You know you need to embrace effective fitness marketing techniques to build a successful gym or fitness business, but if the idea of promoting your brand online makes you break a sweat (in a bad way), don’t worry. Fitness marketing is easier than you think, especially with Wix Fit.
01. Create a professional website
A professional website is a non-negotiable. Your fitness website should explain your fitness philosophy and offer a list of your services, but it's more than a pretty face. Your website can also help you manage bookings, sell products and communicate with gym members. Remember: Your website will often be your clients' first impression of your business, so make sure it reflects the energy and ethos of your brand. Check out the best fitness websites if you need a little inspiration.
02. Use a mobile fitness app
We’re all on our phones—probably more than we’d like to admit (you’ve seen it on the treadmill)—so you'll need a mobile app. With the Wix Owners app, for example, you can manage your classes and create a bookings calendar for your staff and your clients. You can also sell products and accept payments directly within the app and communicate one-on-one with members using the chat feature.
And the Fit by Wix members’ app lets clients access virtual classes. They can also interact directly with you or your staff, book classes, join waitlists and manage payments. The Branded App by Wix has the same functionality but allows customers to download the app under your business name, with your branding.
03. Embrace SEO
You want prospective clients to find your facility when they Google gyms in your area. To make that happen, you’ll need to embrace search engine optimization, also known as SEO.
To start, think about keywords (the specific terms people type into search engines) most relevant to your gym or fitness business. Maybe it’s “boxing gym in Chicago” or “online barre classes.” The more specific the better. Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find strategic phrases and keywords to promote your gym. You can also use Wix SEO to get started.
Include your location on your website’s home page, as well as in the meta description (the snippet of text that appears under your website on Google). You don’t just want anyone to see your site, you want potential clients to see your site. It’s not helpful if your gym is in Seattle, but most of your site traffic comes from New York.
On the same note, when potential clients are searching “fitness clubs near me,” you want to appear in their local search results. Include localized keywords, known as local citations throughout your site’s content: your name, phone number and address will help your business appear in local directories. If you have multiple locations, say so on your website for this reason.
You can also create a Google My Business listing, a free tool that creates an online business profile. It includes your fitness business website and helps you appear in Google Search and Google Maps. You can update your Google Business Profile as needed, making it easier for current or potential customers to get the most updated information.
04. Highlight your authority
What's content marketing? It’s a marketing strategy that focuses on education, information and inspiration rather than explicitly promoting sales. And your fitness expertise is a content marketing tool.
Start a fitness blog with workout tips, playlists, gear reviews and industry news. Use highly specific keywords in your posts, and if you’re an expert in a particular sport or category, zero in on that to make your brand stand out.
Sample article ideas:
Best Beach Running Trails in [Your City]
Recommended Myotherapy Practitioners in [Your City]
10 Functional Training Techniques for Your Lower Body
On the same note, write guest posts on other websites and ask them to link back to your site. This both expands your reach and boosts your site’s authority in Google search.
Remember that you aren’t limited to one medium. Podcasts, YouTube and other social media platforms will also expand your reach. What feels most natural to you?
05. Try video marketing
Have a phone? Then you can create workout videos to feature on your site. A subset of content marketing, fitness videos educate current members and reach new ones. Videos showcase your gym, classes and instructors, giving potential clients a glimpse into your fitness business. Note: You can live stream or sell pre-recorded classes with Wix Video.
06. Be social media savvy
Next, promote those videos on social media. Fitness social media marketing strategies promote your brand, cultivate a community and build meaningful relationships online. Whether you’re using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or TikTok, engagement is essential. That means communication is a two-way street. Respond to comments to create lasting relationships with your audience, just as you would in person. (Read more about balancing social media with your other marketing goals in our interview with Jonathan Goodman.)
07. Work with influencers
Fitness influencers are social media personalities, bloggers, health experts, lifestyle brands, industry leaders, celebrities or even your current gym members. Influencers can make a huge impact on your fitness marketing efforts, driving both traffic and clients to your website and gym. Think of influencers as ambassadors for your gym or club. (By the way, this is one of the marketing strategies that made pickleball so popular this year.)
Like you, influencers are entrepreneurs, and they make money through promotions. Influencers can endorse meal plans, nutritional supplements, and of course, inspire people to join your gym.
Outline your goals so that you partner with influencers who understand your brand and core values. From there, use platforms like Upfluence, Hypetap and Tribe to find influencers. You can also search hashtags to explore relevant influencers and brands. Hashtags like sponsored and ad can narrow your search to those open to paid partnerships.
08. Cross-promote with other businesses
Reach out to other local businesses (not competitors) with a like-minded client base. Think: the organic juice bar around the corner or the acupressure spa down the street. This is called co-marketing. You’ll promote each other on social media, in newsletters and on blogs with links to the other site’s content.
Also try co-branded giveaways: You could offer a prize bundle that includes 10 free classes, a free juice cleanse and a spa treatment. In order to win the prize, people must follow all three businesses on social media. Alternatively, offer reduced rates, like a discount on juice and spa treatments, with a valid gym membership.
Affiliate marketing partnerships can help you grow your audience, too. Affiliates make money when they sell a product or make a referral to your business. (Affiliate payment methods include pay per sale, pay per lead and pay per click.) Read more about affiliate marketing.
09. Send marketing emails and newsletters
You’ve got the content. Now package it in a fitness newsletter, featuring videos, Q&As, workouts, recipes and success stories. Ask for email addresses when people register for a membership, then follow up to keep them engaged with your business.
10. Start a referral program
A referral program draws in new customers and rewards current ones. To encourage referrals, offer free classes or merchandise to members who bring new customers to the gym. You can also offer guest passes, so gym-goers can invite friends or family to join a class or a workout for free. Your current clients are your best brand ambassadors, hands down.
11. Host an event
Events, either virtual or IRL, bring awareness to your gym. Say you have a yoga studio. Host a pop-up shop with your latest merchandise, like mats, blocks and towels. Serve tea, light a few branded candles and play music from the Vinyasa playlist that's also available on your website. Encourage members to invite their friends or family and hold contests or fitness challenges to get everyone involved. It’s all about the 360-degree experience. Whatever the event, promote it on all of your channels: website, social media accounts and newsletters.
12. Find ways to remarket
Remarketing, aka retargeting, means targeting people who visited your website but didn’t take an action. It's okay, some people need encouragement!
Imagine a potential customer visits your fitness website, but they didn’t sign up or make a purchase. Place ads on Instagram or Facebook so they return to your site. Think of retargeting ads like a friendly reminder to prospective gym-goers, often with discounts. Use a sense of urgency and encouragement in these ads, with phrasing like:
Are you still interested in 10 HIIT classes for only $65?
Your two-for-one outdoor bootcamp pass is about to expire!
13. Ask for customer reviews
What better way to promote your fitness business than with real testimonials? People want results, so customer reviews are a powerful way to gain new clients. Ask your current members to leave reviews based on their experience, or offer a coupon or free session in exchange for feedback and photos.
And remember that Google My Business account we mentioned earlier? Customers can leave reviews to help your fitness business stand out. Also add customer testimonials to your site with a dedicated section or page to highlight what your customers are saying. Again, don't expect people to do this on their own—offer a free session to anyone who leaves a review. Like the other fitness marketing tips here, the effort is worth it.