5 Fitness Marketing Tips to Unlock Your Business Potential

Jul 19, 2018 - 7 min read

Perfecting a fitness marketing strategy may seem like an unachievable concept, whether you’re a long-standing industry veteran or a fresh face in the fitness business game. In reality, marketing strategies for gyms come in all shapes and sizes. Whether that’s promoting  word of mouth  marketing, which 92% of consumers say they trust, or investing in a  Facebook marketing  campaign to target specific demographics.

Before you dive into your latest fitness marketing campaign, it’s important to get to grips with how to determine which markets are suitable for growth, as well as the ignition points to help make their potential explode.

Know Your Audience

Diversity is the spice of life, and when it comes to looking at new growth areas for your gym, you’ll find that your current members play an important role in identifying areas for focus.

Take a look at your current fitness marketing strategy. Who is it targeting? What are their characteristics? Understanding your  member demographic  is crucial in devising effective marketing strategies for your gym, and can transform the way potential members view your business.

Important factors to consider when identifying your member demographic are:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Occupation

These facts can help your business establish an image of the average gym-goer or help split your membership into categories, providing a foundation stone on which you can build your ideal fitness marketing strategy.

Notice that nearly half of your members aren’t committing to more than two gym sessions a week? Introduce  fitness challenges  to boost motivation levels to get them back through your doors. Is there a lack of over 65’s in your facility? Promote a discounted membership if an older person presents proof of age when they sign up. Small incentives like these can transform the way current members view you gym, but most importantly how potential members do the same.

Membership Diversity

The glue between you and your members are their memberships. Creating different types of memberships depending on your audience’s needs should be one of the first things on your fitness marketing to-do list.

Most gyms offer two or three kind of memberships depending on the frequency that members want to attend. But there is the potential to take this further by adapting the membership on your clients’ needs and wants. For example, avoid offering just one ‘1 year membership’ option. Instead, offer flexible monthly rolling contracts at a higher price point for the casual gym-goer, whilst rewarding long-term loyalty with discounts on yearly memberships.

Flexible membership options show that you are dedicated to catering for the needs of all of your members. But on top of a normal contract, your fitness business can also offer different packages that are focused on unlocking different benefits tailored to each market segment.

Many fitness businesses use marketing strategies that align themselves with specific target markets through offering additional services to millenials, older people and those who are the more casual gym. For millenials, some gyms will upsell an advanced ‘PRO’  app membership  to not only increase their monthly income, but also attract tech-savvy young people through their doors. A PRO membership offers nutrition tracking, access to advanced workouts and much more to enhance fitness experiences whilst guaranteeing additional revenue for your fitness business.

Besides that, you can offer memberships only for off-peak hours which has multiple benefits and could be interesting for the older generation who are more likely to be free during office hours. Your gym won’t be as crowded as before and clients with a lower budget will be able to work out as well. Membership-related gym marketing strategies such as these can open up your business to more and more people, without the need for serious investment.

Promote Your Community

Establishing an in-gym community is a proven way to  improve retention and engagement statistics for your current members, but how can it attract new ones?

Through the power of the smartphone, your in-gym community can extend online, and it is here that potential members can be impressed. Being able to advertise your gym as not only a fitness centre, but a place of shared experiences and encouragement, opens up your facility to those who may previously have been intimidated by the idea of going to the gym.

Human beings want to share  their experiences  together, and research shows that this relationship building is vital for creating commonality and generating conversation. So when it comes to targeting these untapped market segments, understanding what their common pain points are, and marketing your community to them accordingly can be seriously effective.

An online community gives potential members the reassurance that they may need before they commit to a gym contract. Knowing that there is always help and support on hand can be a huge attraction for the less confident fitness novices, and help swing them towards making a decision. Members of your gym’s community can not only share their progress with each other in your facility, but also online, creating an always-on source of inspiration and motivation.

Recognize and Adapt to Competitors

Effective fitness marketing strategies are built on research. Identifying what your competitors are doing, and the markets they’re targeting, is important in order to structure your own marketing strategy accordingly.

Your competitors may be competing with you, but they can be a great source of all kinds of information. Taking into account the points about memberships that we mentioned earlier, compare their pricing structures with your own, this information is usually readily available on their club website.

It will be evident through their membership pricing structure who they’re trying to target

When it comes to analyzing your competitors, single-out their Unique Selling Point (USP), and you’ll find that there is a relationship between that and the kind of people they attract at their gym. This information can help you determine what you need to incorporate into your fitness marketing strategy to make your USP just that: unique.

Futureproof With Retention-Building Software

It’s all good and well breaking into a new market segment, but expect these new members to churn quickly unless you strengthen your business with a proven retention-driving framework.

Supplementing your existing service offering with a solution that is proven to keep members returning through your door is something that can often be overlooked in the initial stages of member onboarding. However, a solution that boosts retention isn’t as difficult to implement into your existing business mode as you may think.

You don’t need to reassess your new fitness marketing strategy, a digital retention solution can be easily ‘bolted’ on to your business model. Software platforms like Virtuagym offer a wide range of engaging, useful features that members can interact with, delivering a high-impact fitness experience.

Previously mentioned ideas like community creation and adapting to competitor behaviour are concepts that flawlessly integrate with the introduction of a digital platform. A community module is a perfect place for new and old members to discuss their experiences and build a strong sense of cohesion between the entirety of your membership.

Plus, a digital solution gives you an edge over your competitor. Whilst they may also deploy a software platform to sustain their gym environment, you have the ability to shape your solution around what makes your gym unique: your members!


To summarize, it’s important that your chosen fitness marketing strategy is composed of elements that target the common pain points of your members as well as supporting the overall ambition of your fitness business.

If potential members can see that your business offers them a clear and understandable approach to helping ‘solve’ their fitness issues, they’ll be more inclined to put their trust in you. Gym marketing strategies aren’t just about bringing more money through your door, they should also be about helping the people that chose you get value out of your gym, both financially and health wise.

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Steven Ecott

Content Marketer here at Virtuagym! I've been a journalist for the past four years, and love football, Yoga and tattoos.