Have you ever wondered how to build a fitness brand? Maybe you have a great product idea, want to promote your studio, or just build your own personal PT brand…
Whatever type of business you’re creating, this guide will show you how to build a fitness brand using content marketing. The proven strategy we’ll outline can help you establish your brand as an industry leader (even if you have zero customers and no audience right now).
It was inspired by a seminar we attended on content marketing by Joe Pulizzi. He’s the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and detailed the exact steps to grow a brand using content marketing.
So, we decided to take his great tips and add our own fitness-related twist to make it more relevant for gym owners, PTs, and fitness bloggers out there. Ready to learn how to build a fitness brand? Let’s go…
Step 1 – Identify Your Sweet Spot
First, you need to identify your sweet spot. This is the area where your product or service overlaps with the challenges of your audience.
For example, if you offer post-natal training or classes, then think about the problems or challenges that your ideal client faces. They’re probably struggling to get 8 hours sleep, maybe unhappy with how their post-baby body looks, and unable to find time for their own health and fitness regime. In this case, the sweet spot could be around rest and relaxation, rebuilding body confidence, or time-saving exercises and nutrition tips.
The key here is to find a topic area with little to no competition. It’s much easier to break through the noise if you’re the only one talking about a topic. Could you approach your topic from a different angle to other companies? Differentiating yourself via what you say (or how you say it) can set you apart and establish your brand as a thought leader too.
Step 2 – Build The Base
The second step in how to build a fitness brand is choosing the type of content you’ll produce. Focus on just one content type (audio, video, or text) and one platform (blog, Youtube, iTunes) to begin with.
The key to successful content marketing is to deliver consistently over a long period of time. According to Puluzzi, most successful examples take over 12 months. So it’s important to start with one format in the beginning, so that you don’t get overwhelmed or struggle to produce content regularly.
Blogs and live video are particularly popular in the fitness space at the moment… But we recommend going with the format that you feel most comfortable with, rather than doing something just because it’s trending.
If you enjoy writing, then a blog is a good choice. If you prefer visual mediums like video, then go for that. Just be sure you’re able to deliver your message clearly and consistently.
Step 3 – Collect Email Addresses
Collecting email addresses is essential to building a strong foundation for your brand. Having direct access to your audience ensures you’ll always be able to communicate with them.
If you rely on social media alone, then what happens if your account gets suspended? That’d leave you with no way to communicate with your followers unless you have their emails too…
The other issue is that less than 1% of your Facebook followers will see your organic posts. Social media is an important element of marketing, but you can’t guarantee that it’ll spread your message. However, email is a little different… Once you have a list, around 22% will open your emails, enabling your message to reach more people.
So, how do you get them to sign up? Offer them a ‘remarkable download’ or ‘lead magnet’ that’ll entice them to hand over their email info. It’ll need to be something that provides real value, such as an ebook, cheat sheet, or meal plan. It also needs to be aligned with your ideal client’s needs or challenges.
If you have the time, create content upgrades that complement individual posts, videos, or podcast episodes. But if you don’t have the bandwidth, then create one amazing opt-in that’ll appeal to everyone who visits, watches, or listens.
Step 4 – Diversify Your Publishing
Once you’ve published content consistently and established an audience, you can expand. So if you started off by writing blog posts, consider adding Youtube or live video into the mix. If you began by podcasting, then think about adding ebooks or webinars too.
Knowing how to build a fitness brand is one element, but this step will help you grow your audience reach and further establish it as an industry leader.
In the Content Marketing Institute’s case, their best customers tend to subscribe to 3 different things (such as their podcast, emails, magazine, webinars, or events). Knowing this, they wait until a person has subscribed to 3 things before they pitch them anything.
Step 5 – Use Data To Monetise
Once you’ve diversified your marketing channels and published consistently, you’ll have established a decent audience. You’ll also have a lot of data, which you can use to help monetise your offering.
Take a look at your analytics – what’s the difference between those who subscribe to your content and those who don’t? Do they buy more products? Are they loyal for longer? Do they cost less to convert into members or clients?
Knowing how to build a fitness brand also involves asking your audience. You can get feedback from them that’ll help you develop your offering. Use surveys or focus groups to find out what their biggest challenges are, and then develop a product or service that solves them.
Or you can partner with other brands who serve the same audience. Find companies with products that your subscribers will like, and set up a joint venture or sponsorship deal. This enables you to earn extra income, whilst introducing your followers to other brands that can help them.
How To Build A Fitness Brand – Summary
Now you know how to build a fitness brand using content marketing. It’s a long-term strategy, not something that’ll get results overnight. But do you know of any successful brands that were built overnight?
Most people start by building a product and then try to attract customers who’ll buy it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. However, the approach outlined here allows you to reverse the process – so you build an audience first, and then create an offering that meets their needs.
Knowing how to build a fitness brand is just the first step. Actually doing it requires consistency and perseverance, along with a lot of content creation.
If you’d like more tips on content marketing, check out our articles on how to start a fitness blog or using content to attract new gym members. And if you want to outsource it entirely, then we can help you with every aspect of strategic planning and content creation. Learn more about our content marketing services.