A Complete Guide to Fitness Marketing in Ghana
Knowing how to market your fitness in Ghana will give you a huge return on your investment if you implement the right strategies. If you are a gym owner or you are planning a career in the fitness and wellness industry in Ghana, right now is the best opportunity for you.
There hasn’t been any time, except in the future of course, when people have been so much concerned about their health and wellness.
If you want to learn how to market your fitness center or the best fitness marketing strategies to get new members and the best retention rates, then read on.
By the time you are done reading this article, you would have learned the best strategies to help you market your gym, your fitness center.
Marketing your fitness business without seeing any results can be frustrating, especially in a society like Ghana where the idea of going to the gym is still linked to going to build your muscles.
However, as the use of the internet increases and as people are being educated on their health and getting more exposure to the topic, more and more people are getting into the idea of fitness. The number of weekend health walks alone is enough proof.
This means that marketing your fitness company promises large returns for your business and the right strategy will help you achieve your business goals.
If you are like most gym owners, you probably don’t have a dedicated strategy to boost your membership. In this digitalized age and competitive environment, word-of-mouth alone is not enough to sustain your business.
You need to develop a marketing strategy that will help you increase membership and retain membership.
If you are not aware of the importance of marketing to your business, let me share with you a few tips to help you understand the vital role it plays in scaling your business.
Importance of marketing to your fitness center
1. Brand recognition
Getting your brand out there for people to see requires marketing. In order for people to get to know you and your services or products, you need a good marketing strategy to place you ahead of the competition.
2. Increased membership
A good marketing strategy will win clients for you and that means your business is going to grow. Considering the number of people who want to achieve fitness, you risk losing out on getting them if you do not pursue marketing with a good strategy.
3. Retaining members
Have you ever wondered why your members leave so often or they don’t stay for long? It is because you don’t have effective marketing strategies to continually encourage them to come back.
It is an established fact that 20% of your customers buy 80% of your products.
Before we go on to learn about the strategies to help you market your fitness business, let’s take a look at the reasons why members leave your gym.
This will help you, first of all, make the right adjustments and help you understand the roles each of the strategies can help to grow your business.
Why members leave your gym
• Lack of motivation
Many people have the desire to exercise and keep fit, but when they don’t get the right motivation, they tend to give up. As a gym owner if you want to retain your members you must continually find ways of motivating them and encouraging them to keep on with their goals.
Motivation doesn’t always mean using words or sending them quotes, which are very helpful. Sometimes you can use other strategies like initiating a referral program where they get incentives to encourage them to bring their friends and family.
People love to exercise and lose weight in groups. In fact, research has also proven this to be true and more effective.
So get creative with this and get your members to stay.
• Local competition
A gym is a local business, which means you must stand out from the local competition in order to retain your members.
Without the right plan, your gym member can easily switch to another gym. This means giving the best treatment to your members is a requirement.
If you don’t have the right staff and the right training programs personalized for them, you risk losing them to a competitor who gives those to them.
• Lack of personalized training
When people decide to hit the gym for the first time, they come because they have a personal reason and a compelling reason. Some people come because they want to lose weight after pregnancy. Others want to stay in shape, and others also want to keep fit.
Your ability to recognize each of these people’s reasons and deliver personalized services to them is very crucial in sustaining your membership.
You have to understand why everyone comes to your gym and then provide services to meet their needs.
This might mean going the extra mile to know their names, putting them in the right groups, and even sending messages to encourage them and letting them know about their progress.
A lot of your members leave because they don’t hear from you. Marketing helps you to address most of these. So now let’s look at some marketing strategies to help you market your gym.
Marketing strategies for a gym business
There are a number of strategies to help you market your fitness center. But each of these strategies must fit into three distinct strategies:
What are your business goals
Your business goals should define which of the strategies you use. Your business goals should be very unique and propose a value that your target customer is looking for.
The end result you are seeking to achieve with your business should be clearly stated to help you determine the best fitness marketing strategies in Ghana for your business.
For example, is your goal to increase membership for your fitness center or gym? Or your goal is to maintain your members? Each strategy should have a goal that is tied to your original business goal.
For example, let’s say retaining membership is your goal. You might want to use email marketing strategy to increase member engagements with your business on a personal level.
Once your goals are clearly spelled out, you can then approach your marketing with the right strategies.
Your target audience
Whether you own a fitness center or running a gym, you need to be specific about the type of person you want to be your member. Knowing your target audience helps you to use the right strategies for your campaigns.
Knowing your target audience also helps you to be more specific and personalized in your marketing. This means that you present yourself uniquely as the only one with the solution to their problem.
So you can define your target customer by many metrics according to your business goals. For example, what age group are you targeting? Find out the work they do, their peculiar challenges, and their objectives.
Once you understand who they are and their values and challenges, it would be easier for you to develop a unique value proposition that resonates with them and wins them over to you.
One of the reasons why you should know your target audience is to determine which channels they are using to help you decide on which channel to use in your marketing.
If more of your target audience is on Facebook, then you are going to have to focus more on Facebook then the other channels.
Let’s now look at the various strategies you can use to market your fitness business.
1. Build a website for your gym
Marketing is successful when the right structures are in place. One of the best structures you need is a website that is mobile friendly and easy to use.
A website gives you the visibility you need for your business on the internet and it also helps you acquire new customers.
The most important benefit of a website is that if it is properly used, it can serve as a huge asset to driving new customers to your business.
On your website, you can have membership registration forms and bookings built into it for you to get in touch with anyone who wants to join your gym or needs your services.
A membership page will also help you keep in touch with all your current members and offer support and advice to them.
On your website, make sure that every relevant information to your business is easy to find. Information such as your business name, your address, and your phone number (NAP) should be easy to find so that prospective clients can contact you.
Also make sure your website is search optimized in a process called search engine optimization so that when someone searches for your brand name or uses keywords that are relevant to your business, you show up in search results.
2. Local SEO
A gym is a local business as you know already. This means most of your members are going to come from the city you live in. Using local SEO means that your gym is findable by people in your area looking for a gym.
People are more likely to search for terms such as “gyms in Accra”, “gyms near me”, or something similar. Some might even go more specific and type “gyms in East Legon” or anything similar.
The essence of this is to make sure that these terms are found on your website.
Below is an example that shows you the need to optimize your website for local SEO. As I typed gyms, google displays the following results to me.
So you can use variations of all the terms associated with your business on your website to make sure when people search for these terms, you are the one that shows up.
Another way is to use Google My Business.
This is a free tool by google for you to list your business on. When your prospective customers make a search like gyms in Accra, google first displays those results to them. Listing your business there helps google to know where you are and display your business in search results.
For example, I’m in Cape Coast, and a search for gyms near me yields the results below.
When listing your business, make sure to fill in all the necessary requirements and select the right business category.
Another way to use local SEO to boost your business is to use citations.
Citations are websites that list businesses together with their addresses and phone numbers. A citation is very useful especially when it is related to your business.
You can submit your business details for entry and that can go a long way to boost your SEO.
Examples of citations are Yelp, Ghana yellow, and trip advisor.
Another way to boost your local SEO is to use the right keywords. I’ve already shown you how using the right keywords can help boost your SEO efforts. Make sure to use the right keywords on your website and all social media platforms.
Make sure your address, name, and phone number is constant with the right format on all your online platforms.
3. Social media marketing
Social media is undeniably an important tool to help you market your fitness business. From staying in touch with members to providing motivation, to getting new members, social media plays a crucial role.
You might have social media accounts, but how consistent are you in posting the right information. It is important for you not to leave anything in a vacuum. Leverage your social media to grow your business.
As I mentioned earlier, have the right keywords on your accounts and post messages that resonate with your brand to encourage more people to seek fitness. When more people are encouraged, they will run to you for solutions.
You can also use social media ads to promote your services. The advantage of these ads is that they can be targeted specifically to the people you are looking for.
4. Content marketing
Content is probably the most important aspect of all your marketing efforts. People connect and relate to the right content. If your content is not something that is important to your target market, then know it is going to be difficult winning them over.
Make sure you have content on your website, blog, social media accounts, and email that will propel the right actions from your prospective clients and current members.
Create a blog for your business and write content frequently about your niche to ensure that you establish the right brand authority.
Make sure your blog’s content has the keywords associated with your business in it. This helps you to get the best and quality prospects.
For example, a person who searches for “the best fitness centers in Tema” is probably looking for a place to work out. Once you have content on your website that educates them on this, they are likely to call to book a session with you.
Part of your content marketing strategy involves identifying the content that your target audience loves. This means you have to create a content mix and have the right content structures for people to appreciate what you are giving them.
The content types you can use are
• Videos: you can use videos to demonstrate some exercises and work-out routines for your members. You can also show videos of your gym and all the amazing stuff you’ve got there to entice people to want to come.
• Photos: you can post inspirational quotes for your members to help them stay encouraged and also photos of people who have seen success with their work-outs. People love to see results and this is a great way to show them that they can get the result they want when they visit your gym.
• Text: this is very important for your blogs and other platforms. You can send tips and important information to your members.
These content types are amazing and what you have to do is have a mix of all of them. They each have their parts to play in making your marketing successful.
Hosting an event is a great way to gain visibility and get new members. You can take advantage of holidays and organize community health walks or aerobics. When people come and they enjoy it, you can tell them more about your gym and even register new members.
The best way to achieve results with this is to make time to follow-up on them and ensure they come to your gym.
6. Referral programs
People like exercising in groups and it is even motivating for most people. You can leverage this by instituting a referral program where members get additional benefits or incentives when they refer others to your fitness center.
This will help you even retain your members seeing they are more likely to come if they are coming with a friend or a relative.
7. Affiliate marketing
There are a lot of health centers in Ghana, a lot of people who sell fitness clothing, and more people who sell nutritional supplements. You can form relationships with these people to market your gym for you.
This can be achieved through affiliate marketing. What happens is that if any of the people you partner with refer someone to your center, you give them an incentive (money or a product). This is a very good way of getting new clients.
Let’s say you know someone in Accra who sells work-out outfits. You can partner with the person to post a banner or a flyer of your gym in their shop. When people see the flyer, they are likely to ask for more information. If the people she refers to you become members, they get 20% of their membership fees as long as they remain members.
This might seem huge to you, but it comes with a whole lot of benefits. Affiliate marketing is like passive marketing. You don’t really use a lot of effort, so consider the time you are saving and all.
You can also post banners on other websites that are similar to your industry to help drive traffic to your site.
8. Email marketing
There is a lot of uncertainty and changes in social media, but that is not the case for email. With email, you can be sure your client will get your message as long as you’ve got the right email address.
Email is more personal and should be used with a lot of personalizations to reap the best results. How about tips Tuesday or a workout Wednesday message right in your client’s inbox to help you stay connected and keep in touch with them.
Ads are a great way to get new members as well. There are a number of ads you can choose from, including google ads and social media ads.
Compared to traditional advertising, online ads are relatively cheaper and the other advantage is that the outcome is measurable.
You can determine how many people registered to be part of your gym as a result of your social media ad, something you cannot do with traditional marketing.
You can also use retargeting in your ads to make sure you get members who visited your page but didn’t register.
With retargeting, you use what is known as a pixel to track a person who visited certain pages of your site. For example, if someone visits your pricing page and didn’t continue with the registration, you can set up a Facebook pixel that will display an ad to the person in their Facebook newsfeed.
This is a great way to ensure that you derive the best from your marketing efforts.
While advertising your fitness center, it is important for you to use promotions to cause a sense of urgency in people to want to register with you.
People generally like to buy things that have a deadline attached to them. If you run a promotion that says get 25% off when you register with us in the next three days, more people are going to register than if it was just a simple register ad.
Marketing your fitness company is a great way to leverage the opportunities that are available to us now.
Now, let’s look at some tips to help you retain your members
Tips to retain your gym members
1. Use special promotions to get them to register for a longer-term
You can offer discounted prices to members who register for a longer period of time. For example, members who pay for a 6-month registration can get 15% off their registration. This will help them register long term, and once they’ve registered the thought of not wasting their money will compel them to come.
2. Send regular email messages
Have your members share their success with you. This means that you have to keep track of their progress and celebrate their successes with them. You can feature such success stories in your emails and help encourage other members to also yearn to achieve similar success. Let Ubuntu be the theme of your gym, we rise by lifting others.
3. Use personalization
People like to feel special, so make them feel special. Send personalized email messages or social media messages to your members and let them know you know them and you appreciate them.
4. Motivate members
Motivating your members to also keep their minds on their goals will help them feel inspired to always exercise and go to your gym. Sometimes, people get discouraged along the way, or they get stuck in other situations, make sure you get them to stay motivated and always choose your gym for their work-out sessions.
Tips to help you get new members
1. Make your website user-friendly
Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number (nap) is easy to find on your website. If people have to struggle to find this information, then they are going to leave. To get new members to call you and register you have to make sure every relevant information on your website is easy to find by the website visitor.
2. Have quality content on your website and social media
When people visit your social media accounts and websites, the first thing that impresses them is your content. Whether photos, videos, or text, make sure they are of the right quality.
Publish success stories on your website as well so visitors can understand the value you give. People want to see results so always show the results.
3. Use retargeting
I have already explained retargeting. It is a very efficient way for you to get new members. If someone visits your pricing page, then it means they are probably interested in your product or service.
Retargeting helps to remind them of your existence and that keeps you in their minds.
4. Have your customers give you reviews
When Google displays results of location-based businesses in search results, it shows reviews as well. A positive review will help you get more people calling you than negative reviews.
So make sure you offer a great service at your gym. Have your members give you reviews to encourage people who want your service or product to contact you.
5. Use ads
Google ads and social media ads are great tools for you to get new members as well. From time to time, dedicate a portion of your budget to run ads. This will help you to get new members to join your gym.
Marketing your gym will help you increase your brand’s visibility, get new members, and retain your existing members.
Fortunately, there are varied ways to market your fitness center and leveraging them will help you attain your business goals and objectives.
Don’t forget to give the best service to your clients to help you make all these efforts successful.
I hope you found this information helpful to you and your team, if you did, then please share with others. If you have any questions or you need any guidance, contact us and let’s find a way to help you. We are just a call away.