The Buzz: Best Practices for Integrating Digital into Your Club
Every month we check in with club operators, instructors, members and other partners to get a feel for what they’re all hearing and seeing in the nation’s clubs. This month: the low down on how clubs are best integrating digital for members on site and at home.
Virtually Anywhere – Make Content Move with Members
Mobile on-demand fitness classes and content was growing sharply as a club offering way before the pandemic, but the past six months has made anywhere access a must do for clubs and members alike. For club operators it’s just as much a member benefit offering as a way to keep members engaged with their club, their brand and the kinds of classes they enjoy in-studio. And for members, who may not have fully returned to their pre-pandemic schedules and routines, it’s a necessary seamless experience where they can choose to attend a live class at the club, call it up at home or find a balance but keep their workouts going seamlessly.
Managing Smaller, Safer Classes – with On-Demand Classes
Thanks to Covid-19 safety precautions clubs have cut class sizes to give members the necessary six feet or more of social distancing in their studios. Many members admit they love the generous personal space – but that it can sometimes be more difficult to snag a slot in classes that fit their schedule. Clubs are turning to virtual classes and digital content as a way to help members get their fix of their favorite workouts perhaps during off peak hours in studio or on-demand at home. In addition to live and on-demand virtual classes other clubs are adding streaming classes to their member offerings using Instagram, Facebook Live and other social platforms to reach and engage members with an ever wider universe of virtual experiences.
Getting Balance Right – a Diverse Digital Portfolio for Best Member Experience
Clubs are demanding a wide diversity of content for in-studio and at-home members to cover all bases. Both instructor-guided and solo content in cycling, HIIT, core strength, specialist workouts and stretch and recovery are all proving incredibly popular with club members. Club operators are also offering short form content 12-20 minutes for members who need an a quick workout fix at home, or want to add to a free weights or other strength training session at the club. To create an optimal digital content portfolio, or assess the content packages you’re currently using, it’s a good idea to work with three criteria in mind: 1) Duration – 12,20, 45 and 60 minute classes, workouts and sessions offer maximum versatility within club and members’ own schedules for fitness; 2) a combination of must have classes (yoga, HIIT, cycling, core-strengthening) as well as in vogue or emerging content from well-known instructors and fitness brands to keep members engaged, excited and coming back for more; and 3) Accessibility wherever a member needs it: touch screen in studio, on a mobile device within the club, or via on demand streaming services like FLEX from FitnessOnDemand on their home TV’s and computer screens.
Seasonality and Topicality – Engaging Members at the Right Times
Two last elements to think about when optimizing your virtual fitness content are seasonality and topicality. Fall and winter seasons are around the corner for every club. Even with Covid-19, we’re all going to see an influx of other members bringing all of their fitness needs inside when the temperature drops. Making classes, workouts and other content available, easy to find and engage, with can help members get the most out of their membership when clubs get busy. At other times member interest in specific workouts and classes spikes due to what’s going on in the world. A surge in interest around cycle and spin classes during the Tour de France, this year a rush to treadmills during virtual marathons, and so on. These windows make excellent opportunities for marketing topical workouts, classes and content to members who are looking for it, or may want to try it. Reach out through social media channels and e-blast communications and encourage people to go for it.
Are you a club operator looking to offer virtual fitness options for your members? Complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.