Thinking about how to get more members into your gym? The summer is approaching, and you think it’s the perfect moment to launch a promotional campaign. Here, we’ll share with 11 ways to promote a gym.
1) Implement a free trial session
First of all, you have to propose free trials for your new potential customers. To clarify, if you don’t invite your prospects to try your gym for free, you’ll struggle to get more members. Especially, if your gym is in a big city because the competition is tough. As well, new potential customers have in mind to use your facilities for months, so that makes sense to offer a short free trial. Firstly, they need to feel good when they will come to your gym. So, having a great atmosphere and a friendly environment will encourage your prospects to come regularly. For this reason, inviting your prospects for a free trial, it’s the first step for building up this great atmosphere.
2) One month free for annual subscriptions
Additionally, the one-month free offer for annual subscription is a good way to promote a gym. Then, I assume you need to fill your gym with members. Nevertheless, you have to assess which type of customers you are looking for, and which type you are attracting. With this in mind, if your clients you’re targeting and attracting, are more cost-focused. Consequently, it will make sense to implement this kind of promotion. Contrarily, if you target and attract customers who are instead results-focused, this kind of promotion could undermine your gym. Because of, this kind of client don’t mind to pay a lot of money, as long they get results.
3) Use Facebook
Despite the fact, I’m not a big fan of social marketing for getting new customers. However, it can be efficient to be active on Facebook because everybody is logged in. Therefore, it will be effective if you target 18-25-year-old because they tend to use Facebook rather than using Google and finding your website. Then, I assume you know you have to get a Facebook page. The way to promote a gym in Facebook would be to create posts and a gallery of your gym. Then, inviting people to get likes (even if it’s useless, it comes with the territory when we own a Facebook page), and more important, join groups where your potential customers could be. For instance, you’re targeting people living in the borough of Newham in London, you could join a group such Buy Or Sell In Hackney, Islington, Leyton, stratford, walthamstow ,which have 2K members. Then, post free ads in this group, and just make sure you’re allowed to post this kind of content.
4) Outdoor banners
To begin with, outdoor banners can be a cost-effective investment. Then, your banners can be visible by the passers-by all the time. The banners can be hung near traffic lights, but you have to check if you’re lawfully allowed to do so. However, if you could hang a banner in a barrier opposite to a tube’s station entrance, your offer will be visible in front of the commuters every day, and at anytime. In fact, you should be able to implement this kind of promotion if your gym is out of a town center. For instance, it would be easier to hang a banner in front of Leyton’s tube station entrance than doing so in Bank’s station.
5) Leaflet distribution
Alternatively, leaflet distribution can be cost-effective if you choose the right way of distribution. In this case, if you cannot hang a banner in front of your closest tube or train station, you could try to hand out leaflets. For this purpose, the best way would be to send members of your team or hiring Brand Ambassadors. However, if you decide to hire Brand Ambassadors by yourself or through a promo agency, make sure that those Brand Ambassadors fit your Brand in appearance(fit and wearing the right dress-code). Additionally, make sure you can track their location in real-time, and of course, propose incentives by paying them a decent wage or you will struggle to fill the vacancies or they will not push it hard. Equally, if you want to make sure to have your message conveyed to your whole audience, door-to-door distribution will be more cost-effective than hand-to-hand distribution. So, if you combine outdoor banners and door-to-door leaflet distribution, as a result, your off-line local marketing is optimized. Consequently, if you combine those 2 methods, thousands of prospects living nearby will see your gym offer.
6) Cross-market with local businesses
As well, developing good relationships with local businesses could be an asset for you. For instance, you could meet the business owners of restaurants nearby your Gym, and ask them to leave leaflets near the reception. As well, you can propose them to take leaflets or menus and put it on your reception desk. Additionally, you could leave a stretchable banner inside the closest universities or campus, and then you offer 2-months free to the receptionist or the decision-maker who has accepted your demand. To clarify, if you build friendly, and warm relationships with local businesses, they will generate awareness for you. Especially, if they like you as a person, don’t forget that we help people that we like, we trust, and we think we know them. Overall, if you add values to the business of your neighbors and they like you, as a result, they will generate word-of-mouth for your gym. I assume you know that word-of-mouth is the most efficient marketing.
7) Send Lead Generators
Firstly, I will explain what I have on mind when I define Lead Generators for Gym. They are genre of Brand Ambassadors who promote your Gym in a more engaging way. In London, it’s a well-known fashion to promote a gym. They approach people and they pitch your Gym to them. In other words, they do the same old-fashion job of B2B Direct Sales. They approach random people, they pitch your Gym, they mention a free session, they take the phone number of the leads, and they come back to your Gym with the leads. Then, you just have to call them. So, if you’re lucky to find this kind of contractors, they will definitely bring you more members. Even in 2019, it will still work if the Lead Generators go to the right places where people are open for talking such as parks, markets, malls, etc.
8) Invest efforts in SEO Local
Firstly, you’ll need a website because a business without website cannot be taken seriously. Then, more seriously, having a Google My Business page will help your prospects to find your Gym easier. Additionally, the good new is it’s very easy to rank well on Google for keywords related to a specific location. For instance, if someone type on Google “Gym Canary Wharf”, and your gym is in Canary Wharf with an optimized Google My Business page. As a result, your Gym will be visible for users typing those keywords. However, I recommend to avoid trying to rank on Google for wider locations such as “cheap gym London”. In fact, it’s almost impossible to rank in the first pages on Google in competitive niches for a new website. Nevertheless, if you want to try it and you’re planning long-term results, in this case, yes, invest in SEO, and after months, if your SEO is good,your Gym will start to rank in the first pages.
9) Blog on your website
Do not read this paragraph if you’re franchised because you don’t have any control on it. So, creating a blog on your website is linked to your SEO, but not only. In fact, if you write articles on your blog related to your domain (fitness, gym, training, etc.), you will show to your readers, and potential new members that you’re an expert in your specialty. Then, it will add regular content on your website which is good for your SEO and social media marketing. Although, it might be time-consuming and demanding efforts. However, if you look at the gyms ranking good in Google, almost all of them have a blog. Why a blog helps for Google ranking? Because quality content is the most important ranking factor for Google in a long-run. Furthermore, for Google, the more content related to a specific subject your website contains, the more your website will be assessed as quality website for Google.
10) Google Adwords
To clarify, Google Adwords can be expensive and ineffective if you do not use it in the right way. However, if you know how to use it, it can be one of the most cost effective way to advertise and promote a gym. Furthermore, Google Adwords tend to be more effective for local-targeted ads. Additionally, make sure of not turning on useless keywords for your gym. During an Adword campaign, Google generates a cloud of phrases relative to the keyword that you want to rank for. However, sometimes it matches, and sometimes, not. So, keep in mind that you pay for each click on your ad. For this purpose, keep an eye on the search phrase menu and select only the phrases you want to advertise for your Gym. For instance, you want to advertise for the keywords “Gym Whitechapel”, then, you check your search phrase menu, and you see “Fitness Whitechapel” is turned on, in this case it’s fine. Contrarily, if a phrase such as “Fitness Equipment Whitechapel”, you have to turn off this phrase, because you’re looking for potential new members, not for equipment purchaser.
11) Host classes through Meetup
To begin with, Meetup is the equivalent of Google about spare time. Furthermore, in big cities such as London or New York, people work a lot, and often they don’t know what to do during their spare time. As a result, it’s the opportunity to propose them to take care of their body and to socialize. For instance, you can propose a free class for a limited group every week, it’s almost the same process with a free trial, you invite them to try your gym for free and then, they will potentially sign up. However, for this kind of event, you ought to make them having fun. To clarify, those guests come to your event through Meetup for having a nice time. Consequently, it’s almost 100% sure that they will come to your class to exercise, and especially, to socialize or making new friends. Keep in mind people attending to event through Meetup are very likely to be alone, and looking for breaking the growing phenomenon loneliness in big cities.
Bonus: hiring friendly staff
To begin with, having a friendly staff is the key for having and keeping customers. Then, I know it’s easier to be said than done. However, you ought to make a priority on having the best staff as you can hire, and then, you will reduce your marketing expenses. Furthermore, keep in mind that the best marketing is word-of-mouth and it’s always easier to keep customers than getting new ones. As a result, if your guests have good customer experience in your gym, they’re more likely to stay to your gym and spreading good words to their relatives.