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4 Tips for an Attention Grabbing Facebook Ad, for your Gym or Studio

4 Tips for an Attention Grabbing Facebook Ad, for your Gym or Studio

The Facebook advertising platform may only be 6 years old, but it’s surely becoming one of the most popular strategies for gym and fitness studios to get their name out. Why?

  1. It’s less complicated than other advertising platforms such as Google Adwords.
  2. Your audience spends a hell of a lot of time on Facebook each day.
  3. With precise profile targeting capabilities, you can be confident that your ads are reaching the right people, at the right time.
  4. A little goes a long way when it comes to Facebook Ads, so if you’re just kickstarting your fitness business and funds are tight, this could be the perfect option for you.

We spoke with Paul Thompson of Thompson Digital to get the 4 best tips for running a Facebook ad campaign that achieves your goals.

So let’s get started, shall we?

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Tip 1: Understand Who You Are Targeting

When it comes to advertising, targeting is essential. You can use all the advertising channels in the world (Google AdWords, Facebook, Youtube and so on…), but if you’re not targeting your offering to the right people i.e. your dream customers, your ad will not achieve the desired results.

So, how do I define my dream customers a.k.a my target audience? Start by writing down all the common characteristics that would define your dream customer. If you have multiple dream customer types, create a list of characteristics for each profile. Each ad that you create should only target one customer type at a time, otherwise you risk diluting your offering in an attempt to be “all things to all people”.

Age: What age is my dream customer?

Why it’s important: Every Facebook user is required to enter their birthday when signing up, meaning you can take out the guesswork from your targeting.  

Gender: What gender is my dream customer?

Why it’s important: It’s interesting to note that women spend slightly more time on Facebook than men do. Not to mention, each gender will be attracted to and engaged by different types of ads. For this reason, your ad may be more successful if you target men and women separately.

Location: Where is your studio located?

Why it’s important: Your reach differs depending on your location. If you own a gym or studio in a big city, your reach will be much lower (maybe 1-2 miles) than it is in the countryside, due to higher competition in a smaller radius.

An example for your specific target group could be:

30-40 year old, single, working men, who live in the city.

Don’t be afraid to keep it simple, especially when you’re just starting out with Facebook ads. We could start talking about targeting your ads by interests and life events, but remember, you didn’t become a fitpro within a week and the same goes for marketing.

When you’re clear about who you want to target with your ad, try to find out more about these people. What kind of messages are resonating with them? To which images do they respond to best? At this point, it’s time to do some research!

Tip 2: Use Visuals That Relate to Your Target Audience

The first element of your ad that will be noticed is the visuals. If the image or video doesn’t grab their attention, they’ll keep scrolling. It’s as simple as that. Your ad copy may be fantastic, but if your visuals suck, your dream customer won’t make it as far to read it.

Work it to your advantage! Facebook is a very visual channel and so is the fitness industry.

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When it comes to images, you have two options:

  1. Pay for stock photos;
  2. Take your own photos at your facility

We always recommend taking your own photos as it gives you the chance to showcase what you have to offer. But don’t forget – lighting is everything!

When selecting a visual to go alongside your ad copy, think back to the characteristics of your ideal customer. Ask yourself, “what do they want to see?” For example, if you’re targeting men in the 30-40 age group, will they relate better to a stock image of a flawless 20 year old male, or a 35 year old man pushing the limits whilst working out in your actual facility? You guessed it, the latter.

If you have the time on your hands, you may opt for a video instead of an image. Videos don’t have to be super fancy, but they do need to be honest. People want to see and understand what your business is all about, and by using a video your ad comes alive.

Also, Facebook videos auto play in your news feed, making them compelling and eye catching. Keep in mind that the end user can decide whether they want to turn on sound or not, so the video has to be convincing with or without it.

Tip 3: Add a Sense of Scarcity to Your Offer

Adding “a sense of scarcity” to your offer is truly a proven sales technique as it targets our fear of missing out and evokes an action that we may not make otherwise.

When you’re creating your Facebook ad, try applying this tactic to your offering. For example, you could add a limit to the number of your offer or the time period over which the offer is available.

If you, for example, want to offer free trial classes to get more people into your gym or studio, with the objective of converting these trial users to members, you could choose to limit the number of trial spots available in the first month. Users will be encouraged to request a free trial as soon as possible, out of fear that the spots will disappear in the coming days.

This is simple sales psychology. By adding urgency to your offer, you’re encouraging users to take a particular action in a particular time frame. You could either limit the time that your offer is available (e.g. only 1 week) or the number available (only 25 spots). Or both! That’s up to you and down to the type of service you’re offering. If something is exclusive, it instantly becomes more desirable, because people think that it’s more valuable.

Tip 4: Follow up Quickly

Once a potential client clicks on your ad and requests more information, they expect a response almost immediately. That means, within the next 2 hours.

However, when you’re advertising your business on a social media platform such as Facebook, people may view your ad at any time, and might even sign up in the middle of the night. As a small business owner, there aren’t enough hours in a day as is. Of course, it can’t be expected of you to stay up 24 hours a day to send emails to new leads.

The solution? It’s time you implemented automated emails.

Automated emails are very useful if you want to follow up quickly without interrupting your beauty sleep on a regular basis. There are numerous softwares out there that provide this service, like Mailchimp or Aweber.

The set up is simple and the benefits are endless, for example: If someone submits a form to request a free trial, you can set up an email to be sent to the person immediately with information regarding the offer, your service and next steps to be taken.

Potential clients will be super impressed with such a speedy response time, installing confidence in your gym or studio from day one. These emails will help you to build a relationship with your potential member, even before you physically met them. And we all know that the fitness business is all about good relationships!

Could your follow up process do with a little bit of perfecting? Check out these 4 tips for breaking through the sales barrier

Key Takeaways

  1. The reality is, creating a great Facebook ad is all about targeting. You need to know who you want to reach with your ad, to create an effective advertisement. When you master this step, the chance to succeed grows exponentially.
  2. Always keep in mind that Facebook is an extremely visual medium. If you can make your ad attention grabbing whilst also being authentic – that’s half the battle!
  3. Scarcity is a proven sales tactic that’ll work wonders for your Facebook ad campaigns.
  4. If someone signs up or requests more information: follow up quickly! Time is of the essence.


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"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

Trusted by studios, and global gym chains.

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