We are faced with a perplexing time for the fitness industry. Many gyms remain closed while others are trying to proceed with reopening and boost fitness memberships and sales. With limited access to the gym, people are changing how and where they are exercising.

So what exactly does the future of fitness look like, and what marketing strategies for gyms will dominate in 2021 and beyond?

Constant communication with your members will be crucial

A large part of the new fitness landscape will include direct communication with your members and prospects. 

It isn’t enough to offer a single message about your cleanliness or new features on social media and expect everyone to know about it. A constant stream of communication and updates will be key for member retention. Communicate effectively with your audience through multiple channels to re-engage them with your brand. Offer updates on exciting new changes, hours, and how you are setting your cleanliness standards.

According to Cydne Wright, our marketing manager and one of our fitness experts, cleanliness will be a mainstay of our communications for the foreseeable future, so it’s important that your members understand how you are keeping them safe and your club clean. Health and safety-driven messages are likely to become a staple across marketing campaigns and signage throughout the gym.

By receiving updates about what’s happening in your gym, your members will feel more confident with returning to their previous workout routines. They can be sure that your cleanliness standards are minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and their risk of exposure.

Capitalizing on your club’s unique value proposition

When working on new customer acquisition, you need to offer your prospects value. Your club’s uniqueness is where your value comes in and sets yourself apart from your competitors. Leverage the things that you — and only you — do best.

These things may include:

  • Digital fitness courses – We have seen a shift toward this feature now that many are working out from home. You could incorporate remote coaching or live-at-home workout programs as a benefit to membership. 
  • Hosting community challenges – Foster healthy competition by engaging your members outside the gym. Many are going to be missing the feeling of working out with others and the unspoken community that is built from struggling together for a common goal. These challenges can be a unique way to bring your members back together, even if they are not present in your club. 
  • Motivational yogis and influential fitness trainers – Maybe you have instructors with a unique background or extensive training that you could market to your audiences looking for classes or one-on-one coaching. Highlight their distinctive qualities and let them shine in your club.
  • Modern, high-tech fitness machines – Your members may be impressed with or excited to try new and cutting-edge equipment you recently acquired in order to reach their fitness goals.

To get the most accurate idea of what sets you apart from your competition, consider surveying your current members — they know your gym best and can give you the most honest answers.


Investing more in your marketing — and don’t slow down!

As we look at where the industry is going, you will likely want to pivot your marketing strategy. Since we were hit with the global effects of COVID-19, digital media consumption has increased by at least 20%. Your club can take advantage of this increase by investing more in digital marketing. If you continue to market to your prospects on the platforms they use most, you will continue to generate brand awareness — even if your gym remains closed.

Those who continue to invest in marketing during downtimes tend to come out better, whereas companies who choose to cut their budgets fall behind their competitors and take longer to recover when the market rebounds.

You can capitalize on your competitors who are not continuing to market their brand and even convert their members. 

If you’re interested in more ways to prepare your club for the future, give the team at UpSwell a call and get started with a free marketing assessment. We look forward to rebuilding the future of fitness with you!

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