The Association of Fitness Studios 2016 Marketing Best Practices Research Report found that 57 percent of studio and gym owners operate without any sort of marketing plan. This means that if these business owners are running any marketing efforts, they’re doing so without a well-defined process to get them to their goals. Marketing without a plan is like shooting in the dark: you don’t have a clear line of vision between your starting point and your end goal. By creating a marketing plan before diving into execution, you can make sure your marketing efforts result in reaching your goals.
Below are three key insights studio and gym owners can use as a framework for a marketing plan:
- Know your target market.
Before you start marketing your fitness business, spend time interviewing your customers. Gather testimonials, success stories and quotes. Ask questions and discover the reasons why your customers choose your business. Your marketing plan will quickly begin to develop as you uncover these stories. And by allowing your customers’ voices to shine through in your marketing messaging, you’ll be able to effectively connect with like-minded prospects.
- Attract your target market.
Once you’ve clearly defined your voice, you’ll want to share it through multiple channels. Some of the most effective marketing strategies include social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, combined with email and in-person outreach efforts. Think outside the box (or studio or gym)—look for opportunities to present, network and connect with your target market. This might be at college campus events, industry events and tradeshows or community events and fundraisers. You might also find value in co-promoting with other businesses who have a similar target market, or a complimentary one. For example, a spin studio might team up with a nearby yoga studio to offer a combined promotion.
- Be consistent.
The third key to effective marketing is to consistently share your message with your target market until they’re ready to take action—just be mindful not to market too aggressively and risk sabotaging your own efforts. As you continually share your message, take the opportunity to build your email database by asking prospects to subscribe. Once you’ve built a solid distribution list, you can share weekly updates and build relationships with your prospects by giving them insightful information related to your industry, whether it be fitness tips, nutrition guidelines or product reviews. Earning trust through sincere communications will build a solid foundation for prospects to become clients.