Over the last year, the pandemic has transformed consumer mindsets, and new trends have evolved at pace. When it comes to wellness, there’s now a much more holistic view that combines various aspects of wellbeing, including mental health, nutrition, and physical activity.
And as more people invest in all parts of their health and wellbeing, there’s a big opportunity for fitness businesses to innovate with wellness marketing and reach a previously untapped audience.
But first, it’s important to understand how the pandemic has changed the wellness space, and to take a look at some of the brands that are excelling in the sector.
- Why 2021 Is an Exciting Time for Wellness
- 3 Successful Health and Wellness Brands Shaking Up the Sector
- The Key to Wellness Marketing for Gyms and Studios
- 7 Ways Gyms Can Embrace Wellness Marketing
Why 2021 Is an Exciting Time for Wellness
It makes sense that through lockdown, with people spending more time at home than ever, spending has surged in health and wellness compared to traditionally popular areas like fashion.
(Right now, there’s more value in that new meditation app than a new outfit that you can only showcase in your living room.)
And so despite the disruption of COVID-19, the wellness industry is booming. According to estimates from IMARC Group, the global health and wellness market is expected to reach a value of $4.24 Billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.10% during 2021-2026.
In a nutshell; wellness is a global billion-dollar industry that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Consumer awareness is on the up, and technology is shaking up the sector; everything from improving sleep and optimizing workouts to personalized supplements and boutique fitness is contributing to helping people lead an all-around healthy lifestyle.
Many factors are driving innovation in the wellness industry. The huge growth in digital fitness has seen gyms quickly pivot to deliver exceptional fitness experiences to people at home, and technology is driving innovation in home-fitness equipment to match. We know by now that the future of fitness is hybrid; the most successful gyms and studios will provide both digital and physical memberships to cater to a growing home audience.
With multiple sectors affected by the pandemic, we’re seeing changes in how people shop for groceries, with more people relying on meal kit deliveries, subscription services, and online food shopping.
Other areas seeing growth are telehealth and corporate wellness. Mental health services and solutions continue to expand and be a significant focal point for both consumers and corporate audiences.
With huge innovation in the sector, traditional players in the wellness world face challenges. Consumers are choosing experience over services and technology is essential in meeting demand and creating the level of personalization that is expected. Overpriced gimmicks are out, and authenticity and expert-backed evidence are in.
It’s certainly an exciting time to be involved in the wellness industry, but with so much transformation underway, finding the right health and wellness marketing strategies to grow your business can feel like a daunting task. Technology is bringing brands and audiences closer together in ways like never before, and as with any marketing strategy, it’s about getting the right message to the right audience, at the right time. In the next section, we’ll take a look at 3 wellness brands doing just that.
3 Successful Health and Wellness Brands Shaking Up the Sector
With techy solutions to age-old problems, the main players in the wellness world remove entry barriers and make health and fitness accessible to anyone, anywhere. With smooth digital experiences and top-level personalization, here are three wellness brands currently making waves in the wellness space.
Gympass makes corperate fitness easy. The brand offers access to over 50,000 gyms, studios, and wellness apps with just one membership. With one pass, employees can access a ton of different facilities and classes. Although the COVID-19 outbreak had the potential to massively affect the business, Gympass quickly pivoted to live-streaming classes and continued to support partners and members throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Ritual is a wellness brand that is all about reinventing multivitamins. The brand’s marketing message is all about simplicity supported by scientific evidence. With some very aesthetically-pleasing packaging, Ritual believes that transparency is key, and that shines through in all their content and marketing materials.
3. Xponential Fitness
Xponential Fitness is the largest curator of boutique fitness brands in the world. Its portfolio includes names like CycleBar, Row House, StretchLab, and Pure Barre. The organization is thriving with a diverse portfolio of fitness concepts. The business transforms fitness concepts into professional and successful brands on a global level with crisp content and marketing strategies.
Authenticity and integrity have a big role to play in wellness marketing. It’s clear that a lot of the top wellness brands are looking to market their product or solution in a way that’s real and relevant to their target audience.
The Key to Wellness Marketing for Gyms and Studios
Of course, gyms and studios are primarily fitness businesses. But most of today’s fitness businesses offer so much more than fitness alone. Today’s gyms are building communities and bringing people together with overall wellness.
It’s new classes focused on mindfulness and meditation. It’s events that bring people together to socialize for the benefit of their mental health. It’s nutrition advice or recipes, and daily health hacks that people can put into action to live happier, healthier lives. And obviously, exercising plays a crucial part of this.
In essence, the key to successful wellness marketing for your fitness business is to promote a variety of content. You’re not just a gym; you’re a one stop shop for all things wellness. Next, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can weave this into your marketing efforts.
7 Ways Gyms Can Embrace Wellness Marketing
1. Remind Your Members That Wellness is About More Than Fitness
A simple wellness-focused quote can be an excellent way to inspire and engage your audience on social media. You can search for popular inspirational quotes and reshare them (as long as you credit the original source when you post it to your account.) You don’t have to suddenly start sharing this type of content every time you post, but they tend to generate a good amount of engagement, so think about sharing something like this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The simple, yet effective examples below are taken from The Squad, a fitness business in Cork, Ireland, and SoulCycle.
The Top 10 Barriers Slowing Your Fitness Business Growth
2. Run Wellness Events for Your Community
A wellness event is a great way to bring your members together for something other than fitness. You can get creative when it comes to what the event might include, but you can start by looking for inspiration close to home; it’s likely that some of your staff have expertise in specific areas of wellness. Think along the lines of running a variety of talks, with a different wellness expert contributing to each one. Where you can, team up with different brands to offer prizes that will incentive members to sign up and take part. Below, we’ve mapped out a simple event idea that you can promote to members in an email.
_ _ _
Hey [First name]
We’ve got some exciting news for our community!
We know that staying active is important for our well-being, and that’s why we love working out with you guys. You know how good it feels once you get to the end and those endorphins are pumping through your body!
But we also know that wellbeing is about more than exercise alone. And we’re so excited to bring you more with our first-ever Wellness Weekend!
Our new, weekly member-exclusive event will include expert-led seminars covering all things wellness, exciting giveaways with some fantastic brands, and lots of laughs.
There’s a limited number of places for this feel-good event, so check out the link below to find out more and secure your tickets!
_ _ _
3. Share Expert Advice on Different Areas of Wellbeing
Credibility is crucial to successful content, especially when it comes to wellness. Consumers are looking for evidence, expert knowledge, and scientifically-backed solutions. Content that provides potential clients with new resources and information drives value, brand authority, and awareness.
As a fitness industry expert, it’s likely that you have a wealth of advice to share with your community. But take a step back and ask yourself what else you, or members from your team, have authoritative knowledge in. Perhaps someone has an educated background in nutrition, or another aspect of wellness that your members might find useful, like life coaching.
If you don’t already have this within your team, make a conscious effort to source an expert who can offer their advice. You could offer this up as a Q&A webinar session, or a guest blog post on your gyms website.
4. Inspire and Support Your Community
When a brand’s core message is authentic and has a purpose, it helps to create consistency and allows you to deliver the relevant message to your audience. Authenticity is becoming a key part of marketing. Whether it’s social media, content marketing, or a full TV campaign, brands that are real and create a genuine connection with customers will be in a stronger position to succeed.
Your purpose is who you are and what you want to achieve. When it comes to wellness marketing, your purpose is to inspire and support your community, and this gives your members excellent value: you’re going above and beyond what’s expected of a “typical gym”, by taking a holistic approach to overall wellbeing.
5. Partner up With Brands and Influencers to Promote Wellness
Partnership marketing is a great way to boost brand awareness and increase your credibility in the wellness space. In practice, this could work with a local wellness business, like a health-food store, to provide your members with nutrition talks or even run a giveaway together. Both you and the store run a competition across your marketing channels and each pick a winner. The prize could be a selection of classes at your gym, and a selection of wellness products from the store.
You can apply this in a similar way to working with an influencer; either running a giveaway or a seminar with an influencer that has authority in the wellness industry. It doesn’t have to be a huge influencer with millions of followers, you can start by seeking out influencers in your local area. The focus should be finding influencers that align well with your brand and have a good level of engagement – not just on the follower number.
6. Highlight Real People
Consumers like to be treated as people and not just a transaction. On top of this, people like brands to feel like real people. This means that brands should work to focus on people and not just the service or product.
When it comes to wellness, there are a few simple ways you can use people to inspire others. It could be through championing a member by sharing their mental health journey, or a regular spot that showcases a different member from your team and their wellness experience. Think about the human qualities you want to portray and how it will make the audience feel.
7. Invest in Your Community
Personalization sounds a bit like a buzzword in 2020, but it continues to be one of the most effective ways to maximize your marketing efforts.
To engage your members, you need to get to know them, and there’s plenty of ways you can do this through your marketing channels. Get personal with your wellness marketing; create a weekly feature on your Instagram to encourage people to share their experience and inspire others. You can do this by using the questions feature in Instagram stories. Every Friday, ask a question that will generate some uplifting answers like “What are you grateful for this week?” or “What are you looking forward to in the next week?”
You can then share audiences’ responses, which will encourage more people to reflect on the question and inspire them to answer themselves.
The consumer mindset is shifting; your marketing approach needs to stay relevant and support your overall business goals.
Sometimes it feels like the digital marketing landscape is changing so much it’s hard to keep up. But one thing’s for sure is that new technologies and tools will come to the scene that will require your marketing department to adapt to stay on top of the wellness industry. Authenticity and personalization continue to dominate marketing. By implementing the right strategy for your brand, you can engage with customers, boost brand awareness, and increase your bottom line.