If the answer to this question is no, then why not? Content marketing is one of the best ways to grow your fitness business organically. It has never been easier or more affordable to create content. There is also an abundance of channels on which you can distribute your content and build your audience.
In this article, we will go through:
Why Invest in Content Marketing?
Before we get into why you should invest in content marketing lets be very realistic about one thing.
It’s a long term strategy.
First and foremost, your primary concern is getting leads in the door and growing your member base. The best way to do this is Facebook and Instagram Ads. So read our comprehensive e-book on Facebook Ads here.
Unfortunately, Content Marketing alone will not do this for you. However, this does not mean you should put content on the long finger. It should be something that you should begin slowly implementing from day one. Because eventually, it will start to pay dividends in the form of making your lead generation cheaper.
Think about it.
Generating leads content marketing will lessen the cost of the leads you are generating through paid channels. As well as this, the content you create can be used for your paid ads.
What Exactly Is Content Marketing?
Very simply, Content Marketing is a form of digital marketing. It aims to give real value to the customer in a non-promotional or “salesly” way. The Content Marketing Institute defines this style of marketing as:
Quality content is key to every marketing channel you have. People are now sick of spammy, overly informational marketing materials. Instead, they want something that is of interest that can either teach them a new skill or entertain them.
Finally, in our increasingly connected online world getting as much traffic to your website as you can to build its authority. The best way to do this is to produce quality written, video, and audio content regularly. The same goes for your social media channels. The only way to grow your social media is to post engaging content that makes your followers react by liking, commenting, and sharing the content.
Let’s take a look at some content marketing success stories – both from the fitness industry and the world at large.
A Fitness Content Marketing Example
24 Hour Fitness: The second largest fitness chain in the world after LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness are one of the biggest names in fitness. Founded in 1983, this renowned fitness institution has 420 clubs in just 13 states. So why would a fitness business this successful need content marketing?
Well, more than likely conscious of the need to have a robust digital strategy coupled with the emergence of the boutique studio, 24 Hour Fitness have launched 24 Life which is an all in one hub of health, fitness, and wellness. Even this multi-million dollar fitness empire has realized that you have to be producing high-quality content regularly. 24Life delivers content on everything from workout routines to nutrition advice right through to the personal transformation stories of its members.
Fitness Content Marketing Trends
In our comprehensive marketing guide, The Fitness Marketing Guide for The Modern Fitness Founder, we went in-depth into the strategies that are bringing lots of success to gyms around the world. When forming your content marketing strategy, you need to be aware of what works and what doesn’t work. Doing this will give you the best chance of success. The trends in fitness content marketing that we are going to look at briefly are building communities on social media, creating a weekly blog, video marketing, and podcasting and voice.
Building communities on social media: Social media is now the defacto place to connect with your members and prospective members. It is one of the best channels for you to distribute your content. It is also a useful way to build an active community with your content. But let’s be honest, the community drives the most successful gyms both inside and outside the studio. Take a look at Barrys Bootcamp, for instance. CEO Joey Gonzalez said in a recent interview that the sense of community was key to the success of a boutique studio. “Back in 1998, every instructor knew your name, your dog, your daughter, everybody; it was like Cheers. We’ve tried to preserve that through the years.”
Barrys took that sense of community in the 21st century and launched social media campaigns such as #BarrrysStories which encourages their online community of sharing their transformation stories in the hope of inspiring others. Encouraging this type of honesty and transparency in their user-generated content allows people to connect.
Creating a weekly blog: Blogging has been around since the early days of the internet and is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience. Writing about the particular niche of fitness you are interested in can help build your authority as an expert on a specific topic.
Just take a look at luxury boutique brand Equinox. They have established a digital magazine quality content hub called Furthermore which is run by former editors of Conde Nast.
Now you don’t have to be on the level of Equinox. But it should give you an idea of how even seriously big fitness studio brands are taking content marketing. Posting high-quality content regularly can drive more traffic to your website and make you an authority on the topics of health and fitness. In a Hubspot study from 2018, it was found that B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost three times as much traffic as those who only blogged four to five times per month.
Video Marketing: Video content is one of the most popular and effective forms of content that has emerged over the last number of years. Every social platform is now geared towards video, with even Linkedin launching video on its platform. It’s no surprise as to why video has gotten so popular as humans are inherently visual creatures. In fact, according to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. Most fitness studios large and small are now implementing some type of video strategy. Take a look at the likes of F45, Orangetheory, and Soulcycle. Each has a video on the home page and has video content published regularly on their social media channels.
A new emerging trend in video is taking place in the at-home fitness market. Streaming video online has now become the norm for most of us through the likes of Netflix and Amazon. However, this method of online streaming has transferred into the fitness world in several different ways. The likes of Peleton, Mirror, and Tonal are revolutionary devices that are delivering premium workout experiences into peoples homes. Peleton, for instance, streams 12 hours of live video to homes across the US, bring a class from its New York headquarters anywhere from Ohio to LA.
The Best Content Marketing Platforms
Fitness and content marketing are a match made in heaven. The whole point of content marketing is to give the reader value outside the value your product offers. Fitness is all about providing valuable information to the person that they can use to better themselves. And the best way to communicate this to them is through content marketing. In this section, we will go through the different content marketing platforms you can use for your fitness business.
Why Is Starting a Fitness Blog Beneficial to Your Fitness Business?
According to Hubspot, 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. Blogging is one of the pillars of every good marketing strategy. It has two significant advantages:
It builds your authority: Writing a high-quality blog regularly is excellent for building up your reputation as a reputable source of knowledge. The information you have gathered over your years as a fitness professional will prove extremely valuable.
Write down a list of the topics you have the most knowledge in. Use this as the basis of a roadmap for your blog content. If you are consistently posting valuable fitness content on your blog and social channels, prospective members will look to you as an expert in your field over your competitors.
It builds your website’s authority: Websites that rank well on search engines like Google usually produce high quality and informative content that is built around specific key topics and subtopics. For example, for a fitness studio, you would want to write content based around key topics such as “weight-loss tips” or “how to do the perfect deadlift.” Back in the dark days of Search Engine Optimization(SEO), it was possible to write a blog and simply stuff the keyword in as many times as possible without making it unreadable. However, Googles new Rankbrain algorithm has put a stop to this. Instead, the goal is to write informative and in-depth content that covers the topic and its relevant subtopics.
How Can Video Help Promote Your Fitness Business?
Video is one of the most powerful means of connecting with people. 83% of video marketers believe they get a good ROI from their video marketing efforts. Video has taken over most of the major social media channels. Think of the last time you scrolled through your Facebook or Instagram feed. It’s safe to say at least 60% to 70% of the content was video.
Video can be used in many different ways, including member testimonials, workout tutorials, and nutrition guides. For the distribution of your video content, organically Instagram and Youtube is the most suitable. By setting up a Youtube page, you can create an online hub that you upload all your video content. Facebook and Instagram Live are great ways of connecting with your customers in real time. Live video also has a degree of authenticity to it, which is always appealing.
Instagram is one of the most popular apps in the world at the moment, and Mashable has called it one of the most influential photo sharing apps of all time. As well as its Instagram Live feature, the platform also has the Feed, and the Stories feature where you can post a video. Since Instagram Stories was launched in 2016, it has taken over Snapchat as the dominant temporary content sharing platform. Every major influencer and brand is sharing an extensive Instagram story nearly every day. At least 2 million brands are using Stories, and a third of Stories viewed are from businesses. This is where the world looks first when it logs on so its a great place to share your video content daily.
On a final note, if you feel you don’t have the time or necessary resources to write a regular blog, video is a great way to get your ideas across to your audience. Vice-versa if you are uncomfortable with video. Pick a platform you are strongest at and go with that.
How to Approach Fitness Content Marketing
Now that we have gone through the different content marketing platforms lets take a look at ways you can actually start creating content as a fitness business owner. Because let’s be honest there are nearly a hundred things to do at any given moment when running your own business. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways you can do this.
Create evergreen content: Evergreen content is a piece of content will always be relevant to your target audience. This will usually be an “ultimate guide” or “how to” type blog or ebook but can be a video also. Evergreen content never loses its value; the core idea will always be fresh. The content can be updated and added to as time goes on. The essential advantage of this type of content is that once the initial work is done to create it, it can be used over and over again.
Use a big rock strategy: Big rock content is a large piece of material around a topic that can be then sectioned out into smaller pieces of content. Like evergreen content, this type of content can be a lot of work in the beginning but saves time and pays dividends in the long term. And similarly to evergreen content, it can be repurposed again and again. A great example of a marketer who uses the big rock model effectively is Gary Vaynerhuck. Take a look at this excellent content marketing model that he posted recently on Linkedin.
Do not underestimate the value that content marketing can bring to your fitness business. The biggest fitness brands in the world are turning to content marketing to grow their business organically, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider this strategy either.