How to Keep Your Heath & Wellness Brand Fit in the New Year?
Written by: Stephanie Bariatti, SMB Media Marketing Consultant
It’s January, which means you may have to circle your gym parking lot a few times before a spot opens up. And that salad place that you hit up for lunch everyday? The line is practically out the door.
With the start of the New Year (and new decade!), resolutions are flying, with people swearing they are going to eat better, get more sleep and finally get rid of those extra pesky pounds. Self-care is at the top of many to-do lists.
If you are in the fitness and wellness industry, you know that this is an important time of year for your bottom line. Moreover, this area is experiencing a massive growth spurt. Why? Well, there are several reasons that have been brought on by technology, greater awareness and competition. These include:
· Fitness wearables
· Health insurance incentives
· Demand for healthy foods
· Live-streamed classes
· Affordable options
According to the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sports club association), “the $30 billion health and fitness industry in the U.S. has been growing at least 3-4% annually for the last ten years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.” The global fitness industry is now worth almost $100 billion. And going a step further, the numbers under the general “wellness” umbrella are staggering. Take a look at the stats from the Global Wellness Institute below.
So what can you do to capitalize on this boom and get your business into tip-top shape?
As is the case with most marketing strategies today, a strong website and social media presence are key. Many prospective clients will get their first impressions of your business through one of these avenues, since many people like to do their research before signing up for anything.
When building your website, you want to make sure it is modern, professional, visually appealing, non-intimidating and above all, easy to navigate. This is where you will gain conversions, convincing someone to fill out a form, call or visit your facility. So it’s important that you are clearly communicating your message of strength and health. Also, you want to aim to include an enticing call to action or maybe an incentive for getting started today.
Part of the work on your website should be making sure it dominates the search results, getting people to click through to it in the first place. There are a few ways to drive traffic to your site:
· Google My Business, which is the maps listing and review platform Google uses for geo-targeted searches
· Organic website listings where rankings are gained by optimizing your website for keywords, gaining links, getting social media traffic and adding content to your blog
When done correctly, a link to your business can appear in 3 places on one results page. Naturally, the more options to get to your website, the better, and the more it will help with retargeting later on. Retargeting, by the way, is a tool that should absolutely be utilized, as it serves as a gentle way to remind prospective clients about the health benefits they’re missing out on. It has proven to be an effective tactic.
A lot of the content you feature on your website can also be featured on your social media platforms. Fitness junkies tend to flock to social media, so you can expect to build a large following when you have the right content. You can start with the easiest and most inexpensive thing to do – posting short videos and photos of your gym, trainers and products or services that make your business unique. You can think about featuring daily workout/wellness tips, reps, healthy recipes, links to blogs and though it may sound cheesy, motivational quotes. Anything to get folks engaged, commenting, liking and sharing.
One of the most powerful visuals to feature on your website or social media platforms are before and after photos. Showcasing customer success stories has proven time and time again to be a very effective motivator. Seeing amazing transformations like the one below, can be just the thing to push someone to commit to your service. Including testimonials drives the message home even more because it brings the story down to a personal level. “If they can do it, I can too!”
Going hand in hand with the testimonials, are customer reviews. We all know how reviews have the power to negatively or positively influence the reputation of a business. Reviews are very meaningful in the fitness and wellness industry. As we mentioned earlier, people tend to do a lot of research before committing, especially since fitness products can be expensive. Always provide the highest levels of customer service, so your reviews will reflect this. The reviews should be featured prominently on your website and social media, as they build a level of trust in your services.
Once you establish a healthy online presence, it’s important to keep it that way! So be sure to keep up the same standards and practice retention techniques to keep your wellness business fit and fresh in the new year. As you move forward, try to figure out what makes you stand out from the rest and try to promote that in your messages of strength and empowerment.
Stephanie Bariatti works as a Consultant and Project Manager for SMB Media Consulting. She has had extensive experience with many facets of advertising and media, having worked for and with creative agencies, production companies and research departments. She lives in New York with her wonderful husband, three lovable little boys, and a snuggly Golden Retriever.