You could have the best gym in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you will struggle to keep it afloat. Your gym’s success is directly linked to the success of your marketing plan.
And at the outset, it might seem like a daunting task to market your gym alongside managing it, but as you will soon realize, a little marketing can go a long way. So if you’re struggling to find inspiration to promote your gym business, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
We will take you through 16 of the most effective gym marketing ideas — including videos, ads, and offline promotions — to help you spread the word and get more clients for your fitness center. And if you already have some ideas that you want to get started with, you might want to consider signing up for a free account on InVideo to bring these to life.
Here's what we are covering:
1. Invest in video marketing
2. Advertise through paid ads
3. Offer discounts
4. Build your digital presence through social media
5. Create your Google business page
6. Bring local influencers into your gym
7. Create challenges
8. Start your referral program
9. Create a user-friendly website
10. Run giveaways for brand awareness
11. Launch affiliate program
12. Grow your email list
13. Try blogging
14. Get your business listed in popular niche directories
15. Take help of print advertisements
16. Create Billboard Ads
Let’s dive in.
Video ranks #1 on our list of gym marketing ideas because it is by far one of the most versatile tools you have in your marketing arsenal. Videos allow you to give your viewers a real-time experience of what it is like working with you or at your gym, they help build trust, and they are far more interactive than static posts. You can therefore use videos to build genuine relationships with existing and potential clients, improve your sign up rate for memberships or training programs, and simultaneously keep building a brand.
For instance, take a look at this video by Planet Fitness; it provides a virtual tour of the gym and talks about the benefits members receive when they join this health club.
The video clearly tells the audience what they serve and why they are different from other gyms. And coupled with other videos on the channel, including workouts, updates, and fun entertaining videos, they are really using video marketing to its full potential. Ideally, you want to take a similar approach – create a mix of various types of videos including educational, entertaining, testimonials, among others.
But before you hit that record button to start shooting videos right away, make sure to develop a powerful video marketing strategy. First, you should understand your objective of creating videos; is this because you want to attract new members or sell a range of products you just launched? The reason could be anything.
The next step is to identify who we are targeting- List their demographics, goals, challenges, and lastly, the objection to why they aren't choosing your gym. Using this information, you can create a list of videos that salvage your objective and help you achieve your goals.
Gym businesses can create videos showcasing their facilities and team, give reasons why anyone should join their gym, or even suggest different exercises to keep their audience engaged. Using video as your marketing strategy generates curiosity, builds credibility, showcases the knowledge and adds a great impression in front of your audience.
To create a similar video like Planet Fitness, use this editable InVideo template and add a talking-head video explaining why people should sign up at your gym. You can also include testimonials that justify your success and weigh your offer.
Paid ads help you generate revenue, increase your reach, and generate higher ROI than organic posts are capable of. Running targeted ads on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or Google is an excellent option for launching new offers or increasing brand awareness.
When starting a campaign, the first thing you need to define is the goal. For most gym owners, the goal is to turn your traffic into new members. Further, select the type of ad campaign you would want to run, search, static or video.
In search, you can target specific keywords that you are sure your target audience will search for and run ads on them. Similarly, video and static posts can be included in your gym marketing campaign to be displayed between posts on the above mentioned social sites.
Check out this gym ad by Diamond-Cut Fitness. The ad is a brilliant piece that has clipped together the trainers coaching the gym customers with a voiceover that tells the prospect that so many of our members have done it and so can you.
Other ideas you can use include announcing special discounts, giving free 1-1 fitness consultations, free trials, online classes, etc. Or you can show your customers body transformation journey and how your gym helped them achieve their fitness goals. To get started right away, use our template below.
Offering discounts is the quickest way to draw people's attention and one of the best gym marketing ideas as you’re likely to get your prospect’s attention when you tell them they can save money. Here are some of the most common discount types that gyms can incorporate:
- Early payments discounts
- Season discount
- Annual payment discount
- Referral discounts
- Loyalty program discounts
- Email subscription discounts
- Time-sensitive discounts
Using a percentage discount is better than a price discount as the former has a perceived higher value, so customers are more likely to be persuaded by it. For example, a 20% discount on $10 sounds more lucrative than a $2 discount.
Check out this offer by Anytime Fitness, where they announce special discounts with no joining fees for their gym. Their bonuses of live classes, free use of body scanner, 24*7 access, etc. make this an irresistible offer.
We have a ton of discount templates that you can use and get going right away. You can customize any type of template for your gym or use our templates specifically designed for gym offers. We’ve given one below to help you start.
One of the most prominent gym marketing ideas would be to get active on social media sites. This is because the largest age group (18-34 years) of gym goers is the most active social media user-base. This means, as a gym, you want to be on their radar.
Creating an account on all social sites might feel tempting, but it might not prove efficient. Start with the three biggest channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to make the most of your social media efforts. And, as you move forward, you can use other social media sites, like Snapchat, Pinterest or Youtube for gym promotion.
The next step would be to identify your buyer's persona and what type of content they would want to interact with. This can be done by surveying your current clients or doing external research on people you think make your ideal buyer. This way you will be able to create content that is relevant and valuable to your audience.
Here is an example of a Facebook page of a popular gym, Crunch Fitness. The page has got massive followers because its content is so relatable. They post memes, video content, conduct giveaways and even take their stand on social issues.
Your main focus when creating content is to educate, engage or invoke a response. And, video content works really well here. You can create any type of social media video content like easy-workouts, fitness tips, and meal plans using editable InVideo templates like the ones given below. All you’ve got to do is choose the right aspect ratio for your social media post, upload your media, add text, and stock media if necessary. Also, don’t forget to add a CTA at the end.
Lastly, when creating content, keep in mind that not all your followers are at the same marketing funnel stage. So, prepare your content for every stage of the funnel, like a walkthrough of your gym for a very cold audience, a video handling objections for prospects in the evaluation stage, and a free one-on-one consultation for those who are about to close the deal
The first thing your prospective clients do when looking for a gym is to go on Google and search for the nearest one. In fact, 88% of users who do this on their mobile phones either call or visit the center in a day.
Google Business allows you to list your business on Google Maps and other local search results. You can also list additional information about your business like its opening/ closing time, contact details and links to your website.
It also includes a review section where your current gym members can give testimonials. This way, your gym get higher chances of getting featured on keywords like ‘gym near me', ‘gym with best fitness trainer’ or ‘best gym for outdoor workouts’ that are mostly commonly searched.
For example, if we search for gyms in New York, you’ll get a list of gyms with their reviews, mode of content and a direction page to help you reach there.
After you have set up and claimed your Google Business page, the next step is to optimize your account by filling out all the relevant information. Let Google index all the relevant information about your business. Ask your customers for reviews and testimonials. And prod them to include keywords that people search for like “best fitness center” “top gyms in my area” etc. This way you’ll have higher chances of ranking on Google snack pack results.
You can also use videos on your Google business page that are up to 30 seconds long. Use this space to put out professional videos of your service and facility. Here are a few templates you can use to create these videos.
However, it usually takes a few months for your results to rank on Google after you’ve updated the information. If you want to make your place rank right away, you can use Google ads or optimize your YouTube videos to rank on search queries.
Influencers are valued as much as celebrities because of their vast reach and high engagement on social media. Plus, their followers trust them and will be more likely to sign up to your gym if they promote it. So, collaborating with an influencer is amongst the top gym marketing ideas for your business. And while you can go fancy and invite big names like Logan Paul (GoldsGym did it recently), that’s often not possible for a variety of reasons.
What you can do is look into your customer base to spot local influencers who have a very loyal following. Talk to them and leverage their following to get more clients. A brilliant example of this is Dogpound. Another gym and fitness center that competes directly with GoldsGym but uses its own customer base to amplify its presence.
If you plan on reaching out to other influencers though, ensure that you do your share of research. There are a lot of influencers in the market and it’s good to research and make sure that the brand values of your fitness center aligns with that of the influencer. If everything aligns, brief them on the type of content you want for the campaign and establish KPIs on how you’ll measure success for it.
One way to collaborate with local influencers is to ask them to use your gym and share a video review of their experience. Once you’ve collected these reviews, you can compile them into a testimonial video which you can share on your social media page and your website. Here’s a template that can help you create a testimonial video compilation.
If you’re looking for gym marketing ideas that will help you grow your community quickly, keep your members motivated, and get you more sign ups, look no further than creating challenges and promoting them on your website and social media.
There are various challenges you can incorporate under your gym marketing plan, like-
- Summer slimdown challenge
- Running challenges
- Most calories burned challenge
- Healthy eating challenge
- Weightlifting challenge
- Non-stop 24-hour gym challenge
For instance, check out this fantastic heat challenge by Heatxtreme which inspires people to join their structured and progressive workout program which gives you a nutrition plan, accountability group, and weekly coaching calls, and much more to help people progress their fitness journey.
A good rule is to only launch challenges where you can see the results of the campaign in a short period of time. This will allow you to show results and talk about the success of it in your future challenges also.
And if you are wondering how to create videos that will prompt people to join your challenge, use the InVideo template below, add testimonials from previous participants, and a talking head video of you explaining the challenge to your viewers. You can also add text highlights like Darrell does in the ad above so prospects get the gist of the challenge. Don’t forget to add an irresistible offer and end the video with a CTA:
Referrals are one of the most reliable gym marketing ideas. In a study conducted by Neilson, it was found that people are 4 times more likely to purchase a gym membership when their friends or family refer to it.
So, launching a referral program that drives constant leads to your gym and incentivizing it, so your current members continue to refer your fitness place to the people they know, is a great idea. If your present customers are happy and satisfied with what you are offering, they wouldn't shy away from asking other people to join.
If you need some inspiration, take a look at this referral program done by the Gym Group, where they offer a $10 amazon voucher to both parties, their current members and customers that join the gym on their recommendations. Such a referral program works because it benefits both parties, which is a complete win-win.
The most effective way of creating a referral program for your gym is first to understand what your current customers like about your gym. Focus on identifying things that keep them coming back.
Once you have done that, create a referral program according to their requirement and take feedback from them. After all, they should find the program appealing. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to complete the use of your referral program.
Your gym website plays an important role in marketing your offers and building awareness. But, in such a competitive environment, you need an effective site that makes you stand out in front of your competitors and evoke them to take action.
For instance, check out this website by Equinox. The interface here is excellent. It contains all crucial information, including reviews, showcasing the facility, a gym finder page, member benefits, in addition to stunning visuals that immediately catch your eye.
To create an effective gym website that helps you attract new members, it should contain all essential elements that Google recommends-your business's full address and contact information, your about section, and your services.
We would go one step ahead and tell you that having testimonials is critical and an absolute essential too. You want to keep your website clean and have one clear call to action that tells users what to do. Do not clutter your interface with too many elements and confuse prospects.
Lastly, check for the responsiveness of your website in different modes and optimize for the mobile experience. To understand how SEO works on any site, you can check out our in depth guide on SEO.
Hosting a giveaway is an excellent way to build brand awareness and increase your website traffic and memberships momentarily. But it’s still one of the best gym marketing ideas as it appeals to the desire of wanting to win at something and motivates potential clients to participate, engage, and check out your website or social media pages.
For inspiration on how to create a giveaway that boosts engagements and followers, check out this giveaway post by Allure Coaching, where they’re giving away 6 months of online personal training for free. It works because the value (6 months of coaching) promised in return for a small effort (like, share, tag) is huge, so it’s more appealing.
You can conduct a giveaway by partnering with other content creators or posting about it on social media. And to ensure active participation and increased engagement on your giveaway post, create simple steps to participate in your giveaway and make the reward is big enough for people to want to participate. A good idea is to use a video post instead of a static image as a giveaway post if you want to grab more eyeballs. Check out these templates to create stunning giveaway videos.
Affiliate programs work similar to referrals, but it's only for businesses. Here, you can leverage the other business's network to sell your offer. This way, you get to interact with an entirely different demographic that you might have not even considered otherwise.
However, this partnership would only work when the other party is incentivized. It's performance-based marketing, where rewards are based on how many fitness enthusiasts get your gym membership under the influence of your partner. A gym affiliate program would work best for doctors, physiotherapists, supplement providers, sports malls and personal trainers. Here, you can offer 10-20% of the total order value as their incentive.
Here's an example of an affiliate program launched by 24Fitness, offering commission on every qualified sign up. The affiliate program works as it clearly mentions the benefits of both parties, the affiliate partner and the joining member. This would help the partner talk about the gym in confidence.
To get started, make a list of the potential businesses that are not your direct competitor but influence an audience that can leverage your offer. Then, calculate whether the leads generated would be large enough to fit your needs. After you are satisfied with the numbers; approach your potential partner with an offer and tell them why they should work as a team and the incentive you would provide them in return.
You might find this surprising, but emails outperform social media channels by a great margin regarding reach, content value, and personalization. In fact, email offers the highest ROI compared to any other marketing channel. So, if you’re not growing your email list, you should start right away.
The first step towards creating a great email marketing strategy for your gym is to set clear goals. Some of the goals you might want to achieve include acquiring new customers, increasing brand awareness, and educating people on the different amenities and benefits your gym has to offer so they sign up with you instead of working out at home or going to other gyms in your area.
Once you’ve set goals, you’ve got to select an easy-to-use email marketing service having newsletter builders, responsive email templates, and segmentation options to personalize emails for different target groups.
The next step is to start building your email list by promoting lead magnets online and setting up an automated email sequence that sends your subscribers the latest update. You can also put a sign-up link on your social media pages and run ads online to get more people to sign up to your email list.
Pro-Tip: If you want to up your email game, we recommend trying to send introductory videos through your email to build a better connection. Here are a few introduction templates that’ll help.
Most people like to buy from businesses they like and trust, and the best way you can build your credibility is through educating your prospects on the services you provide. One way to do that is through writing blogs.
Most big fitness brands always have a blog page where they talk about current fitness trends, topics, tips, tricks, and more. Orangetheory is one gym that does it very well. Most of their content revolves around why being fit and going to the gym is important for your health irrespective of your age. They encourage local people to take their gym membership for their healthy living.
Pro-Tip: Blog content is super versatile. Once you have an article written, you can take snippets from it to turn into social media posts and can also convert your entire article into a compelling video easily using InVideo’s text-to-video feature.
Niche directories are web directories that contain all the businesses under that category. Listing your gym under these web directories is an excellent way to get your gym more exposure and get quality backlinks that signal Google authority- and ultimately rank your website better.
People using these directories can also find all the information about your gym online and even sign up for your membership. Now, how do you find these directories?
Don’t worry, you can easily find these niche directories; just type your industry name, i.e. gym + directory, and you will get a list of directories where thousands of gyms are already registered. TRXTraining.com is one such popular directory.
Print ads still play a major role in promoting local businesses and they’re one of the best gym marketing ideas as they help you reach a highly focused audience who are more likely to read about your fitness program and sign up for it. In fact, stats say that half of the adult population in the world read a newspaper. So, combining print ads with digital ads is the ultimate way to market your gym.
Here’s an example of a newspaper ad from World Gym which warns people against the dangers of spending too much time in front of a video game screen instead of engaging in physical activity. The commercial is simple but makes people stop and rethink their choices, so it effectively builds World Gym’s brand image and awareness.
To create effective print ads like World’s Gym, stick to simple yet effective imagery, use short, punchy copy, and make sure you use plenty of white space to minimize distraction and keep readers focused on the copy.
If you’ve got a considerable marketing budget, then you can set up billboards in busy places to advertise your gym to a large number of people. But how do you know they’re effective and not a waste of money?
Statistics show that 71% of people consciously look at billboards while driving and over 50% of them have been highly engaged by one in the last 30 days. Also, billboard advertising when paired with SEO, boosts its effectiveness by 40% (Source: Hubspot)
So, billboards do work to increase your exposure and keep you fresh in the minds of prospects.
For inspiration, check out this billboard ad from Powerhouse gym. The ad is cleverly placed and interacts with the cranes at the construction site to provide an impression of a bodybuilder doing cable-flys. It grabs attention and allows users to visualize the transformation they’ll go through if they join the gym, so it’s hard to forget and prompts onlookers to check out the gym.
To create powerful billboard ads for your gym, use bold images and create contrast with surroundings so users are forced to take notice. In the above example, Powerhouse gym has used a poster with a black background to contrast the dull colors of the construction site. Also, consider making it interactive like Powerhouse does by allowing it to be a part of the surroundings so it can create an impression.
Lastly, ensure that it caters to an emotion so it can make people take notice and give them no other choice but to check you out.
Creating a proven marketing system that churns out sign ups for your gym needn’t be a black box. You can take help of the ideas we’ve shared to create a strategy tailor made to your gym and use it to build brand awareness, boost your social media engagement, and increase your sign up rates.
Remember, you’ll need a mix of both organic and paid marketing strategies to hit your goals. So, you might want to check out this blog on fitness ads for ad ideas when you’re ready to run ads for your gym.
And if you prefer learning via videos, you should definitely check out our YouTube channel, where we share daily video creation tips and tricks, the latest video trends and ideas, and help you make more money as a video creator.