Marketing Tips for Gym Owners

Courtesy World Gym International

Owning a gym can be a very lucrative business opportunity. Americans are always striving and struggling to lose weight and become fitter. Members pay fees whether they come in and use equipment or not. On the other hand, the startup costs can be high, and competition is fierce. If you want to open a gym, you must hit the ground running with a precise and thoughtful marketing strategy on day one. Here are some key planning principles to keep in mind.

Identify Your Unique Value Proposition

Before you launch any marketing efforts, it’s crucial to decide what sets your gym apart from your competitors. If you have more equipment than other gyms, great. If you have specialists on staff like personal trainers or can promote chiropractor SEO content, that’s a great differentiator. Whatever unique value you can provide should be the central point of all marketing messaging. Establish a niche and beat that drum with laser focus.

Determine Your Target Audience

Different gyms offer different services that appeal to different kinds of people. If your gym specializes in high-intensity interval training, for example, you’ll probably be trying to appeal to younger people who are already fit and looking to achieve peak performance. On the other hand, if you have a staff that includes physical therapists, personal trainers, and a pool with aquatic therapy classes, you’re probably looking to reach an older audience who is seeking to recover from injury or lose weight. It’s impossible to be all things to all people. Determine your target audience before moving forward.

Select Your Media Mix

Once you know who you’re trying to reach with your marketing initiatives, it’s time to decide how to reach them. At this point, you must take an analytical approach towards selecting media platforms to utilize. There are two essential factors to consider here. First is your budget. If your funds are limited, it’s better to focus on a small number of channels that can provide strong reach and frequency than to spread yourself too thin for the sake of having a presence on multiple platforms.

The second factor is targeting your media buy to your desired audience. This is a matter of analyzing both traditional and digital marketing tools and evaluating who they resonate with. If you’re trying to reach a 50-year old male, you may want to buy television commercials in news programs or live sports. You would probably avoid Instagram or Snapchat as they appeal primarily to younger women. Conversely, if you want to promote your yoga classes, you may focus on more female-skewing platforms and programs.

Offer a Special Deal

Differentiating your offerings and honing your messaging to your audience are critical components to successfully marketing a gym. In some industries, discounts or introductory offers aren’t necessary. For gyms, they absolutely are.

First-time gym-goers who are seriously considering getting in better shape for the first time are often intimidated by the environment of a gym and the process of joining. Many people will use any excuse to decide it’s not worth the hassle. On the other hand, if you can offer a free month, discounted 90-day rate, upgrade to a higher tier of service, or some other promotional deal, it may well make the difference between a new customer coming through the door or not. In this case, the discount’s hit on your bottom line is almost always worth the long-term return on it.

Make it Easy to Sign Up

Along similar lines, any barrier to entry may turn away new customers. This is particularly relevant to marketing because far too many businesses fail to include a strong call to action in their messaging. In traditional media, that usually looks like “call now” or “visit this website.” Digital makes it even easier to close the funnel with a box that says, “click here” or “learn more.” Whatever the message, it’s imperative to drive them somewhere they can easily and quickly sign up.

The stresses of owning any business, let alone a gym, can be massive. Do yourself a favor and apply these principles to your marketing plan. If you do this, you may find one significant stressor disappears from your plate.


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