Gym marketing 101: top tips for improving your strategy

With fitness and overall wellness becoming increasingly trendy, there seems to be more people than ever before signing up for a gym membership. In fact, the UK fitness industry is booming at an estimated market value of £4.5 billion.

There’s no denying the fact that the fitness market is a little crowded. There are so many gyms for potential customers to choose from that standing out from your competition can be a real challenge. Here are some easy tips that could help you market your gym more effectively, which may increase acquisition and retention.


Finesse your website

This one may seem obvious, but many smaller gyms often overlook the importance of a slick website.

Most consumers now make decisions based on what they find online. You could have the best gym in the world, but it would still struggle to attract and maintain members if it had a poor online presence.

Having a website where people can browse the classes you offer, compare membership packages, view the equipment on offer, or simply scope out what the gym looks like will do wonders for attracting new members. Having a great website gives your gym a sense of authority and trustworthiness that will help incentivise people to sign up for a membership.

Furthermore, having somewhere that current members can book classes smoothly will make going to your gym regularly easier for them, thus boosting retention rates.


Pump up your online content

Use social media to your advantage. Since people like to engage with brands on social media, this is an excellent vehicle to deliver you gym’s personality and authority to potential and existing members.

Try featuring real-life members on your social media channels to give your posts some more relatable authority or using video content (including teasers of popular classes) to engage customers.

Gym owners also would benefit from running a blog, which provides a wealth of information to members and positions your brand as one that is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and helpful. A blog may also improve your search engine ranking and so provide more traffic (and more potential members) to your website.


Make yourself visible to searchers

Did you know that Google receives a whopping 1.5 million queries a month for the phrase “gyms near me?” Not only does this number indicate the sheer volume of potential fitness fanatics trawling the web, but it also shows the brand habits of the searchers. People are looking for local, rather than a preferred brand.

Gyms can capitalise on this by investing some time in a Google My Business page. This gets your gym featured on a “local snippet” (a pane which highlights the Google My Business pages which match the search.) More eyes on your business, more potential members who now know you exist.


Streamline your payment process

When you’ve put all the effort into signing someone up to a gym membership, the last thing you want is to lose them over an outdated and difficult payment system.

Online recurring billing is the best payment process for both you and your members. It gives your members an easy way to pay their membership every month whilst ensuring that you are consistently paid on time with little hassle.

82% of gym membership payments are made with Direct Debit. Direct Debits are quick to set up and require little maintenance, allowing members to pay automatically and reducing bounce payments.

You can also integrate FastDD into your website which allows for online membership registration. This creates a 24-hour sales opportunity, making signing up far more convenient for members and cutting down on incomplete applications. When people don’t have to come into the gym to sign up, they are far more likely to buy a membership.


Kick start your referral programme

Referral marketing is one of the simplest, lowest cost, and most effective ways for a gym to find new members whilst keeping current members happy.

Your members probably have a friend or family member who would love your gym. Simple word of mouth about how great your gym is from your current members will do great things for your marketing, but adding an incentive will push this even further. You could offer a free month of membership for a referral, for example.

It’s also true that members are more likely to stay at your gym if more people they know attend the same gym.


Cutting through the competition is the biggest challenge faced by gyms when it comes to membership acquisition and retention, but hopefully, these simple tips will help you connect with your members – existing and new.


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