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

It’s okay to admit if you aren’t sure what digital advertising consists of. It has become quite the buzzword in the past few years and now encompasses more than just Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. In this week’s blog post we’ll review the different types of digital advertising and what each is best used for. Of course, we will also give you useful examples you can use at your fitness studio or gym.

 

What’s Digital Advertising Anyways?

First, be aware that you may hear the term “Digital Advertising” interchanged with “Online Marketing” or “Online Advertising”. It’s essentially the same thing. Basically, if you see an advertisement while online, then it is classified as digital advertising. This includes everything from designed banner ads to social media marketing to SEO efforts.

How much should I budget for it?

Based on a recent survey done by Thrive Analytics, small to medium sized businesses’ marketing budgets are on average 14-15% of gross revenue. Meanwhile, a study done by Gartner revealed that 25% of that marketing budget is spent on online advertising. So, based on these figures, if your studio grosses $250,000 per year in revenue your monthly spend for digital advertising would be right around $730 per month.

Our Top 6 Types of Digital Advertising for Fitness Studios:

Google AdWords

Google AdWords are text ads that appear when someone does a Google search. These are PPC (pay-per-click) ads, where you would not pay for your ad to be displayed, but just for each time someone clicks on that ad.

Our advice for fitness businesses: You’ll reach leads that are already warm, as they are actively searching for your services. Be careful to target specific zip codes around you, or your ad spend may end up through the roof. Always use long-tail keywords (very specific search terms like "personal training in Austin, TX") and avoid broad match (single keywords such as "gym").

 

google-adword-example

 

Google Display Network Ads

These are image ads that display on Google’s large network of websites. Go to websites like www.weather.com and take a look at the banner ad at the very top of the page. If you scroll down the page you’ll see square ads on the right-hand side of the screen as well. Display Ads are also PPC and can be set up to only appear for prospects who have visited your website as a form of remarketing to them once they've left your site.

Our advice for fitness businesses: Remarketing is used for lead nurturing, not lead generation. Don’t confuse these two. You’ll still need a method of sending leads over to your website. Don’t stalk your prospects too much to the point of annoying them. Keeping your remarketing duration to about 30 days is sufficient. To optimize your reach, take advantage of all Google's standard ad sizes when creating your ads.

 

banner-display-ad-example     display-ad

Facebook Ads

I’m sure at this point you’ve seen some Facebook Ads come through your newsfeed. These are PPC ads and have proven highly effective if you have a strategy behind them. They can be relatively cheap from a cost-per-click standpoint. Make sure to setup a very targeted audience to ensure the highest possible return on investment (ROI).

Our advice for fitness businesses: Make sure to have a clear call-to-action in each ad. Do not just announce your new intro offer, ask the audience to buy now. For the best possible conversion rate, create a dedicated landing page for that particular call-to-action. Be thoughtful when building out your audience to avoid paying for clicks that are unqualified (live out of town, can’t afford your services, etc.)

 

facebook-ad-example-orange-theory  facebook-ad-example-soulcycle

 

Instagram Ads

If you’re on Instagram, then you’ve likely seen these ads come across your feed as well. You purchase and set up these ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager interface. You can create video ads, photo ads, or carousel ads (just like on Facebook).

Our advice for fitness businesses: Our experience with Instagram Ads has been that it’s great for branding and spreading the word about your business, but has not been a high lead generator. Keep your ads simple and avoid wordy text overlays on your image if possible.

 

instagram-ad-example

 

Bing Ads

Bing Ads work similarly to Google AdWords. These ads just display on the Bing search engine instead of Google. You pay per click only and they are text ads that appear in the right-hand sidebar.

Our advice for fitness businesses: Some of the fitness studios and gyms we’ve worked with have had great success, but they typically have large marketing budgets for ad spend. You’ll get more bang for your buck on Google AdWords if you’re choosing between the two.

 

bing-ad-example

 

YouTube Ads

These ads can be displayed in numerous different ways, from banner ads to in-video overlays to in-stream video ads to many others. YouTube gets over 1 billion views a day and has resulted in many videos going viral.

Our advice for fitness businesses: This platform for advertising is largely untapped, so it offers the ability to stand out as a fitness business. If creating a video ad, use a professional. Avoid a video ad that is a “sales pitch” and stick with something simple, personal and focused on your brand. These are best for brand awareness, a new opening studio, or some other new program launch.

 

youtube-ads-example

 

While there are many other types of digital advertising, these are SWETI’s favorites. We’ve seen a lot of success with different types all depending on your demographic, programs, and local market. Contact us for specific recommendations for your business!

Tia Stone, Director of Marketing

Yelp can be a hot button for many fitness business owners and managers. Everything from responding to bad reviews, to flagging reviews for removal, to the pesky Yelp algorithm that keeps some reviews hidden – Yelp can be a source of stress for small and medium size gyms and studios, but it doesn’t have to be! Below we cover 5 Yelp tips that will eliminate some of the mystery and make your life easier in the process.

 

#1 - Asking for Reviews Is Okay

While Yelp discourages business owners from soliciting reviews, it is not against the terms and conditions to ask for reviews. Keep in mind Yelp strictly prohibits soliciting reviews in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free passes, swag, or discounts on memberships). This means you cannot incentivize customers for positive reviews OR incentivize customers to remove negative reviews. Here are some ways to encourage Yelp reviews:

  • Setup an email to go out to new customers after their first week asking for feedback. People are the most excited the first week of starting a new exercise program and are more likely to tell everyone, on every medium.
  • Place a Yelp badge on your website.
  • Add a link to your Yelp business page in your email signature and/or your automated email setup in your info@ account.
  • Share reviews on Facebook and Twitter.

 

#2 - The Yelp Review Filter Simplified

Have you ever gone to your gym’s Yelp page and scrolled all the way to the bottom “not recommended” section?

Yelp review filter screen shot

This Yelp Review Filter can be the most frustrating part of Yelp. Of all the reviews that come into Yelp, you lose 1/3 or more to the filter. We’ve started working with gyms that had 75% of their reviews in the “not recommended” section. This can obviously be a good and bad thing. Negative, angry rants with 1-star can be hidden, but so can glowing 5-star reviews. This “not recommended” section is continually changing, so if there is a great 5-star review in there, it may eventually show in the recommended reviews section.

According to Yelp, “Every Yelp review is automatically evaluated by Yelp’s recommendation software based on quality, reliability, and user activity on Yelp.” What does this mean for your gym or studio? If you all of a sudden ask all your members to review your business, Yelp will see this as possible spam. If you get an influx of reviews by new Yelp profiles that are incomplete or haven’t reviewed other businesses, these reviews my get filtered out. Check out Yelp’s explanation of their filter video for more details. Of course occasionally legitimate reviews are hidden often, which leads to our next tip…

 

#3 - How to Flag Reviews, Ask for Re-Reviews, and Get Reviews Un-Filtered

There are a few different approaches for taking control (as much as you can) of your Yelp reputation. The most straight forward way is by engaging customers who write great reviews to let them know their review is hidden. Don’t make a big ordeal out of it, just let them know that because they aren’t very active on Yelp, their great review is hidden. In addition to this, you and your staff can friend them on Yelp, mark their review useful or cool – this adds legitimacy.

Another approach is to flag for a number of reasons including: untrue statements, membership or billing issues, or violates Yelp’s Content Guidelines. If you find that your flagged review will not be removed (you will receive an email with the status update) you do have the option to escalate your claim to be re-reviewed. Of course, the success rate here is much lower and you’ll need a very compelling argument to get Yelp to overturn their original decision.

flag yelp review example

 

#4 - Do Not Ignore Negative Reviews

As much as you may feel the urge to ignore negative comments, or even get upset by them – don’t! Be quick when responding to negative reviews – within 2-4 days, be respectful and diplomatic in your responses. This will diffuse the situation, show your great customer services skills, put prospects reading negative reviews at ease, and can possibly persuade the reviewer to change their review later.

Negative Yelp Review Example

 

#5 - Your Yelp Rating Is More Important Than Advertising with Yelp

Sales Reps at Yelp can be quite aggressive, but is their sales pitch really worth exploring? Based on fitness studios and gyms we’ve worked with, we can tell you that your overall rating is much more important than advertising when it comes to ROI.

Advertising on Yelp will get you to the top of the list in your geographic area, but it won’t help if you have a low overall rating. If you are planning to go ahead with Yelp advertising – try out the Yelp Check-In Offers. It’ll be much easier to identify ROI using this form of Yelp advertising.

 

Bottom Line

Start with the above Yelp tips and see how it helps your business grow. If you haven’t done so already – claim your Yelp business page, upload some pictures, begin asking customers to give you feedback, and be responsive to any negative complaints. Don’t forget to make sure you are recording referral sources, so you know how many new customers are coming in because of Yelp reviews.

 

Need help managing your online reputation? SWETI Services is a fitness marketing agency that provides a full suite of marketing services designed to help fitness businesses stand out, grow, and get more customers in the door! Want more tips to improve your marketing? Join our free weekly fitness marketing eTips.

 

Tia Stone, Director of Marketing