Five Ways to Improve Your Fitness Center Marketing

By Aaron Eisberg

As disposable incomes continue to rise, so will fitness center memberships, according to research from the country’s largest provider of industry information IBISWorld. Also driving growth in this $30 billion market? Strategic marketing campaigns. Which begs the question: Are your fitness center’s marketing initiatives at the top of their game? Read on for a roundup of five tips on how to grow your fitness business through savvy marketing. 

1. Always add value. 

Today’s savvy consumers aren’t going to fall for the same old hollow promises. Rather than attempting to woo them with ploys they’ll see right through, offer them something they can’t refuse instead: true value. For example, rather than merely advertising your gym, include a coupon code or free trial offer. This may be the key to prompt a potential member to take action and try your gym. Once the offer is out there, be prepared to follow up. For example, one free training session may go nowhere. But following up with the client after that free training session increases the chance of additional appointments.

2. Be unique...and let your members know. 

New fitness centers are opening up all the time. Established fitness centers have loyal members. Where do you fit into the mix and what makes your operation unique? Answering these two questions can help you come up with your unique selling position or USP. Do you offer an unusual class, extraordinary service, or other differentiating feature? If so, it’s not enough just to have it. You must also promote it. If not, it’s time to come up with one. Once you have determined your USP, include it in all of your promotional efforts. 

3. Adopt a customer-centric approach. 

From a friendly face at the front desk to knowledgeable trainers who will give paying customers the attention they’re seeking, staff members are a major part of cultivating a customer-centric environment in which members feel like respected participants, not merely nameless, faceless factors in your bottom line. Employee training is key to making sure that all of your employees are delivering the message you want your members to hear.  (If you’re operating a 24-hour fitness center, the challenges of providing a customer-centric experience are amplified.) 

Another customer-centric strategy? Hours. Obviously, it’s essential to make sure your fitness facility is open and well-staffed in the early morning and later in the evening for the before and after work crowd. But not all of your members work 9-5 jobs; nor do they all share the same preferences for when to work out. The overall takeaway? Offering comprehensive hours aimed at catering to your members is key. 

Fitness center marketing

4. Understand your members’ needs and how you can fulfill them.

People join fitness centers for a variety of reasons. For example, some are looking to improve their functional fitness; others are hoping to be better at sports. Another group may simply be in search of the best deal around. The more you know about why members are choosing your gym, the more effectively you can maneuver to continue to meet their expectations. Soliciting feedback not only makes sure you have the information you need but also boosts member engagement -- particularly if you act on their complaints, suggestions, and comments.

5. Make it social.

Perhaps one word above all else embodies the 21st-Century consumer: Social. 

A well-planned social media strategy can help ensure that you’re reaching the broadest spectrum of potential members with the most helpful, interesting, and relevant content. Calls to action -- from likes to watching videos -- are vital, as they can facilitate a mere like into an action. Also, remember that each piece of content you share is representative of your business and brand so make sure your voice and message are both consistent and compelling. 

Fitness center marketing

Of course, social media is only part of the equation. From “Bring a Friend” days and buddy challenges to social spaces and member events, the more you acknowledge the social element, the better you position yourself not just for increasing your membership, but for building a real community. 

According to recent figures from Statista, there are more than 36,000 gyms in the United States and this number is on the rise. The right fitness center advice can make or break your business, as can keeping up with the latest technology.  Learn more about how Accuro can help you drive membership and increase revenue at your fitness center.