Wellness Partners

Fitness Marketing: Basics and How to Market a Gym in Four Steps

Mar 30, 2023
Last Updated Jun 1, 2023

Do you have a passion for fitness you want to share with others? Whether you own a gym franchise or are launching a one-on-one nutrition counseling program, marketing your services is foundational to helping you reach new people and larger audiences. 

Digital campaign creation and promotion is a major driver in today’s fitness marketing space — revenue in the digital fitness and wellbeingspace alone is projected to reach as much as $19.3 billion by the end of 2023. Ignoring these social media marketing strategies in your fitness marketing plan is likely to leave you lagging behind your competitors, no matter how good your service. 

Even if you don’t personally use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or other social media, it’s important to know how these platforms work within fitness marketing strategies to see maximum ROI on your digital marketing efforts.

This article will cover fitness marketing basics and high-level advice on how to market your gym or fitness studio in three simple steps.

What is the Fitness Industry?

The fitness industry includes any individual or organization that focuses on health and wellness, exercise, and overall body maintenance. The following entities can all be considered components of the fitness industry:

  • Fitness centers and gyms
  • Personal training coaches
  • Exercise equipment companies
  • Specialty food and supplement businesses
  • Orthotics
  • Some clothing companies
  • Sporting good vendors

These goods and services can be delivered offline or online.

Why is the Fitness Industry Growing? How Much Does the Fitness Industry Make a Year?

The fitness industry is growing because of various factors, including consumers’ increased focus on health and wellness and the popularization of virtual fitness.

Today’s fitness enthusiasts have the option of working out either at home or in person, as tech has had a significant impact on gym business owners and the fitness industry as a whole. People can just as easily participate in streaming exercise classes or meet with top personal trainersfrom the comfort of their living room as they can go into a physical gym space. It’s a great time to be involved in fitness, as the options for both brick and mortar and online products and services are top-notch.

Worldwide, the fitness industry is worth nearly $97 billion, and trend forecasting only points to consistent growth at three to four percent per year

What is Fitness Marketing?

Fitness marketing promotes gyms, health services, and wellness products to a company’s target audience. Fitness marketers and agencies use search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email campaigns, landing pages, and paid social ads to reach their ideal customers with relevant messaging.

The objective of most — if not all — fitness marketing campaigns should be to compel the reader or viewer to take a specific action. Calls to action can include anything from signing up for a free gym trial to sharing a social media post.

How to Market a Gym in Three Steps

The internet is teaming with marketing tips, advice, best practices, case studies and overnight success stories — and a lot of them conflict. There are so many opinions and ideas floating around it can be hard to tell what advice to take.

To simplify things, we’ve synthesized these four simple steps you can take to build and execute a fitness marketing plan for your business. 

  1. Determine the Target Market for Your Fitness Business

Your first step in considering how to market your gym is to solidify a target audience or a few target personas. A target market is more specific than “people who want to work out.” Are you trying to support people at the start of their fitness journey or competitive athletes? Or maybe you want to share your love of dance: What age do you want to teach? And what style of dancing — social, competitive, performance?  

Data can help inform your decision. If you already have a business up-and-running, ask yourself what information you have about your members. Or, if you have a blog, pull audience information from your website’s Google Analytics to see who’s reading your content. All of this can shape who you want to target with your marketing campaign, which influences where and how you ultimately market your business. 

  1. Determine What Makes Your Gym Stand Out

Determining the factors that make your gym distinct will help you find your unique selling propositionmore quickly and easily. What services do you have that no one else does? What culture will people find with your business they won’t elsewhere? What do you and your staff bring to the experience others cannot? It’s essential to identify the unique selling points of your business, as you can use that information in your branding and marketing.

  1. Create Fitness Content for Social Media

Creating fitness content for social media is a great way to show people what your gym and its offerings are about. HubSpot predicts that short-form videos — like those on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts — will be the type of social media content that grows the mostthis year. HubSpot’s research also shows that short-form videos (as a marketing format) are the most effective and have the highest ROI.

You’ll want to post content about various topics to keep your audience interestedand connect with as many people. You can create content for a wide variety of platforms, or aim to really own one space. Both approaches have their own advantages and limits, so you will have to find out what mix works for you. You can use topic inspiration toolslike Google Trendsand Feedlyto learn about viral challenges and other content trends you can participate in. Just remember the importance of being authentic. Let influencers be influencers — you just be you.

Consider using your social media channels to connect directly with followers, new clients, and other relevant people, and answer any popular questions you receive. You can show the new members of your audience that they made the right decision and can rely on you and your business.

Marketing Helps You Connect with New Customers 

From exercise tutorialsto gym tours, modern fitness marketing is ultimately a visual endeavor. And this is a space where social media excels, with social media budgets across industries up 12% year-over-year.  

But social media isn’t the only way to bring new customers in the door — fitness activities that partner with Wellhub see an up to 40% increasein visits. If you want help reaching new clients, contact a Wellhub wellness specialisttoday!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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