According to the Fitness Industry Association, around 12 percent of gym goers sign up in January, more than any other month – and according to Gold’s Gym, its traffic jumps 40 percent between December and January. What better time to learn about digital marketing strategy, specialised for the fitness industry, than right now – at the start of not just a new year, but a new decade.

Chess set
Photo credit: 012

Customer Experience

Never has there been more emphasis on customer experience before. Great customer experience is an amazing marketing strategy, in a time where companies are experiencing more and more competition every year. The world is constantly evolving, it seems that more people are beginning to take health seriously: with the rise of veganism, vegetarianism and by the number of new gyms that are opening.

In fact, the 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry report revealed that there are more gyms, more members, and a greater market value than there ever has been in history. The fitness industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing industries in the UK, and with that comes competition and saturation. Customer experience is the vital way to stand out.

If you watch Netflix, you’ll notice probably the best example of customer experience: the programmes and ‘suggestions’ are tailored to you, as a viewer. Where Netflix majorly succeeded was with a psychological principle known as ‘The Reciprocity Principle’, in other words ‘you have to give to get’.

How did Netflix apply the principle? By giving viewers a sneak peek of an extensive catalogue of movies and tv shows, customers were more likely to sign up for a free trial – and that is directly transferrable to the fitness industry.

If you own a gym, let people have a free session or come with a friend for free. If you own a fitness equipment company, give people free bonus equipment and offer a good refund policy. 1stPhorm, a high performance nutrition company, offer a 110% money back guarantee.

That’s the confidence they have in their product and the respect they have for their customer, that they will actually give the customer more money than they paid if they’re not satisfied – which has grew 1stPhorm into a $175M+ company.

Influencer Marketing

In short, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing, whereby a company endorses a person or company that has a large social influence in their field. The fitness industry is one of the biggest examples of influencer marketing out there today.

There are individuals on social media, ranging from people who have managed to amass 10,000 followers on Instagram to celebrities with millions of followers that are being paid by fitness companies to promote their products.

With reports showing that 8 out of 10 companies had a dedicated influencer marketing budget in 20191, influencer marketing is, and will be, a great digital marketing strategy for fitness companies. The first thing to decide about influencer marketing, is which platform to start on.

Research has shown that nearly 88% of companies use Instagram for influencer marketing2, whilst Facebook comes in at 2nd with 42%3 and YouTube 3rd with 37%4. The most important thing to know is where is your companies target audience.

For the fitness industry, this will primarily be on Instagram and YouTube, but take some time to seek out what platforms your specific target audience is mainly using.

Influencer using phone
Photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco

Search Engine Optimisation & Google Ads

Rule #1: never underestimate the power of the words you use. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a decisive component of any digital marketing strategy. It’s what allows you to be organically seen, which can exponentially increase your customers, and therefore profits, as well as limiting the amount of money you would subsequently need to spend on other advertising means to reach the same number of customers.

In order to implement SEO into your digital marketing strategy, it is important to know how it works.

A search engines goal is to find the most relative information someone is searching for. Think of them as a matchmaker – they provide what someone is searching for with the most relevant results for them. Search engines perform 3 different tasks: firstly, they discover the content on the internet, then they list all of the information found by the software, and finally they rank the most relevant results to match what the user searched for. SEO includes both on-site and off-site optimisation, which are both important ways to make your webpages SEO friendly.

Keyword research is what will make or break your SEO plan. By knowing what your customers are searching for, you can use those words in your product titles, descriptions or blog posts. By using a simple keyword research tool, you can find that ‘planet fitness’ is the most searched keyword related to the fitness industry (2,240,000).

When choosing keywords there are three aspects to consider: 1. Frequency (how often it is searched), 2. Competition (focus on long-tail keywords that aren’t highly competitive) and 3.

Relevance (how relevant is it to your business and your target customer). Google also rank webpages based on their location, so if you’re a gym, or a bricks and mortar store, make sure to be on Google maps and include your location in the text on your website.

After you’ve found keywords and made your website SEO optimised, the next part of your digital strategy should be to run Google Ads. When utilising paid search advertising, you bid for your max cost per click (CPC). Search engines use two factors to determine which ads are displayed first: 1.The bid and 2.The relevance. That means that if a competitor has bid £1.50 per click for the keyword ‘fitness’ and you have only bid £1, your ad could still show above theirs if it is more relevant to what the customer searched. It is important to note you are only charged your bid when a customer clicks on the ad.

Facebook & Instagram Advertising

Instagram on phone
Photo credit: NeONBRAND

Lastly, running Instagram and Facebook Ads is a great plan to implement into your digital marketing strategy. They allow you to specifically target customers based on location, job status, relationship status, interests, hobbies and much more.

Whilst search advertising puts your company in-front of those that search for it, social media advertising allows you to put your business in-front of those that show an interest in your industry. One of the best ways to utilise Facebook and Instagram ads is to market to customers that have previously bought from you before, as they are likely to be more profitable. You can then target ‘look-a-like- audiences that share similar characteristics.

As with all advertising, one of the most important factors is to test before blowing all your marketing budget. See what works, test different keywords for your Google Ads and target different demographics on your Facebook and Instagram Ads. This way you cam get an overview of where best to focus your marketing efforts.

Talk to us

That should give you a few things to think about if you are in the fitness industry. If you would like to talk to someone about it we are all ears.


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