Go ahead, double check that calendar. Ready or not, the holidays are just around the corner. And if you were planning your annual “happy holidays” post to Facebook and a special new member promotion leading up to Near Year’s, that’s fine. But, we think you can do better with your fitness holiday marketing.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s — they’re all holidays about family, fun, and indulgence. Come January 1st, people will flock to their local gyms and studios with the hopes of getting back in shape, taking off the extra holiday pounds, or finally achieving that fitness resolution. But, waiting until late December or even early January to put your studio out there will mean getting left behind.

If you’re looking to drum up new memberships and sales leading up to the holidays — and be well-positioned to take on plenty of “resolution-ers” as new members — then you’ll want to try these 6 creative ways to pump up for your fitness holiday marketing.

 

#1: Celebrate early

No, we’re not giving you permission to open up your gifts two whole months early. Get people thinking about those upcoming New Year’s resolutions by sparking the holiday spirit a little early. That way, your content won’t get lost in the shuffle come December.

This could mean a “Santa’s Come Early” new member special or even a “Headstart on the Holidays” fitness challenge, encouraging people to get in shape before the holidays instead of waiting until after. If you’re the first studio in your area to get members thinking about getting in shape for the holidays, you’ll have a big leg up on your competitors.

#2: Refresh your gift cards

Gift cards are a simple, practical gift during the holidays, so make sure yours catch members’ attention. If you’ve had the same gift cards for a few years, try refreshing the design. Or, you can order special holiday-style gift card holders to get people thinking ahead on their Christmas list.

Place the gift cards in an easy to see spot – like your reception desk – and consider giving members’ the option to purchase a gift card online. In 2016, 71% of gift card purchasers said they’d purchased a gift card or coupon online, so give people multiple ways to give the gift of fitness.

(And if you’re directing people to a landing page to purchase those gift cards, check out Landing Pages 101 to see how your studio can create landing pages that convert.)

#3: Bolster your presence on review sites

Last time you went out to dinner, found a new doctor’s office, or went shopping for clothes, did you look at the business’s online reviews first? If you’re like 92% of modern consumers, you probably did.

When January 1st comes around, everyone and their mother is going to be on a hunt for the best fitness studio in town. Make sure you stand out on review sites so prospects find you first. Encourage happy current members to write reviews this November and December, or reach out to your email list requesting feedback. You can even offer a first-time check-in special on Yelp to encourage prospects to stop in (and leave a positive review!). Invest time this month into making your studio look its best on review sites, and your work will easily pay off in 2018.

#4: Boycott the holidays

Okay, we’re not recommending actually boycotting the holidays — just using that trope to have fun with your marketing. If your studio has a tougher, more serious atmosphere that doesn’t mesh well with the cheer and merriment of the holiday season, you can organize campaigns or studio challenges that are “anti-holiday” in a fun and light-hearted way.

With shopping, traveling, and so much more, the holidays can be a stressful time too. If your marketing and programming uniquely focuses on that side of the holidays, you’ll pique the interest of people who are already a little tired of the holiday spirit. For example, you can organize a “Skip the Shopping” class one Saturday, encouraging people to forget about stressful holiday shopping and take time for themselves instead. Or, you can tempt new members to spend on themselves instead with a new member special.

#5: Holiday meal help

Position your studio as a valuable resource during the holidays by offering some help with eating well. Organize an email or social media campaign with tips for eating healthy during Thanksgiving, or offer a customized meal plan when members purchase a personal training package.

Eating well during the holidays is hard. And when you reach out to lend a hand to members and prospects, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they’re ready to join a gym or start visiting their existing studio more often.

 

#6: Have fun with holiday classes

Around the holidays, turn classes into events. Literally — organize a themed holiday class, and drum up excitement with a Facebook invite, evite, or posters around the club. Playing up the holidays in one of your classes can be an easy and fun way to motivate members to try classes they haven’t yet or get back in the gym after a long time away. You can even turn your themed classes into lead generation tools by inviting members to bring a guest for free. Or, you can get the community involved by organizing a donation-based event benefitting a local charity.

If your studio hasn’t started thinking about marketing for the holidays, don’t delay! Thoughtful, targeted marketing leading up to the new year is a vital way to keep members engaged, draw prospects to your studio, and be well-positioned for the New Year’s resolution boom.

 

But, we get it — well-rounded, multi-media marketing can be daunting. That’s why SWETI Services is here to help with a gift just for you: a complimentary marketing review. Our team can get you up and running with a targeted marketing campaign just in time for the holidays. All you have to do is schedule your free marketing review today.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

It’s not easy choosing just the right stock photo for a gym or fitness studio. It seems most fitness stock models are under-dressed (for the thousandth time, underwear does NOT count as shorts), over-excited (trust us: no one is that jazzed about Zumba) or have never stepped foot in a gym before (ummm that machine doesn’t…well…whatever, forget it).

But, there are some fitness stock photos that are just downright wrong. And to save you the trouble of going out and finding them, we’ve pulled together just for you — the world’s worst fitness stock photos.

Enjoy.

 

Real life reaction to, “The whole front row of bikes is open — why don’t you move up?”

Real talk: When was the last time you saw someone in an electric blue terrycloth headband? There also isn’t any context to this pose since the background is stark white. We’d avoid using an image like this for your fitness business. Choose a photo that’s a little less over-the-top and a little more relatable.

 

“I am a powerful businesswoman. This is my power pose.”

Real talk: When choosing stock photos, pick a believable scenario. You want an image about healthy habits in the workplace to look like you captured someone in the middle of their day, not like…well, this.

 

Working up a sweat, but mascara still on point.

Real talk: It’s a gym, not a Revlon ad. Pick photos of people actually getting active.

 

“Alright, Bryan, pose on that machine. Not that kind of posing, Bryan, just use the equipment. Oh forget it, let’s just shoot this thing.”

Real talk: We’re not even going to touch that tricep dip form. But in reality, overly-posed photos likely won’t appeal to people who are looking to get fit — try to find photos that feel more natural.

 

DID NO ONE TELL BRYAN YOU’RE NEVER SUPPOSED TO MAKE EYE CONTACT ON THIS MACHINE?

Real talk: Don’t make eye contact on this machine.

 

“Oh hey, we didn’t see you there. Won’t you join us?”

Real talk: Let’s take a minute to talk about what is happening here. Nothing. Nothing is happening here. This model is literally just placing his hands on another model to make it look like he’s helping her work out. If you want an image that highlights personal training, be sure to use one that gives your audience confidence that your personal trainers are actually skilled and knowledgeable.

 

From the gym to the club. If you can make it out of the gym without breaking your ankle.

Real talk: As Austinites, we get it — when you’re working out in the summer, you want to wear less clothing so you can stay cool. But, when it comes to choosing a relatable image for your gym, there’s a difference between dressing practically and dressing like literally no one in your studio is dressed. And if you know someone who can do any sort of workout in shoes like that, consider us very impressed. And nervous for their safety.

A poster for the Lifetime Original Movie, Carl, John, the Scale, and Me.

Real talk: What is going on here?? You don’t need to fit every healthy living visual into one image — focus instead on one lifestyle photo at a time to really capture the image of healthy living.

 

“Throw the Precious into the fire!”

Real talk: We said it before, but we’ll say it again: Context is everything. Though this may give off the “intense” and “powerful” vibes, it’s a little too literal.

 

The title of this photo is, “Two Women Making Exercising.” We did not make that up.

Real talk: If you’re trying to convince an audience that working out will be enjoyable and rewarding, you’ll probably want to choose a photo where people actually look like they’re enjoying themselves. And can we agree at this point to just not use photos with an all-white background? Ok, good.

We’re not gonna lie — we just added this one in here to make you smile. #FriendshipGoals

Real talk: Yes, this photo is adorable. But, if your goal is to target a more mature audience, it’s better to choose an image that shows the safe, effective and assisted exercises they’ll be able to do with your studio.

 

One more real talk for you: If you own, operate, or work at a fitness studio, schedule your free marketing review with us today. We’d love to talk with you about how we can take your studio’s marketing efforts to the next level. And we promise to never use any of these photos.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

 

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

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

If you are still strategizing for your November social media calendar, then you have come to the right place! These suggestions will boost attendance in class, improve your reach on Facebook, target new prospects and satisfy current customers. Your content should reflect the month’s themes of thankfulness and giving, so take a look for some inspiration!

Topic Ideas for Your November Marketing Calendar

1 – #ThankfulThursday

Highlight instructors or trainers in your blog or on social media expressing what they are thankful for related to health and fitness. Encourage comments, shares and likes by your team to help increase engagement. This a great way to showcase your employees and incorporate the holiday. It can also be a conversation starter with your followers.

2 – Holiday Pound Prevention

Create a challenge for your members to attend a certain number of classes before Turkey Day. Encourage your members to participate by coming to class and checking in on Facebook. Consider offering a prize for those who reach a certain number of check-ins! Using a Facebook check-in challenge will expose their Facebook friends to your brand and boost attendance in your classes.

 

earn-your-bird-social-media-graphic-example

 

3 – Thanksgiving Day

Be sure to thank your followers and members for being a part of your #fitfam. Use a quote that expresses your gratitude or post something with some humor. Stick to your brand voice and create something that will resonate with your members.

 

thankful-quote-graphic-example   be-thankful-graphic-image-example   thanksgiving-work-off-the-stuffing-tomorrow-graphic-image

 

4 – Black Friday Giveaway

If you have merchandise or a class pack that you are willing to use for a giveaway, Black Friday is a great opportunity. Post a photo of the item on Facebook or Instagram, and have your followers comment by tagging a friend to enter. The winner and the friend will receive the prize! If the winner’s friend is not a member of your studio or gym, this is a great opportunity to get them in the door and wow them! This contest will also boost awareness for your Facebook page and Instagram profile since the members are tagging their friends.

5 – Friendsgiving is a holiday, too!

Friendsgiving is the perfect time to encourage members to bring friends or family into your studio or gym. Offer a bring a friend for FREE promotion as your gift for this fun holiday. Get new prospects in the door and leave them wanting more!

6 – Obscure Holidays

Here is a list of all of the obscure holidays happening during November. Use these holidays for unique social media posts or to promote a fun class!

November is World Vegan Month and Peanut Butter Lovers Month

November 1st – Extra Mile Day (go the extra mile)

November 8th – Tongue Twister Day

November 12th – Happy Hour Day

November 13th – World Kindness Day

November 17th – Take A Hike Day

November 22nd – Go For A Ride Day

November 26th – Small Business Saturday

 

Need help with your marketing? 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! Contact us to learn more.

 

Paige Kroll, Social Media + Digital Marketing Coordinator