As a successful fitness business owner (and we know you are!), you know that you want to grow your business. I mean...when you're passionate about helping people achieve their health and wellness goals, there's nothing too big and there are never too many people, am I right? But what's the best way to go about growing your business? Where should you focus your efforts in order to see that growth and be able to help more people? Well...if you've landed on this blog, you probably already know that digital marketing is a great way to do both of those things.
Unfortunately digital marketing is not easy and it does require a lot of thought, work, and experimentation to get it right. It's really easy to invest a lot of resources and money into digital marketing and not see any tangible return or not understand whether you're seeing a tangible return or not. In fact, a study by Smart Insights found that 47 percent of businesses are doing digital marketing without a clear strategy. That said, you really can't afford to just throw some random content out into the world and hope it sticks! That is not the most effective or efficient way to go about marketing your business. Instead, you want to be strategic about your efforts. And being strategic means starting with a solid strategy that you can use for all of your digital marketing.
Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons you NEED a digital strategy for your fitness business.
1. Keep Your Marketing Goal-Oriented
Every business should be a goal-oriented business. Whether your goals are weekly, quarterly, or yearly; revenue-based, numbers-based, growth-based or any combination of these, the fact of the matter is that everything that happens in your fitness company should ultimately be contributing to your overall business goals. Including, you guessed it, your digital marketing. When developing your digital marketing strategy, one of the most important things you'll do is analyze your goals and then determine how you can use your digital marketing to reach those goals. This will help you determine what tactics to use, what content to develop, how and where to promote it, etc.
Imagine that we have two different fitness companies. One is a full-service gym (company a) and the other is a wellness product (company b). Company A's business goal is to increase overall memberships to their gym this year? Company B's business goal is to get X number of professional athletes to use and recommend their wellness product? These are both great goals to have but the same digital marketing strategy will most likely not work for both goals. Instead, these two companies need to think about what tactics and what types of content will help them to accomplish their specific business goals. Developing a comprehensive strategy will help you ensure that all your digital marketing initiatives are working towards your overall business goal instead of just existing for the sake of existing.
2. Know Your Audience and Talk To Them
After determining your overall business goals, it's time to think about your buyer personas. In short, a buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. The purpose of creating a persona is to help you better understand your target audience and ensure that all of the content you develop is with them in mind. Without spending some serious time thinking about this piece of your strategy, you run the risk of just throwing up some content that may or may not actually be relevant to your customers. You might get lucky and accidentally develop some really valuable content that your target market cares about but you're more likely to send fall flat by promoting content that isn't what your target audience is looking for. As with business goals, not every fitness company's personas are going to be the same.
Let's take the two companies from #1 as another example. Remember that Company A was looking to increase overall gym memberships? Based on what they're trying to accomplish, a good persona for Company A might be a person who has never really spent a lot of time in the gym before but now they're looking to really overhaul their health, start working out, and lose some weight in order to start living a healthier lifestyle. However, while that persona works really well for Company A, it doesn't really fit in with the goal of Company B, to get X number of professional athletes to use and recommend their product. So instead, Company B might identify that the most valuable professional athlete for them to get using their product is a rookie or fairly novice MLB player who is trying to improve their game in order to get their name out there. Again, this persona probably wouldn't be a good fit for Company A, but it's a perfect fit for Company B.
Since these two companies are talking to entirely different people, it's no surprise that their content should reflect that. The persona for Company A won't want to read about the same things as the persona for Company B. Because these two companies spent time developing their overall digital marketing strategy and develop their personas, they can now ensure that every piece of content speaks directly to their personas and is information those people will find valuable.
For some additional reasons why it's SO important to develop buyer personas, check out our 5 Reasons Why Buyer Personas Are Important For Your Business blog post.
3. Stay Consistent
As with everything in your fitness business, it's incredibly important for you to stay consistent in your marketing. You don't want to claim in one place that you offer personal training 7 days/week but then say elsewhere that it's only offered M-F! Lack of consistency not only confuses people, it also makes you look disorganized and unsure of how to run the business. A strategy can help you avoid that because not only are you putting thought into your marketing prior to getting anything started, you also have a comprehensive document and plan that you can (and should) refer to when developing your content ensuring everything will be consistent.
4. Resource Allocation
This piece is especially important if you're managing your marketing internally rather than outsourcing it. Your team has a lot of responsibilities and there's a chance that they all wear a lot of hats. Or maybe you're handling your marketing yourself while also handling all the business operations and teaching personal training 3 days/week. There just aren't enough hours in the day for everything to get done! Unfortunately marketing, being a non-billable function, is the thing that is most often pushed to the back burner in these scenarios. Having a robustly outlined strategy will help you determine what types of resources you need in order to stay up with your marketing.
5. Measure Your Results
If you know who you're talking to, what your business goals are, how your digital marketing will help you accomplish your goals, and when you should be launching things for each tactic, etc, then it will be easy to determine what metrics to measure and how to analyze your results. For example, imagine you work for Company A in the above examples. Since you, at Company A, are looking to increase overall gym memberships you will want to take a look at how many memberships you have each month compared to the month before. If you have a way for people to purchase memberships on your website and you're tracking your conversions, it should be incredibly simple to understand how effective your digital marketing is in achieving that overall goal. If you were to try to measure your results without a strategy, how would you even know what to measure?! And, trust us, there are a ton of metrics out there you can look at. Without a specific strategy, you run the risk of either (1) getting totally overwhelmed with the sheer number of analytics you can review, or (2) just paying attention to how many people become customers and not paying attention to where those people are coming from and how effective each tactic is.
This last point ties in pretty closely to point #5. Once you're able to measure the results of each piece of your campaign and see how effectively you are reaching your goals, then you have an opportunity to optimize your marketing. Maybe you'll decide to shift focus from one tactic to another after learning that email is completely outperforming social media. Or maybe you'll realize that you should be targeting an entirely new persona based on the leads you're getting through your site. Whatever optimizations you decide to make, those should be based on your overall strategy and how effectively your marketing is at reaching your overall goals. Without knowing what your goals are and how the marketing you're doing is helping to accomplish those goals, you wouldn't know what or how to optimize for better results!
Convinced you need a digital marketing strategy but not sure how to get started? Rest easy. We can help. Let us set your business and your team up for success in 2017 with a clear and defined gameplan for success! Get started on your GrowthPlan today!