There is an old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” meaning you shouldn’t put all your resources, money or hopes into just one thing. Eggs are pretty delicate, and if all of your eggs were in one container, and that container was damaged, you may lose all of your eggs in one go.
You can use this same theory for marketing – you don’t want to focus on just one type of marketing and forget everything else. It is important to have a range of different marketing activities to ensure you receive a steady stream of leads coming through your door.
Now I am going to assume social media is where most of your marketing time and budget goes into. And there are some very good reasons why it should – it is very cost effective, fairly simple and you can really target your audience. Plus this is where most people look for information
But don’t rely solely on social media – you need to consider other marketing channels to get your message out there. There are four main reasons for this:
- Not everyone is on social media – shock horror!!
- Facebook rules are changing so getting your message out organically is going to be more challenging (read more on my previous blog on Facebook Zero).
- With all the bad publicity about Facebook and privacy issues, there may be a decline in the number of people using Facebook and Instagram (though I don’t think there is going to be a massive drop in usage, there may be a dip).
- Social media can be easy to miss – with so many posts, tweets, snaps and so forth, it is all to easy for your message to be missed.
Therefore it is important to look at other avenues so you increase the ability to generate leads and to drive traffic to your business. Think who are you marketing to and where do they hang out – this is where you need to be.
So here are my top 10 channels to market your business outside of Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
I still believe this is one of the most important marketing channels to get right. Google is usually the first place people go to when they need information. You want to be front and centre when your clients are looking for you.
You need SEO to increase your share of free web site traffic from search engines. According to some estimates, a total of 6.5 billion searches are performed each day. Because the top-ranked search results get almost all of this traffic, you need SEO to get your web site to the top of the search result pages.
So some basic ways to improve your SEO:
- Improve the structure of your web site
- Make your site easy to navigate
- Create unique, accurate page titles
- Make use of the “description” meta tag
- Offer quality content and services
- Optimise your use of images
- Use heading tags appropriately
This really is a big area so the above are just some basics to get your started.
2. Your web site
Your web site is one of your most powerful marketing tools. I am going to assume you already have a web site so here are some things you can do to make your web site do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing:
- Check your web site content is up to date and shareable
- It is easy to navigate
- Have a simple and modern design scheme
- Ensure your web site is mobile friendly
- The page load speed is as fast as possible
- Make sure there are NO broken links!
- Make sure the formatting is easy to read
- Include social sharing buttons
- Ensure your “About Us” page is terrific – this is the page people usually make a beeline for.
3. Letterbox drops
Letterbox drops can be a hit and miss but with more businesses turning to social media, this may mean less competition when it comes to what people find in their letterbox.
Some tips on making your flyers stand out from the crowd:
- Consider a postcard with a magnet (for a longer shelf life)
- Don’t focus on you and how good you are but how you can help the person and why you are better than anyone else (make it all about the benefits to the reader)
- Add a message to the envelope
- Emboss it or make it metallic to have it stand out and reflect a higher quality of service
- Have a strong call to action
A no brainer – referrals are a proven low-cost way to bring in new members and clients. Referrals tend to have a higher lifetime value and are often happier and more loyal because they have selected you based on the recommendations of a friend. Also because they have based their decision on someone they trust, they often don’t take as long when making there choice of who to train with (which means you close the sale a lot faster).
Don’t be afraid to ask your current clients and members if they know anyone who wants to get fit or lose weight. Chances are they have been telling their friends and families about how good they look and feel because of training with you and this may encourage their friends and followers to do the same.
Just make your referral system simple and and one which demonstrates how much you appreciate their loyalty. Make sure you communicate the program through a variety of mediums (including asking them directly) and always deliver on your promise.
Not everyone is on social media but 99.9% of people have an email address (even my 86 year old Dad has one). People are more likely to open and read an email as opposed to seeing a Facebook ad or Tweet.
It is definitely worthwhile investing in a proper email system for sending out emails, newsletters, announcements and so on. The conversion rate of sending out simple effective emails that transform into sales (not just likes) makes setting up a good emailing system critical. Industry averages have email marketing average click through at 3.57% with Facebook only 0.07% and Twitter a measly 0.03% so never underestimate the power of the humble email.
6. Local events and speaking opportunities
Check out what events are being held in your community and see if you can get involved. This is such a great way to talk to potential clients and position yourself as the best fitness leader in the community.
Also investigate if there any places you could speak at – schools, local businesses and corporates or maybe just organise your own fitness and wellness seminar and invite the community to come along for free.
If there are no suitable events or opportunities, just hold your own health and wellness event (get some local businesses on board too). Though you can only interact with a certain number of people and there is a lot of organising behind the scenes, the connection you can create through a successful event is one of a kind. The chances of turning people into long-term advocates of your brand is much higher when meeting them face to face.
7. Connect with influencers and businesses
Look at any local influencers who your target audience follows – are there any opportunities in working together? If they have authority, influence and a trusted voice then this gives your brand more credibility. Maybe a Mothers group, the principal of a school, the mayor, a local athlete or perhaps a business owner.
Look at any writing opportunities – can you contribute an article for the local paper, a company newsletter or health and fitness promotion?
What about local businesses that your members use – hairdressers, supplementary stores, doctors, dieticians, physios, bridal shops, healthy supermarkets, fruit markets, beauty salons – can you work together to cross promote your businesses? What about coming together to create a health and wellness virtual team and offer the ultimate health, beauty and nutrition package?
Even look at other fitness businesses that offer complimentary services to yours (such as a Yoga Bar and a F45 studio) – you could definitely pick up some extra business here.
8. Sponsorships and charities
Are there any local sporting teams or local athletes you could be sponsoring? Or maybe approach a local supplement, clothes shop or sporting store and see if they would like to sponsor you. Again by linking your brand to a credible and respected brand with a similiar audience and message to yours, this will help position your business positively in the community.
Getting involved with groups and charities that represent good causes is something that you should look at doing.
By associating your fitness business with a greater good, you send a clear message about your values and vision. It could boost your presence and show you are a good corporate citizen that truly cares.
9. Outdoor advertising
More and more advertising dollars is being poured into social media but don’t forget some other advertising channels that could be used as well such as:
- Pole posters
- Chalk stencils on the ground
- Billboards (round train stations, bus stops and other high traffic areas)
- Mobile advertising (you could even use you own car as a moving billboard)
- Displaying posters in the windows of local cafes, local stores and community halls
10. And don’t forget all your branding tools
Look at all the items you give out to clients and prospects – they all play an important part in communicating who you are, what you offer and what your vision is. So do an audit of your:
- Business cards
And make sure the branding and messaging is consistent and reflects the values of your fitness business.