You’ve put blood, sweat, tears, not to mention, your savings, into your gym. Now it’s time to build your community and secure memberships. The digital age has put the power of marketing in your hands. Instagram, Facebook, E-Blasts, Google. But how do you get in front of the right people, at the right time, and convert them to lasting members of your gym?
Here are some steps to help you build your gym’s marketing plan and reach more of the RIGHT people at the RIGHT time:
1. Build your Community
- Gym member or not, everybody craves connection. Building a thriving community around your gym and giving customers added value is essential to creating this sense of connection. At the end of the day, it puts the member first. Some key things to keep in mind when building a community around your gym:
- Your community needs to be about a common interest. Of course for a gym, that is pretty well defined already but push yourself to go beyond that and create a unique community. Are you competition focused and want to create a culture of celebrated achievement or are local sports your focus where members have opportunities to sponsor a youth basketball team?
- Identify who your community is. Make it clear for your members and give them something to hold onto and work towards. What are you trying to achieve together? A hashtag, an event, something that defines your community and separates it from the others in your space
2. Team Up!
- Use strategic partnerships -- Is there an organic juice company or local bike shop in your neighbourhood you could team up with? Pick companies you know that:
- Geographically operate in the same space as you. That way you’d get the right people who could be potential members
- Cater to the same people. One’s that you can assume they are interested in health and wellness
- Work out deals to provide for your current clientele and give value to your partners current customers. It’s a mutual exchange of benefits and potential growth opportunities for all. Example, your gym members get 20% off a first order at the partner store plus that partner store hosts discounted gym punch pass cards at their checkout.
3. Effective Content
- Content marketing is an excellent tool to engage and grow your audience. Effective content marketing relies on anticipating and meeting your customer’s need for information. Here’s some guidelines to follow:
- Know your audience. Who are you trying to reach with this content? What information are they seeking?
- Build content that answers those questions. Blogs, videos, infographics are all great options that you can write or build on your own with the help of free tools like Canva
- Target specific people with specific content. There’s a million “At Home Workout” blogs out there so don’t try to compete against all that noise. To gain more members for your gym, you need them to be in your location. So define your content to answer those questions instead. For example, “Best Outdoor Workout Spots in Vancouver”.
4. Spread the Word
- Start a referral program. Research has shown that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions. Unfortunately though, most members won’t don’t this on their own so incentive is key to a successful referral program. Offering free classes or discounts on fees when a new signup uses your name will go a long way to not only encourage your current members, but also thank them for playing as part of your team.
- A great example of this in action comes from the Vancouver-based gym, CrossFit 604. They provided every current member a voucher for $100 off a membership to share with their family and friends. If their friend used their voucher, the referring member would get a month membership for free. Win-win.
The end of the day consistency and strategy are key to effectively marketing your gym. Define what success means to you and implement timelines for measurement of those goals to track your effectiveness.
As your gym continues to grow, collecting feedback from new and existing members alike is key to retention. Use our free Membership Survey to help better their experience.Already accessed the Membership Survey? Find out how else Blonyx can serve your members and add value for your gym through our Wholesale Program.