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Marketing a Gym

Marketing a Gym becomes more and more complex every year. The increasing amounts of social media platforms, technology, competitors and the demands of the customer has kept many gym owners in positions where they are asking ‘How else can I market this gym?’. This is for all the independent Gyms out there, or Franchisees that have some level of marketing and creative input.

 
As a Marketer who has had success professionally in this industry, I have some advice that might help you Marketing. The first question you should ask yourself and management team, is ‘What is our brands personality?’
The fitness industry is a saturated industry in most western countries, its a sociocultural based business where customer acquisition can be largely based on perception and trends. A strong brand has trust built around its identity, displays uniqueness and separates itself from the other choices.
 
The Gym needs to deliver the service uniquely and superiorly along with having their members or leads believing the brands message and feeling a part of the gyms community.
 
So how do you create a Brand that has personality and is welcomed by customers and prospects.
 
Happy Gym Members
 
Firstly, You need a base reference point, this base will allow you to get a finger on the gym’s brand pulse and perception. You can find this by Identifying the current beliefs, values and attitude you and your staff members have. You can then take customer surveys or talk with customers and see how they perceive your brand.  Once you have some solid data and research, you can assess the brand and try to humanise it. 
 
The Five Dimensions of Brand Personality by Jennifer Aaker is a great unique lens for viewing your brand and humanising it, this would be a great starting point as well.
 
Humanising a brand can also allow you to identify better fit marketing strategies and advertising campaigns, as well as creating a greater gym culture in your facility. 
 
Once you have identified your brands personality, its time to think if that is the direction you would like to continue. Also take the time to re-asses your own personality, along with the management and staffs personality while comparing them to your new direction.
 
A negative match will not only affect your marketing budget and strategy, it will be evident to any customers or leads. If a Gym is advertising that its a friendly and comfortable place to train, and when you arrive the staff members, owners, or culture isn’t that of a Friendly or comfortable place, you will have blown advertising budget placing misleading ad’s and if even if the customer believed it, it will be clear to any leads or customers upon arrival of the facility, that this isn’t the case. 
 
Think if you as the Gym owner or Management have a personality that is closely aligned with the brand. Lets discuss an example of a negative match further, A gym owner that is an analytical and knowledgable in their specific focus area within fitness can spend a lot of effort creating content, imagery and videos in the attempts to have their gym appear trendy and ‘the place to be’, unfortunately, the owners or Managements personality may not be that type of persona and unfortunately customers do not relate and identify this early on. This person could focus on being the knowledgeable, analytical, professional and having the gym appear as that as well. Not only will content creation, imagery, and much more be authentic. The customer base will believe in the brands personality and message as well.
 
Think back at times when you have seen social media videos of other gym owners or management creating a video that has them appearing outgoing, hyping up there brand and it doesn’t look genuine and appears even cringe worthy. You aren’t the only one thinking this.
 
A little cautionary tip! Don’t create a brand personality around you or your management. The Gym is the brand personality and you are providing a service to them, its about creating value for the customer and your community through your business, not being a fitness influencer or celebrity in your industry. 45 percent of people surveyed by BuzzStream said they would unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by “too much” self-promotion.
 
Focus on matching your personality with the brands personality, discover what makes your personality and brands personality unique.
 

When Branding and Marketing Meet

Marketing and Branding Meet

 

Marketing Gym Ideas-

 
Once you have an idea of your brands personality, its time to get Marketing!
 

Content

Create Value for your customers, all your content should be in the tone of the brand. If the personality is energetic, then make it energetic! If its Knowledgable, make it knowledgable! If its Social, then focus on sharing the social aspects of the business!

Provide examples of hanging out after sessions or laughing during sessions. One study shows that 80 Percent of consumers have said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.

Advertising on Social Media and PPC

The best thing about Social Media is that its Free and based around community, Share the Gym with your community and those members.
 
If you choose to do paid advertising, choose a platform and understand the platform thoroughly along with budgeting and advertising on it.  Nothing is worst than doing advertisements for your gym and realising that you are advertising outside your geographical zone or the ads are not collecting leads. 
 
If you aren’t sure or don’t have the time to do advertise on Social media, we would recommend looking for reliable and affordable Social Media Ad experts.

Word of Mouth and References

This is where the Brand personality really provides value! If the customer believes in the brand or relates to it, they will recommend it and become volunteer brand ambassadors. Don’t under estimate this, a lot of gyms have seen great success from their own members.

Testimonials

Encourage your members to write testimonials on your most referred Social media platforms. Here is an easy and effective way to do it.
 
Look at your Google Analytics account and take a look at your referred and organic traffic, look for the most visitors from these platforms and ask your members to create testimonials for the gym. If you don’t have analytics, you can google search your gym (or do a general search on local gyms) and look at what testimonials appear and have the customers build on those.
 
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for references, most will happily do it. You can even offer a Free Shirt or other merchandise for their efforts, giving you further advertising!

Display your brands image through action

If your brand is based on community, do activities for the community that includes your gym members. This could be charity fund raising days or anything along those lines.
 
If your brand is based on being customer friendly, offer a promotion that displays your brands friendliness and ability to care

Consistency

Stay consistent and focus on the personality and delivery. Creating Marketing schedules that include Paid advertisement scheduling, Testimonial request schedules, Content creation and delivery schedules, etc.
 
It will take time to see the effort and surely wont be easy! 
 
This professionalism and consistency will really set you apart from your competitors and show value to your customers and community.

Time to get Marketing with your Brand Personality

 
We hope that these tips have provided a bit of direction and insight into the ideal marketing processes of a Gym and most importantly got your brain flowing with some ideas. If you need any Digital Marketing or Brand Development advice or services for your Gym, send us a quick email and we will get back to you immediately!
 
David Taylor-Smith Growth Hacker

Written By David Taylor-Smith

David is a Growth Hacker and Digital Marketing Specialist in Sydney, Australia. He has an extensive knowledge in Growth Marketing strategies and techniques, ranging from PPC, SEO, SEM, Coding, HTML, Chatbots, Analytics and much more! David is a successful entrepreneur (having founded 2 SMB's), as well as being a former professional athlete and Coach.

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