Combining offline and online marketing to drive results for your facility.
Taking a multi-channel approach to your facility’s marketing is a great way to target potential customers within your community.
What is a multi-channel approach? It means including both online and ‘offline’ tactics to increase your chances of successfully attracting more members — and engaging (and retaining) your current members.
It means combining the power of social media with more tactile and personal approaches that a local health club, gym or fitness facility is well-positioned for, such as flyers, classes and special events.
Attracting local customers
Our friends at Life Fitness US recently published a list of ways gyms and health clubs can attract local customers without using social media.
“Use social media to drive branding, awareness and connections outside your immediate region, and offline marketing to better target potential customers within your community,” says Jessica Thiefels, a fitness expert and author of the blog.
Jessica’s ideas for offline marketing are worth considering. They include:
• Meet face-to-face with an event
Staging an event at your club allows your members to get to know each other face-to-face, which social media doesn’t allow you to do. Sponsoring an event may also be an option for your facility.
Research shows that members who come to the gym more often stay a member for longer, so it’s a good idea to have regular special events to keep current members engaged. It also provides opportunities for potential members to experience the facility and sign up.
• Direct mail
Email newsletters are great but they can get lost in a crowded inbox. However, mailing out physical brochures or postcards to your local area is harder to ignore. They go direct to your customers and potential customers’ doors, informing them of new offers, classes and discounts they may not have been aware of. An additional benefit is that you can reach more of your local area than those who signed up for your EDM.
If your budget allows, making merchandise featuring your facility’s branding is a great idea. It means your members are taking their love of your gym out into the wider world, wearing your hoodies or hats, generating awareness in the local community.
Combining online and offline
It’s the combination of the digital and the traditional that has real power.
For example, you could use the Attract Screens feature on Life Fitness SE3HD cardio console to advertise upcoming events, new classes or even your Member of the Month. You can then push out this information on social media and into your EDMs.
Similarly, staging events in your facility is a great idea — but in order to get non-members informed about it, you need some level of social media marketing to get out the word. That might mean promotional videos and posts about upcoming events, sales drives, classes etc.
These will deliver a message about getting potential members to come into the gym. Once people are in the gym, they can see the environment and will (hopefully) decide to become a member.
You can then capture these events on video and in photos (with members’ permission of course!) to further promote the facility on social media. This will show how fun and inviting your facility is.
“Social media is a valuable tool for all businesses, but to connect with local customers, you need to consider offline marketing as well,” says Jessica. “Show potential customers who you are, and let them know you’re close by, to build lasting relationships.”
If you want to learn more ways to attract new customers, get in touch today.