In today’s digital world, audiences are searching across different devices. The needs of the consumer have changed and there’s a demand for content across multiple platforms. Better content can drive traffic to a blog by up to 2,000%. Google is responsible for 96% of all smartphone search traffic, and 94% of overall organic traffic.
As digital trends evolve every year, marketers and small business owners should be aware so that they can quickly adapt to emerging technologies and be able to grow their business in new, fun and exciting ways. In this article, we will discuss 12 digital marketing trends every gym and fitness business needs to know about in 2019.
Why Everyone Needs a Digital Marketing Plan
Businesses understand the importance of digital and mobile channels. Yet, nearly half of all marketers that have active digital platforms have no defined strategy at all. As a business owner of a gym or fitness center, it’s not uncommon to wear many different hats from personal trainer to marketer. It can be challenging to have an integrated plan in place that utilizes all your digital and mobile channels.
All business owners have digital marketing on their minds, it’s a crucial approach that needs to be taken to stay relevant. Having a clear understanding of where you are and where you want to be is the first step you need to take to create a plan. A digital marketing strategy is essential for direction and focus, it keeps everyone on the same page and will help you stay optimized and ahead of the competition.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our fitness marketing guide for the modern fitness founder. It talks about the first stages of building your online following and some unique and creative ideas to market your business.
3 Killer Digital Marketing Campaigns From the Fitness Industry
When it comes to inspiration and direction for digital marketing campaigns, there’s no better place to look than at some of the big players in the fitness industry right now. Here are three brands that have used digital marketing to create awesome campaigns specific for their business.
Fitbit’s core business is built around wearable fitness trackers. After the release of other smartwatches like the Apple Watch, Fitbit’s bottom line took a bit of a toll. From this, Fitbit’s social and community element opened up new marketing opportunities where they could continue to grow in popularity.
The brand got its customers to compete with their friends in a trackable leaderboard. Sport is about competition and Fitbit understands that. By pitting users against one another, it became habit-forming for users to compete with each other and push themselves further.
Kayla Itsines is a huge name and regarded as one of the biggest social media celebrities today. A fitness trainer from Australia, she started off on Instagram showcasing her fitness journey as well as clients who took part in her fitness program. Her fitness app Sweat with Kayla is hugely successful as she’s created a multifaceted marketing strategy that relies heavily on social media.
One of the ways Kayla builds her brand is through user-generated content, sharing the progress of her customers. She also makes use of free app trials and other digital platforms like her website where she posts regularly on her blog, constantly building her reputation and brand awareness.
Gymshark is a product-based health and fitness e-commerce company, selling sports clothing and accessories. In its first four years, the company generated £12.8m. They teamed up with 18 of the top fitness influencers to spread the word about their brand across multiple digital platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and numerous blogs. By relying on influencer marketing, Gymshark was able to reach audiences of over 20 million people without using more traditional marketing tactics like email marketing or PPC.
12 Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know About
A marketing strategy isn’t complete without addressing the need for digital channels. MarketingCharts reported a 50% increase in digital marketing budget from marketers, showing the importance of SEO, video, social media, and content. Here are 12 must-know digital marketing trends for 2019.
1. Instagram Stories
Many businesses are now turning to Instagram as a way to communicate, engage and inspire their audience and what better way to do it than with Instagram stories. Since being introduced a few years back, IG stories have changed a lot. You can now add text, add music, record live footage and interact with your audience through polls and questions.
Instagram presents a huge marketing opportunity. There are 500 million Instagram accounts. When it comes to Instagram stories, 1 in 3 being viewed come from businesses. For more details, check out our blog about how you can use Instagram stories for your fitness business and ways you can use it in the gym to drive more business.
2. Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of the most important elements of digital marketing and will likely be for the next five to ten years. YouTube and other videos now land in search engines so be sure optimize for video SEO. If your website includes video, it’s 53X more likely to get a first-page spot in search engine results. According to Small Business Trends, social video generates 1,200% more shares than images and text combined. Mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.
The numbers alone should be enough to convince you of the massive potential that video has and the place it should have in your digital marketing efforts. Use video to showcase your offering or promotion. Include live video content and 360-degree video to really engage with your audience and show your human side.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are major innovations in the digital marketing space. With the introduction of AI tools, a business can streamline their marketing processes and be more effective as a business. According to QuanticMind, 97% of leaders believe that the future of marketing rests on how digital marketers interact and work alongside machine learning-based tools.
The advanced tools use data to provide effective solutions to several digital marketing problems. This could be used to enhance a customer’s online experience, optimize content, improve personalization and reduce any marketing waste.
The Top 10 Barriers Slowing Your Fitness Business Growth
4. Completely Inclusive Campaigns
FitRated surveyed 1,000 Americans to see how often they felt judged at the gym and how often they judged others. They found that 51% of respondents had skipped the gym due to fear of being judged, with women accounting for 64.9% of that number. Fitness brands are jumping on this by creating all-inclusive campaigns which encourage people to believe in themselves and their bodies.
The ‘Everybody Happy’ campaign from Blink Fitness used members of all shapes and sizes. It encouraged self-confidence and how going to the gym can make you feel better than you might think. Brands are using lifestyle-based campaigns to connect wellbeing and lifestyle.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to dominate SEO with conversion rates 6x higher than other methods. Google still values well-research, regularly updated content. Your audience wants high-quality, informative content that offers value. They don’t want spammy content. Content marketing may look like a weekly blog or video content and it can all help create brand awareness.
Here are a couple of fantastic digital marketing podcasts to listen to:
- The DigitalMarketer Podcast – the podcast takes you through the digital marketing landscape and introduces you to subject matter experts and provides top-level insights.
- Duct Tape Marketing Podcast – this show is packed full of marketing tips and strategies from thought leaders.
6. Voice Search
Voice search is rising in popularity. By 2020, 50% of all queries will be voice-based according to Comscore. There are two types of voice search. The first one being smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Homepod which give users immediate voice answers. The second type is those on desktops and mobile devices that display written answers like Siri. They both give answers on the spot but are slightly different.
Top brands are now thinking about how to deliver content on voice-enabled devices and using voice engine optimization. Marketers can use voice search as an opportunity to create targeted and specific content.
Over the past few years, chatbots have continued to rise in popularity. According to Grand View Research, 45% of end-users prefer to use chatbots as a major form of communication in customer service.
Chatbots play a crucial role in marketing and are able to engage users and improve customer experience without you really having to do much. Chatbots are ideal for offering real-time assistance. For example, if a potential member visits your landing page, they are contacted via a chatbot to check if they need more information or have any questions. It then knows whether to put them into contact with a staff member or point them to your FAQ page.
8. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) ads and virtual reality (VR) are already being used by some marketers. It’s a way to bring a static or unreal environment into a realistic experience, combining the offer with the reality of the potential buyer or member. Businesses aren’t just using AR for ads but also using augmented and virtual reality to build brand awareness. This isn’t a new trend, however, it is gaining traction. The AR and VR market is expected to reach $209.2 billion in just four years.
9. Inspirational Social Media Communities
Social media is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy these days. Fitness and wellness brands use social media content to create inspired and connected social media communities. In our ever-connected world, customers are demanding a higher level of interaction. By creating a safe space and community, members can communicate, connect and share their progress, motivating others at the same time.
10. Social Media Influencers
Nowadays influencer marketing is a part of social media marketing. Instagram is filled with health and fitness influencers with big audience reaches that brands can tap into. A type of word-of-mouth marketing, it uses key leaders to drive your brands’ message to their audience. As influencer marketing generally feels more authentic, 92% of people tend to trust other consumers or peers over corporate advertising.
11. Landing Pages
If you don’t already have specific landing pages for certain information or events, then it’s time to start. It may sound so simple but, you don’t want to lose out on potential clients because they got lost in your site or couldn’t find the right page.
For example, if you’re hosting a wellness event at your gym with industry experts and advice, when you create an RSVP on Facebook, make sure the link takes users directly to the page where they can register for the event. They should be able to find out exactly what they need to know from your landing page.
12. Omni-Channel Marketing
Omni-channel marketing is a way in which you use multiple platforms like social media, website, apps and blog content to give your audience the best multi-channel experience. Brands must offer a seamless user experience between channels that’s consistent across all platforms and mediums.
A study from Clickz found that brands using three or more channels in an automation workflow had a higher engagement rate and customer retention rate compared to single-channel methods. Whether it’s your physical gym, your social media platforms or your gym’s branded app, all channels should be linked in one all-encompassing strategy.
The world of digital marketing trends is an ever-changing landscape with new technologies and innovations. Staying on top of the latest trends is key to adapting and staying relevant. Strengthen your existing strategies with a new approach to drive more traffic and grow your business. You can take advantage of recent digital marketing trends to improve your marketing strategy and meet your goals.