Most health and fitness entrepreneurs get more fired up about sharing their love of wellness with clients, rather than calculating the ROI on paid social ads. But no matter how amazing your studio, gym or wellness venue, you’ll need to market your offering to get people in the door.

In a recent survey*, more than 65 percent of ClassPass partners say they spend 15 percent or less of their budget on marketing. A great first step in your fitness marketing plan is to calculate how much you can afford to spend getting your brand out there. Once you’ve nailed down the direction of funds, you’ll want to ensure you’re using your dollars wisely. Read below for our tips on which marketing channels are considered the smartest spend.

Where to pull back the budget

In today’s marketing world, it’s all about trackability and engaging your target audience. From driving website views to analyzing how many people interact with your social media posts, having campaigns where you can directly see (and understand) your results is crucial in the digital world. Spending on things like direct mail, radio or television ads aren’t efficient anymore. While you may reach a larger audience, how can you ensure it’s the right audience? With these forms of advertising, it’s also more difficult to drive action. Getting something in the mail or seeing a commercial doesn’t give your audience an immediate action to take. 

Consider your own mail and your television and radio habits. Are you using the information from a flyer in your mailbox to make informed decisions? The fitness journey is a personal and intimate one. Your audience is likely turning to the internet to get information or they’re listening to a family member or friend. 

Save yourself money and time by reinvesting your dollars in more effective forms of marketing. Not only will you get a better return on your investment, but you’ll have data-driven results that you can use for future advertising initiatives.

The most buzz for your buck

If there’s one area where gym and studio owners should invest, it’s in your digital presence: your website and social media profiles. Having a functional, trackable and interactive online platform that users can easily navigate is incredibly important in the digital age of advertising.

Get your website right

When people visit your website, giving them a user-friendly experience is the first way to sell them on your services. If they get frustrated with the difficulty of your page before they can even find information about you, they’ll likely move on to the next gym in their search. Give them a good experience, then hit them with valuable content that sets your business apart from the rest. Think of your website as an extension of customer service. It should answer all the questions a new client would ask — rates, class schedules, hours, trainers, etc. Include areas of rich content where you can showcase yourself as an expert in your field. Whether it’s a blog article about perfecting a burpee, or a video showing one of your trainers teaching the audience how to perfect their squat, having content that touts your unique offering is important. Material like this can be found in search engine results, which drive users directly to your website.

Stay social

You should also invest in your social media presence. While keeping up with social media trends can require patience and persistence, it’s also a great way to interact with your current and potential clients. The cost for paid ads on social media can add up,  but used wisely, these can be specifically targeted to reach the exact demographics of your clientele. And the best part, business accounts are easily trackable with most social media platforms offering business owners online analytics of their page. You can see everything from what kind of posts are driving the most business to what time of day you’re getting the most visits. Every bit of data you get can go towards helping you make your marketing strategy that much better. If social media isn’t your strong suit, consider outsourcing or hiring help to manage your account. 

And lastly, consider building up your online community with a newsletter to subscribers. This isn’t the area where you want to spend the most money, but it’s a marketing tactic that shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s trackable and a great way to get valuable information out to your clients, especially ones who might not be on social media checking your page. 

Know where your money is going

The key to marketing today is knowing where (and how) your dollars are working. If you can’t track it well, don’t spend on it. With so much competition for business in the fitness industry, don’t waste your budget on ineffective marketing tactics. The more data you have, the better you can adjust, and the better your strategy can be. 

As a partner of the largest fitness and wellness network, ClassPass can do the marketing for you. Reach out to learn more.

*Survey conducted via After Class newsletter in 2019.