It’s clear that the LBI region attracts tons of loyal vacationers and tourists during the summer months every year, but did you know that Ocean County is home to nearly 600,000 people year round? That’s a lot of locals! South Jersey is a haven for an array of fitness lovers: cyclers, yogis, gym rats, and barre enthusiasts alike. As a fitness studio owner in Southern Ocean County, there’s a huge market for you to tap into! Here are 5 tips to help you spread the word about your studio here in the LBI area, and get a major crowd through the door.
Invest In A Custom WordPress Website
Having a professional website is crucial for any small business, but especially for a local brick-and-mortar location. Your website is where your current and future clients can find your studio address, contact information, and schedule of classes.
Business websites don’t have to cost a fortune. WordPress allows for flexibility, scalability, and it is meant for content marketing. When working with a web designer and building your site, remember to focus on quality over quantity. However, a few must-haves that your website should boast are:
- Contact information
- A menu of your services
- Links to your social media profiles
- Class calendar/schedule
- Calls To Action (i.e. “Contact Us” or “Book a Class”)
- A blog that informs clients about studio news & events, and to share fitness tips
Photos of the studio and short video clips of classes in session will be helpful, too. Give your virtual visitors a taste of what they will experience when they visit your studio in person and take a class! The Hive Martial Arts in South Jersey uses photos and videos on Instagram to market their gym.
*Always be sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This means that your website will load properly on all cell phones, tablets, and any kind of laptop or desktop.
Connect With The Community Through Social Media
Social media platforms are this century’s biggest gift to small businesses. This is your opportunity to directly communicate with your target market. Posting regularly on Instagram and Facebook will keep your followers engaged with your business, and up to date on anything new and exciting you have to offer. Responding to comments and direct messages is key to building lasting relationships with potential and current clients.
Posting on social media 2-3 times weekly is highly recommended. However, certain times of the year may be appropriate to post more often, as well as during any special events your studio is hosting or when there is especially exciting news to share. Use social media to inform your followers about:
- Any specials or studio discounts you are running
- Class schedule changes
- Unexpected studio closures (due to inclement weather, for example)
- A new instructor added to the studio staff
- Fitness tips
- Anything industry relevant and interesting!
Social media is potentially the fastest, most direct way to get in touch with your existing clients and followers, and will also help you tap into the market further. Even starting with the basics, like a Facebook page and an Instagram feed, will do wonders for marketing your local fitness studio.
Engage In Content Marketing
Remember the blog that your website needs? That’s content marketing! Publishing relevant, interesting material on your own studio’s website will help grow your business. It will help draw visitors to your site, thus increasing the likelihood of attracting new clients. You can even use your social media profiles to boost these blog posts that you publish to your website.
Content marketing is all about SEO, which is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is basically a fancy way of saying “let’s get search engines, like Google, to list my business at the top of search results pages”. For example, when someone searches the keyword “LBI yoga” on Google, you’ll want your yoga studio’s website to appear at the top of the search results page. That way, it will increase the likelihood of that person clicking your link, browsing your website, and ultimately visiting your studio.
Utilizing best SEO practices is typically left up to the pros. Web designers and digital marketers know what to do when it comes to using proper keywords, back linking, and meta descriptions. If this all sounds foreign to you, we’re here to help!
Research & Get To Know Your Target Market
When it comes to any kind of marketing effort, it is crucial to know your target audience inside and out. Who are you trying to reach? Who do you want as clients in your studio? How old are these people? What do they do for a living? What are their hobbies? Familiarizing yourself with the answers to these questions will help you decide which marketing tactics are most appropriate for your local fitness studio, according to the crowd you want coming through the door.
For example, a studio that offers classes that appeal heavily to senior citizens may consider focusing its content marketing to attract more of that demographic. It could be effective for this studio to post blogs on its website with titles like “Best Yoga Postures For High Blood Pressure” or “Why Everyone Over 60 Should Be Doing Pilates”. No matter your target market, be sure to publish content on your website that will interest the readers (and ultimately, clients) that you want to attract.
Similarly, your social media marketing should be in tune with what your target market typically engages with. If your goal is to get 20-something-year-old women into your studio to take classes, your best bet is to post bright, colorful photos to Instagram – and frequently! Instagram is a grossly popular social media platform among this demographic, and posting often will ensure the best possible exposure for your studio.
In addition, by enabling Google Analytics on your website, you can further target your audience by gender, age, location, and interests.
Develop A Marketing Plan – And Stick To It
You wouldn’t embark on a road trip without a map, so why would you dive into a marketing journey for your business without a clear plan? Developing a succinct marketing plan with measurable goals in place will help you stay on track toward success when it comes to marketing your local fitness studio. Questions to ask yourself to begin drafting an effective marketing plan according to your goals are:
- Which marketing tools can I afford according to my budget?
- Who is my target market and how are can I reach them?
- What do I want to achieve, and in what time frame?*
*Typically, marketing campaigns yield successful results after at least 6 months of consistent efforts.
Are You Ready To Kick Your Marketing Into Shape?
Marketing your local fitness studio properly will make all the difference for your business overall. An appropriate marketing strategy will familiarize more people with your studio, and help you attain more loyal clients.
The first step, of course, is to invest in a simple yet informative website. From there, you can begin publishing blog posts relevant to the fitness industry and the niche market of clients you’d like to see in your studio. Then, building your social media presence will increase the frequency of engagement between your brand and your target audience. Always remember to keep your targeted demographic in mind, and to stick to your marketing plan for ultimate success!
Looking for help using digital marketing to grow your local fitness studio? Get in touch with our team today!