In recent years, the gym and fitness industry has continued to grow. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the worldwide health club industry grossed $87.2 billion in 2017, with over 200,000 facilities serving about 174 million members.
In the United States alone, club membership grew from 57.3 million members in 2016 to 60.9 million a year later. Since 2008, club memberships in the U.S. have increased by 33.6 percent.
If you’re the owner of a gym or fitness center, the numbers presented above are great news for you. That’s because they indicate you have the opportunity to attract new members and boost your bottom line simply as a function of the vertical you’re in.
While that may be the case, simply being in a growing niche isn’t enough to guarantee that you’ll reap any benefits from your industry. To nab your share of a growing market base, you have to promote your business and its value proposition.
Fitness marketing isn’t like other kinds of marketing. That’s because one fitness center is often a lot like another one. Many gyms have similar fitness equipment and they offer classes that resemble the ones their competitors offer. Of course, there’s a reason for all these similarities, and it’s that they work and they’re what people want from a fitness center. While delivering what people want is important, it’s those very similarities that can make it difficult to make any gym stand out from the pack.
For any business that has a physical location or that serves a specific area, the importance of local search engine optimization cannot be overstated. As the owner or manager of a gym, you have to make face-to-face contact with your members and prospective members or you’ll be out of business. Whether you own one location or several of them, local SEO is what’s necessary to transform a relatively unknown gym into a fitness center that has a considerable local following.
The goal of local SEO is to get your website to rank well in local organic searches. Local searches typically involve words like “near me” or “in [name of city, state or zip code].” They also often include terms that indicate a person is ready to buy something.
It’s common knowledge that the majority of Internet users will either contact or visit a business after they conduct a local search. Many of them will simply click a phone number for a Google search result when it appears in a SERP.
By focusing on local SEO, you can catch the attention of people when they’re actively searching for your business. And you can draw them to your physical location in the moment when they want to sign up for a gym membership. What could possibly be better than that? When you consider the fact that local SEO costs nothing other than an investment of your time, you’ll quickly see that there really isn’t much better than local SEO when it comes to marketing and growing your fitness center.
For your website to rank well in local searches, you’ll need to do the following:
- Incorporate local keywords throughout the content on your website
- Make sure all your business listings are consistent with your gym’s name, address and phone number
- Create as many local citations as you can
- Claim your Google My Business page
As far as content is concerned, there’s plenty of fitness-oriented material on the Internet. While it might be difficult for your site to rank for a subject like “how to train for a marathon” or “tips for getting a beach body,” you may have great success with location-driven content such as “how to create a workout routine in [name of city].”
Targeting your location in your content is the key to capturing website visitors and attracting members to your fitness center. If you don’t have one already, start a blog and create location specific posts regularly. Don’t forget to share links to your latest blog posts on your social media pages and encourage your followers to share them with their own followers.
Using video is one of those gym marketing ideas that will continue to have staying power for the foreseeable future and well beyond. Given the choice between the two, most people will choose to watch a video over reading text if both are available about the same subject.
With so many people preferring video, you have the opportunity to use clips to promote your fitness center in several ways. You can create videos of your fitness classes and grant exclusive access to those videos to your members so they can workout while they’re out of town or unable to make it into your gym, for example.
A lot of people have fallen in love with live videos in recent years. You can use live videos to demonstrate how much fun your members are having at your location while they’re actually working out. Do you have a practical joke planned for one of your staff members? Make a live video as things unfold so viewers can laugh along with you. Remember to provide an exclusive offer at the end of your live videos, particularly if they’re not directly related to working out, so people feel as if they spent time watching them wisely.
Social Media and Email
Using social media and email may not sound like the most innovative ways to market your fitness center, but they can be if you use them right. Both platforms give you the chance to interact with your members and prospects on a personal level, something today’s consumers want and expect.
As you use social media and email to promote your gym, be sure you discuss topics the people you interact with want to know about. It’s important to understand that those subjects may differ from the ones you want to talk about. Remember – the goal is to drum up business. To do that, you need to stick to topics that are directly relevant and meaningful to your members and prospects on a personal level.
Let Musselwhite Marketing Help You Grow Your Fitness Center
When it comes to fitness marketing, you won’t find a better partner than Musselwhite Marketing. We’re experts at promoting gyms, and we can either handle your marketing for you or teach you how to promote your business better.For help marketing your fitness center, make the right choice. Choose to work with Musselwhite Marketing.