Are you looking for effective gym advertising ideas for your fitness business? Maybe you want to increase gym membership sales or boost secondary revenue from personal training and nutritional supplements. Advertising can help with most marketing objectives so it’s a great option for gyms, health clubs, and fitness studios.

In this article – we outline the best gym advertising ideas for generating leads, membership sales, and secondary revenue.

We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we know first-hand what works (and what doesn’t!). We’ve helped gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers to successfully promote their businesses, so our marketing strategies are tested and proven.

Fitness Marketing Fundamentals [Online Course]

The first step to running an effective gym ad campaign is identifying your marketing objectives and who you want to target. You need to be clear on what you want to achieve with your adverts, whether it’s lead generation, brand awareness, promotion of a special offer, or something else.

You’ll also want to know who your target audience is as this will inform the platform and messaging you use. This will enable you to create compelling ad copy that’s appealing and persuasive to your audeince.

By getting clear on these two things, your advertising efforts will align with your business goals and you’ll set yourself up for success. It’ll also help ensure your ad spend generates the best return on investment.

Now let’s dive into the top advertising ideas for gyms, health clubs, and fitness studios…

PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising (also know is PPC) is a highly effective ad format for gyms and fitness clubs. Why? Because it allows you to target people who are interested and actively searching for your fitness offering.

We recommend Google Ads to our marketing agency clients as it’s the best gym advertising tool around. You can use their handy ‘Keyword Planner‘ to research exactly which phrases people are searching for in Google. You can even narrow them down to your precise location! Then you can create adverts that get shown at the top of Google’s results every time someone searches for ‘best gym in Melbourne’ or ‘Spinning classes LA’.

Top Tip: Use the keyword formula ‘gym + [insert your location]‘ or ‘[insert your unique service offering] + [insert your location]‘ to target new members.

Another plus point of PPC advertising for gyms is that you’re only charged when someone actually clicks on your ad. This makes it one of the most cost-effective gym marketing strategies

Get started by… creating a Google Ads campaign.  

50 Fitness Marketing Templates

Social Media Ads

Running gym ads on Facebook is another effective strategy. Using this platform enables you to target your adverts to specific interests, as well as demographics like age, gender, and location. So, you can choose to display your ad to people who ‘like’ certain pages, such as nearby competitors or health food shops.

Example: Create pregnancy yoga ads, then target them at women who are part of local mums Facebook groups.

It’s a good idea to install the Facebook pixel on your website, even if you aren’t ready to advertise with them. That way you’ll know who’s already visited and be able to target them easily if you use Facebook for gym ad campaigns in the future.

Get started by… creating a Facebook Ads account.

Social Media Content Bundle – 400+ Fitness Posts

Advertise In Local Businesses

Partnering with other local businesses (especially health-related ones) can help you attract more members from the nearby community. Advertising at a local cafes, health food stores, juice bars or community centres is a great way to get in-front of new customers. They’ll often let you place a poster advert for your gym on their notice board or cashiers desk.

Top tip: Generate leads for your gym by running a healthy eating workshop at your local cafe and offering attendees a complimentary one-day pass.

Get started by… making a list of local businesses and events where your ideal client is likely to hang out.

Fitness Advert Poster Flyer Templates
Our Fitness Marketing Bundle includes gym advert templates for posters, leaflets, and flyers.

Community Magazine & Newspaper Ads

Community newspapers and magazines may not be especially innovative gym advertising ideas, particularly in the digital marketing era. But they can still work well with the right gym ad design to catch people’s eye and stand out from the other content.

Community magazines and newspapers enable you to target local people, but there’s no guarantee that readers are interested in health and fitness. It’s more of a mass market approach and not as targeted as digital or social media advertising.

Niche idea: Target off-peak memberships at active aging clients, by advertising in local golf or gardening magazines.

Get started by… asking current members which local magazines they read and looking at gym advert examples for design inspiration.

Fitness Marketing Fundamentals [Online Course]

Gym Flyer Campaigns

Another way to advertise your gym is to hand out leaflets in the local area. One option is to post gym flyers through people’s letterboxes who live near your facility. Alternatively, you can hand out flyers at your local shopping mall, high street, or business park.

As with magazines and newspapers, this approach isn’t especially targeted. You can reach local people but there’s not guarantee they’ll have any interest in a gym membership. But it’s a low-cost option so can generate decent revenue returns given the small investment involved.

The key with leaflet advertising is including a deadline that compels people to take action immediately. Otherwise most people will read it and think ‘maybe I’ll do that later’, then promptly forget. But by including a limited time offer or upgrade, you’ll get more people to act on your leaflet and flyer ads.

50 Fitness Marketing Templates

Local Bloggers & Influencers

When it comes to gym advertising ideas, blogs might not be the first platform type that springs to mind. But partnering with local health and wellness bloggers or influencers can be a highly effective advertising method.

Look for blogs that are complementary to your gym business. A fitness blogger who sells their own ‘at home workout programs’ may not be a good fit. However, blogs about health or nutrition are an ideal match.

Idea: Ask them to review your gym or a new group exercise class, then write a blog article about it and promote to their social media following.

You can either pay for ad space on their site or sponsor individual posts. They’re often willing to accept contra-deals instead of cash, such as membership perks in return for advertising opportunities.

Get started by… making a list of local blogs that your target audience reads.

Fitness Marketing Ebook Tablet

Fitness Marketing Ideas Mini-Guide

25 fitness marketing ideas for your gym, studio, or online business. Attract new members, get more PT clients & boost your fitness blog.

Listing Websites

Listings websites have been around for a long time and some are definitely more effective than others. It’s generally best to advertise on sites that also feature round-up articles with titles like ‘The Best Gyms In London’. We’re not so interested in generic listing sites like Yelp or Angie’s List for ads (although it’s worth getting your gym listed if it’s free).

Websites like TimeOut usually charge based on the number of impressions rather than the number of clicks. They’ll often have a downloadable media kit with info about their rates and audience demographics.

Top tip: Promote your next event on a local listings website, invite their staff writers to participate, and give them some free goodies in return.

This method isn’t as targeted as Google AdWords or Facebook advertising, but it’s a lot simpler to execute. You don’t need any specialist web expertise, just an advert design, and some cash.

Get started by… researching local listing websites that offer advertising opportunities.

Cardio Equipment Consoles

Most members spend 30-40 minutes in front of a cardio machine, so why not advertise to them whilst you have their full attention? You could attach ‘console cards’ to the top of the machine that advertise secondary revenue products like PT and supplements.

Some cardio manufacturers even enable you to create pop-up ads on the screen itself, which link to a webpage with more info. They also allow you to test different gym advertising ideas and messages, then compare which produce the best results.

Idea: Attach ‘console cards’ to the top of your cardio machines that promote fitness supplements or juices from your cafe.

Get started by… brainstorming secondary revenue products that will be most appealing to your members whilst exercising.

Fitness Marketing Fundamentals [Online Course]

In-club Posters & Displays

It’s also important to take advantage of every advertising opportunity within your gym. Existing members are the easiest to sell to, since they already know, like, and trust you.

The key to effective in-club advertising is to consider your member journey. What do they see when they walk in the door? Where do they pause or stop? What are they thinking at different points? If you can tap into their natural routine, then you’ll be able to target ads much more effectively.

Top tip: Position adverts wherever your members naturally pause, such as the reception desk, water cooler, and locker doors.

Get started by… going through the exact journey that a member normally does, and noting down all the areas that you pause in or look at (so you know where to play your posters or adverts).

Our personal training poster templates make it easy to take advantage of in-club advertising.

Email Advertising

Don’t forget to advertise your gym’s products and services to your email list. This is another captive audience that clubs often neglect in favour of social media. But people who have signed up to your emails have opted-in to hear from you – so give them what they want!

Sending weekly email newsletters can be a fantastic way to promote new classes, personal training offers, or fitness supplements that you stock. It’s a free way to advertise to your audience and generate leads and revenue.

Get started by… identifying a product or service to promote and drafting an email to advertise it.

Gym Advertising Ideas – Summary

So, now you know the most effective gym advertising ideas for modern fitness businesses, along with tips for implementing them yourself. Google Ads, social media advertising, and local business partnerships are our top recommendations. But combining all of them will give you a steady stream of membership leads and revenue in your gym business.

Gym Advert Templates & More

Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.

50 Fitness Marketing Templates

Whether you run a gym club, health club, or fitness studio, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more leads and revenue. You’ll get 50+ templates covering advertising, social media, content marketing, and promotion (including nine advert templates).

Fitness Advert Poster Templates Pinterest

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.