Businesses today need a well-defined online presence, and that’s especially true for those in the health and fitness domain. As a gym owner, you need to build a strong connection with your customers, helping them find and follow you whether it’s on social media platforms or through Google searches.
In order to achieve this, you’ll need to up your gym branding game. Sure, you may not be a marketing expert, but that shouldn’t stop you from working on your brand. To help you get started, we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to promote a gym online and give your fitness brand the attention it deserves.
Let’s get started.
Branding had its humble roots with something as simple as burning an ownership logo onto cattle, but since then, the term has changed drastically. Today, branding refers to creating an idea and a thought process that consumers attach to your business. It’s the amalgamation of logos, colors, fonts, products, business values, graphics, content, and a lot more.
Simply put, your gym’s branding is the perspective that you create for your gym to attract prospects and retain members.
Branding is not a one-time exercise, and it takes considerable effort. That being said, plan your fitness branding properly, and you will see both immediate and long-term benefits.
Here are some of the many benefits you will notice as a result of a well-planned and executed branding strategy.
Branding will give you a clearly defined vision to market your gym successfully while still retaining the core values you set out with.
Strong branding gives your gym a sense of identity - one that makes you stand out from the thousands of other fitness centers out there.
With time, people will recognize your brand, the values it stands for, and the people behind it, eventually equating it with your business. People often equate certain emotions with brands they relate to.
Whether it is on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or a printed pamphlet, your brand will ensure your visibility is consistent across markets and media.
Once you start delivering consistent, high-quality experiences to your customers, people will begin to equate your brand with those experiences. This encourages your target audience to trust your brand, helping you build a loyal customer base.
Let’s look at three brands that have set the bar for what great branding looks like in the world of fitness.
Some of the world’s best athletes and celebrities wear and promote Nike. The brand builds inspirational stories around the athletes they partner with, but its biggest success as a brand is that anyone who sees the swooshing tick logo automatically thinks, “Just do it!”.
Under Armour has built its brand around state-of-the-art sportswear that will either keeps you comfortable while sweating it out, encouraging their customers to get out and live active lifestyles.
Their brand activation extends beyond just reaching out to customers. For example, here’s an instance of how they engaged their followers to look for the best social media interns for their business.
Equinox became one of the leading gym chains in the US by using a smart and engaging online marketing strategy. To begin with, they hit it out of the park with their tagline, “It’s not fitness…it’s life.”
They then followed it up with engaging competitions and lifestyle content on their social media platforms. And finally, they pledged $1 million to cancer research, creating an even deeper connection with their community.
Creating a strong brand for your gym involves consistent effort. You need to be at the top of your game and think critically about every single aspect and experience that your gym creates for members and visitors.
We’ve broken the branding process down into a distinct 9-step process to help you get started. Let’s dive right in.
First things first, you need a clear understanding of your customers and their personas. A successful brand identity must align with its target audience.
To achieve that understanding, write down the different common characteristics you notice among your customers - do they have the same goals? Do they have similar routines? Are they looking to achieve targets in the short term? Or are they here for the long haul?
Asking yourself these questions will give you the crucial insights you need to define the ideal persona for your gym.
Once you understand what drives these personas, incorporate that into your branding as a part of your marketing visuals and more.
Next, clearly define your purpose. As we mentioned earlier, gyms may be a dime a dozen.
What sets yours apart from the rest of the crowd? What value addition of solution do you bring to the table that is uniquely yours?
Once you clearly define that purpose, it will set the tone for your branding, voice, slogan, mission statement, and everything else that will be a part of your marketing efforts.
Your visual brand is what people see on your business hoarding, social media pages, merchandise, website, and all marketing collateral. In short, it is the visual representation of the values and purpose your fitness business stands for.
While working on the visual design for your gym, start by consulting a branding guide. Then design a logo that represents the business. Choose unique colors, fonts and imagery to achieve a unique visual brand that screams you!
Your fitness customers should experience consistency with your brand, irrespective of whether they interact with your business in person, on social media sites, or on your website.
The underlying theme and customer experience must be consistent across all platforms. This also means you and your employees should live your brand values every day as well.
Your business website will be the digital face of your brand, so build an attractive-looking, professional and informative website to complement your gym.
The website should have as much information as possible about your gym, including business hours, the equipment you have, pictures of the space and the gear, who your trainers are, how much you charge, what kinds of courses you offer, whether you have a sauna, a spa, offer childcare services while your customers work out, and any other details you feel your customers should be aware of.
Remember, you will need to keep updating your website as your business evolves. Your customers should be able to depend on your website as the most reliable online presence for your gym.
It is equally important to engage with your target audience consistently on social media platforms. You can do this by creating a blog that you regularly contribute to. A lot of social media users subscribe to blogs, especially if it falls within their interest radius.
Post images and stories on social media platforms, and use relevant hashtags to generate traffic to your pages and widen your customer base. Remember to customize your posts to stay consistent with the design aspects of your brand, such as fonts and colors.
While other gyms and fitness businesses may be competition, they are all also a part of the same community. Engage with them and the fitness community at large on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, share stories & tips, answer questions, and help the community thrive.
All of this will get your brand more visibility and goodwill, both of which are things a business can never have too much of.
Fitness events are a great way to promote your gym, and what better way to promote those events than on social media!
Create events using your social media handles and promote these events to draw more attention to your social media pages, and as a result, to your brand itself. Even pages have RSVP sections, giving you a clear view of people who are interested in the event and your gym.
And of course, use the event itself to network, grow your customer base and connect with the community.
Your existing customers are your biggest brand ambassadors, so it’s essential that you engage with them and ask them for feedback constantly. Asking them how they feel about your brand, your gym, your values, and what they’d like to see changed or improved is a solid way to get insights and data that can help your brand evolve to the next level.
Bookee is your one-stop shop for everything you need to establish and manage your fitness business. Whether you want to manage online bookings for classes at your gym, set up events, or manage your trainers’ schedules, Bookee can help you do it all.
We also help you build your website and customer app, along with a payment gateway solution, all customized with your own branding.
These are just some of the amazing features we offer our clients. Visit our website today to learn more and become a part of the Bookee family.