digital marketing strategy

How to Create a Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy

Are you in charge of your company's digital marketing strategy? Do you know what actionable content is bringing your company success? Better yet, do you know what comes next?

Identifying trends, creating relevant content, and keeping your finger on the pulse of the customer is crucial to creating a successful digital marketing plan. Read on to learn more about what works, how you can create a successful campaign for your business, and when to call it quits on a method that no longer works.

Identify Your Customer

One of the biggest hurdles in the digital marketing world is understanding the customer. What do they want? Who do they listen to? Where do they go to discover new things?

Naturally, some distances are more difficult to bridge than others. If you're marketing at millennials, immerse yourself in their world. If you're marketing a product for children, talk to teachers, childcare workers, or data.

Not knowing what's cool (or worse, what rings trite with customers) can be the kiss of death for your digital marketing strategy.

Create Solid Goals

In order for your marketing campaign to be a success, you need to define your goals. You can't be successful if no one knows where the bar is.

Set a sales goal or target click-through rate. Find a way to quantify the success of your new campaigns. Rank your methods. Reach out to influencers within your niche.

Stay true to your brand and reward employees that exceed expectations. Find what works and know when to change course when an outdated strategy is no longer relevant.

Companies who refuse to let go of old methods are doomed to failure in today's fast-paced digital marketing world. What worked last year may no longer be relevant.

To find success, you need to follow the customer wherever they go to consume digital marketing content. Change platforms, networks, and strategies if you want to keep your product in the eye-line of the consumer.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Made a mistake? Great. Now you know.

While employees should be held accountable for their work ethic and ability to collaborate with others, routine failures are normal when fine-tuning a digital marketing strategy.

Innovation requires some risk-taking. Exploring new markets and giving new ideas a shot are two concepts essential to digital strategy.

Let the data guide you and take care not to blow your whole budget on any one method. Setting aside a separate budget for exploratory advertising can be a great idea too.

Spy on Your Competitors & Learn from Their Successes

Keep your eye on the competition. If your competitors are scaling at breakneck pace or getting great engagement on social media, do a little digging.

Are your competitors investing heavily in social media marketing campaigns like Instagram story ads? Are they relying heavily on influencer marketing? Ad-words?

Look for the similarities in the successes of your competitors... then find a way to do it better.

Digital Marketing Strategy and What It Means for You

Still unsure of what you need to do to make your digital marketing strategy a success? You aren't alone.

Fortunately, we're here to help. Visit our blog for more helpful ideas to help you make a digital marketing plan that works. Let our experts help guide your next viral campaign.

We're ready to help and cheer on your successes.


digital marketing trends

Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

You need digital marketing savvy if you are hoping to compete in today's landscape.

When you fail to adapt to the digital marketing trends of the day, your company will always be struggling to stay relevant. Thankfully, you don't have to be clueless when it comes to getting the word out about your business.

The five trends below will be useful to you when you are trying to leave your mark and attract more business.

Starting a Blog

When you want your small business to have a big web presence, starting a blog is the way to go about it.

Who would have thought that something that largely began as a means to have a personal journal, has grown into one of the most worthwhile marketing tools on the planet?

Today, you can really market yourself when you talk to your public via blog posts. By publishing 4 to 5 times per week (or as much as possible), you offer lots of value, improve search engine optimization (SEO) and set yourself apart from the rest.

What's more, this is the beginning of a monetization strategy that can bring you lots of revenue.

Artificial Intelligence Bots

Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay, and will have an even bigger reach in 2019.

Chat bots allow you to interact with potential customers without having to do a single thing. Your AI will draw in valuable information and speak to them, so you can virtually be everywhere at once.

With these chat bots available around the clock, you never have to worry about missing out on potential customers.

Creating a Plethora of Video Content

The possibilities are endless with video marketing, and there are several ways to go about it.

This is one of the most important forms of digital marketing right now, and you can keep your business growing when you really learn to do it. Video puts a face with a name, so that you are able to spread content across the web and on your terms.

Making Mobile the Foundation

The number of mobile users in the United States is set to hit close to 5 billion by 2019.

Because of this, you aren't truly reaching everyone if you aren't thinking mobile. Optimize your site, develop a mobile app, use text marketing and do everything you can to communicate on this platform.

Getting Lots of Great Reviews

Great reviews will make it so that your reputation always precedes you.

Sweeten the pot by rewarding your customers for leaving you positive reviews. The more quality reviews you have, the higher your brand recognition will be as a whole.

Prioritize These Digital Marketing Trends

When it comes to digital marketing trends, let these five get you started. Focusing on these strategies will be helpful to your company in 2019 and beyond, no matter what field you work in.

Digital marketing is a process that pays off when you go about it the right way. Touch base with us to learn more about our work and how we can help you out.


5 Ways to Use Video to Better Your Social Media Marketing

According to Social Media Today, video posts on Facebook have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. Videos yield crazy engagement on social platforms...and there’s no slowing down. More people are consuming videos from their mobile devices at alarming rates, so it’s critical you position your brand to capitalize on this movement.

Adding video to your social media marketing offers huge benefits such as increased brand exposure, better follower engagement, and more opportunities to drive traffic to your web pages. Your audience will appreciate the variety you bring to their newsfeeds while giving an alternate approach to engaging in your content.

So, give the people what they want more—video!

Five different ways to incorporate video into your social media marketing

#1 Your Story is Important. Share it!

Storytelling is a time-tested tactic that works great at pulling your audience into your brand message. People connect with you through your story. It helps you establish common ground with your followers, making you relatable and real. Stories also separate you from other brands which give you that competitive edge in the industry.

Humanize your brand by communicating its story on video. Delve into the “why.” Who do you desire to inspire and what problems are you solving through your products? What charitable contributions do you make to your community? Share what motivates your team to get up and go every morning. Sharing your story will add greater meaning and purpose when people do business with you.

#2 Offer Short Instructional Videos for Your Followers

An excellent move to promote your brand with social video is to create short, instructional videos demonstrating how your products can be used to solve a problem for the viewer. How-to videos are beneficial because you’re showing people how to achieve a specific result. As a result, you’ll keep viewers engaged while strategically placing your brand in front of your social following.

Reduce your video to the most basic steps of the process then speed up your video in production (editing), so it only lasts for about 30 seconds. These social video snippet can be product-related or simply something relevant to your niche. The beauty is they quickly solve a pain point for users.

#3 Answer Questions

Consider the FAQs that often hit your inboxes or are typically prompted by your prospects. These are excellent content pieces for your blog, email campaign, social media posts, and of course, videos. You see, you’re giving the people exactly what they want because these inquiries derived from your audience. By addressing their questions, you’ll boost thought-leadership and be viewed as an expert in the industry. Plus, it gives you endless content to share across your marketing platforms.

Enhance your credibility by posting videos that highlight one question then offers an in-depth response. Since many social users are leveraging search as a way to connect and discover new brands, be sure to include keywords or hashtags that your audience is actively searching for. Whereas hashtags reign on networks like Instagram and Twitter, keywords perform better on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

#4 Go Live!

Live-streaming platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Stories are driving tons of engagement on social media. There’s something special about connecting with someone in real-time. People get to see and experience the real you! Live videos quickly build trust and can accelerate your brand’s presence fast on social media.

Use these tools to your full advantage. Invite followers into your world by taking them behind-the-scenes at the office, in the field, or company event to share a taste of your brand’s culture. Host live Q&A sessions where you give your audience a chance to ask you anything industry or product related to getting on-the-spot responses. Report breaking news and share your insight and opinion of the matter...give your followers a chance to do the same to foster conversations.

Commit to making live-streaming a regular content strategy in your social media marketing. With consistency, you’ll experience a significant boost in engagement and followership.

#5 Highlight Fan Content

Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation? Positive testimonials and reviews are killer ways to foster trust with your audience especially those who haven’t heard of you before. Prospects want to see if your products or services genuinely bring results. Sharing others experiences with your brand is a great way to show it!

With that said, use your fan’s content as a form of an online review. User-generated content can be creatively compiled into one video as a promotional tool or multiple videos to build up your content vault. Give users credit by mentioning them in the post. Growing this strategy can prove to be a valuable tactic in your inbound marketing as you highlight your customers and give social proof that you’re making a difference.

Don’t Get Left Behind

The numbers and stats prove that people enjoy videos on social media. Its popularity has caused brands to tailor their social strategy accordingly to meet the demands of today’s consumer. Use these tips to better your social media marketing and give the people what they want!

Ready to amplify your social media marketing with video? We know how to create compelling video marketing campaigns that humanize your brand and gives you the slight edge. Reach out to us today and let’s chat!


7 Steps to Building an Amazing Patient-Nurturing Workflow

7 Steps to Building an Amazing Patient-Nurturing Workflow

Just as a marketing strategy is essential for any entrepreneur, it is equally vital for healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists or orthodontists. The power of building a robust patient-nurturing workflow serves to increase engagement, improve care, save staff time and increase your client base.

With just a few simple steps, you can take advantage of powerful tools to be more efficient with your email marketing, getting the right messages to the right people at the right time.

The Seven Steps

1. Set goals

Determine your objectives for your email campaign. Is it to inform patients about new services? To provide appointment reminders to improve attendance? Is it to inform and enhance compliance with treatment recommendations? Is it to improve outreach and bring in new patients? As you identify multiple objectives dependent on the patient type, then you can move to the next step where you will narrow your focus for each group.

2. Target your audience

For each goal, there is an intended target audience. Creating a list of criteria for inclusion into the group helps determine placement. Some patients will belong to the group who receive personalized appointment reminders, while another group gets a newsletter about ongoing care and specials on cosmetic procedures. Sometimes these lists will overlap, and other times they will be separate. This is all part of getting the right information to the right people. Laying the groundwork is a critical piece predicting the future success of your workflow.

3. Map your content

Determine what content you will deliver, what you intend to accomplish with this piece and when you will provide it. Thinking about the examples above, the patient who gets appointment reminders might need them when they set the appointment, a week ahead of time and again the day before the meeting. For the patient receiving your newsletter offering a special on cosmetic procedures, perhaps you want to send the first notice three months before the winter holidays and then again monthly as a reminder before party season begins.

4. Compose emails

Be intentional with the message you send and consider that when you compose the email. For each type of patient, you will focus the content of the message and end with a specific call to action. Perhaps that call to action is for the patient to confirm, cancel or reschedule an appointment. Or, it is a link to learn more about a procedure and an invitation schedule a consultation. Decide here what the message will say, how many times to distribute it and what the desired outcome is.

5. Set workflow rules

You don't want to inundate patients with emails, so carefully setting up rules will prevent this. Workflow rules can specify who receives an email batch and when they receive it, but can also exclude patient groups or certain days or times. If your office is closed on Friday afternoons, you don't want to send an email with a call to action that prompts a patient to schedule via phone and no one is there to respond. Likewise, the patient who has weekly orthodontist visits might lose an important appointment reminder if they are also receiving the email about a cosmetic procedure that they do not qualify for at this time.

6. Go live

After the pre-work is completed, turn the workflow and start collecting data!

7. Analyze and improve

Analyze the data and make changes where needed. Are you meeting the goals? What is your click-through rate? What is your conversion rate? Do you see an improvement in adherence? Watch how the workflow performs and prepare to make changes. Change the subject line, the offer, the frequency or the call to action and analyze the impact.

It’s the 9-1-1 for Marketing 4-1-1

At HARNESS, email workflow is just one of the services we offer to improve your marketing campaigns, expand your business and increase your exposure. Contact us to learn more about creating a patient-nurturing workflow that will help your practice.


Gym Marketing

Gym Marketing: Attract New Members with Helpful Tools

Gym Marketing

 

The fitness industry is more competitive than it has ever been. Society has been on a fitness addiction of self-improvement promoting. Leading to an increased demand for fitness products and services. With service demands booming, fitness brands and businesses have had no issues with drawing people to their services. The challenging dilemma business owners now face in the fitness industry is keeping customer engagement in their brand. Competitors will happily steal customers away when customers begin to lose interest. The secret to inspiring continuous customer interaction with your brand is compelling content in gym marketing.

 

Credible Content

Content marketing helps you reach potential clients in beneficial, intriguing ways. It opens the platform of not only telling clients why they should take a look at your brand but why they should keep coming back as well. The content needs original information, genuine, authentic, educational, and make people feel they can trust your business. Delivering credible content will influence the vital part of developing emotional connections and strengthen your reputation. Not only will customers remain involved with your business but they motivate them to share your brand information with contacts as well. Outsourcing reliable content through content marketing is achievable in numerous ways.

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • News Coverage
  • Demonstrations
  • Product Testing
  • Reports
  • Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is an essential tool to make your gym marketing stand out from the rest. It advertises what your brand offers with little effort. It supports friendly customer service by helpfully making information available to anyone. Not only will inbound marketing attract new customers but it will convince previous customers to remain immersed in your business too. An enabler for successful inbound marketing is sticking with credible content. Take advantage of the opportunity to make content fun and exciting. Integrate your brand's content into useful inbound marketing tools.

  • Social Media
  • Mobile Website Access
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Promotional Emails
  • Ebooks
  • Flyers
  • Friendly Connections

Potential customers are serious about finding a fitness facility that makes them feel welcomed and supported during their fitness journey. Offering a sales pitch with conditional attachments will send mixed messages and discourage potential members from your brand. Encouraging a friendlier feel for your brand will keep people engaged and inspire emotional connections. Emotional connections persuade customers to remain loyal. Friendly and passionate relations start with first impressions. First impressions for your business are often found in the business’s content and marketing. This only enforces why making content credible is crucial for keeping customers engrossed with your brand.

 

Take Away

The brands in the fitness industry are experiencing difficulties in keeping people involved because of high rising competition. This does not mean your business will drown in the rivalry pool. Influential gym marketing can set the standards for why customers remain faithful to your brand. Contact us today for more information!


Girl using her drone for filming videos for video marketing

Is it Time to Add Video to Your Marketing Strategy?

Girl using her drone for filming videos for video marketing

You don’t have to look very hard these days to find marketing professionals and researchers puzzling over the millennial consumer market. According to Outside magazine, outdoor retailers are especially struggling to get a foothold on the millennial money mountain. As that article and most current literature suggest, inbound and video marketing are the way to go when it comes to reaching prospective outdoor recreation customers under the age of 35.

One way to take your video marketing strategy to the next level is to incorporate GoPro cameras or drones with cameras into your business model. That content can quickly be distributed to your audience through your website and will generate new leads and sales.

Video drones, GoPros, and smartphones have taken tech, recreation, social media, and video marketing worlds by storm. If you want to start attracting that next generation of outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts, you should find a way to bring new components into your strategy. You can set up your own YouTube, Roku, or Apple TV channels for your business. The channel can include streaming photos, videos, and other information related to your particular niche.

You can also get the cameras in the hands of your clients. Encourage them to host their outdoor adventures on your site. You can edit the video, as necessary, for time, quality and content. Remember: Most people do not have the attention span for irrelevant, slow, and low-quality videos.

Implementing new marketing solutions can do the following:

  • Add value to your product or service
  • Create new and exciting viral content
  • Generate new sales leads through social media

If investing in a GoPro or video drone isn't in the budget, there is always the option of renting.

However you want to generate GoPro-, smartphone-, or drone-captured content for your video marketing, make sure to obtain releases.

If any of this sounds complex, remember that there are online resources you can tap into or video marketing experts you can hire.

HARNESS Consulting can help assess the video marketing needs of your brand. Contact us now!


marketing-trends-2017

Where Will Marketing Be One Year From Now?

Marketing in 2016 was a lot different from marketing in 2015. Every year it takes a considerable jump forward as new trends emerge. This also means that businesses have to update their strategies to accommodate the changes. With that being said, here's what you can count on in 2017.

marketing-trends-2017-harness

Marketing Trends in 2017: More activity on Facebook and Google 

A very bold prediction, we know. But the reason why there will be more activity on Facebook and Google might surprise you.

Other platforms aren't performing as well as the two giants. Businesses are therefore directing their attention to the two sites that bring the best results. According to this Mashable article, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future:

"According to the IAB, the digital advertising industry continues to grow nicely. But if you peel back the onion, you'll see that it’s actually Facebook and Google that is commanding the lion's share of the growth. In fact, outside of those two platforms, the rest of the industry is shrinking in Q2. This duopoly is scary, and potentially unhealthy. But I think it will continue next year and don't see how or when this trend will change."

If this is the case, then the rest of the industry will continue shrinking. This is one of the most exciting developments concerning online marketing because of the implications it has.

Marketing Trends in 2017Brands using AR and VR

There have been surprisingly few Pokemon Go copycats, but that's just because brands are still thinking their strategies through. Make no mistake about it, AR, as well as VR, will be major hits in 2017.

The question is how businesses will integrate them into their marketing campaigns. This Forbes article states that we'll likely see the results soon:

"One of 2016’s biggest highlights was watching a screen-afflicted population carry their mobile devices out into the world to catch, yes, Pokemon. The biggest takeaway from this phenomenon was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results. This has become a seriously viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into the real world."

AR opportunities will be similar to Pokemon Go. VR is a bit less certain since brands are still waiting to unleash their campaigns. Expect to see a few websites that support VR goggles.

Marketing Trends in 2017Better content 

About a year or two ago, we saw a significant shift from quantity to quality regarding content marketing campaigns. Businesses have learned that ten superficial blogs are not as useful as one well thought-out article.

You can expect more of the same in 2017. According to this Small Business Trends article, businesses will raise the bar even higher regarding content quality:

"Now, audiences are starting to take notice that there is a difference between valuable blog content and not so important writing. If your content isn’t informative and exciting to read, people aren’t going to stick around. 2017 is poised to be the year that brands invest in bringing their digital writing to the next level, which may mean hiring an “industry expert” to create higher caliber blogs."

This doesn't necessarily mean longer articles and videos because users are also demanding more digestible content. Instead, businesses will try to add as much value as possible while still sticking to short-form content. This, of course, is one of the greatest challenges of content creation, but it's the direction businesses are headed in.

This year will bring new changes to online marketing and its different practices. You can expect to see more activity on Facebook and Google, AR and VR integration, and better content from businesses. To talk more about marketing predictions, or anything else, contact us today.

 

 


Challenges and Opportunities Present in Software Business & SaaS Marketing

SaaS marketing is a much more challenging endeavor for a software business than for many other types of businesses for some reasons. First, and foremost, there is no tangible, physical product for a customer to look at, observe and 'test drive.' To get potential customers interested in a software product, a software business often has to give away a free trial of the product to reap potential future business through a process known as customer onboarding. Also, some other factors pose unique challenges to SaaS marketing for software businesses among them:

  • Constantly changing software and product features
  • Extremely short sales cycle (generally a year or less)
  • Limited market for many types of software
  • Concept of selling a service more than a product

SaaS-Marketing-Software-Business-HARNESS

SaaS Marketing and Customer Onboarding

For most businesses, giving away the full product, even for a limited duration, at no cost would be suicidal. However, for software businesses, giving away the product for free is one of the most widely used and accepted SaaS marketing strategies. There are many variations of these free product model strategies such as:

  • Free 7-, 14-, 30-day trial periods
  • Freemium model (money is charged for proprietary features, functionalities, and other goods.)
  • Free Trial w/ a credit card

There are other strategies besides these three variations, but the one thing common to all of these strategies is the giving away a free software product version.

Once a potential customer has access to the product, the key role in SaaS marketing is to convert the customer using the product into a paying customer. On occasion, the conversion happens quickly if the customer sees real value in the product. However, many customers will delay making a decision until the end of the free trial period or just before the first charge on their attached credit card takes effect. Communication between the SaaS marketing personnel and the customer is critical during this time allowing the software business to determine what concern a customer has about the product, and what inducement could entice the customer to commit to purchasing it.

Extremely Short Sales Cycle

Whereas most businesses consider 12 to 24-month sales cycles to be typical or even accelerated, in the software business, many software products are obsolete even at the low-end of this range. SaaS marketing emphasizes rapid sales by finding customers who like the product and are willing to commit now. The fast, even transaction process of buying software is predicated on the inherent nature of the software industry. Software products evolve quickly over time, and it is not uncommon for six, eight or more versions of one software product to be released over the course of a year. A long and drawn-out sales process runs the risk of product obsolescence as demonstrated by the fact that the best, most efficient and comprehensive 2014 tax preparation software is useless in 2016. Therefore, SaaS marketing must focus on increased sales velocity to generate extra revenue and a larger customer base for a software business.

Limited Market for Certain Software Products

Smaller software businesses often focus on niche targets, either due to limited capital or to the nature of the software product itself. Marketing to this small market space allows a software business to specialize in one or two areas of expertise, recognize potential barriers to entry in this market and look for possible opportunities for future growth. SaaS marketing helps cultivate customer and business relationships allowing the software company to communicate with their clients and select a product roadmap that makes sense.

Concept of Selling a Service vs. a Product

The most critical concept to remember in a software business is that the vast majority of the business' revenue comes from its existing customer base. Under the tried-and-true 80%-20% rule, 80% of a business' future revenue will come from only 20% of its customer base. SaaS marketing plays a critical role in customer retention by emphasizing the concept as selling a service as well as a product. When creating a SaaS marketing plan, a software business should focus on the establishment of a fully integrated architecture combining a high-quality software product, with excellent service and savvy consumer marketing. When SaaS products of similar quality and price exist in a marketplace, promoting excellent customer service with even a personal touch or two helps a software business and its associated products stand out in a crowd. The primary goal is to a business is to have its SaaS speak for itself.

These methods will help software companies start or improve their marketing efforts to generate leads and build their branding. To gain further knowledge and expertise, contact us using the form below, and let us help you create a strong online presence.

 


7 Steps to Building an Amazing Patient Nurturing Email Workflow

The ability to use the power of marketing and strategy to advertise, increase sales or improve outreach as a business strategy has application in every industry. Just as a marketing strategy is important for any entrepreneur,  it is equally important for healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists or orthodontists. The power of building a solid patient nurturing email workflow serves to increase engagement, improve care, save staff time, and increase your client base. With just a few simple steps, you can take advantage of powerful tools to be more efficient with your email marketing, getting the right messages to the right people at the right time.

1. Set goals

Determine your objectives for your email campaign. Is it to inform patients about new services? To provide appointment reminders to improve attendance? Is it to inform and improve compliance with treatment recommendations? Is it to improve outreach and bring in new patients? As you identify multiple objectives dependent on the patient type, then you can move to the next step where you will narrow your focus for each group.

2. Target your audience

For each goal, there is an intended target audience. Creating a list of criteria for inclusion into the group helps determine placement. Some patients will belong to the group who receive personalized appointment reminders, while another group receives a newsletter about ongoing care and specials on cosmetic procedures. Sometimes these lists will overlap and other times they will be separate. This is all part of getting the right information to the right people. Laying the groundwork is an important piece predicting the future success of your workflow.

3. Map your content

Determine what content you will deliver, what you intend to accomplish with this piece and when you will deliver it. Thinking about the examples above, the patient who gets appointment reminders might need them when they set the appointment, a week ahead of time and again the day before the appointment. For the patient receiving your newsletter offering a special on cosmetic procedures, perhaps you want to send the first notice three months before the winter holidays and then again monthly as a reminder before party season begins.

4. Compose emails 

Be intentional with the message you send and consider that when you compose the email. For each type of patient, you will focus the content of the message and end with a specific call to action. Perhaps that call to action is for the patient to confirm, cancel or reschedule an appointment. Or, it is a link to learn more about a procedure and an invitation schedule a consultation. Decide here what the message will say, how many times to distribute it and what is the desired outcome.

5. Set workflow rules

You don't want to inundate patients with emails, so carefully setting up rules will prevent this. Workflow rules can specify who receives an email batch and when they receive it, but can also exclude patient groups or certain days or times. If your office is closed on Friday afternoons, you don't want to send an email with a call to action that prompts a patient to schedule via phone and no one is there to respond. Likewise, the patient who has weekly orthodontist visits might lose an important appointment reminder if they are also receiving the email about a cosmetic procedure that they do not qualify for at this time.

6. Go live

After the pre-work is completed, turn the workflow and start collecting data!

7. Analyze and improve

Analyze the data and make changes where needed. Are you meeting the goals? What is your click-through rate? What is your conversion rate? Are you seeing an improvement in adherence? Watch how the workflow performs and prepare to make changes. Change the subject line, the offer, the frequency or the call to action and analyze the impact.

At HARNESS, building email workflows is just one of the services we offer to improve your marketing campaigns, expand your business and increase your exposure. Contact us to learn more about creating a patient-nurturing workflow that will help your practice.


Gym Marketing Advice: Differentiation In Fitness Business

In a crowded field competing for Americans' disposable income, how can your gym marketing or fitness center stand out from the crowd? With nearly 100,000 gyms and fitness centers of all stripes in the United States, what will draw potential members to your gym and more importantly, keep them there?

With the high turnover rate in gym memberships, differentiating yourself from your competitors is vital to attracting new members. This holiday season, with resolution time just around the corner, is the perfect time to learn how properly made and promoted videos are a key to attracting dedicated members to your gym.

Differentiation-in-the-Fitness-Business

What Makes Your Gym Special?

The first step in determining how you are going to make your gym stand out from the morass is to understand why your gym should stand out. What features about your gym will make is special to potential members? Is it the equipment? The hours? The people? The location?

Actually, according to a 2014 survey, the top reason people gave for joining and sticking with their gym was the convenient location (50 percent). Ranking second at 38 percent was the equipment.

Of course, the reasons people go to and stick with a gym are as varied as the number of members of the gym. The CreditDonkey survey also found 44 percent of respondents said they go to the gym with another person, so having a workout buddy is key to sustaining membership. The survey even found that 30 percent of respondents don't even break a sweat at the gym because they are too busy chatting with their friends to get started with their workout.

All of this is just food for thought as you think about how to market your gym as a different alternative. Do you need to highlight your location? Your friendly staff? Your discount family or buddy plans? Your superior equipment? All of these can be great marketing tools if your potential customers can find out about them.

Who Are You Targeting?

That brings us to the second question you need to address. Who are you targeting as your potential customers? Do you feel like your membership is too young? Too old? Not diverse enough? Are you a women-only facility? A rock-climbing facility? A yoga studio?

If you think building a gym membership means attracting the 24-35 crowd, you might be surprised to learn the average gym member is in their early 40s. Older members tend to be more stable as they are settled into their community, have greater disposable income and stick to a fitness commitment more than their younger counterparts.

Once you've considered your selling points and your target audience, you're ready to get to work in producing what will most likely become a series of marketing videos.

More Than Just a Video on YouTube

The rise in the quality of cell phone cameras has turned everyone into a photographer and videographer. If you have the budget, a professional can contribute great ideas to enhance your marketing, but if you need to save the money, you can produce good content with the help of your staff and members.

Once you've produced the videos you believe will sell your facility to your potential customers, you still face the challenge of getting them seen. Just loading them to your website or YouTube makes no guarantee your target audience will find them.

Getting your video to stand out on the Internet is an even greater challenge than getting your gym to stand out in your community. Search Engine Watch points out that video has exploded on the Internet in recent years, so creating a video that will catch attention on Internet search engines is a constant challenge. And while Search Engine Watch offers you tips to make your video more appealing, keeping up with the ever-changing search engine optimization standards is more than you as a gym owner have time to keep up with.

Taking care of that headache is our responsibility. We have experts in video production, website development and search engine optimization that will ensure your customers will find your videos and more importantly, your gym or fitness center. Contact us to learn how we can make your marketing efforts stand out from a competitive field.

Are you ready to find out how to get your marketing in shape? Check out our Gym Marketing Guidebook.