Maybe you already have a small retail shop at your studio, or maybe you’re thinking about giving it a try. Either way, promoting retail at your fitness business is a different ballgame than promoting your studio in general. But, it’s not as hard as you might think! If you want to sell products and goodies at your studio, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help make retail at your fitness business successful and profitable:

#1: Stock the right stuff

You may have the most genius idea for branded knee-high socks, but ask yourself this: Are your members going to buy it? Before opening up the retail side of your business (or even if it’s already up and running!), take the time to do some small-scale market research. Ask your staff and members:

  • What gear would they want to wear?
  • What do they forget most often when they visit your studio that would be helpful to sell, like a yoga mat or earphones?
  • What types of supplements do your trainers recommend most often, and is there a certain brand you personally endorse?

Selling the right stuff is the first step to successful retailing.

#2: Create hype

If you’re planning to offer some products at your studio in the future or you just ordered some new stuff, get people excited before the products get there. Make an announcement on social media to let people know that their new favorite shirt is coming soon. Or plaster promotional posters around your studio letting members know they’ll be able to cool off after a tough workout at your new smoothie bar.

Letting people know about your products before they arrive can help bolster sales right from the get-go, rather than having your awesome new merchandise sitting around gathering dust.

#3: Update online tags and descriptions

Make sure it’s clear online that you also offer products for sale at your studio. Build out a page on your website that displays some of what you sell, a menu of the food or drink items you offer, or even an online store where people can order right from your site.

But, don’t stop there. Most social media sites, like Yelp or Facebook, allow businesses to tag their page by what services they offer. Be sure to add retail as a tag on these sites so new visitors know you offer products for sale, as well. On Facebook, for example, you can see and edit any business tags in your “About” section:

 

Be sure to update the tags on your business description.

#4: Put it in the right place

Let’s face it: People probably aren’t coming to your studio just to buy the products you sell on the side. They’re coming in for a workout, class or personal training session. If they happen to buy something while they’re in, great! But don’t expect anyone to go looking for your retail items if they’re tucked at the back of the building by your office.

Set up your retail shop in a location that’s high-traffic and convenient for your members. The lobby is usually a good bet, and make sure the merchandise is close to a cashier to make purchases even easier.

#5: Use it as an incentive

If you sell products at your studio, you want people to get excited about them. And what better way to get people excited about your retail items than offering them as a prize? If you run regular competitions at your gym or participate in any sort of in-studio or charity giveaways, use your merchandise or products as awards. 

Take Orangetheory, for example. Winners of their workout challenge were awarded with Orangetheory gear. So, the winners feel great about themselves, and OTF has new brand ambassadors to rep their name around town and get other people interested in the gear:

Check out how Orangetheory Fitness leveraged their gear for an in-studio contest.

Don’t want to just give your products away? Offer discount incentives, instead! Entice new members at your studio by offering 10% off your products for their first month. Or surprise your loyal members by giving them a BOGO card after they’ve attended 10 classes. Using your products as a prize automatically makes people excited about them, and you can easily get members introduced to what you offer so they’ll get in the habit of coming back to buy more.

#6: Rep it

If you’ve got great gear with your studio’s name or logo, show it off! Get your staff or trainers to wear the latest gear you’ve got in the store rather than a standard uniform. Your members probably look up to your amazing trainers and will be more likely to buy a shirt themselves if their favorite instructor is repping it.

You can also motivate your members to show off your studio’s gear. Check out how SoulCycle inspired their members. They encourage members to share pics in SoulCycle gear with the hashtag #SOULStyle for a chance to be featured in a monthly email newsletter:

SouCycle inspires members to rep their gear on social media.

 

Still unsure the best way to market the retail side of your business? Or want a more in-depth analysis on the best way to market products to your members? SWETI would love to help! Schedule your free marketing review, and we can offer in-the-moment feedback and consultation to get the retail side of your business off the ground.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

 

For kids, summer is always the best time of year: no school, beautiful weather, and endless hours outside with friends. But for those in the fitness industry, the new season can feel a bit more daunting. At the average gym in America, new memberships hit an all-time low between June and August. With the warm weather driving people outside and more families scheduling their summer vacations, most studio owners out there have experienced the “Summer Slump.”

Here at SWETI Services, we’ve seen summer after summer in the fitness industry, and we’ve put together some surefire ways your studio can beat the Summer Slump:

 

Refresh Your Calendar

People may prefer to get active outside as the weather warms up, but that’s not always an option for people that are still working a 9 – 5 job. They may not have time to hit up their favorite hiking trail before work or won’t feel safe running through their town late at night after dinner. Update your class schedule to accommodate those people. Make sure you’ve got some early-morning options for members who want a quick sweat session before work, as well as some late classes for the night owls.

 

Motivate Your Current Members

Just because new memberships are traditionally low this time of year doesn’t mean you should focus all of your attention on driving those sales back up. Dedicate energy to motivating your current members to get more involved, as well. Try putting together a summer workout challenge, where members are challenged to hit the gym a certain number of times a week to win a prize. Or, they could compete with other members for the most weight lost or highest number of classes attended.

You could also get your current members more involved by offering great deals on some of your pricier services, like personal training or nutritional planning. It’s hard to pass up a good deal, so give members a little push to check out other things your studio has to offer.

 

Reward Regulars

If you’re successful in motivating your members, you’re sure to have some regulars you can always count on: The people who show up day in and day out. Summer is the perfect opportunity to show those people how much you appreciate them (while inspiring your less-active members to get more involved, as well, or new members to come on board). Highlight some of your regular members on social media with a “member spotlight” or offer some free swag to people who attend your weekend workouts. That little unexpected surprise can motivate members to keep at it during the summer months.

(Looking for other ways you can use social media to keep your members involved? SWETI breaks it down with 4 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media to Increase Retention.)

 

Focus on Customer Service

Customer service is important any time of year, but it’s especially crucial during the summer months. Think of it this way: If your members are coming in less frequently during the summer, that means you have less chances to impress them and show them why they love coming into your studio. Make sure your facility is cleaner than ever, always well-stocked, and remind staff to be gracious, helpful, and proactive. If a member has a great experience when they come into your studio and leave in a great mood, they’ll be more likely to come back.

 

Take Advantage of the Season

Don’t always fight the new season — embrace it when you can! If your members are eager to get outside, help them do that at your studio. Take one of your weekly boot camps outdoors or organize a fun run that starts at your gym where members can invite friends. Taking advantage of the weather can create a nice change of pace and still provide a great option for your outdoorsy members.

 

The ultimate way to beat the Summer Slump? Make sure your studio has a well-rounded marketing strategy to keep members involved all season long. SWETI Services would love to help you put that together. Schedule your free marketing review today to get in-the-moment feedback and advice to drive revenue for your business.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

So, you want to run a Facebook ad for your studio? Good choice! With over a billion active users, Facebook offers unparalleled ad targeting, which means you can reach more of the right people for less cost. But, if you’ve never run a Facebook ad before, it can feel daunting. That’s why we’ve broken down what you need to know about Facebook ads.

What is a Facebook Ad?

Facebook ads are sponsored posts that can be delivered to any desired audience based on location, demographics, interest targeting and more. So, if you’re hoping to promote a strength and conditioning class for high school athletes, you can set up your ad to display only to Facebook users between the ages of 14 and 18 who are interested in sports. Unlike traditional forms of advertising like print or television, you don’t have to waste money displaying your ad to people who aren’t going to attend your class. Facebook will only serve that ad to your target demographic.

How does it work?

There are multiple different types of ads, and they all display a little differently and serve different purposes:

App Engagement: If you want to drive traffic to your new app, this type of add is meant to generate activity and get people using your technology.

App Installs: Instead of just encouraging people to try your app, this ad can actually allow them to download it with just a few clicks.

Brand Awareness: If you’re a new studio looking to get your name out there, this type of ad is a great way to make your target demographic aware of your brand. You can use any type of content for this ad, so try to get creative and think of content your ideal audience would want to engage with.

Local Awareness: Similar to brand awareness, this type of ad helps to get the word out about your studio. But in this case, you can target only people who live close to your studio.

Store Visits: This type of ad works best if you’ve got a business where customers can just pop in anytime, but may not be ideal if potential members need to make an appointment or buy a membership first. With one click, this ad gives people directions to your business.

Website Conversions: If you’re promoting a special offer or want to encourage people to sign up for a free trial, the website conversions ad is a great way to drive people directly to a landing page on your website. The goal of these ads is to have prospects take an action by clicking the link, so make sure your call-to-action is clear.

Clicks to Website: While website conversions are about having potential members take an action on your site, a clicks to website ad is about driving website traffic more generally. If you have a killer blog or in-depth guidelines for healthy eating, this type of ad will be a great way to get your content in front of more eyes. (If you want to get even more people on your site, see how to Increase Your Website Traffic in 4 Simple Steps.)

Event Ads: Have a special event coming up at your studio? Use an event ad to generate more interest and get more people excited about attending!

Offer Claim Ads: Rather than directing people to a landing page on your website, offer claim ads allow prospects to claim an offer directly on Facebook. So, if you’ve got a discounted class package or a special on gear from your online store, this is an easy way for people to make that purchase.

Lead Generation (Full Form) Ads: This ad is going to collect the most information from your potential members and generate tangible leads for your studio. It does take a little more effort and commitment from your prospects, so it can be one of the most expensive types of ads. But by directing people to enter their information right on Facebook, it’s a surefire way to generate more leads for your studio.

Page Likes: Want to bolster your presence on social media? This ad encourages people to like your Facebook page with just one click right on the ad.

Post Engagements: If you created a post on your Facebook page that did really well with your audience, consider running it as an ad, as well. Giving prospects content they can engage with can encourage them to check out your brand and give your name more visibility. (We’ve got your covered with some content inspiration, as well! Check out 5 Content Ideas for May.)

Where do I start?

If you read through all the options available to you for Facebook ads and thought to yourself, I have no idea where to start, that’s okay — you’re not alone. It’s important to create an ad that will capture your audience’s attention, but it’s even more important to give context and make your desired action clear. So before you start, make sure you’re 100% clear on what it is you’d like your audience to do. Do you want them to sign up for a class? Come in for a free intro session? Knowing what exactly you want to promote can help you decide which type of ad will be best.

And let your audience know what they will be receiving if they click your ad. The biggest mistake businesses make when running Facebook ads is making it complicated for a user to perform the call to action. Setting up complex landing pages with multiple steps is going to create drop off. Make your add attractive, easy to see what you’re offering, and simple for someone to complete the call to action.

Do they work?

Short answer: Yes. The average person spends just under two hours a day on social media, and users like, share, and comment on posts 4.1 million times every minute. There’s ample opportunity to reach people who could become members at your studio. Putting a little money behind your pages on social media will help get your content in front of the right eyes, and therefore drive more leads to your business.

Plus, Facebook offers extensive insight into how your ads are performing. Imagine knowing exactly how many eyes were on a billboard you purchased. With Facebook advertising, you can see how many people saw, clicked, or completed an action on your ad. This allows you to quickly and easily know if your ad killed it or flopped, so you won’t waste money on ads that aren’t going anywhere. With Facebook ads, you can spend smarter and drive revenue to multiple aspects of your business.

 
At SWETI Services, we’ve helped numerous clients set up high-performing Facebook ads that draw in more prospects and keep existing members coming back. Set up a marketing consultation with our team today to learn about how we can do that for your studio too.

 

Kelly Engle, Digital Marketing Specialist

Your website is the hub for your studio. It shows prospects what it looks and feels like to be in your classes, highlights new and exciting workshops that can get your current members more involved, and your well-timed pop-ups are sure to turn any potential member into a lead. But, how can you increase your website traffic? There’s one simple, inexpensive resource for doing this: social media. Social media’s a powerful way to drive future and existing members to your site, and we broke down how to use your existing social pages to increase website traffic:

1. Promote your content

If you regularly publish new content to your website – a blog, new trainer bios, updated class schedules, etc. – use social media to drive clicks to those updated pages. (Not sure if you should start a blog on your site? See more about how it can improve SEO and four other Must-Haves for Your Website.) A well-timed post linking to your new content is an easy way to drive people to your website. And some content is worth publishing more than once. According to Kissmetrics, sharing the same blog post three times over the span of a month doubled clicks as opposed to sharing the blog once. So don’t be afraid to republish info about your newest class or your latest blog about eating mindfully! It will ensure fans who may be online at different times or days can still engage with the post.

How far apart you publish the same content will depend on how often you post as well as the platform itself. For example, it’s common to post multiple times a day on Twitter, so you can push the same content twice in the same week. Whereas on Facebook, you’ll probably want to space out the same content at least a week apart.

 

2. Leverage your content

You shared your website content on social media, and one post is seeing tons of likes, shares, and clicks. Now what? Don’t stop there! Leverage that high-performing content to drive even more members or prospects to your site. If a post is seeing a lot of engagement, it’s probably the perfect post to boost or turn into an ad campaign. Boosting or advertising high-performing content will ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck — you’ve already seen that people want to engage with it, and that organic reach paired with a little monetary boost will help get your content – and therefore your website – in front of the most people.

 

3. Convert

At this point, you’re a social media posting pro. You’re publishing your best content multiple times or boosting your high-performing posts. You’re seeing an increase in engagement and impressions. But, how can you make sure those engaged users are converting and actually clicking to your website? An easy way to make that happen is changing up your language. According to Social Media Explorer, using the following words in social media posts saw a higher conversion rate:

Facebook – Where, When, Tell Us, Inspire, Submit, Deals, Discount, Warns, Amuses

Twitter – ReTweet, Follow, Social Media, New Blog Post, Check Out, Help, Top

LinkedIn – Created, Improved, Increased, Developed, Reduced, Researched

Google+ – Share, Promote, Increase, Create, Discover

4. Engage

If you’ve read our other posts on 4 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media to Increase Retention or 4 Ways You Can Use Instagram to Generate Leads, you already know engaging with users on your social media pages is important. But, it’s worth saying again. Engage with your users! AYTM Market Research found that 42% of Facebook users have mentioned a brand in their content, and 84% of daily Facebook users have liked a brand on that platform. Think about how many chances that creates to get your name in front of new audiences! By logging onto your pages daily to interact with users, you’ll be able to answer any questions, direct people to the right pages on your site, and keep users engaged so they’ll continue interacting with your content (and ultimately increase your website traffic!). You can also easily search your business’s name on social media platforms or use a tool like Mention to see when people are talking about your studio, even if they don’t tag your handle.
Want to learn about even more ways to increase your website traffic? Schedule a consultation with our team today, and see how we can help drive business for your studio.

Nicole Gartside, Social Media Strategist

Think back to the last business you visited. Maybe it was a restaurant down the block or another studio in your area. How did you find them? Did you research them online? If you’re like 81% of shoppers, you did. An optimized, easy-to-use website is crucial for your business since the majority of your potential members will research your studio online before joining. Whether you’re looking to create the first page for your new gym or just hoping to revamp your existing site, we’ve broken down five must-haves for your website:

1. High-quality content

When creating your site, lean heavily on images and graphics. People don’t spend time reading information on sites anymore, and you’re not going to convey what sets your business apart by telling someone — you have to show them. (To read more ways to set your studio apart, check out our blog on Marketing Your Studio to Increase New Memberships.)

You can also consider adding a blog to your site. The most important question, though, if you have one, will you do it? From an SEO-stance, a blog can boost your page ranking if you create content based on keywords you want to hone in on. For example, if you’re a Pilates studio and you specialize in Pilates for injury recovery, then a blog about “X Pilates Moves to Help Prevent Back Injury” can be a useful way of boosting your organic ranking for people searching “Pilates for back injury” or “Pilates for injury recovery.” That type of fresh content can also keep your website higher on Google searches due to their indexing system. Once a week to once a month is a good goal to start with.

2. Call-to-action buttons

When someone visits your site, what action do you want them to take? Do you want them to sign up for a membership? Join your email list? Contact you to set up a consultation? Whatever action it is you most want them to take, make sure you’ve got a clear call-to-action button. And make it specific! Contentverve found that when fitness businesses changed their call-to-action button from “Get your membership” to “Find your gym and get membership,” click-through rates increased by 200%. You can also rely on a well-timed pop-up button on your site to make sure your call-to-action gets in front of site visitors. In fact, many website owners saw up to a 40% sales increase when they used pop-ups.

3. Contact information

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to make sure your contact information is readily available. Studies show that most internet users spend fewer than 15 seconds on a given web page before leaving, so if someone can’t find your contact info in 15 seconds or less, it’s likely you’ll lose them as a potential member. Hyperlinking your contact information can increase usability, as well. This includes an email address, clickable phone number, or a “Contact Us” form for users to submit questions.

4. Mobile-responsive template

So far in 2017, over 50% of website traffic has been from a mobile phone. Even Google found that 61% of its users were unlikely to return to a site if they had trouble accessing it on mobile. So, ensuring your website adapts to any mobile device and has a smooth user interface is crucial. You can do this by either selecting a responsive website template that already works on desktop, tablets and mobile, or developing a mobile-responsive site yourself.

5. Ability to track metrics

While website traffic won’t mean much to your site visitors, it’s important for you as the website owner to know what’s working and what’s not. Google Analytics and Insights give a great rundown of website traffic data. You can get an idea of the number of visitors to the website with a breakdown of first-time visitors vs. returning visitors. You can even see the average amount of time a user spends on your website and the pages they are spending their time on. Month-over-month, you will be able to see which pages are most helpful to your visitors so that when you make any changes to your website, you can be strategic about the content you’re adding.
To learn more, schedule your free marketing consultation with us today! We’d love to talk about how our team can help optimize your studio’s website and drive more leads to your business.

 

Madi Ricci, Account Manager

Instagram is so much more than filters and hashtags. This fast-growing platform is a prime location to not only connect with existing members, but also bring more people into your studio. From content to connecting, check out these 4 ways you can use Instagram to generate leads.

 

1. Optimize your profile

Before you even get started with content, there are some easy ways to ensure your Instagram profile is optimized for lead generation. First, keep your username the same or close to what it is across other social media platforms. This will make your page easier to find if people are researching your studio. Using your logo as your profile picture will also ensure easy brand recognition.

Your Instagram bio is also your only opportunity to include a link to an outside page. URLs do not get hyperlinked in photo captions, unfortunately. Use a targeted landing page in your bio rather than just your homepage. Linking to your contact, free trial, or sign-up pages will increase the likelihood that people clicking the link in your bio will become leads or even members. You can also track how often that link is clicked. Use a site like Bitly that allows you to view how often people visit that page via your Instagram account.

 

2. Produce regular, consistent content

Once you have your profile optimized, it’s time to start posting. Producing content on a regular basis will keep your studio top of mind for followers, and it can also better engage potential members. Iconosquare found that 70% of Instagram users have looked up or followed brands on Instagram, and since it’s a platform that’s frequently used to inform buying decisions, engaging content that gives users insight into your studio can sway them to take the next step. Use high-quality photos of your gym or products, and make sure what you’re posting showcases your studio’s style and personality. Give people a peek into what it’s like to work out there, and you’ll be more likely to attract the right kind of audience.

Sharing real member stories, testimonials and highlighting the emotional, human aspect of fitness is also a powerful message and provides potential members with social proof of how your unique business changes lives. That’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?

 

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are an easy way to get your content in front of new eyes and thus attract more potential members. And while research has shown multiple hashtags per post to be less effective on sites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems the opposite is true on Instagram. Posts with 11 or more hashtags provide the greatest reach and engagement on the platform. So do your research to include relevant hashtags in your content. Include a mix of popular, well-known hashtags that will get lots of eyes on your post (i.e. #workout or #fitspo) along with some tailored, niche, or geo-based hashtags that will target your ideal audience (i.e. #momswholift,  #instarunner or #nycfitness).

You can also create a unique hashtag for your business. Use it on your own content, when commenting on your members’ content, and encourage your most active fans to use it as well, especially when posting photos at your studio. This will help to ensure any content about or at your gym will connect back to your business, making lead acquisition easier.

 

4. Engage

As mentioned above, early studies found that Instagram users are shoppers and rely on the platform to make buying decisions more than most other social media sites. Make them want to buy into your community by offering inspiring and exciting content they can easily share and engage with. Start a conversation with them via the comments. If you can engage with your followers on Instagram, they can become strong brand advocates for your studio and help generate leads through their own content.

You can also engage with other fitness-related businesses in your neighborhood, especially non-competitive businesses with a similar demographic. For example, if you’re a CrossFit box, follow some organic grocers in your area. Or if you’re a yoga studio, try interacting with local massage therapists or fitness clothing retailers. When you comment on their posts, your name will appear in front of their like-minded fans and hopefully inspire them to check out your Instagram account as well.


Could you use some help putting more strategy behind your social media? Click to learn more about the limited-time offering we’ve created to help you increase your lead generation on Facebook and save you time. Our Social+ Package includes a monthly ad campaign, strategic monthly posting, professionally designed images for your pages, and more.

Nicole Gartside, Social Media Strategist