Cormac Ryan

Grow Your Business Online

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many industries have suffered as the growing uncertainty & continued social distancing measures have triggered global market shares to plummet. Industries such as airlines, oil and tourism have taken massive hits. Meanwhile, companies supplying things like gym equipment are struggling to meet a skyrocketing demand with many sold out.

The fitness industry in Ireland has suffered significant financial losses as gyms remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic & govt restrictions. While this has left people with nowhere to workout, it has also left owners and staff alike scrambling to stay afloat financially.

In the initial few days, there were fears about the future of the industry as a whole and questions about how fitness business owners could survive weeks or possibly months of closure.

However, almost overnight the industry has turned virtual.  Many gyms and personal training studios have transformed from a brick & mortar business to delivering online classes, livestreams & conducting personal training sessions competently online. Cheap and widely available recording equipment and streaming platforms such as Zoom have allowed most fitness businesses to adapt. The fitness company Beachbody has reportedly experienced a 200% growth in subscribers (approximately 1.5 million subscribers) since moving to online classes.

If you are one of the many gyms or personal trainers that have gone totally online, you have likely got over the initial teething problems of either live-streaming classes or pre-recording & editing workouts at this stage. You should now be focused on retaining as many members as you can with this new business model &  actually growing your business and acquiring new members. 

Ways to Market Your Online Classes

Paid Social Ads

Right now, a lot of businesses in every industry are suspending their ad spend both online & offline. This has actually resulted in a decrease in the cost of social Ads meaning your spend will get you in front of more people. Another factor to consider is that because more people are at home during the restrictions, there are more people online scrolling through social media feeds.   

Here are some tips if you are considering running Ads:

  • Make sure your copy reflects that your classes are online
  • Don’t mention COVID19 or Coronavirus in the headline or Ad copy. Instead focus on how you can deliver value to a person when it comes to them achieving their fitness goals
  • Remember what makes you Authentic. Make sure your Ad copy reflects this. Changing the direction of your business doesn’t mean changing the direction of your identity
  • Have a clear pathway for signing up for your online classes. Ensure you have clear call to actions (CTAs)  and any of the leads you generate should go to a landing page, which should be optimised to convert leads into signing up for online classes. This is vital for the success of any paid campaigns.
  • Have the correct tracking in place. Ensure the relevant pixels are in place tracking the relevant events from your paid campaigns. This will provide you with a clear ROI from any spend you undertake
  • Remember there is no set amount you need to spend on social media or set cost. Start small and adjust when necessary.

Free Online Classes as Trials

Many Gyms and Personal Trainers have now begun hosting live classes for free online through platforms such as Facebook Live, Youtube Live and Instagram Live. While this is a good idea to generate interest in your classes, you will eventually need to begin signing up paying members to allow your business to grow and ultimately survive. 

A good idea is to post one live stream weekly or bi-weekly that can act as a free trial to interested leads. Take this opportunity to provide some insights into what your paid classes offer and how participants can sign up.

Organic Content

f you don’t have a regular social media presence, it will be as if you don’t exist. Posting regularly to social media is a long term strategy that  may not yield any results in the short term. Updated social algorithms  are making it harder and harder for content to be seen. 

However the reality is that not posting on your social channels regularly will give a poor impression of your business to potential leads. Now that your business has gone online, there is so much content that you can post regularly, such as class pictures and videos, workout and nutrition tutorials, class timetables, motivational quotes, and member transformation stories. If an existing customer recommends you to a friend the likelihood will be that they will check out your online presence including your social media channels and inform an impression on your Business based on your content.

In Summary

Moving your fitness business online is a big step, and the path to success can be challenging but shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. It’s a necessary step to retain as many members as possible & potentially grow your business by acquiring new members by  proving you can still provide the same value and member experience online. 

If you are a Gym owner or Personal Trainer and need some help with your online marketing say and the team would be happy to do an over the phone or zoom consultation.

Henry Ford once said “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time”

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