| Text Message Marketing for Fitness Studios

4 Ways to Use Local Advertising to Get More Gym Members

Last Updated on Dec 7, 2017

In case you weren’t aware, small business advertising costs money, a lot of money. In the old days, it wasn’t that easy to localize your marketing efforts. You purchased an advertisement in the newspaper and hoped that your potential clients were reading the paper on that specific day. Maybe you put a redemption code inside the newspaper advertisements, but beyond that, there wasn’t much in the way of tracking the effectiveness of your campaign. Things have changed for the better and now you can track advertising ROI down to an extremely granular level. Below are four easy ways that you can get started doing some localized marketing without having to blow your entire marketing budget. If you’re curious about how you can create that “addictive” pull for your gym, check out Jonah Berger’s book, Contagious.

1. Set Up a Localized Google AdWords Ad Campaign

Google AdWords is king when it comes to advertising. They’ve been around since the early 2000s and they know what they’re doing. They also make the money to prove it! I’m sure you’ve read the stories about businesses spending $50 per click. No fears, you’re not going to be spending anything like that. Google’s prices fluctuate on an auction basis. If more people want to advertise on pages that display certain results, you end up paying more, because Google assumes you’ll earn more if someone clicks on your advertisements. To keep your budget low, set up a very localized AdWords campaign for your gym. You can choose exactly where you want your ad to show: neighborhood, city, state, zip code, you name it. You’ll pay a little bit more money for each click as you get more specific about your region. However, if you’re focusing on JUST your city, there’s a good chance that people clicking your ads will fill out your landing page lead form and come in.

2. Instead of Promoting Posts, Use Facebook Ads

Besides Google AdWords, Facebook is another big player in the online advertising space. There’s a good chance that you’ve spent (read wasted) a lot of money on “Promoted Posts” or something similar. Don’t worry, so have I here at FitnessTexter. I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook advertising because when I did it in the past, I got a lot of “Likes” but I didn’t get any new clients. Likes don’t do shit for business, sales do. I’ll admit, however, that I didn’t put much effort into my ad copy. If you’re looking to promote your gym on Facebook, make sure you choose just your city or zip code. You don’t want to be spending money on clicks that are coming from people who are located 10+ miles away. You want those local folks that actually might come in to your business. Once you set up your ad’s geographic location, sit down with your graphic designer and create a nice image for your ad. There’s NOTHING WORSE than a stock image of people lifting weights. No one wants that. Maybe take a picture of some of your current members doing a workout or something. Whatever it is, make it interesting.

3. Put Up Old Fashion Flyers Around Town

I’m still a firm believer that putting up flyers around town is a great way to get the word out about your business. You can spend $100 on AdWords in a matter of days. With $100, you can print out at least 200 flyers and put them up at local businesses around your area. This is a great way to develop a sense of community with your fellow business owners, as well as an easy and cost-effective way to get the word out about your business. Here’s where I pitch FitnessTexter. If you were to add your FitnessTexter texting code to your flyer, you would amplify your flyer’s effectiveness by giving yourself a way to track how many leads the generate. If you put up 20 flyers around your city and you see 100 new leads come in after you finish putting up flyers, you’ll know that your flyers are doing their job. You can also use plastic yard signs, like the ones you see during election years.

4. Use Small-Scale Zip code Specific Mailers

Last but not least, there’s always the good old post office. Postal mailings might seem like something that your grandpa did for his small engine repair shop, but they’re still a great way to get the word out about your gym and to get some new people into your business. There are quite a few postal mailing companies out there, but I’d suggest going with the mothership, USPS and their service, Every Door Direct Mail. Since they’re the ones that developed the US mailing system, I feel like the probably have flyer marketing down to an art form by now. Once again, design an attractive flyer for your business and give people an incentive to come into your gym. If it’s just a flyer and it doesn’t offer any sort of rewards for joining your gym, you’re probably not going to see that high of redemption rates. However, if you give them a free week to try your gym before they need to pay, that’s a great way to get people in the door. If you give out a free week pass, people will come in 2 to 3 times max. If they like your business, they’re paying full price by the end of the week.