How to do gym marketing and increase your membership – WAU

With people worrying more about their health, aesthetics and physical conditioning, the fitness market has been growing a lot in recent years, but has the marketing for this area kept up with this growth? Academies in this segment are one of the most sought after services by the public. However, it is not so common to see these ventures […]

With people worrying more about their health, aesthetics and physical conditioning, the fitness market has been growing a lot in recent years, but has the marketing for this area kept up with this growth?

Academies in this segment are one of the most sought after services by the public. However, it is not so common to see these ventures standing out for marketing.

After all, in general, your methods for attracting and converting customers are very much centered on those old practices of waiting for an interested person to visit or call the gym (to know the price, for example) and make a sales approach there.

When it comes to loyalty strategies, the business gets even more complicated. If students are not motivated to continue or if a new competitor opens nearby, it is a sign that the academy may lose enrollments.

That limited and passive vision it makes gyms lose great chances of differentiating themselves from the competition and, consequently, business opportunities.

For this reason, we have prepared a list of 12 practices that will show that marketing for academia can be worked on in different ways. Follow!

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1. Start with planning

Many small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (in this case, owners of small and medium-sized fitness centers) tend to slip in this part.

Marketing without planning is like entering a gym without knowing your goal in there and the exercises you need to do, that is, everything has to go wrong, right?

So, put a lot of value on your planning. He must anticipate all, or at least, the main points to execute his marketing strategies. Its function is decrease the error margin of the actions and serve as a map for them.

Among these points, we can highlight with examples:

  • Environment analysis: assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business, opportunities and threats, competitors and everything that can influence the functioning of the academy;
  • Goals: attract 260 new students in one year and reduce the turnover rate (cancellations) for 3 clients per month;
  • Goals: get 20 new students per month, generate 500 new monthly leads and reduce the cost of customer acquisition (CAC) by 20% during the year;
  • Personas: Who will these strategies be aimed at? What language will be used? What are the problems and objectives of this audience?
  • Channels: in what media will personas be impacted? Social networks, blogs, e-mail, events, newspapers, etc.
  • Action plan: the tactics and strategies that will be used and their differentials;
  • Schedule: deadline for carrying out marketing actions and meeting goals and objectives;
  • Budget: how much will be spent on each strategy;
  • Performance indicators: The KPIs and metrics used to monitor the results of your campaigns.

2. Create your personas

Personas are characters that help companies better understand their target audience and define an ideal customer profile.

They bring a more specific and humane view of the people with the greatest acquisition potential to your gym.

More than knowing demographic, financial and other information more generally, personas are more detailed.

They outline a profile with habits, goals, problems, interests and other aspects that will help make your campaigns more targeted and direct.

You will be able to find out, for example, if your greatest consumption potential is concentrated on people looking to lose weight, gain muscle mass, do alternative activities (dances, fights, pilates, etc.), practice CrossFit, among other possibilities that a gym can offer and specialize.

After all, better than pleasing everyone is to be able to establish yourself as an authority in a more specific niche and thereby differentiate themselves from the competition.

Guide to creating personas

3. Invest in a blog for your gym

Starting with the most practical marketing tips for the gym, we’ll first focus on digital environments.

After all, it is on the internet that a large part of consumers in this segment (especially young people) are, whether searching for gyms, looking for ways to have a healthy life, seeking expert opinion, consulting the opinions of other students, etc.

And one of the best ways to be found by this audience is to create a blog for your gym.

But why a blog? Because it will be the headquarters for the publication of content, news and offers of your enterprise.

In addition, it is through this channel that prospective students can find your academy when they search on Google, for example.

4. Apply content marketing

Complementing the previous tip, let’s talk about how to make your blog a great attraction for your personas.

This will be done if you incorporate content marketing into your action plan. This method consists of making a company attract, relate, convert and retain customers through relevant content that educates the market, entertains the public and, above all, solves the problems of its consumers.

More than that, content marketing can put your academy in a reference condition in your area. And that position of authority is very valuable to the public when making a purchase decision, for example.

For example, if you have detected that your personas have problems with physical inactivity and are looking for ways to recondition their physique, you can create texts with tips for light and homemade exercises.

Work the texts according to the sales funnel. Starting with more open content at the top to attract consumers at an early stage of interest, then with more specific materials in the middle and, at the bottom of the funnel, content more focused on converting leads.

content marketing first steps

5. Work with the public on social media

In addition to blogs, you can’t rule out social media as part of a digital marketing strategy. They are the ideal channels for approach potential and current students and develop a good relationship with them.

To find the best social networks for gyms, just consult the profiles of their personas. Your information consumption habits may reveal this type of information.

In general, this fitness market tends to generate high engagement on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and other more visual platforms.

But what kind of content should be worked on these networks? Exercise, food, and device series tips; challenges of slimming or gaining muscle mass; behind the scenes and day-to-day videos of the gym, etc.

Also, keep an eye on the followers ’comments, the publications that involve your academy, the direct messages they send, in short, do everything to maintain a good image for the brand.

Social Media Marketing Kit

6. Explore the potential of videos

Videos are already the most consumed type of content on the internet. According to Cisco, this format will embrace about 82% of global traffic. In addition, they are easier and faster to consume than text or still images.

For this reason, be sure to create a YouTube channel to pass on your tips, upload videos on Facebook with interviews with health or physical education professionals, live on Instagram with the training routine, post short videos on Snapchat of events held by academy, in short, explore creativity to give face, movement and voice to your internet business.

7. Form an email list with current and potential customers

Email marketing remains more alive than ever! Even for gyms, it is still not possible to discard this channel, mainly due to its high conversion rates, low cost and proximity to the public.

You can take advantage of this means to create lists with current and potential customers (leads). In this list, newsletters, rich materials (e-books, webinars and infographics) and promotional messages can be sent.

In fact, email is often the destination for many leads that are generated by the content published on the blog – this is good to see how the strategies integrate.

To segment shipments, it’s important to create different groups of senders. After all, not all contacts have the same interest and are at the same stage of purchase.

Another relevant detail is to try to produce the most personalized messages possible. Introduce yourself, call the contact by name and bring interesting benefits to him are some ways to reduce impersonality in shots.

ebook email marketing

8. Register your gym on Google My Business

To close the digital marketing tips, we’ll talk about Google My Business.

This is a free registration platform where you can make the academy appear in search results and on Google Maps for local searches.

For example, suppose your gym is located in Copacabana, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, ok?

People who are looking for gyms at Google in Copacabana or their intermediaries will probably receive a referral with your business.

This indication will appear among the first search results and will carry some important information, such as:

  • Address and location on the map;
  • Telephone;
  • Opening hours;
  • Site;
  • Brief description;
  • Customer reviews (with notes and comments);
  • Property photos, etc.

Remembering that, to display this information, you must fill it in during your Google My Business registration.

9. Promote referral marketing

Much of the new enrollment in a gym comes from word of mouth by students and staff. So, how about encouraging this practice even more?

This can be done through referral or referral programs. The idea is to reward students, employees and even companies that manage to refer new clients to the academy.

Students can benefit from tuition discounts and employees with a percentage of commission for referral and tuition fees.

The other companies can be included in a co-marketing project. It is a partnership in which two companies join forces so that both win and benefit a common audience.

In that case, your academy can offer a wellness program for organizations interested in increasing internal productivity.

10. Create events for internal and external audiences

As marketing strategies, the events are very useful to attract potential customers, retain students and create a greater involvement of the academy with the local community.

The academy can hold periodic events using its own lounge, closing partnerships with the local sports secretariat to use streets, schools and public squares or signing sports projects with companies in the region.

But which events can be promoted? Small marathons, open-air classes, CrossFit competitions, parades, martial arts, dances, among other sports formats.

For the internal public (students and employees), you can even do some social events. The important thing is go a little further than routine services and with that, add more value in these relationships.

For the external public, events make your academy contribute socially and doing well commercially, since it brings a little sport and health to the community and, in addition, attracts people interested in enrolling.

11. Practice sensory marketing

Sensory marketing brings together actions that aim to promote a good experience to customers through stimulating their senses (smell, touch, hearing, taste and vision).

In gyms, these strategies have the role of motivating students to train and making them more comfortable in the environment, that is, it can help a lot in customer loyalty.

Some examples of sensory marketing actions are:

  • Make a well-planned selection of songs: faster rhythms for environments that require greater physical effort, for example;
  • Use fragrances that make the public more comfortable: important to eliminate sweat odors and make people stay longer in the gym;
  • Adopt more comfortable materials at the contact points of the devices: to increase student comfort.

12. Monitor the performance of all your campaigns

During the text, we have already talked about planning steps and various ways of executing marketing strategies for academia. Now, the last step of this process remains: measure the results.

It is at this stage that you will see if your marketing goals and objectives are being or have been achieved or not.

To make this measurement, you must evaluate your performance indicators (we talked about them in the first topic).

For example, if one of the goals was to attract 260 new students in one year, then two of the metrics would be the enrollment rate and the conversion rate.

This monitoring, whether in real time or after the end of the campaigns, is essential to detect and fix errors, take advantage of opportunities that arise and analyze whether the investment made had a return.

Complete Google Analytics Guide


Did you see how gym marketing is a much broader universe than waiting for the visit or contact of curious and interested people?

These strategies show how gyms need to be proactive when the intention is to attract a new client, retain a student or strengthen their brand with the community.

So don’t skip steps! Make a plan well done, know your market and its personas better, execute the marketing actions on top of what was planned and monitor closely so that everything goes as expected.

Gym marketing strategies can generate more results and be simplified if they have the appropriate technological support. So check out our post with the 46 best Marketing tools.

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