Marketing isn’t easy. Marketing your health club in the digital age is even harder. With more people using smartphones and other digital devices than ever, your club has to figure out how to update your marketing strategy for the 21st century. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas that can help get you started.
1. Get on Social Media
Social media is one of the most effective marketing tools in the 21st century. Today almost 80% of Americans have a social media profile, up from a mere 24% in 2008. And though the bulk of social media users come from the Millennial generation, there are almost 100 million social media users above age 35. What this means for your club is that your target audience is out there on the internet somewhere, just waiting for your brand to engage with them.
If your club establishes a presence on popular networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it gives you the opportunity to build an online identity that serves as an extension of your brick-and-mortar locations. You can use Instagram to post photos and videos of things like group class sessions or tips from your personal trainers. You can use Twitter to host hashtag themed promotions or giveaways like Crunch Fitness has in the past. And you can use Facebook to do things like pay for your club’s ads to be displayed throughout the platform in front of the eyes of Facebook’s one billion plus user base.
2. Invest in a Club Mobile App
Besides having a social media presence, having a branded club mobile app is probably the biggest indicator of whether or not your club is built to last for the digital age. Members today don’t just expect businesses to have a mobile website; they expect a robust mobile experience, especially as mobile becomes the primary digital platform for millions across the world.
A club mobile app helps marry the physical aspects of your club with the virtual world of your members. An app with features like barcode check-in, mobile class booking and automatic bill payments would be a huge draw for prospective members. Club mobile apps can also integrate with many popular wearables on the market like Fitbit. Being able to integrate with members’ technology like wearables gives your club the opportunity to engage members with features like group fitness challenges or a rewards program based on calories burned or steps walked. Member engagement tools like those won’t just bring members into your club, it will keep them engaged for the long haul.
3. Consider Rebranding
Your club’s brand is much more than it’s logo, especially in the digital age. Having a successful brand today means having a brand that is able to tell a compelling and relatable story to help drive consumers to interact with it. Whole Foods for example represents being healthy and natural, while doing positive and socially aware things for the world. In the fitness industry, Planet Fitness is synonymous with a low cost alternative for the more self-conscious fitness participant. Do you know what your brand represents?
If not, it may be time to consider reworking your brand. Without a relatable story potential members won’t be compelled to interact with your brand in the short or long term, which doesn’t bode well for both member acquisition and retention. If you can can answer why your club got started, who your ideal member would be and why, what’s unique about your club, and the kind of member experience you offer then you’re well on your way to a successful rebrand. It takes more than a clean club to bring people in today. Instead, it begins with how your brand is perceived.