9 Gym Marketing Ideas for a Stronger Online Presence

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How can your gym – or any gym – best market themselves? What’s one marketing idea you have for a gym?

To help gym owners with effective marketing during this time, we asked business leaders and PR experts this question for their best ideas. From setting flexible plans to automated lead systems, there are several marketing ideas to help you market your gym.

Here are nine marketing ideas for a gym:

  • Google My Business
  • Live Chat and Automations for FAQs
  • Landing Page for One-Day Free Coaching
  • Flexible Plans
  • Virtual and In-Person Classes
  • Cater to Your Local Market
  • Give Your Most Valuable Information Away for Free
  • Automated Lead Generation System
  • Allow the Option to Cancel Online

Google My Business

People want to exercise at a gym that is nearby. That’s why a keyword like “gym near me” is searched approximately 173,000 times per month. Gyms can achieve visibility for locally-driven keywords by starting, optimizing, and investing in their Google My Business (GMB) profile. Any company offering local SEO services for gyms will make sure that a GMB profile is filled with relevant information. Uploading photos, listing all services, and inputting information about the gym can help search engines better match a gym with user search queries. Most gyms already have a GMB profile. Whether you have a profile or not, increase your online presence by soliciting reviews from customers, sharing information, and making sure that location information (NAP – Name, Address, Phone) is accurate across the web.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Live Chat and Automations for FAQs

This will save potential customers a ton of time when looking for gyms and make it easy for them to get your pricing, hours, and membership details. You can take this a step further and make sure there is a real person manning the chat during business hours (or get the messages sent to your phone) – you have no idea how many people hate calling businesses and you will blow your competition out of the water if you make the research phase as effortless as possible.

Quincy Smith, ESL Authority

Landing Page for One-Day Free Coaching

Offer free training because it is no secret that people love free stuff. Create a landing page of one-day free coaching in Gym on your website. Run Google search ads, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads targeting users in the city by selecting proper demographics. This allows you to establish your conversion ratio and get information about your targeted customers; you can then add them to your CRM and take follow-ups accordingly. Another substantial benefit is that you’ll get significant brand exposure. And this will be very useful when the gym is at the starting stage.

Raaquib Pathan, FastPath Home Buyers

Flexible Plans

Gyms are notorious for their subscription renewal policies: Many snare customers to stay on for an entire year if they forget to cancel. Thus, to stand out—you can either offer flexible plans, e.g., quarterly, or simply provide a cancelation fee instead of retaining customers to pay for the whole calendar year. For the latter, when customers are forced to pay an extortionate amount of money for a service they do not make use of—that can leave a very sour taste in their mouths—and their churn-to-conversion rate will be close to 0. Nobody wants to ever go back to paying a company that they felt did not treat them fairly. However, with a cancelation fee—regardless of how much it may be—customers are still saving money (compared to the price of a whole year). And thus—such practice is actually a lot more ethical than most alternatives.

Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

Virtual and In-Person Classes

Especially now with the pandemic, people can use equipment at home. It is their people and their fitness classes that make them different. Having a variety of formats that reach a wide range of people (age & stage) that are fun, effective, and safe will draw people in. I caution on offering too many options online if a gym hopes to maintain its brick-and-mortar status. Hold back those exceptional classes for in-person only. Ensure you have certified personal trainers who aren’t about buffing themselves out but rather helping people reach their unique fitness goals. One size does not fit all, especially with the older population. Bottom line – hire professionals who will propel your business forward!

Lorraine Bossé-Smith, Leadership Development Coach

Cater to Your Local Market

It’s important that gym’s cater to their local market—which is basically everyone within a small radius of the gym (think blocks if you are in an urban market like New York, miles if you are located in a commuter city like Los Angeles, and much further if the area is rural). Figure out what these locals like to do for recreation, where they tend to go, their average income level, and then use geo-targeted marketing vehicles such as outdoor signage, social media ads that deliver only in specific zip code(s), direct mail, and cross-promotions with other local businesses to hit them with a promotional offer they can’t refuse. While these advertising ideas may sound expensive, I can promise that effective targeting from both the offer and location perspective will keep the cost to a minimum.

Amy Zwagerman, The Launch Box

Give Your Most Valuable Information Away for Free

With social media exploding during this pandemic and people less likely to leave their homes as often I would implement content marketing through social media and blogging. I would post daily workouts, tips, nutrition advice, mental wellbeing advice, etc. Give your most valuable information away for free. Help as many people as possible without asking for anything in return using social media and blogging. Once you have created high-quality posts and blog articles (with videos if needed) on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or your own website, run some social media ads. Get specific with your target audience. Make sure you’re only targeting your local area and the right people for the different posts you’re creating. By helping people they will come to know, like, and trust you over time. You will build a brand and a great community of people who will be naturally attracted to your gym. Do not sell to people. Help them instead.

Oliver Andrews, Web Designer

Automated Lead Generation System

Setting up an automated lead generation system for your gym is a perfect way to attract new customers on a rolling basis. Simply create a keyword specific to your gym (for example, a barre studio in Charlotte might use BarreCLT) and advertise it via social media. In your call to action, instruct folks to text your keyword (BarreCLT) to your number in order to access a free class. Your automated welcome message can share information about your schedule, class, and studio. From there, you can schedule messages following up after their first class, offering a discounted rate for their first month of membership, perks for referring a friend, and special offers for leads who are slipping away!

Meghan Tocci, SimpleTexting

Allow the Option to Cancel Online

Let people know that their membership is there for them in all areas – classes, cleanliness, and contracts. Right now there is a lot happening in Arizona around contracts, I just had a bad experience with a gym when I was told I had a month to month after the first six months – and I really don’t. Be clear and tell customers if it is truly month to month and you can quit easily when needed. This must be the number one thing all people hate about gyms – getting out of the contract. Many gyms require that a member walks into the gym to cancel – this is not ok in times of Covid.

Elizabeth Lowney, Creating Buzz PR

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