Sales are ramping up for businesses everywhere as we draw nearer to the holiday season; it’s no different for gyms and boutique fitness studios. In fact, there are plenty of marketing ideas to get more people in your doors now and into next year. As we get closer to Small Business Saturday, there are several creative promotions you can incorporate into your marketing strategy to increase visibility, interest and overall traffic. 

As with any marketing effort, it’s important to understand your target customer. By identifying those customers, you’ll better understand the kind of engagement, promotions and rewards that will be most attractive. Different regional locations, age demographics, etc. will dictate how you get the attention you want. With those details in mind, consider some of the following ideas as it relates to your studio.

Leverage the holiday spirit

Use the festive spirit and season to your advantage and play on some of those traditions in your messaging and events. Depending on your target market, think about aspects of the holiday your patrons are likely to be thinking of the most. Perhaps announce a special holiday package starting on Small Business Saturday that gives individuals access to classes or equipment through the month of December so they continue working towards their fitness goals. Have fun with several holiday themes that tap into the mood and excitement of the season while motivating people to stay active. Perhaps you hold a sweepstakes for winning ski passes, tickets to a show, or a romantic evening at a local restaurant and hotel; the more people come to work out during a specific span of time, the more entries they’ll get and the greater chance to win. 

Help motivate for the new year

Help patrons start thinking about the fast-approaching new year by providing options for how they can achieve goals for themselves or as a gift to others. Offer tailored bundles that can easily be purchased at a promotional rate. Also, consider finding a way to package these bundles or gift cards in a unique way that not only helps your brand, but makes gifting more fun.  Consider including branded swag like water bottles, t-shirts, hats, etc. as a part of a special ‘New Year’ bundle. You can also help get individuals excited about having greater success with their resolutions by offering assessments, warm-up classes, etc. throughout December in preparation for January. 

Incorporate some freebie days

Provide an opportunity to learn more about your studio and help individuals get hooked by what you have to offer with the gift of trying studio classes for free. Consider the kind of exercise or experience you provide and determine the best number of days that will give individuals a real peek into what you have to offer but will leave them wanting more. Also, consider offering classes that cater to those who are new and/or have never done the activity before to help in building interest and commitment. Sometimes, individuals may feel overwhelmed by new exercise classes where they have no previous experience and not return. Providing classes tailored to this group with the idea of ramping up to the regular class environment may help increase commitment from newcomers. 

Launch a ‘Small Business Saturday’ social media engagement campaign

For many demographics, social media is a powerful tool for communication and engagement. Use Small Business Saturday to get current and prospective gym-goers excited about winning a significant membership package for the upcoming year based on their attendance throughout December. Use your social media accounts to not only promote the campaign, but to get others to check-in, share, like and recommend your studio throughout the month. Based on participation through check-ins and other forms of engagement, individuals can win a significant fitness package. You’ll increase your studio and social media traffic at the same time.   

Think about incorporating these strategies as you plan for Small Business Saturday and launch into the holiday season. Doing so can help make it the happiest season for both your customers and your studio.

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