How do you market your health club or spa? Are there any marketing strategies specific to the health and fitness industry that will give you an edge over your competition? We asked owners and marketing professionals for their best health club and spa marketing ideas. Here’s what they told us.
Before we dive into the details on this topic, we also suggest you check out Booker, a Salon Software for small businesses that can handle everything from appointment booking to in-store and online sales, payroll, email marketing and much more. Visit Booker to learn more.
For a lot of businesses it can be tough to find interesting and engaging content for an audience. But when it comes to health, people are always searching the internet about their health, so having a health club or spa that answers those questions with content is the best thing they can do.
Look at what questions people are searching for by typing in Google and simply see what autocompletes.
For example, when you type in how long can I sauna it shows other searches that people are making like, ‘how long after eating can I sauna’, ‘how long can I use sauna’ and ‘how long can i stay in infrared sauna’.
When you answer those questions with quality content it helps people, and that is what Google wants to show at the top of the search results when someone asks those question.
Another example would be ‘what are the benefits of…’. You could do benefits of sauna, sauna after exercise, sauna and steam rooms, and so much more. Go to the people who deal with your customers and ask them the most common questions they get from guests. Then write content that answers those questions because if your visitors are asking you, then other people are looking for that information online.
Besides becoming an authority and expert in your industry that people look to for answers and trust, you also want to get as many local citations and reviews as you can. Local citations are a mention of your business on the web usually with your name, address and phone number, which are common in directory listings and usually have a link back to your site which has some SEO value and can get you referral traffic.
Also try to get happy customers to leave good reviews on Google+, Yelp, and Facebook not only because other people will see it, but it helps to increase your rankings for local searches. Make sure all of your social profiles are up to date and include images of your business because that is another factor that search engines take into place as well as what people are looking for. Sorry, that’s three tips. I couldn’t help myself.
Tip From: Michael Juba, Content Marketing Strategist, EZSolution
By far the most efficient and economical way to market a local day spa is to leverage Facebook’s targeted advertising. The campaign manager is very effective in acquiring new likes as well as increasing exposure to existing fans. In order to maximize the power of Facebook’s targeted reach you must offer a strong call to action. Here’s one way to do it:
1. Decide if you want to create a campaign targeting existing fans, new ones, or both, if applicable. Design the copy accordingly.
2. Create a post with a compelling offer and eye-catching picture showing the value of your service (e.g., a person in pure relaxation after a massage). If you want to quickly fill appointments for the next couple of months, post something like this: “Book a massage by this Friday and get $15 off!” The offer works especially well if you have a link to online scheduling. Otherwise, place your phone number in the offer.
3. Go to your Company Page > Insights > People > People Engaged to discover the gender and age of your most valuable fans.
4. Click on Ads Manager > Boost your posts > Select your new post.
5. Under Locations add your location’s main zip code.
6. Set your target gender and age from Step 3. If one gender makes up 70% or more of your engaged fans just target that gender otherwise target both. Start with a relatively large age range.
7. In Connections, select if you want to target all people, only people connected to your page, or only people not connected.
8. Choose your budget and end date depending on your goals.
9. For Pricing, it’s normally best to let Facebook optimize your post for engagement. You can always set a limit on the cost per engagement once you learn the market.
10. Remove the right column advertisements as they receive much less engagement.
11. Place order and select “create similar ad.”
12. Change the zip code to your next closest target area and repeat the process of creating similar ads for zip codes within 3-5 miles of your location. You will now be able to see which areas perform the best in terms of reach, engagement, and cost.
13. Analyze and constrain targets to your most valuable age and gender until the average cost per engagement hits your limit.
Depending on the aggressiveness of the offer and virality of the picture, a post with a 10% click-through-rate and cost per engagement of $0.15-$0.30 is very successful. The best part about advertising on Facebook is the ability to analyze data and adjust your strategy. Track how much you spend versus how much revenue/customers the promotion brings in and increase or decrease your cost per engagement limit accordingly. Watch your Facebook likes, engagement, and revenue grow. Now that’s data-driven marketing.
Tip From: Tyler Walton, Marketing Manager, Clutch
Too many health clubs have horrible websites. I don’t understand how they can spend $10,000 on just one piece of exercise equipment but are not willing or hesitant to invest a similar amount on the first impression of their business a customer sees which is their company website.
Tip From: Chris Post, President & Founder, Post Modern Marketing
The best marketing tool today is to identify your key differentiators and ensure that you highlight all the great things that make your club different. Variety and differentiators is what gets your door to swing. Inclusive language is a very important tool making readers feel that it is a place that they want to belong or better yet already belong to.
Avoid pictures of bodies but rather use lots color and fun which delivers a “wow” factor. The marketing piece needs to create happiness and an opportunity for a different experience.
Tip From: Lori Lowell, Founder, Group Fitness Solutions
I like to offer fitness assessments to local companies as a perk to their staff. This allows me to utilize one point person to reach a large group. As a partnership, this also looks like a perk offered through the company, so the company is more likely to promote your facility. I hope you find this as helpful as I do.
Tip From: Glenn Dickstein, Founder & CEO, NeighborhoodTrainers
6) Start Blogging & Promote Posts Via Facebook Targeting
My top tip would be to create a blog if you do not already have one. The blog should then be used to create quality fitness and health articles for healthy living. This could include exercises, healthy eating recipes, healthy juice recipes and general health information – you get the idea. The aim of each blog post is to get your readers excited about being healthy and feeling good about themselves.
Post the blog post to your social media pages. Run a sponsored post on Facebook with specific targeting. You can get an idea of your audience from your current Facebook page if you have one, using Facebook’s Insights and if you do not have a Facebook page, then you should create one but in the meantime check out your current customers to get an idea of the age group and areas of your town/city that your customers are likely to come from.
Now target the audience to postcode location, age group, education level and look at interests such as Health and Fitness. This should give you a specific audience of those who are likely to come and join your health club. From these sponsored posts, you will get people reading your blog, creating brand awareness and they will begin following your Facebook page. The consistent posts will create trust in your brand and therefore will turn into new customers. The great thing about being specific in your Facebook targeting is that your Cost Per Click will be extremely low.
Tip From: Neil Walker, Online Marketing Director, Dental Departures
They, more than anyone, know and interact with people moving to the area every day, and are ALL about referrals. Another great tip would be to reach out to realtors and realty groups to host sponsored breakfasts or lunches. This will encourage referrals, keeping your business top of mind.
Tip From: Christian Adams, Founder, Spotter City
Email campaigns, Facebook news feeds, Twitter feeds, Youtube pre-roll ads, Instagram, digital signage in the public space, and everywhere else, video is simply everywhere these days. To be an effective marketer today is to use visual storytelling in a beautiful and compelling way. In today’s market it’s simply a must, in 2015 video marketing is not even an option. 82% of B2B marketers reported success with video marketing initiatives. And over 70% of respondents claim that video performs better than other content for producing conversions. Adding video to your website can increase customer conversion with 30-40%.
Use video marketing to give your marketing contents some life and soul. Video has the highest CTR of all online ad formats and give your brand trust and authority in your space. It’s perfect to have on your website and social media, and will greatly help you with local SEO.
Tip From: Anton Eliasson, Marketing Manager, Shakr Media
One of the most effective ways to generate business is to build your email list.
1. Create a landing page on your website that captures the user’s email address in return for a discount or free trial, with an incentive to forward the email to an interested friend.
2. You can now send traffic to this page via any of the sources below, and track each source’s response and conversion rate using Google Analytics.
● Paid Facebook advertising targeting
● Recently Engaged
● Recently had a baby
● Trying to lose weight
● Mentions of infomercial products
● Network with smaller hotels & motels in the area that don’t have fitness facilities and work out a referral arrangement.
● Leverage any existing partnerships, E.g. Are you are part of a resort or shopping mall?
● Make sure your landing page & sales pages have been Search Engine Optimized and targeted to your local area
3. Once you have built your list, make sure you create an autoresponder series that automatically emails your list on a regular basis with interesting content, and case studies of people that have turned their health around by joining the health club.
Be sure to include a call to action to join the club.
Tip From: Emily Dille, Marketing Manager, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
I have a small niche business in the fitness area (yoga) and realize I have to stand out from the crowd. Besides using my website, book signings (promoting my yoga book), social media, my own and guest blogging opportunities, I pride myself on giving my students personalized messages of encouragement, monthly newsletters, lot of incentives to save money and free recordings so they can take their yoga practice anywhere. I also feature my students in poses whenever I can.
Tip From: Anita Perry, Founder, Yoga Anita
Exclusivity goes a long way for spas and health clubs—especially high end ones. Leverage this by offering a sort of special/VIP access to those who are referred by gym members (and to those who refer, of course).
In the high-end market this works better than discount incentives. As for what “VIP access” means, that’s up to the spa or club. The more they can offer to that’s inaccessible to regular patrons (or the better it sounds), the more enticing the whole campaign will be.
Tip From: Orun Bhuiyan, Co-founder, SEOcial (a marketing agency)
It’s weird but this works: We have posted several inspirational quotes with pictures of Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and posted it across our promotional material, Facebook page, and other social media accounts. Those images have [the] highest viewership and converted best for us.
Tip From: Sachin Rajgire, Marketing, CoreAbs Fitness & Lifelong Fitness
I think all businesses (not just spa’s) should be aware of SEO and their efforts. What makes this tip more tailored to Spa’s is that they should find ways to combine their SEO efforts with Social Media. There are so many topics that a Health Club/Spa can write about which is why I would suggest starting a blog of common questions your clientele has or will have. This will give you the opportunity to promote your products/services and expertise.
With great content creation, one cannot assume that it will generate traffic itself. Push the content through your Social Medias – ask fans, friends and family to share your content which will lead to more shares. The purpose of this is to increase brand awareness and establish authority which will lead to a larger clientele (more sales).
Tip From: Ameet Khabra, SEO Specialist
1. Be authentic. Use photos of your place, not stock photos.
2. Give your clients value. Post a tip from one of your personal trainers on your website/social media page.
3. People are interested in marketing that explains how a service or product is beneficial to *them*. Be specific. i.e. for women over 40, collagen decreases. Here is what you can do to increase the elasticity of your skin.
Tip From: Sara Daly, Director of Marketing, a’chromatherapy
The number 1 tip I can give is that you should give free information away. For a health club you can do this on Youtube for example, you can show that you know what you are talking about which will attract people
to go to your club.
Youtube is not the only platform to use. There are also lots of forums you can use to answer people’s questions. Forums work really well because you can directly answer questions someone has and you can add a link to your website in your “signature” as they call it on those forums. You can of course also do this on social media groups and other platforms you can find. Just give away knowledge for free and people will come to you eventually.
Tip From: Stephan Reek, Co-Owner, BSR Online
One of our most successful marketing and PR campaigns included promoting amazing treatments like the 7 Hour Massage at Townhouse which made the cover of TimeOut NY magazine, the 24K Gold Facial at the Fairmont Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona and hosting matchmaking events while offering makeovers at Aqua Beauty Bar.
The idea behind all of them was to create a stand out treatment that offered results and made headline news.
Tip From: Madeline Johnson, CEO, Marketing & Public Relations, The Market Council
A huge thanks to everyone who offered their marketing tips for health clubs. If you have a special tip to offer, please let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you, too!