2020 is the year that has transformed the fitness industry. With yoga studios across the world forced to close, many have moved their services online in order to survive through lockdown. Yoga practice focuses on balancing and strengthening both the mind and body, and has proven to be a powerful tool for many dealing with the uncertainty and isolation of lockdown.
And so amid this challenging time, Yoga has proven to be a popular exercise of choice for the thousands of people striving to look after their wellbeing through lockdown.
According to the UN Regional Information Centre of Western Europe, many instructors have seen members flock online this year: “A lot of people took to their mats during lockdown to calm their minds and lift their spirits. Yoga brings a connection and good vibes, whether in a studio or through a computer screen. For some, an online class was an easier first step on the yoga path than entering a real studio,” Says Belgian yoga teacher Greet De Ryck.
As we look to 2021, news of a vaccine brings hope. Fitness businesses will eventually be able to reopen, and when they do, Yoga is likely to remain popular, as compared to other types of workouts, it’s low touch and students can bring their own yoga mat, minimizing contact even further.
Whether you’re a yoga teacher, opening a yoga studio, or a yoga studio owner, your yoga marketing strategy is crucial to growing your post-pandemic business. Here, we take a look at 6 ways to supercharge your marketing tactics for 2021.
- Lay the Foundations and Set Your Goals
- Build an Incredible Yoga Website
- Content Marketing is King
- Be Active, Engaging and Connected on Social Media
- Understand Search Marketing
- Continue Improving and Promoting Your Online Offering
Lay the Foundations and Set Your Goals
There’s a lot of marketing information out there; it can be a little confusing when first thinking of your yoga marketing ideas.
When it comes to yoga studio marketing, there are so many elements to get your head around. Whether you’re new to marketing or have previous experience, laying the foundations and setting goals is the perfect start to creating your marketing plan. Understanding your audience, target market and competition is essential to your marketing ideas.
The majority of this information can be discovered during the planning stage of your business plan and incorporating this data will help you create targeted and effective marketing. If you’re looking to open a new yoga business, check out these six essential steps to creating the perfect yoga studio business plan.
Careful planning and strategy are so important in a marketing plan from optimizing your website for SEO to organizing how you will create content that will add value. Set clear and measurable goals to help you create a marketing plan that will help to promote your business to the right people and achieve your short and long-term goals.
To help you organize your content, especially when working in a team, Trello is an online tool that is used to manage projects and personal tasks. Use visual boards to organize anything from keeping on top of your to-do list to creating your blog content and keeping to deadlines.
For some marketing inspiration and out-of-the-box thinking, check out:
- This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
- Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create New Categories and Dominate Markets by Kevin Maney, Dave Petersen, Christopher Lochhead, and Al Ramadan
- Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
Build an Incredible Yoga Website
In today’s digital age, if you’re running or planning on launching a yoga business, then a website is one of your most important business assets. It’s the place where the majority of new students will connect with you and delve deeper into your business. In an online marketing survey with small business owners, 74% surveyed had a website with 56% saying their website is responsive.
A responsive website, a single website that adapts to any screen size across multiple devices, is key to your website. In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones. A massive 88% of local searches occur on a smartphone, and 61% of consumers say they’re more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
Some essential elements to include in your fantastic yoga website include:
- Yoga business branding
- Booking system
- Reviews and testimonials
- Social media links
- Sign up form for your email marketing list
- Location details
- Responsive design
When it comes to creating an SEO-optimised website that’s truly going to showcase your business, it can feel like an overwhelming task. There are a couple of paths you can take to create an on-brand website that’s going to support your digital marketing goals. You can either hire a professional to build your website or use a website builder such as:
- Wix – the powerful cloud-based builder is easy to use with a number of helpful features
- WordPress – the website builder gives you complete control and is the world’s most popular website building platform.
- Gator – a popular website builder by HostGator provides an all-in-one website building and hosting solution.
- Squarespace – a fully hosted website builder known for its fantastic design and user-friendly experience.
Content Marketing is King
Content marketing is a way to craft interesting pieces of marketing that help to position your brand and build trust with customers. Social media marketing can then amplify your content marketing strategy to really grow your business. For great marketing, you need great content.
No single type of content will appeal to every customer so it makes sense to vary your content. Types of content to include in your content marketing strategy could be:
- Blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Quizzes and polls
With blogging, you can create content for your website packed with keywords that drive customers from your social media to your website. Marketers are now shifting towards longer, more in-depth content which is something to keep in mind when creating blog content. Long-form content generates 9x more leads than short-term content.
When it comes to choosing where to focus your marketing, video content popularity has increased massively. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text. In Hubspot’s Consumer Behaviour Survey, over half of users say they consume an entire video (when distributed through Social Media), compared to 29% for blogs and 33% for interactive articles.
The Top 10 Barriers Slowing Your Fitness Business Growth
To make marketing easier, here are some of the best content creation tools:
- Adobe Spark – fast content creation software that lets you combine text, images, and video content.
- Canva – this tool makes it easy to create and edit customized images for social media channels.
- Animaker – create multiple video types including explainer and infographic videos.
- Lumen5 – it uses artificial intelligence to create a video from text.
Be Active, Engaging and Connected on Social Media
Being active and engaging on social media is a great way to grow your brand and your business. 77.6% of small businesses reported using social media to promote their business with Facebook being the top platform used. Facebook has experienced steady growth with 97% of social advertisers stating it’s the most useful platform.
Engaging with your community and creating a following should be a part of your marketing plan. When choosing which platforms to use, think about who your target audience is and the type of content you’ll be sharing as well as how much time you have to devote to social media marketing. Yoga and Instagram are a match made in heaven and is the perfect place to host challenges to engage with your audience.
Some of the top Instagram yoga hashtags to use include:
To help grow your business you can take advantage of the many marketing elements social media networking has to offer. From video live streaming your latest yoga class on Facebook or Instagram live to taking advantage of influencer marketing, social media presents a lot of marketing opportunities. If you’re interested in learning how to run a successful Facebook campaign, listen to this episode of our podcast.
The fact that word of mouth marketing online is so important is why businesses need to be active on social media. About 62% of consumers search online for reviews and information before buying a product and 71% are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
To give you a social media marketing edge, some great tools to use are:
Understand Search Marketing
The majority of people will come across your yoga studio through your website. According to Net Market Share, Google is heavily favored and a market leader however, search engines such as Yahoo and Bing still hold a large audience. There are several different ways you can focus on showing up on search result pages.
First of all, when creating your website, think about the keywords you will use. The right keywords make it easier for potential students to find your yoga business. Appearing in organic website listings is an excellent and free way for your business to appear in search engine result pages.
Another option is to use Google Adwords so that you rank in the top position of search results. Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic. It has over 246 million unique visitors and 3.5 billion daily interactions so you can see why it’s such a popular option within the marketing plan with paid traffic converting 50% better than organic traffic.
If you’re not sure where to start to for search engine marketing success this year, check out Google Adwords for Beginners: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to PPC Advertising by Cory Rabazinsky. The book covers the basics and is the perfect place to start launching your first campaign. Another fantastic resource is The Paid Search podcast with Chris and Jason. The weekly podcast covers everything you need to know about Google Ads.
To get more marketing inspiration, listen to these fantastic podcasts:
Continue Improving and Promoting Your Online Offering
Consumer expectations have shifted massively this year, and digital fitness is not going anywhere.
Even when your studio has the green light to reopen, a significant number of people will continue relying on the convenience and flexibility that comes with online workouts.
With this, it’s crucial that you continue to work on your online yoga business, asking the question “what do my students want from their online experience?” Now is the time to ask so you can plan ahead. Use your social media and email channels to collect feedback and suggestions from members, and research what other yoga studios are offering. Take London-based fitness studio, Psycle, for example.
The brand offers four workouts: yoga, strength, barre, and ride. To reach a growing home audience amid lockdown, the brand created its ‘Psycle at Home’ monthly digital subscription platform, offering online users unlimited classes.
This is only one example, and what works best for pricing and packaging will differ from one yoga studio to the next. But future-proofing your business means making sure you’re up and running with a hybrid business model that works.
Like any other business, marketing your yoga studio requires time and patience. The steps in this guide will help to kickstart your marketing strategy. Stay true to your brand and remain authentic while your market and grow your yoga business. Use your marketing efforts to add value, bring in new students and establish your yoga brand within your community.