Are you using fitness content marketing in your business? It’s now firmly established as an essential element of marketing for health and wellness companies. In fact, 89% of B2B, and 86% of B2C organisations use it in their marketing.
In this article – we explain how to use fitness content to drive leads, sales, and brand awareness for your business.
- What is content marketing?
- How is it different from traditional fitness marketing?
- Benefits for health & fitness businesses
- The strategy – attract, engage & convert
- How to create awesome fitness content in 5 simple steps
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is about building brand credibility and generating sales leads by providing useful resources to your target audience.
When approached in a strategic way, it creates a sales funnel that drives customers through the purchasing journey. Content marketing can turn complete strangers into raving fans of your fitness business in a very short amount of time.
It’s a great strategy for attracting, engaging, and converting new members. It can help you establish credibility and build authority, whilst also reaching a wider audience. It allows you to target your ideal client with precision, build rapport, and gather their contact details for follow up.
Best of all, it’s low cost (or free in many cases) so your return on investment is likely to be high.
Fitness content marketing might involve blog posts, instructional videos, infographics, or any number of other formats. But however you communicate it, your content must be valuable. This means it should either be entertaining (funny, interesting, a good story) or educational (helpful, practical, answering questions).
How Is It Different From Traditional Marketing?
Traditional fitness marketing focuses on promoting products or services. It focuses on communicating features and benefits in a persuasive way so that people want to buy what’s on offer. Adverts, sales promotions, and gym flyers would all fall neatly into this category.
These things are important but they aren’t enough in the competitive world of fitness. Content marketing takes this further – it’s about providing value so that you become the ‘go-to’ brand for information in your niche. This establishes you as a credible industry leader and is much more powerful than traditional approaches to fitness marketing.
Sure, there’s the odd outlier like Anytime Fitness and Pure Barre. But most health and wellness brands seem to be eyeing up content marketing cautiously, unsure of the precise business benefits, or how to get started.
Interestingly though, there are several aspects of this approach that make it essential in our industry.
Fitness Content Marketing Benefits
Here’s an overview of the benefits of content marketing to health and fitness businesses like gyms, equipment manufacturers, and supplement companies…
- Traffic – Generates more traffic to your website via search engines and social shares
- SEO – Enables you to target more keywords throughout your site, which also increases traffic
- Lead Generation – Provides an opportunity to educate people about your services, and create demand, without being blatantly ‘salesy’
- Speeds Up Conversion – Moves customers to make a purchasing decision more quickly
- Email Capture – Allows you to offer bonus materials in exchange for an email address
- Social Media – Gives you more ammunition to post on your social networks
- Conversation – Opens up more opportunities for interactions, via comments and social shares
- Relationships – Builds relationships with a targeted audience by creating interest and trust
- Loyalty – Ever-changing content gives customers and prospects a reason to return
- Brand – Increases awareness of your brand, as well as products or services
- Credibility – Helps position you as a credible authority in your sector
- Value – Enables you to provide additional value, and reach more people with your message
All of these aspects are hugely beneficial for your marketing campaigns. However, there are two that are vitally important for health and fitness businesses in particular…
The health and fitness industry has a bit of a mixed reputation. Faddy diets, dodgy weight loss pills, pushy sales techniques, dishonest marketing – there’s no shortage of reasons to distrust our sector. This is hugely frustrating when you’re one of the good guys, with an offering that can genuinely help people.
Content marketing can help build and demonstrate your credibility (even in a sea of dodgy competitors). Here are some ideas of how you can utilise it…
- Why not create an infographic that explains the science behind your product in a visually interesting way?
- Or write a series of blog posts featuring client success stories?
- Or publish a mini guide about dispelling common myths in your sector?
There are so many ways to tell your story through content marketing, whilst positioning yourself or your brand as a credible authority.
You might also like… this article on how to build a fitness brand using content marketing.
Most businesses in our industry have a high turnover of customers. This is particularly true of fitness studios and health clubs, which are constantly fighting the retention battle. People get bored, busy, or just find their wellness journey too tough and give up.
But content marketing can help keep them interested, engaged, and support them with their struggles. Here are some examples of how you can leverage it…
- Could you create an ebook that helps clients reach their goals faster?
- Or a cheat sheet about how to overcome a common barrier?
- Or a video demonstrating advanced techniques to help people progress further?
Content marketing is an ideal way to increase retention and loyalty, yet few businesses in our industry are really doing it well.
This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with your clients and prospects, whilst also differentiating yourself from the competition.
Dominating the content marketing landscape could be your way of getting ahead in a crowded industry.
The Strategy – Attract, Engage & Convert
Content marketing can help you attract new leads, engage with them to build a relationship, and then convert them into paying members. These 3 stages are at the core of the marketing process.
However, most fitness businesses rush straight from ‘attract’ to ‘convert’. It might seem like a quicker shortcut, but it also results in a much lower conversion rate and is less effective overall…
ATTRACT ⇒ Engage ⇒ Convert
Valuable content can attract new leads in many ways.
- Someone might search for a phrase online and find your blog article on Google.
- A video you create can get shared on Facebook and seen by an infinite number of new people.
- They may type an exercise into Pinterest and then see your ‘how-to’ infographic.
By creating truly valuable content, you’ll rank higher on Google, be shared across social media more often, and reach new people.
Attract ⇒ ENGAGE ⇒ Convert
Once you’ve attracted new people to your content, use it to engage with them. People buy from businesses they know, like, and trust, so this is where engagement plays a big role.
The very fact that your content is valuable and helpful will help establish trust. It’ll position you as a credible authority on your chosen topic.
You can also mix in other fitness marketing ideas that help people get to know and like you. Talk about your values, the backstories of your team members, or why you started the business. Then encourage comments to further develop a relationship.
Attract ⇒ Engage ⇒ CONVERT
Once readers are convinced by your free content, it’s much easier to convert them into paying customers. People are much more likely to sign up if they already trust you and know that you provide value. They’ll often think “if they’re giving this away for free, imagine how good their paid service must be”.
So, include ‘lead magnets’ or ‘content upgrades’ to capture people’s contact info. Aim for content that solves their problem immediately and is super-high quality, so that they’ll be willing to hand over an email address or phone number in return.
How To Create Fitness Content
So, how should you approach content marketing in your fitness business? The good news is that you don’t need to completely overhaul your approach. Content marketing is just another strategy that you can add to your mix.
Here are 5 simple steps for creating awesome fitness content…
- Define objectives & target audience
- Choose a topic
- Pick a format
- Brainstorm appealing titles
- Promote your content
Now let’s look at each of these in more detail…
Step 1 – Define Your Objectives & Target Audience
As with all marketing campaigns, the first step is to define your objectives and target audience. The content you produce should be relevant to them, so it’s important to be clear about it upfront.
If you want to attract older adults, then focus on topics of interest to them (like maintaining flexibility and balance, or staying nourished on a smaller appetite).
Content marketing is low cost but highly targeted when done correctly. For example, offering broad nutrition tips isn’t very targeted, since it’ll appeal to anyone with an interest in health. But offering nutritional advice specifically for people training for an Ironman event is MUCH more targeted – so try to narrow it down as much as possible.
Step 2 – Choose A Topic
We recommend focusing on a topic that your audience wants to hear about (as opposed to one you want to talk about). There are lots of ways to figure out what they’re interested in, such as…
- FAQs – What do you often get asked or emailed about? What do people comment on your existing blog or social media posts?
- Forums – What questions do people ask on sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, or Reddit?
- BuzzSumo – What kind of topics are popular on your competitor’s platforms? Use BuzzSumo to find out… we reckon you can do even better than theirs!
- Google Keyword Planner – What are people searching for in Google? Use their Keyword Planner to look for common search phrases, and try different combinations of your topic plus ‘how’, ‘why’, or ‘where’ questions.
- Quick Polls & Surveys – Ask your social media following or email list what they’d like to learn more about, or what they’re finding challenging.
Step 3 – Pick a Format
Once you’ve picked a topic, then decide which format you want to publish it in. There are loads of different fitness content ideas to choose from such as…
- Written blog posts
- Online courses
- SlideShare presentations
- Social media posts
- Step-by-step guides
There’s no point in starting a blog if you hate writing, as you won’t publish content consistently.
There are some topics that lend themselves better to visual explanations, so might be best talked about using video or graphics. Whereas others can be explained clearly using audio or written formats, so it’ll depend on your own specific area of focus.
Then create your content in the best format, ensuring it’s useful, credible, and easy to read. The most valuable content is easily related to real life and tackles a specific issue.
You might also like… Fitness Blog Post & Article Ideas For When You’re Feeling Stuck
Step 4 – Brainstorm Appealing Titles
Your title is what’ll first appeal to people, so it needs to be descriptive and intriguing. It should communicate what your content is about or what the audience will learn from it. But the digital landscape is competitive, so it really needs to stand out too.
One way to do this is to add a ‘hook’ or something that entices the audience. This could be by taking a contrarian approach or being controversial. It might be saying something surprising, overcoming a common objection, or giving them a guarantee.
Whatever it is, your title needs to do a good job of appealing to your target audience.
Step 5 – Promote Your Content
Promoting your content is key if you want it to attract new members. We recommend making a checklist of promo actions for every piece of content (e.g. share 3 times on Facebook, once on Instagram, post in specialist forums).
Partnerships are also highly effective yet one of the most under-utilised content promotion ideas.
Why not work with complementary businesses to cross-promote what you’ve created? Find brands with a similar target audience to you and agree to promote each other’s content.
This will help you reach new people, and expose your audience to even more helpful resources. It’s also an effective strategy for promoting events and new membership drives locally.
Fitness Content Marketing – Summary
So, now you know how content marketing can benefit your fitness business and the exact steps to implementing your own strategy.
By creating content that is valuable instead of self-promotional, it’ll get shared more frequently, rank higher in Google, and help you to reach more people. You’ll be able to attract, engage, and convert new leads into paying members, whilst helping them achieve their fitness goals.
Health and fitness marketing can be highly competitive. It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd. But content is something that can set your business apart and help you get ahead of the competition.