Fitness Marketing: The Definitive Guide [Must Read]

Are you ready to take your fitness business to the next level of growth?

This guide is your blueprint to growth. It’s designed for the fitness industry and includes detailed strategies to sign new clients right away.

I’ve included only the marketing strategies and tactics that actually work for the fitness industry.

Ready? Let’s go.

Part 1: Standing out from the crowd

With so many fitness options and new gyms popping up how can you separate your business from the pack and make clients want to choose you over everyone else?

Success with fitness marketing comes down to positioning and crafting a compelling offer clients want.

Step 1: Profile your ideal clients

How would you define your ideal client?

What kind of person sticks with your gym year after year?

Where do they live?

How old are they?

What do they value?

And if you don’t know the answers to your questions you need to go and ask your existing clients and write what they say down.

Understanding your ideal customer’s motivations and desires will form the foundation for everything you do with marketing your fitness business moving forward so take this step seriously.

The more information you have about your perfect customers, the better your overall marketing will become.

If you’re still not sure WHO you should be advertising to then here’s a useful tactic to help:

The key to appealing to your perfect customers is to focus on their shared values.

What do I mean by this?

Take any fitness business and look closely at their client base.

You’ll notice they’re a diverse group of people.

Some are body builders, others are teens looking to build muscle and others are seniors wanting to stay in shape.

Even though everyone looks different they share some common values.

And it’s these values you want to identify.

So, start asking yourself: 

“What are the common values my clients share?” 

Write them down and don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be perfect. Just list out the top 3-5 common values your customers share.

It might sound simple but doing this task is going to 10X your marketing and help you attract new dream clients.

These shared values you identify will shape how you create ads, how you engage with potential new clients and how you position your fitness business to stand out in a sea of competition. 

Step 2: Mark Your Calendar

When is the busiest time of the year for new member sign-ups? 

Many fitness companies see a surge in clientele around a particular month. However, there may be other times of the year when you notice a boost in your revenue too.

Understanding your business lows and highs will help you to determine when you need to ramp up your marketing spend or could be a sign that your marketing needs work if you’d like more consistency around new client sign-ups.   

Step 3: Metrics For Measuring Success

Business metrics tied to your marketing a key to understanding performance. You marketing should be tied to revenue growth and it should also be tied to protecting your profit margins.

Your first metric to figure out is:

“How much are you willing to spend to sign up a new client?”

This number will dictate your marketing KPI’s whether you run ads yourself or hire a marketing agency to help you scale.

Marketing ROI:

How much is a typical new member sign-up worth to you?

How long does your average customer stay as a member?

What marketing channels are working for you?

All of the above questions should be closely tracked with defined metrics that measure your overall growth performance.

Over time you should be able to know that if you spend X amount of dollars on a particular marketing channel like Facebook Advertising you’ll sign up X amount of clients who’ll stay members for X amount of time.

In 2023, it’s crucial to ensure that every decision you make for your business is based on real actionable data. Don’t just guess what your clients want; learn about from them and use that same messaging in your marketing. 

Part 2: Invest In Local SEO

Investing in a Local SEO agency will help you establish a dominant position on popular search engines like Google ‘Gym near me’ or something similar to this.

The goal of SEO marketing is to ensure your business shows up at the top whenever someone in your area searches for this or the 1000’s of other similar search terms.

SEO for fitness businesses is a cost-effective and sustainable strategy for new client growth.

local seo for gyms on google

Local SEO is a proven money maker for fitness businesses.

Can I do SEO myself?

Here are some local SEO tips to help you rank your fitness business at the top of Google search:

  1. Include local terms in your content: Don’t just write about “how to make the most of your gym membership” on your blog. Focus on the benefits of gym memberships in the location you serve. Alternatively, ensure that your website functions well, loads quickly, and has an excellent web design while including terms like “fitness company in [insert your local area].”
  2. Get plenty of local citations: Local citations are mentions of your business on online directories.
    You should also work on getting your business featured on local websites. Is there an opportunity to get featured on a local fitness blog? Or perhaps a local news website? Strive to improve your standing in the local marketplace with backlinks from relevant brands.
  3. Improve your Google Business Profile (GBP): If you haven’t already done so, set up a Google Business Profile and fill it with as much helpful information about your fitness business as possible. Also, work hard on getting reviews from clients and asking them to write them on your GBP.

Part 3: Leverage the influence of Existing Members

Your existing client base is one of the most valuable marketing weapons you have.

All you need to do is learn how to leverage it.

While it’s true that positive ‘feel good’ marketing slogans and useful information about your company can help you to attract new customers, nothing will make potential clients trust you quite like the words of your existing community.

According to Hubspot, 70% of people trust the customer reviews they read online.

So, how do you convince your existing customers to help with your marketing?

One easy option is to provide incentives. You can also try various other methods, for instance:

  1. Create a VIP membership scheme: Let people join an advocacy group in exchange for rewards. Every time one of your existing clients successfully recommends a friend, they could get a discount on their membership or access some unique gifts.
  2. Encourage reviews: As well as cultivating direct referrals, focus on getting your happy customers to leave positive reviews about you online. For instance, you could provide discounts or free products in exchange for a review.
  3. Make giving feedback easy: Sometimes, convincing your customers to talk about your brand doesn’t have to mean bribing them. Simply providing users with a branded hashtag they can use on social media or joining rating sites will generate conversations about your business.
  4. Build a strong community: The fitness industry is all about bringing people together and helping them make a positive change in their life. Having a strategy of building a fitness community can make all the difference and really set you apart giving you the freedom to increase membership fees and grow your fitness business.
Lululemon, one of the leading companies in the fitness apparel landscape and encourages plenty of social feedback from customers on Instagram. #TheSweatLife is a community hashtag that people can use to show themselves wearing Lululemon clothing and engaging in fitness activities.

Part 4: Build a Facebook Ad Engine

Facebook ads are some of the most effective strategies for scaling a fitness business.

If you’re not running ads on Facebook or have never seemed to be able to get them to work then you need to change this.

Facebook Ads For Fitness Mini Guide

  1. Create an amazing offer: A good is critical to paid advertising in 2023. People are bombarded with ads and you need a great offer if you want any chance of people buying what you’re selling. What’s a great offer you can create for your business? Perhaps 2 months free membership? Or some kind of giveaway? Don’t be afraid to test multiple offers until you find one that works.
  2. Pay micro fitness influencers for content: The idea here is to collect short video testimonials from micro-influencers who can rave about your business. These videos can be shot on their phones and will serve as your ‘content ammunition’ for running killer social media ads.
  3. Set up a Facebook Ad account: Things get a bit technical here but it’s nothing too complicated. You need to set up a Facebook ad account in order to run ads on Facebook.
  4. Create a Facebook ad campaign: This will be built around your amazing offer and you’ll use the micro-influencer content + the messaging you collected in part 1 of this fitness marketing guide. Keep the ad campaign as simple as possible and don’t overthink it. The most important factors for success here are your offer and the ads you create. If you’re still stuck on this then you can hire my Facebook marketing agency to help you out.
  5. Measure your ad success and adjust: In part 1 of this guide you defined how much you’re will to spend to acquire a new customer so make sure you set this as your Facebook ad target and be strict about it. 

Part 5: Go Offline

In 2023, People are talking about social media advertising, SEO, and content wherever they go.
However, there are benefits to being active offline too. This is particularly true if you have a brick-and-mortar fitness business.

For instance, if you’re a company that offers nutrition classes in a specific location, you’re a gym brand, or you’re a business that delivers specialised training to individuals in-person, you’re going to need to connect with clients face-to-face.

Taking advantage of offline marketing opportunities, like events and introduction evenings when people can come and check out your facilities, could help to ramp up your sales.

In a world where people are getting used to seeing and interacting with countless companies online, making a genuine connection with your clients in person can make a world of difference.

Offline GYM Marketing Ideas To Try in 2023

  1. Having a free open day: Invite potential clients to come and check out your facilities for a day without paying a penny. Make sure that you have plenty of printed content that they can use to learn more about your business available.
  2. Launching an event: Get involved with other local businesses in a huge event. For instance, if you run a local smoothie company, you could run a health and nutrition day, where people can come to learn about improving their diet.
  3. Using a pop-up strategy: Excite your audience with something new and interesting. For instance, you could visit a local mall to showcase some of your latest offerings, or partner with an influencer on a demonstration. Find a way to get people talking about your brand.

For instance, look at how exciting and engaging the colour run is each year. This live event gets everyone talking about fitness, and numerous brands get involved worldwide. Marketing doesn’t have to be exclusively digital.

Part 6: Provide Amazing Offers

Finally, as much as most people want to get fit and healthy, they also know it’s hard work.

The majority of your customers will be struggling to decide whether getting involved with another fitness company is a good idea for them. After all, getting physically and mentally healthy takes a lot of time and effort. You need to convince your potential clients that it’s easy to get involved.

An introductory offer such as a discounted membership for the first month is an excellent way to get people to fall in love with your service or product. Once they’ve had a taste for a cheaper price, they’ll be much more likely to want to keep coming back for more.


Giving people an introductory discount or freebie: Give people a taste for what you can offer with either a discount to get them started, or a free trial, depending on the kind of service you offer. If you’re providing online fitness classes for instance, you could provide the first few classes for free.
Offering money off long-term memberships: A lot of companies offering memberships and subscriptions get increased signups by offering clients the chance to save money if they pay for a year in advance, rather than just a month.
Consistently rewarding repeat customers: Make sure that you continue to delight your existing customers with freebies, money-off vouchers, and other benefits. Don’t just reserve your offers for new sign-ups.

Make Your Marketing Work Out in 2023

Like all businesses, fitness companies need to think carefully about their marketing strategies if they want to stay ahead of the curve. You can’t just wait for your clients to come to you once a year when they’re feeling guilty about too much turkey.
Fortunately, in 2023, the five techniques above will give you everything you need to start ramping up sales, customer interest, and brand loyalty.
Which marketing efforts will you be trying this year?

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