Gym Advertising Ideas: 4 Audiences to Target with Digital Ads
For local gyms and health clubs, advertising often starts and ends with fitness postcards and fliers. Those are both awesome ways to drive business, but we’ve also seen a lot of success for gyms that use digital advertising.
Many digital ad platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Google Display Network let you fine-tune your audiences based on different data points. For example, a display ad (the kind you find in the middle of a blog post or news article, or as a banner on a webpage) can be targeted by:
- Audience location
- Audience demographics
- Audience interests
- Audience behavior
- Content topic
- Content keywords
If you decide to use digital advertising for your gym, picking the right audiences is key.
Every club is different, so we would never suggest that everyone utilize the same audiences for targeting. However, there are some tried-and-true audiences that are optimal for most health clubs.
Here are our top four favorite types of people to target:
People who are looking to join gyms and athletic clubs
This one might seem obvious, but it’s a perfect example of how targeted the audience can be.
This audience group takes out the guessing game of “who’s looking to join a gym?” and cuts straight to the point. Advertising platforms (like Google) have done the hard work for you, building a model of how a user behaves online when they’re about to join a gym.
The average click-through rate on a fitness display ad is normally around .3%. We’ve seen up to a 2% click-through rate targeting people who are looking to join gyms & athletic clubs.
Unfortunately, the network of people actively looking for gyms isn’t very big, especially when you’re also targeting by your specific location. So we have to combine this audience group with a few others to make sure you’re getting as many impressions and clicks as possible.
People who crave fast food
I’m not sure if we should be proud or ashamed of this one, but the internet knows everything, and they even know the people who are most enticed by a McDonald’s Big Mac commercial.
You may be thinking “what does someone’s cravings for a Big Mac have to do with wanting to join my gym?” I don’t know about you, but after I finish a huge fast food meal, the first thing I think is “I’ve got to go to the gym.” That’s where your ad comes in.
While browsing the internet, the fast food cravers see your ads, then find themselves signing up for a free trial membership at your club to try to burn off at least a quarter of that Big Mac.
By targeting this group, we’re able to anticipate who may be searching for a gym soon, getting your brand in front of them before your competitors have a chance.
People who are shopping for workout clothes
This audience group is by far the one with the highest click-through rate. I’ve seen up to a 4% click-through rate; that’s 13x the industry average!
One day, a friend of mine was talking about how she needed to get back into the gym, but she just couldn’t motivate herself to go. She ended up buying new workout clothes, and the next week she signed up for a three-month membership with a pilates studio.
We’ve noticed that a lot of people will actually buy workout clothes before even researching a gym to join. By targeting people who are shopping for activewear, we cut out the middle man of the audience having to do research by showing them ads to your club first.
People shopping for workout clothes are a great target audience for gyms!
People who have been to your website
Chances are, the majority of people who visit your website aren’t going to become customers right then and there. That’s why it’s so important to stay top-of-mind, even when they click away.
Targeting advertisements to your website visitors is called retargeting, and it’s one of the pillars of digital advertising. It takes a little setup, but once you get a retargeting campaign going, it can pay for itself in no time.
Finding people who are looking to join a club like yours using digital ads is easier than it sounds — if you know where to look.
You can find unexpected audiences by targeting people who are shopping for workout clothes or even people who crave a good burger now and then. The best marketing is marketing that anticipates your prospects’ wants and needs before they do.
Targeted digital ads are amazing because the targeting possibilities are endless. Well, maybe not endless, but you can target so many different types of people. It’s never been easier to send your marketing directly to the digital devices of the members that you want.
We’ve only listed some of our favorite audience groups, but there are so many more out there that have constantly brought in new members for clubs we’ve worked with.
Get more gym advertising ideas
UpSwell is a leader in hyper-local print and digital marketing for the fitness industry. We’ve helped tons of gyms, health clubs, yoga studios, and other fitness businesses boost membership and revenue, and we’d love to help yours, too.