The fitness industry is a titan.
In 2016, it was estimated to be worth £4.4 billion in the UK alone. Competition has never been fiercer between leisure centres and gyms wanting to sign up new members – but also retain their existing customer base.
Gym marketing can make or break a fitness centre. With new leisure centres opening all the time, and gym-goers feeling less and less committed to their local gym, attracting and maintaining customers is vital. Gym equipment might be getting hi-tech but too often their marketing strategies remain old-fashioned and outdated. Digital displays for leisure centres promise to be integral to modern gym marketing. We’re already used to watching TV screens when we work out – whether we’re listening to the music channel or watching sports. It makes sense that gyms engage with us in a similar way when it comes to their marketing content.
Inspiring community-centred content
One of the most inspiring ways leisure centres and gyms can promote their facilities and classes is through sharing the success stories of their existing customers. The fitness industry has embraced social media like no other with a wave of ‘celebrity’ fitness coaches and bloggers emerging on platforms like Instagram sharing their advice.
Digital displays present a huge opportunity in gym marketing for centres who tap into this growing culture. A gym’s presence on social media can be used to build a sense of community around their customer base. Sharing ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, for instance, can be a simple but effective way to inspire customers. By installing social media integrated digital screens around their gym, leisure centres will be able to reach the customers who might not be following them on Twitter or Instagram.
Advertising personal trainers and classes
Often people go to leisure centres for one activity. Someone might be an avid badminton player or a swimmer. They might go to the gym just for the treadmill or the spa just for the sauna. A significant aim of gym marketing is to diversify the activity of their customers. Firstly because it allows them to generate more revenue. Secondly because the more a customer uses a gym for, the more invested they become in their membership.
Digital displays in a gym are a highly effective way of promoting activities and classes that current customers might not realise are available to them. A screen strategically placed in front of the exercise balls might be used to show videos of a new pilates class. Those working out on a treadmill or exercise bike might be interested in other cardio activities like swimming. Digital screens are also a great way to introduce staff. The profiles of personal trainers might be displayed on screens so gym users can feel familiar with them and potentially make a booking with a trainer of their choice. Safety content can additionally be relayed through a network of screens. Short clips of personal trainers showing best practice when using a piece of equipment would benefit users and reduce accidents.
Generating income with targeted sponsorship
Finally, a crucial aspect of gym marketing is sponsorship revenue – whether it’s from supplement companies or sportswear brands. As advertising across the board has gone – and continues to go – digital, investing in digital signage is an incomparable way for gyms to capitalise on a huge opportunity and actually make money from their screens.
The attention of gym-goers is a hundred times more valuable to the supplement company or the sportswear brand than your average couch-potato. For this reason, advertisers are willing to pay premium sponsorship for gyms that will endorse their products. To be more attractive to these sponsors than competitors, leisure centres need to prove they can engage their customer base with advertisement messages. There is no more effective way to do this than through video on screens. The content sports companies are already creating for TV and the internet can be distributed on screens too.
Digital signage around a gym can be used to promote special offers: both on the leisure centre’s services and external companies’ products. Gyms that embrace innovation might choose to make these promotions interactive. By scanning QR codes on screen, gym users can unlock and take away exclusive vouchers and discount codes.
The fitness industry is evolving. The key to success when it comes to gym marketing is to embrace digital developments. Deploying digital displays in your leisure centre is a unique way to keep up.