It's a crowded and competitive market out there which means the success of your fitness business is tied directly to its visibility. Cultivating awareness of your club will pay dividends in two major ways. First, you'll be able to tap new groups of prospects currently unaware of your club. Second, visibility building strategies will help you better connect with and retain your current members. Consider that 64% of consumers report feeling loyal to brands they interact with weekly, and that number jumps to 87% when a consumer interacts with a brand daily.
There is no one "magic bullet" to instantly boost club visibility. So, we'll dive into best practices and approaches you can implement to boost your fitness center's visibility with a three-part blog series. Read on for our first 10 strategies.
1.) We are assuming that your business is already on Google Maps and Yelp. If it isn't, you're in luck! Check out the blogs we wrote which can help: How to get your gym or fitness business on Google Maps, and How to get your gym or fitness business on Yelp.
3. Build out your social media presence. It goes without saying, your fitness business needs to have a presence on any and all social channels your members and target prospects frequent. Each social media platform offers unique benefits for fitness centers. Make sure you understand the differing strengths of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube and know how to leverage them to your advantage. Not sure where to start? Check out our First Steps To Social Media Marketing blog.
4.) Collect as much “social proof” as possible. Consider “social proof” the closest you can get to word-of-mouth advertising. For our purposes, social proof is anything that allows others to read the thoughts of someone that’s already using your services. Get as many positive reviews and quotes about your business as possible and use them wherever you believe they’d generate the best results. Be strategic about it. We suggest using social proof on your contact, sign up, pricing, and/or schedule pages. Basically, use them anywhere you think someone might need a little extra push.
5.) Want more Google Maps, Yelp, etc. reviews? At a predetermined stage in a client or member's "buyer journey", send them an email asking if they'd leave a review on your desired platform(s). Reviews do "just happen" but they'll "just happen" a heck of a lot more if you put an outreach plan in place. We have seen businesses go from 0 to 100+ positive reviews in a couple days with this method.
6.) How to know if someone should receive the above email: Prequalify them by reaching out to see if they have any questions, or if there's anything you can help them with regarding their experience at your business. If they respond positively, you can send them a follow-up asking if they'd be willing to leave a review on whatever platforms are the most beneficial to you.
7.) Don't forget about the power of the sandwich board. What's a sandwich board? The stand-up signs, often featuring chalkboard fronts, placed on the sidewalk in front of delis, pubs, spas, and really businesses of all kinds. Some businesses rely on this seemingly insignificant and overly simple method to draw people inside. Don't be afraid to get creative with it. It's not just the act of putting out a sandwich board that will help, it's really thinking about it and trying to differentiate your business from the others around you - even non-competitors as they're still distracting your potential new members or clients.
8.) Always think about where you're posting something before you ask yourself what or how you should post it. Sites like Google Maps and Yelp are so extremely important to fitness and gym businesses because they show intent on the part of the searcher. If someone in your area searches Google Maps for "gym," you want to be at the top of the results because the person who searched that is showing an intent to buy what you're offering.
9.) Take Yelp Biz on the go by downloading their app. You can manage your Yelp listing and reviews right from your phone.
10.) Almost nothing in marketing is "set it and forget it." Even when it comes to reviews, you can't forget to ask for them and you certainly can't forget to "review the reviews" from time to time. Don’t allow negative reviews to go unanswered! And remember, whatever you say in response will most likely be public and able to be read by current and future members.
Build on your club's visibility with an awesome marketing campaign. Download our free Advertising E-book!