Spring Cleaning Your Club Marketing: Five Step Makeover
Operating a club is like running a marathon. While lifting weights. And occasionally sprinting. And doing 100 other things in any given week. It’s the variety that keeps the job challenging and interesting, but the downside of being such a hands-on manager is that there’s little time for doing everything else that must be done but which gets moved down the priority list. Letting members know about new classes and schedules, offers and incentives, and attracting new members to keep your club community thriving and business growing.
As the crush of Q1 new year busyness dies down, take a breather and consider these five easy steps for a club marketing makeover. Think of it as spring cleaning, even if the snow is still falling where you are:
Make Social Media Work Harder
Nobody doubts the importance of social media as an important club marketing tool, but it’s easy to deprioritize Facebook and Instagram as your team gets busy with day to day operations. Try and plan a week or a month of posts in advance and create a calendar of content like an online magazine or newspaper might. Break that calendar into easy manageable content pieces: a series of rotating short interviews with instructors on Instagram Live, quick workout tips for members, upcoming events and promotions, or a weekly focus on your celebrity on-demand content. Try one big event, perhaps every quarter. A real world and/or virtual marathon. HIIT performance class challenge during National Heart Month. Use hashtags that members can find easily to make your content easily viewable across your social channels.
New – and Existing Member – Appreciation
All those members who signed up in January after the holidays, need to know you appreciate them and you’re thinking about them. Many clubs onboard new members with a tour and orientation and then leave them to their own devices. Think about extending that program. Assign new members to a free personal trainer for a day or more who can immediately build workout schedules and help them sign up for classes appropriate to their goals. And don’t forget about legacy and current members too – which can be all too easy at this time of year. Focus a spring member email on current member appreciation and consider offering thank you certificates or discounts for spa treatment at the club, or a session with a trainer or nutritionist. Introduce a free buddy week where current members can bring a friend every day for a week and collect guest details for new member marketing later. And don’t forget free club branded workout gear like hats and tees to get your brand out onto the streets.
Use Ready Made Marketing Tools from Partners
FitnessOnDemand produces a monthly marketing tool kit for club partners. Whether you work with us or another provider, make use of any marketing tools like this you can. Kits can include downloadable, easy print materials for in-club signage, ideas for national days, months and weeks to create events for members, free punch cards and tips to promote on-demand content to members.
How long has it been since your club website had a refresh? Along with your club app it’s the single most important piece of marketing collateral you have. A centralized home for member reviews, instructor stories and tips, schedules for classes and events and a wealth of other content like nutrition plans, workout advice and samples of your on-demand class content. It’s important to update your site at least weekly with educational blog content for members and ensure you’re embedding search terms that members or new prospect members may be using when googling fitness in their area. If you don’t have a news page or a showcase for your workout content, it’s time to prioritize this and use social media teasers and links to drive attention to the website where you can deliver all kinds of messages to visitors.
Instructors as Ambassadors
Whether your instructors are on staff or partners to your club, they’re valuable ambassadors for your club brand and what you do. Make sure they’re rewarded in several key ways. Provide them with a full set of club brand equipment and apparel that’s appropriate for what they offer: yoga and Pilates matts, gym bags and wearables. More than this though, give them the tools to talk about other club offerings that make sense to their classes. Provide tips and shareable links to your on-demand content that fits well with the classes they teach and offers members additional value. Create special meet the instructor sessions for new members and members new to group fitness and compensate your instructors for these extra sessions. And help them wherever you can with the tools and ideas to stream their live classes to other members beyond the club walls.
Promoting your club shouldn’t be rocket science, but it does require discipline and planning to do well. Set aside as little as a half day once a quarter and bring any member of your team together who needs to be involved from club events to social media content managers. Plan your next quarter’s content, promotions, events and member engagement tactics, work your social media channels and keep your website fresh – and you’ll reap the marketing rewards for doing so.