing campaigns, and how this translates into sales and loyalty for your business. Generating continuous revenue by attracting new, qualified customers with these fitness marketing ideas will keep your business keep going strong in this competitive space. And GroundTruth is always here to help.
Interested in location marketing and want to stay ahead of the game? Sign up for GroundTruth’s Ads Manager platform!