10 ways to optimize fitness center lead generation effort
Fitness center managers understand that lead generation is only the first step in new member recruitment, but it’s essential within the context of a fitness community’s life cycle. Fostering a sense of community and providing excellent customer service are two ways to keep current members engaged and reduce attrition. New lead generation, however, requires a different approach depending on current membership demographics, programming, and your local market.
Narrow your marketing approach to targeted channels best suited for your audience, then use one or more of the following tactics to develop relationships with your brand that translate into new fitness center memberships.
Your website is the gateway to your community for the bulk of your marketing traffic, so make sure it provides a pleasant experience for potential members. It should make it easy for prospects to find information and connect with your staff. Make sure the site is also updated regularly and that lead forms are sent to the appropriate staff member for initial follow-up within 24 hours. Also, make sure you:
- Ask for lead information on every page. Provide an option in a sidebar menu or at the top of each page where a prospect can submit their name, email and phone number for more information about that topic.
- Issue a call to action. “Learn more” is a much more productive call to action than, “Join now,” although you want to provide both options on a membership page.
The purpose of a blog is to optimize search engine exposure for your brand. A blog is a place to give away useful content that establishes your fitness center and staff as reputable. On your blog:
- Post at least weekly to keep the blog content fresh. It helps with SEO and gives blog followers a regular taste of your fitness center knowledge and culture, keeping them in contact with your brand.
- Issue a call to action. Offer to help visitors find the information they’re seeking with a lead form that enables a white paper download. Or, ask them to follow the blog, add a comment or share a post on social media.
Set up your club’s Twitter account so you’re notified immediately of any mentions, replies, or follows. That allows you to engage quickly with an audience that is focused on the here and now. Then, you can:
- Ask commenters for a follow. They can’t see your regular content unless they’re following you on purpose.
- Cross-post by connecting Twitter to Facebook and blog accounts. Let your connected accounts post for you. Remember to engage periodically to build those relationships and create opportunities for interaction with your brand.
Recruit tech-savvy trainers to produce regular 1-minute trainer tip videos, put together a brief facility tour or highlight a new feature. Leverage these short videos on multiple channels:
- Instagram it. Use existing, trending hashtags to better target your prospective member audience.
- Post to your blog. Include an introductory paragraph and a transcript for SEO, and ask viewers to share the post.
- Post to your YouTube channel and share on Facebook. While Facebook Live is great for news feed exposure, it may not be the best place to offer high-quality content like trainer tips. Set up a YouTube Business Account to post videos and explore advertising options to maximize reach. Share YouTube video URLs on social media channels, then provide a link to your website from each video comments section.
Facebook is king for audience engagement. For every fitness center event you host and every trade show you attend:
- Use Facebook paid carousel ads to promote. Use a lookalike audience that mirrors your current member list and boost those posts to get them in front of the right people. Engage Facebook Pixel for retargeting to maximize your Facebook ad spend.
I.Yvan Miklin | President & CEO