In a world where things are so uncertain, the need for a clear and precise communication strategy has never been more important. Restrictions are changing regularly, and gyms are not yet operating at full capacity.
In short, consistent changes to your communication strategy can help grow your community and build stronger customer loyalty. In these ever-changing times, you need to provide your members with clear information and direction.
Moreover, effective communication builds trust with both your team and your customers. This, therefore, means you can increase their engagement and satisfaction at the same time.
Connect with your clients
Positive and simple communication is essential, as a friendly attitude toward your audience will encourage them to interact with you. Research shows that 65% of customers say they are emotionally connected to a brand if it makes them feel like it cares about them.
This means that the tone of voice creates a connection with your audience and encourages dialogue. What you say matters, but the most important part is how you say it.
The KISS Principle
Effective communication should follow the KISS principle: “keep it short and simple”. The keys to the KISS principle are very simple and short: get to the point, avoid irrelevant aspects and deliver a message that is easy to understand.
Review your communication and content critically, and look where your message could be simplified. Keep in mind that while your communication might become more straightforward, it is imperative to keep showing respect and empathy for your audience. In short, speak the language of your customers.
A little tip? Make sure you keep a consistent tone of voice across all the channels you use. This will not only make your brand look more professional and trustworthy, but your audience will also identify with your messages more easily.
Go Beyond Basic Communication
The key to positioning your gym as a real authority is to ensure your communication is going beyond the basic messaging of class schedules.
First, you can share regular updates, for example about reopening or restrictions, but you can also offer insights about key industry news. Whenever things change in the day-to-day running of your gym, whether it is a new reservation system or the implementation of new sanitation guidelines, share this with your clients. Take your time to explain changes and updates, and be on hand to answer their questions. Those little extra steps mean a lot for client engagement.
And why stop there? If we have learned anything from the pandemic, is that a digital offering for remote fitness is essential. Fitness is no longer tied to a physical space - you can reach and serve your clients wherever they are and whenever they need through technology. Connect with them online by live streaming workouts or offering them pre-recorded sessions through your channels.
Do you want to know more about how to attract your clients back into the gym? Learn what people are looking for in a post-COVID gym.
Create an Online Community
This is a tried and tested strategy to increase motivation and engagement. You can share fitness tips, nutritional advice, recipes, wellness tips, and on-demand workouts with your clients through your in-app community or members-only pages on social media.
Creating a YouTube or Instagram account is a great way to live stream or upload pre-recorded workouts. Encouraging people to share, upload and comment on your videos can increase engagement and get people talking about your gym!
Finally, organize challenges and ask your community to film themselves and share it online! The idea is to have a solid social media presence and encourage members to interact with you outside of the gym.
Adopt an Agile Communication Strategy
With the reopening of fitness facilities, you’ll need to train your team to meet your members’ expectations. With changing government guidelines and new ways of working, an Agile communication strategy is the best option.
Agile communication is an approach that can respond, adapt and change responsively while keeping the same goal. You must communicate clearly and effectively with all of your on-site teams, and moreover, you need to be able to disseminate new ways of working to your on-site teams quickly.
Learn how the YMCA Central Massachusetts centralized communication with its clients and team with the help of Virtuagym.
The best way to do this is to adopt a single platform to send all of your information. Then, your teams will know where to find the information they are looking for, no matter what the issue might be. They should be able to access information easily. Also, make sure the content sent out is engaging.
You can share content in many forms, whether it’s an announcement from management or videos on how to wash your hands.
You also need to know if your communications are driving action. If you send a key communication to your team - for example, training them on a new health policy - you need to make sure it’s being implemented. Cultivate a culture of openness and honesty by asking and accepting feedback from your team.
Pick the Right Communication Channels
A good communication strategy for a fitness business is based on the customer experience. Therefore, it is essential to understand your customers. For example, try to find out how they heard about your services, how long they have been members of your gym, etc.
To do this, you can conduct periodic customer satisfaction surveys and analyze the data. Focus on building good relationships with your customers, increasing the number of touchpoints, and keeping them engaged.
Learn from Fitness business strategist Jennifer Halsall-de Wit about how to create a winning fitness marketing strategy.
Understanding your customers will help you know where to reach them and how to structure your marketing message. Consider differentiating your channels based on your target audience. For example, to target audiences from different generations, you will need to diversify your channels.
Also, choosing the right channel depends on the content. You wouldn’t send an invoice through text, right? Selecting the proper channels is as important as the content you share.
The medium is the message
Determining the most appropriate channels will save you valuable time and increase the effectiveness of your message. Here are the channels to consider: in the facility, billboards, websites, blogs, social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, emails, as well as webinars.
When choosing your channel, ask yourself:
- Does it reach my target audience?
- Does it fit my budget?
- Does it allow me to communicate my message effectively?
- Can I measure its performance?
- Does it work well with the other channels I’ve chosen?
It’s also helpful to review the performance of the channels currently in use. You may additionally want to include a new, innovative channel in your strategy. Keep in mind that if the channels aren’t working for you, you can be creative.
You can always create a new space for your message that fits your goals. Sometimes, the boldest strategies are the most successful.