Everyone has come to know the definition of insanity; doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. Fitness club owners are beginning to realize it’s time to change how they’re marketing their clubs. They are starting to see an industry-wide shift taking place in marketing. The industry as a whole has begun looking for ways to do more digital marketing for their clubs, as they’ve come to realize that traditional marketing methods are just not producing satisfactory results anymore.
The fitness industry has set their sights on inbound marketing and from the looks of it, there’s no going back. The questions that arise now aren’t about why clubs should invest in inbound marketing, but how much should they invest and to what extent should they begin implementing inbound as a part of their marketing strategy. Should they go all in or just get their feet wet? Should they use their entire marketing budget? If not, how much of their budget should be invested in inbound to get a good rate of return?
The Big Challenge
Fitness clubs face the endless pursuit of signing up more members every single month. Every business wants to get more customers, but in the fitness industry, ongoing and effective lead generation is critical. The reason for that is because of the decline in members each month due to attrition. Clubs must sign up more members than the cancellations they receive to sustain growth. That puts tremendous pressure to keep generating new leads. As a result, GM’s, sales and marketing managers are constantly trying to come up with new promotions to entice people to join their club. The hope is that a particular promotion will pique the interest of a potential member at just the right time to persuade them to sign up.
It is important to understand that inbound is a long term marketing strategy for sustained growth and revenue generation for your fitness club. However, it is not a lifeline that leads to a quick fix for a problem club. Clubs that have been underperforming for a while can’t be turned around in the blink of an eye. No doubt it took time for those clubs to slip into the “red”, and it will likely take some time to get them back into the “black”. With that said, a knowledgeable inbound marketing agency can show you ways to help you successfully generate new leads for those clubs right away and at the same time build your foundation for a stable future in inbound marketing.
It is important to understand that inbound is a long term marketing strategy for sustained growth and revenue generation for your fitness club.
Great Inbound Marketing Expectations
What kind of ROI should you expect from your investment in inbound marketing? In a nutshell, your mileage may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. Keep in mind though that the inbound marketing methodology is about marketing your club when and where people are looking for you, which is online. Have you ever gone to the grocery store to shop for groceries and seen a realtor’s advertisement on the shopping cart? Who goes to the grocery store looking for a real estate agent? Serious home buyers and sellers go online to view home listings and that’s where all of the smart real estate agents market themselves.
The same holds true for people who are looking online for health and fitness advice, for information on how to lose weight, or for the latest muscle building exercises. Inbound puts you right in front of them helping you become the authority on fitness in your community. When people are looking for advice, instruction, or tips and ideas on how to get healthy and stay fit, your club will be that source of helpful information for them. So at the moment people are ready to join a club, yours will be the first club on their mind.
Another attractive feature of inbound is its ability to track a prospect’s behavior while visiting your website. The system will collect valuable information and build a profile on each visitor that accepts an offer on your website. You’ll know what areas of their fitness they struggle with, what goals they’ve set for themselves, which ebooks they’ve downloaded and much more. Your inbound agency can set up lead scoring so your sales team will know which leads to call right away and which ones need to be tracked for a while longer and contacted at a later time. For all those that are ready to be called your sales team can have productive, meaningful conversations that specifically address their personal interests and goals. As for any leads that are not prepared for a callback, inbound will continue compiling information until such time that they are ready for a consultative call inviting them to the club.
Inbound also helps you generate more qualified leads than traditional marketing. Eventually, inbound will also help you build a pipeline of leads that your salespeople can follow up on regularly. This is far different from direct mail campaigns where you simply send mailers out and hope someone, somewhere, someday brings the mailer with them into your club inquiring about signing up.
A successful inbound marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. Just like with other aspects of business, patience and persistence are the keys to success. Commit to the process, work closely with your inbound agency, follow their lead, and the results will be hands down better than any other kind of marketing you can do for your fitness club today.