There’s a perception that marketing small fitness and lifestyle businesses can’t be done effectively.
That’s just a myth.
In fact, increasingly all brands – big and small – are experimenting and using innovative marketing tactics to grab people’s attentions.
The reason for this is quite simple; in the modern world the traditional gatekeepers of the media – the television and newspaper outlets – are slowly losing control. The main goal of any marketing campaign is to get the potential customer to see a message and hopefully get influenced by it.
Success on social media relies on “going viral,” which simply means that you’ve done something that gets people on Facebook and Twitter excited enough to share what they’ve seen with their social networks, and then the friends and followers share it on as well. The cascading effect, when done really well, can help you reach thousands, if not millions, of prospective future clients.
So how do you “go viral?”
It’s not a matter of throwing money at something, as even the biggest brands struggle to get social media visibility and they have large marketing budgets. No, going viral is why marketers are rapidly spending more money on experimental and event marketing than any other kind of marketing if you do this well, people are going to want to share it around.
The simplest example of this is to simply hit the streets and meet with people, who could be your potential clients.
Soft drink manufacturers, such as Coke or Pepsi, do this all the time – they travel around giving samples to people, and use events to encourage people to take photos and put it out on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profiles.
For a fitness business, you might set up a ‘fitness challenge’, and encourage people to workout in public venues e.g. circuit training activities. In addition to the golden video and photo opportunities that you’ll get, you’ll also get a chance to meet new people and really highlight what benefits your business offers to them.
Another increasingly popular marketing strategy is to use just out-of-the-box concepts for an event. Ikea in the UK hosted a sleepover for 100 winning contestants on Facebook. This works on a couple of levels – it involved a promotional element (people like a prize), and it generated plenty viral social media content that was used during and after the event.
This type of event based marketing can be easily applied to a fitness business. Social media based weight loss challenges are an existing popular example. Contestants will have to showcase their progress through pictures they circulate on Instagram or Facebook and will tag your brand or business giving you free effective exposure.
A third popular experimental marketing strategy is to tap into existing popular culture and tie it into the real world. For example, a chain of 7-Eleven stores rebranded themselves to be the ‘Kwik-E-Mart’ from the Simpsons, which worked as promotion for both the stores and the Simpsons Movie, which was being released at the time. Licensing agreements need to be considered and could be expensive.
Experimenting when marketing your fitness business involves no hard-and-fast rules. It only involves you to think outlandishly. Once you figure out that it makes business sense and is cost efficient you can launch it. With the advent of social media, a lot of the traditional costs associated with marketing have been removed.