According to the CDC, there are 330,891 total coronavirus cases in the U.S as of this past Monday, April 6th. Social distancing has become more important than ever and this difficult time may seem particularly bleak for the fitness industry, as gyms during Coronavirus are forced to close up shop and customers are forced to stay home. Gym owners, we are here to tell you not to despair. Just like you tell your customer during a training session, look at this as another challenge that encourages you to define a new comfort zone. You may even gain some new customers during this time! Below are different ways you can tackle moving your gym online, how to maintain relationships with your client base, and how to approach fitness marketing digitally. Take a look and let us know if we can help!
Communication, Communication, Communication
One of the best things you can do to keep your members gets in touch ASAP. Whether you call every single client, send out weekly email blasts, or post regular updates on Facebook (assuming that page is active and all of your members are following), make sure your members know exactly what your current status is, what your plans are, and the value you intend to offer them despite not having a physical location available. Be transparent, empathetic, and optimistic – if you maintain a tone of positivity, your clients will be more likely to respond positively as well.
The more value you deliver, the less you risk losing membership. Now is the time to “overdo” it. Keep your customers aware and interested in your brand as much as possible. Engagement comes in many forms, and it allows you to target clients with varying levels of interest.
- For clients that are interested in continuing their membership remotely and investing in your services now, consider emails or social media posts that provide remote options for from-home personal training sessions, nutrition consultations, and group classes (boot camps, yoga, etc).
- For clients that are interested in keeping their membership but only intend to use it after quarantine is over, consider emails or social media posts that provide options for a membership that incentivize customers to come back once you re-open, such as temporary freezes on membership until your physical location is available or discounts to offer relief to clients that are facing financial difficulties at the moment. Both of these options show that you care and want to make this time easier for your customers.
- For ambivalent clients that are taking a back seat – maybe they backed out of membership but are still following your Facebook page or still subscribing to your email list, maybe they haven’t let you know what their membership status is and are hard to get ahold of – make sure to show them content that emphasizes your value. Post short recordings of remote classes, videos promoting custom-made workout programs that are designed for fitness at home, or blog posts giving clients important tips on ways they can maintain their health during this time. If you continue to solve their problems, clients will continue to engage with you and your brand.
Don’t Give Up on Advertising
Believe it or not, this is a great time to invest in advertising, especially on Facebook and Instagram, and it is possible to generate a significant number of leads per month. Not only are costs much lower (which means you can run ads for more time but less $$$), people are spending more time at home and, consequently, more time online and on social media.
One of the key aspects of Facebook and Instagram ads is that they are disruptive, not responsive. What does that mean? Well, let’s think about Google Ads for a moment. The only way a potential lead is going to see a Google ad is if they search for a particular keyword (or similar) that the ad campaign is set to target. A Google ad is a response to the user’s search or query. Google’s algorithm is strict and it is difficult to reach a lot of people quickly because of the way Google determines relevance. In contrast, Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to target an audience of people based on interests, and your ads will pop up in their feeds while they are casually scrolling. This means that you will be able to reach more because you are also showing your content to people that are not actively searching for what you are offering but have demonstrated interest. All it takes to convert those interested people into leads is to address a pain point. Remember what we said about solving the customer’s problems? Take that approach with your ad strategy as well – you’ll get new customers in no time.