Marketing automation is an amazing tool for fitness centers. It can assist with current marketing routines, and open doors for new ones that improve your customer experience. It can save you time and money, and increase your center revenue by leaps and bounds. However, you need to be sure that you're supporting it properly or it won't work. We don't just mean that you have to maintain your marketing automation software, we mean that you need to have certain things in place for the software to achieve maximum effectiveness. This is important because if your automation software isn't functioning at peak effectiveness, that means you're losing time and money, and potentially customers. Here are some important ways you can support automation in fitness center marketing.
1. Have A Center Web Page And Maintain It
It's vital that your fitness center has a website from which to launch your marketing. This is because by using SimplyCast Sonar and Contact Manager you can collect anonymous visitor data and compile it into customer profiles that will be matched with names and contact addresses when you collect them, allowing you to know what part of your business clients are interested in before they come in for their first appointment, or even as early as the first time they download any kind of marketing copy from you. You want your web site to be visible too, since at least 70% of your prospects will google you before they call or show up. That's far too large a group to ignore, and collecting marketing data on all of them gives you the obvious advantage over your fitness competitors, learning more about your prospects than anyone else. This leaves you able to build stronger rapports and keep people loyal to your center. To have an effective web page, you need to be concentrating on content. Put up a blog or a tips section that gives customers some incentive to visit, post video tutorials for them to follow at home, and make sure you're using search engine optimization or SEO. This will boost your search result rating, and put you on Google's front page.
2. Develop A Social Media Presence
Our platform has the ability to post automatically to social media. Which is great, but useless unless you have a page to post to, and people to read those posts. You have the opportunity to build a strong, fiercely loyal group of customers who want to be a part of the community you build. By assigning moderators, and issuing challenges for your customers at home, and promising to follow along, they will be inspired to push themselves harder, making it much easier to deliver on promises of fat loss or toning and so on. By developing a community that will support each other, challenge each other, and interact with one another, you allow them to begin to encourage each other, and as any fitness expert knows, customers are much more likely to work out if they have encouragement and the ability to work out with a friend or family member. By building that community and giving your clients a place to interact and share stories, you gain engagement long after they leave the fitness center, and you also gain a platform from which you can issue challenges, give tips, and hold contests.
3. Organize Social Events
This is something our platform can in fact directly assist with, much like social media. You want to engage your clients, make them feel like they are part of a fitness community, not just members of the local fitness center who happen to rely on you to keep them fit. By setting up events where they can bring family or friends, or even having a members BBQ or a christmas party make them feel appreciated, and boosts the amount of people that want to be a part of your center. It also makes your fitness center stand out among the competitors because your marketing doesn't just throw words at them, you do things for them to make them feel valuable and important. If the customer feels valued, they are that much more likely to recommend your fitness center, and pay attention to your marketing.
4. Keep Traditional Media, Just Don't Rely On It
Online marketing is a great tool, but if you recall earlier, we only mentioned that 70% of your clients come from the internet. Where are the other 30%? Word of mouth, postcards, paper advertising, referral programs, and other traditional media are the answer, and these are important to keep, even if you put more money and time toward your online and digital marketing strategies. Even if you ignore the idea that 30% of your clients come from traditional media, think of it this way. If you want steady, consistent engagement as a business that promotes healthy living, you can't afford to only be remembered when your customers have a screen in front of them. You want them to think about your fitness center when they come home from work and see you're in their mail, or talk about your center to their friends and family. There are so many traditional marketing methods that will help you generate interest and buzz surrounding your fitness center that it's crazy to ignore them completely.
5. Make Sure Your Trainers Walk The Walk
Your marketing no doubt promotes a good, healthy lifestyle. There should be nothing your trainers preach that they cannot, and do not practice because the customers will pick up on it. If need be, run special trainer to trainer classes where they challenge one another to reach the next level in their personal fitness journeys, so that your center is always ready willing and able to handle any unique customer needs that walk through that door. As well, if your trainers take shortcuts, they will unconsciously do the same in training. This can lead to diminishing returns and customers demanding refunds or worse. To avoid this, you want the center to be a fitness lifestyle club, and not just a place people go to work out, and you have to start with your employees. If possible, even as an owner you should be fit, and make the same healthy lifestyle choices you promote. This can then be turned into even more marketing, and promote positive visiblity for your center. Be a force for positive change in your community, and you'll see people making the extra journey just to be a part of your family.
Of course, these are only a few suggestions, but every one of them on its own can go a long way to giving your fitness center marketing a big boost, and keeping customers happy, fit, loyal and determined to support you. For more information on automation and the features our platform has, you can check out a full list of features and pricing on our marketing automation page. Don't forget to check back on our fitness center page since much like you, we'll be updating our content periodically and you don't want to miss out on more cool content aimed at helping you be the best you can.