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Fitness facilities across Canada are reopening after the COVID 19 closures. Looking to recoup months of lost income, independent owners and franchise gyms alike are ramping up their digital marketing to secure new business. But just like members need trainer-guided assistance to get in prime shape, so do you when it comes to getting “marketing fit”. While you already know to set up a dedicated Google My Business page for each facility in your network, your strategy must expand far beyond that step. The cornerstone of your online success is found through smarter content marketing. Here’s what you need to know.

5 Content Marketing Tips for Fitness Chains to Get More Members Online in 2020 and Beyond

1. Don’t Be Vague in Facility and Equipment Descriptions

Prospective members want to know exactly what your facility is like and want a literal accounting of the equipment you have. Need an example? There is literally up to 100 Google searches per month for terms such as the following:

    • Gyms with heavy dumbbells near me
    • Gyms with heavy bags near me
    • Gyms with pools near me
    • Gyms with treadmills near me
    • Gyms with squat racks near me

The list goes on and on. The more questions you answer (in the affirmative) on your website, the more likely you will get the attention of the prospective members who are posing them. In addition to serving your SEO needs, these targets are great for PPC campaigns as they are very specific and will draw more qualified traffic.

Create a detailed facility and equipment page on your website and feature (text and images) ALL of your dumbbells and whistles so that the public (and search engines) know exactly what you offer. Share this page (and corresponding imagery) frequently on your social networks for good measure.

2. Feature Add-On Services

Your facility does more than offer the public a place to work out. You offer other supplementary services that people are searching for online. Create dedicated sections (with distinct URLs) on your website for the following add-on services, as applicable:

    • Personal training (complete with a separate bio page for each trainer)
    • Professional athlete training
    • Fitness classes (complete with a separate page for each type, such as spin, etc.)
    • Corporate fitness planning
    • Nutritional program planning
    • Physical therapy
    • Other

These new sections will serve your SEO, PPC, email, and social media marketing initiatives.

3. Be Explicit About Membership and Service Pricing 

The tactic of baiting new members with great equipment and services won’t be as effective if you hide your pricing. Unfortunately many fitness chains and studios still do this, hoping to lure people into a given facility where charismatic front desk sales staff is expected to close the deal on premium packages. This doesn’t work in today’s day and age. Online consumers want ALL of the information and they want it now. Create a detailed pricing page so that visitors can readily see all membership, facility-use, and service pricing from drop-in fees and weekly/monthly/annual rates to the cost of supplementary services. 

In addition, add an FAQ page to the site with an FAQ section for pricing, capturing all of the relevant search terms. How do you discover these queries? You can use the Google Keyword Planner for search volume, but the best way to figure it out is to start typing logical (to your field) questions into the Google search bar and watch it autofill the questions that the public is asking about fitness facility pricing, such as the following:

    • How much is a monthly gym membership?
    • How much is an annual gym membership?
    • How much are personal trainer sessions?
    • How much are fitness classes?
    • How much are spin classes? 
    • Other

If you’re the one fitness facility in your region that answers any and all relevant pricing questions you will be appreciated by Google Search and the inquiring public alike. This translates to more revenue for you.

4. Optimize eCommerce for Your Products Too

If your facility is like most modern fitness operations, you may sell branded clothing, health supplements, equipment (exercise bands, k-tape, etc.), and more. Don’t just wait for people to walk into your brick and mortar – get them to buy online too. This will expand your customer base significantly. Even if you don’t want to deal with shipping and prefer to offer online purchases for pick-up only, it’s better to get them buying while they are online and ready to purchase than to give them time to rethink the action en route to your facility (where a number of distractions get in the way).

Create a detailed products section on your website, complete with purchasing functionality while following these tips to optimizing your eCommerce shop.

5. Provide Weekly “Tips & News” Updates

Add a blog to your website and update it each and every week. Articles should include focused (i.e. a specific muscle group) fitness tips, nutritional guidance (i.e. 5 Best Foods for Building Lean Muscle), and current event updates that are relevant to their relationship with your fitness business. The latter is especially important given the current health crisis, as the public needs to know how you are responding with respect to precautions, updated hours, and so forth. 

Not only is a weekly updated blog helpful for current and prospective members, it helps you meet Google’s requirement for original, fresh, and useful content. In delivering authoritative articles you effetely show Google that you are an authority on all-things related to fitness in your area. If you do this, and your competitors do not, you gain a competitive advantage.

Ready to get more fit when it comes to your digital marketing strategy? Contact Strategis Consulting Group today to discuss your goals.