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.


Inbound Marketing to Ensure Customers Find Your SaaS Business (Part 2)

As the developer of a Software as a Service company, you obviously have put a great deal of thought into your product or products. Even before development began, you thought about what kind of service you could provide, what kinds of companies you could serve, why your product(s) is best for those potential customers.

Now, you need to figure out how you can best reach those potential customers and convince them your SaaS company is the best solution to their needs.

That's where the services of an inbound marketing company can come to your assistance. This is the second part of a two-part blog on how inbound marketing can ensure customers find you in the burgeoning SaaS business. In the first blog, we offered you a primer on inbound marketing that you can find here. In the second part, we will explain how all that hard work you did in development can lead directly to a successful inbound marketing program for your SaaS company.

Who Are Your Potential Customers?

As we explained in the primer, inbound marketing targets potential customers who turn to the Internet looking for your service, generally to solve a need or problem they are encountering in their lives or business. In the marketing field, we refer to this as their "pain point" and address how your product can ease their pain.

The first step in identifying these potential customers is to develop a "persona" so you can target the communication to the appropriate level.

Do you have an accounting software package you'd like to sell to Fortune 500 companies? Or do you have an accounting package you'd like to sell to a mom and pop retail store? Or maybe it's an accounting package you'd like to sell to farmers who spend their days in giant tractors, tilling thousands of acres. Each of these "personas" will respond to different forms and levels of communication.

What if your SaaS idea is something completely different? Maybe you've developed a program that can point avid readers to authors who write similar works and you get a share from each book you recommend through an online bookseller. Or maybe it's obscure documentary films. Or Japanese anime. Again, you are targeting very different "personas" so you need your language to appeal to each of these targets as they search for answers.

The more you know about your potential customer, the better your inbound marketing effort can succeed.

What Are Their Pain Points?

Before you ever developed your software, you had a vision for what it could do and why it could appeal to your customers. You already were thinking about how you could relieve their pain points, whether you thought of it that way or not.

Putting that thought into language that will attract potential customers is the next step to a successful inbound marketing effort. Knowing the language of your potential customers is vital to successfully meeting the ever-changing demands of Internet search engines.

If you're promoting that accounting software to Fortune 500 companies, their CFO is not going to search for "accounting software". She is more likely to search for "ASC 606 compliance" to deal with her latest pain point. Understanding how your best potential customers will speak and search boosts your chances of reaching them in the first place.

Drawing Your Customers into the Funnel

Video Marketing for your Sales Funnel

If you remember from the primer, we talked about how inbound marketing casts a wide net through search engine optimization to ensure your company appears highly in search results. The next step is to make those searches pay off into customers who enter your funnel and become paying customers.

Research now is pointing to the absolute necessity to feature video on your website and in any marketing effort. HubSpot reports that 59 percent of executives would rather watch video than read text; while individual consumers are four times as likely to watch a video as read text about a product, Small Business Trends reports.

The same report from Small Business Trends notes that 50 percent of executives are likely to seek more information about a product or service after watching a video. The same research found 65 percent will visit a marketer's site and 39 percent will call a vendor after seeing a product or service video.

As you can see, you've already done much of the hard work necessary to launch an inbound marketing effort for your SaaS company in identifying your potential customers and their pain points. Contact us to learn how to take the next step in developing a marketing program that will make your company stand out in the crowded field of cloud computing.


Inbound Marketing to Ensure Customers Find Your SaaS Business (Part 1)

You have the idea. You have the expertise to put the package together. You even are entering into one of the hottest fields of business. Now, you just need to learn how to find customers in need of your software as a service company.

Since you're targeting a tech-savvy field, you need to be where they can find you. According to Forbes magazine, public cloud-based business is expected to grow at a robust 19.4% annually with revenues to reach $141 billion by 2019. Those kinds of projections also mean opportunists will be flocking to the field, increasing competition for your business. Inbound marketing is the best way for you to ensure customers find you in the burgeoning SaaS business.

In this two-part blog series, we'd like to give you a quick primer on why inbound marketing can benefit your SaaS company and in the second part start you thinking about how you can stand out to your potential customers.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Plain and simple, inbound marketing is how you find customers among those who come searching for you. Well, maybe they are not literally looking for you, but they are looking for someone who can do what you do to help them do what they do.

Put another way, your potential customer has a need or a problem, what marketers call a pain point. When they have this pain point, what are they going to do? In today's technological market, they are going to go to the Internet searching for a solution to their pain point. You are the person with that solution, so they need to be able to find you, then believe that you are the best person to solve their pain.

Inbound marketing works by positioning you to be found by the most potential customers who have a similar pain point and need your solution.

How Does Inbound Marketing Succeed for Software Businesses?

Inbound marketing works by looking at your potential customer base with a funnel approach. A funnel is wide at the top and narrows down as it gets closer to delivering the goods where they belong. A funnel approach to marketing is one that casts a wide net at the top where potential customers can learn about you and your service. Once the customers become interested, the marketing becomes more targeted to convince them to advance further into the funnel to learn how your service solves their pain point, ultimately turning that potential customer into a money-paying customer.

Inbound marketers first cast that wide net by ensuring your company is positioned to be found by anyone who has a certain pain point that your company can solve. Inbound marketers do this by understanding your potential customers, knowing their pain points and ensuring when they search for a solution, your business stand out among the search results. This is called search engine optimization.

Because Internet search engines always are trying to give their customers the best results, they constantly change how they judge content to ensure the best results. As a busy executive, you don't have time to keep up with those changes, but an inbound marketing company can do that. Marketers must understand such language as keywords, long string keywords, video matrix, etc. to ensure your content stays at the top of the search engines' results.

Casting the net is just the first part of the inbound marketing approach. The next steps involve capturing those potential customers' attention and convincing them your company offers the best solution to their pain point(s). In the next blog post, we'll talk about how you can help with an inbound marketing campaign by thinking about who your potential customers are and how you can offer them the best solution to their pain point.

Contact us if you'd like to learn more about the intricacies of inbound marketing and how it is the best solution for SaaS companies seeking to expand their customer base.

 


Should You Post Video on Social Media?

As we have mentioned in the past, by 2020 around 80% of Internet traffic will consist of video views. So, when this question arises, it is a little surprising. Wistia broke this query down very nicely with a graphic:

social-video-marketing-wistia
Yes. Yes, you should.

WISTIA

Wistia, in their usual awesome way, goes on to explain that even small businesses with a single (or no) marketing team should be thinking about social video. They discuss which channels work best for a given situation. We usually recommend to our clients that they use an omnichannel approach to video marketing. Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat (sometimes, depending on the brand), and Wistia for hosting videos on the client's site.

Why Wistia? The answer is relatively straightforward: Wistia is a subscription platform that doesn't rely on ad revenue as its business model. So what does that matter? Well consider that Youtube is interested in serving you ads and keeping you on Youtube. That is how they make money. That's why they continue to suggest additional videos to you, so you keep watching cat videos for as long as possible. The longer you stay, the more ads they can serve.

YOUTUBE

However, Youtube has its place in your video marketing mix. Consider Youtube as a top-of-the-funnel channel. You can utilize it for educating your market and reaching new viewers. By answering questions that your future customers are asking through educational and entertaining video, you are likely to gain trust while building authority in their perception of your brand. You then have an opportunity to drive that viewer to your site and continue the relationship through lead generation tools.

FACEBOOK

Facebook is similar in being ad supported. Facebook has become the ever-present social network in most of our lives. Video views make up more than half of Facebook use, so it is a no-brainer to publish your videos there. Similar to Youtube, you may consider Facebook a top-of-the-funnel channel. However, Facebook is unique in that once you gain a follower, you can continue to nurture that relationship through social interaction. So the social network can work throughout the sales funnel, but you should always focus on driving traffic to your site. Your goal is to own the interactions and move prospects through your funnel with videos that target viewers at each stage of their buyer's journey.

If you have questions about how to use video at each stage of your sales process, please drop us a line. We are happy to help!


Boxing Woman

Gym Marketing & Customer Retention: Keeping Members to Build Your Business

Gyms work to retain members, and fighting the "member churn" of people who come in and move out after a few weeks or months is a constant struggle. You work hard to develop a positive gym community and retain your members, but how do you grow your membership, and create a place where members are eager to evangelize on your behalf, to share that perfect spot to work out with their friends, co-workers, and family members? Is your gym membership retention where you want it?

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bregman recounts a bad experience that he had with a gym membership from an expensive gym facility. He had a critical insight about his experience, and his gym treated him that applies to nearly any gym:

"My gym made a critical mistake — it treated me poorly. After that incident, my feelings about the gym changed dramatically." In a luxury business, it does not take much to make someone resent the fees he pays. Moreover, once that happens, the business dies.

It seems clear from Bregman that keeping a customer means building a positive relationship with him or her. While he does not name names in this article, you can bet that he told his friends and family about the outrageous way he felt that his gym treated him, thus poisoning any chance this gym had with attracting these people as new customers.

This is the essence of two suggestions given by Athletics Business in a recent article on gym membership retention. The key to retention is in two areas: 1. Being proactive in reaching out to members, and 2. Creating fun and focused spaces for social interaction.

request consultation header

Retaining Members Means: Reaching out to Members!

Keeping a gym member is easier than finding a new one. To make sure that you keep those members that you have, you must also ensure that you remain in contact with them. Be willing to reach out to members who have gone recently inactive. If you have not seen a member within 21 days, consider contacting them to find out what's been going on in their lives that kept them from working out recently. Knowing that an individual member matters on a personal level can help retain that customer.

Beyond this, be sure that you and your staff are always prepared to deal with problems customers have, and that you make yourselves available to your members. Particularly important in smaller gyms, showing that the owner and the staff use know the facilities and clearly care about their customers goes a long way to making gym members feel connected and relevant to the gym community.

For many people, a gym is a social meeting space, where friendships and relationships outside of work or family take place. Owners and gym employees should engage with whatever community they serve to encourage these social bonds. The simple action of front desk staff greeting members and, whenever possible, knowing them by name, can go a long way to making new members feel welcome, and to help integrate them into your gym's fitness society. Sharing pictures and videos of member's exercise successes -- a photo of that successfully completed early morning spin class, a video of that weightlifter setting a new PR, that picture of the Tuesday afternoon swim aerobics class members smiling and chatting with each other -- on an official Facebook page or Instagram allows your members to share their positive gym experiences with friends and family, and helps your community to grow outside the physical walls of your business.

Creating Active Social Communities Inside the Gym Matters!

Larger gyms may have dozens of themed classes that meet in a week, smaller gyms may have a few personal trainers that work with small groups, but whatever the setting and whatever the size, your gym can benefit from fun, interesting exercise groups for members to join. Not only will your members be building muscle, but they will also be building interpersonal relationships with other members and with the staff member in charge of the group. When exercise becomes a physically challenging social activity, it becomes natural for your customers to want to include their other friends in their early morning spin class or evening boot camp.

Even helping to organize informal groups not run by a personal trainer or other staff can help to foster this sense of community. People in a new gym in a new town will often be looking for a workout partner, someone they can meet with regularly to get encouragement and inspiration from, as well as someone to vent their workday frustrations to. Facilitating a workout partner search for new members, or going the extra step to introduce new members to other members with similar exercise interests can plug newcomers into your existing gym social structure, making them more likely to stay in the long run.

Successful gym marketing starts with establishing positive relationships with your members. The more they want to go to your gym, the more others will want to go with them. Let Harness help you create a supportive, reaffirming gym culture. Contact us today to find out more.


Five Tips for Efficient PPC Management

PPC, or pay per click advertising, is a mainstay of effective internet advertising that has benefits for the advertiser and the advertisement host alike. Under PPC, advertisers only pay for each click an ad receives. While sites hosting the ads receive payment based on the frequency of clicks. This process helps hosts gain revenue that is tied directly into audience response to the ad while helping advertisers limit ad expenditures to only those ads that get results.

However, to make the most of your PPC advertising, you need to keep a few simple PPC management rules in mind:

PPC BUDGET

Not all search engines were created equally and should not be budgeted equally. An ad hosted on Yahoo will almost certainly not get the same number of clicks – or eyes – as the same ad on Google. Why is this important? When allocating funding for your ad program, you need to take this into account when determining which service will give you the greatest return on your advertising dollar. For instance, if you are running an ad on Yahoo and Google, don’t split your budget 50-50 between the sites. Your budget should reflect a realistic idea of how much cost each site will incur for the campaign. Realistically a 30-70 split should be more appropriate but will vary based on the quality or appeal of the actual ad and how efficient your search engine optimization (SEO) has been set up.

Allocate budget based on hard numbers: A corollary to the point above is to let actual conversion numbers guide your PPC advertising budget. Allow enough budget flexibility that if you see that one campaign is working better than another that you can direct more resources to that ad or ad campaign. However, all budget decisions made after a campaign is launched should be based on hard market analysis, not on gut feeling or personal preference of one site over another.

 

PPC CHALLENGES

Be realistic about the challenges facing PPC advertising: Your PPC program is only as good as the management of your PPC program. There are some pitfalls that good PPC management can mitigate: rising cost of PPC due to increased competition and cost per click; managing hundreds if not thousands of keywords; the challenges of creating PPC advertisements that work in mobile browsers; and the ongoing battle with ad-blocking software. A professional, full-service digital marketing agency can help you overcome these hurdles.

PPC ANALYTICS

Campaign Analytics is your friend: Many services such as Google AdWords can deliver very precise statistics regarding the efficiency of your campaign. Need to know which keywords are the most efficient? What time, the day of the week, or day of the month does your ad drive the most clicks? These services can extract this data for you so that you can fine-tune your ad campaign to deliver the most clicks at best time for your business – and your budget.

PPC KEYWORDS

Don’t be afraid to narrow your niche to drive the right customers to your site: Few things irritate potential customers – and cost you lost PPC dollars – quite like a misleading ad word or SEO term that drives customers to an advertiser that is not what they seem. For instance, if your specialty is electric guitars, resist the urge to push just ‘guitars’ as a keyword. Customers looking for acoustic guitars will quickly flee your site, while you will be left holding the bag for wasted ad clicks. Ineffective PPC is a waste of the customers’ time and your resources.

At HARNESS, we offer a full range of digital marketing services designed to drive your business to the next level.

Contact us today to put our professional, full-service digital marketing experts to work for you to create the captivating content that you need to engage your customers.


Boxing Woman

The Best Gym Ads

The Best Gym Ads

In our work creating gym marketing campaigns for our clients, we have been crawling the web looking for the absolute best ads ever produced for fitness centers. We are really proud of the list we have come up with, and were honestly shocked at some of the not-so-successful (read: bad) gym ads we encountered. These ads represent the best of the best in terms of visual design, emotional appeal, market positioning and humor.

Company:  Ascent Protein

Agency: TDA Boulder

We love this ad because it doesn’t hit you over the head with its message.  It’s a very clever way to connect with the pride gym goers have in waking up early.

Company:  Gold’s Gym

Agency: Taejun Park: School of Visual Arts

This ad is not only incredibly visually clever, but it is more impressive because it was made by students!  The creativity they displayed has to be contrasted with some of the cringe worthy Gold Gym ads in the worst ads section.  Maybe Gold’s should stick to hiring students.

Company:  Yo BK Yoga Studio

Agency: J. Walter Thompson New York

The idea of fat melting away to reveal a new person underneath is not a new one.  But combined with an excellent illustrator and a great Yoga pose it certainly feels like one.

Company:  Equinox

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York

I have to admit that I don’t understand every ad in this “Commitment” series.  But they are all undoubtably visually striking and very hard to forget.  Some of the ads are a little risqué so check them out at your own discretion.

Company:  Olympia Gym

Agency: Rediffusion Dyr

If this ad is depressing you, wait until you see the rest of this series.  While these ads might not be “fun”, they are certainly some of the most emotionally powerful advertisements that we came across.

Company:  Power House Health Club

Agency: Euro Rscg Delhi

While I’m not sure these Gym ads don’t have some question marks regarding intellectual property, its undeniable that they provoke an instant reaction.   Its not all about surprise with these ads however, as they are funny and tell a story that might resonate with many people about reality vs expectations.  For a certain psychological profile I feel these ads could be highly motivating and funny.  The rest of the ads in the series are just as good. (Fat Superman) (Fat Spiderman)

Company:  Power House Gym

Agency: Savannah College of Art & Design

The genius behind this ad is the carefully placed interaction with the outside environment.  This is extremely difficult to do, and when this technique is attempted it almost never comes out this well.

Company:  Pole Dance Studio

Agency: Unknown

This ad is hilarious, but appropriate in so many ways.  Making an ad that works on a pole cannot have been an easy challenge, and it is awesome that they were able to communicate effectively and then ad the joke.


Differentiation-in-the-Fitness-Business

Gym Marketing: 8 Fun & Engaging Campaigns To Implement

In this gym marketing guide, you will learn about 8 fun and engaging gym marketing ideas to implement in your marketing strategy. From video marketing to tips on calls-to-action, we have tips on how to attract and retain new members.

Gym Marketing: How do you Attract New Members While Maintaining Current Members Engaged?

This is the number one challenge of any business. What is the secret to attracting prospective customers? The good news is that getting in front of your ideal customer has never been easier.  However, you first need to determine which type of content your customers may be seeking and how they are searching for that content. In order to accomplish that, you start with a goal.

Just like when you are working out, you always need a goal. Are you looking to increase gym members? Develop a brand awareness? Or engage and retain your current customer? Setting goals for your campaign will help you define the scope of the campaign and the target audience.

With that understanding, check out these tips below and think about how they will help you to work toward your marketing goals. Need some ideas for goals? Some of the goals that we typically define with our gym clients include attracting new members, differentiating the gym from competitors (think about what makes your gym culture different), and current member retention.

gym-marketing

Here are 8 marketing tips, including video marketing ideas, to help you get started:

1. Video: Workout of The Week

It is the perfect way to engage those customers who are looking for fun workouts. Start this campaign at the beginning of the year, when fitness resolutions are at their highest. Then give your audience a timeline and goals with each video to motivate them to keep watching. If this campaign is set up to attract new members to your gym, then the videos in this series should be hosted by one of your instructors in order to establish his or her credibility with the audience. By interacting with these videos, future customers get a preview of the level of competence of the coaching staff as well as the overall cultural tone of the gym. 

2. Tips To Improve Fitness

We all had to start somewhere. One of the secrets to retaining members is focusing on education. Share the secret sauce. You gain nothing by keeping your vast fitness knowledge to yourself. The most valuable application of that knowledge is to freely share it with your members in order to ensure they get the most out of each visit.

For instance, create videos that demonstrate proper form for each exercise. Get new members jump started by offering tips and workout programs to keep them motivated.  This campaign will aim to improve your check-ins, and grow your memberships.  

3. Membership Sale and Specials

Run a promotion for the first 25 people that visit the gym that day. The promotion depends on your monthly membership cost and the special you decide to run. For example, you can run 40% off memberships for the first month, or a particular dollar discount on a membership, classes, or gear (if you sell gear in a house). Evaluate your membership cost and provide a unique offer that will get people in the door. While we understand that cutting into your already tight margins is a difficult decision, the goal of this is to create new members. Once you have them in your system, you can focus on retaining them at full price.

4. Free Technique Workshop Once a Month

Use your website to create a landing page where non-members can sign in with their email to gain access to a free video with one of your instructors teaching a particular exercise. While you at first at seems you are giving away free instruction, you have the visitors' contact information (especially email) to continue to nurture the relationship over time. It will provide you with a nice segmented list of customers who are interested in learning more.

These customers have entered the buyer's journey within your sales funnel. They are in the "Awareness Stage." You need to provide them with the answers to the questions that first brought them to your site. From there, you provide content that moves the buyer through each of the stages to the "Decision Stage" where they become a customer.

First, they have to feel like they fit in to your community. Second, they need to understand the type of workouts your members perform. Finally, they need to know what makes your gym different.  This effort might seem like a lot of work for the gym, but it makes the difference between customers that are generally interested in fitness and wanting to sign up on the spot (by continuing these efforts you create advocates that send endless referrals your way). If they do not sign up right away, do not worry. You simply need to continue nurturing the relationship and stay consistent (without harassing or being annoying).

5. Offer a free class for new check-ins via Yelp or Facebook

According to Time.com, Americans check their mobile phones around 46 times per day, so why not take advantage of that and provide a free pass to new check-ins on Facebook and Yelp.  Promoting this offer on Facebook via an ad that targets mobile users will work to drive them down the sales funnel, ideally converting to become a member. Most people feel motivated and excited to workout at the end of a fitness class, and will be ready to take action right then. Moreover, you are able to get all of the referral traffic from that user's network as her check-in will show to all of her friends and family.

6. Free guest passes for a Google or Yelp Review

Google reviews look good when people are searching for a gym, and they also help your business rank higher in local SEO!  Even further, it influences the customer's decision to join. If you are short on Google or Yelp reviews, encourage your members to leave you reviews by providing them with a free 5-day guest pass for a friend.  This campaign will attract new business to your gym by giving new customers a taste of the culture and expertise of your staff.

7. Feature a Gym member

Featuring a member who works hard to reach their goals will inspire the rest of your members to maintain their efforts and work toward their goals.  A monthly or weekly member feature will serve as a motivation to keep guests checking into the gym. This campaign can also be featured on the website, and all social media profiles. Members will be encouraged, and happy to be part of a community that motivates them to do better.

Gym marketing strategies are not only about attracting new members but retaining current members as well. Customer retention is less expensive than acquiring new members, and more profitable over time.

8. FAQ and Unique Content Via Live Video Or Blog Post

Answer frequently asked questions on your website or through live streaming on your social media channels. Not only will these posts help with current members by reinforcing your expertise and educational culture, but it will also create a resource for your members to turn to for information. You can also create short videos answering these questions and post them on channels like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. This is especially ideal for gyms that have a lot of technical workouts and machines where precise movements are essential to complete the workout.

FAQs are not the only questions to answer. You can also do research on keywords and most searched questions online, and answer them via a blog posts and video to attract more traffic to your website.  Members and non-members will have a resource of information that will help them take full advantage of the gym. This type of content also helps your website to rank for more keywords. Providing consistent, valuable content that is SEO-optimized will get more people to your site and in your doors.

Bonus Tips For Gym Marketing

  • Do not forget to include a call-to-action at the end of these videos and blog posts to capture information and use it to build an email list. This email list can be used to send valuable content via email and transform non-members to members.
  • An important to remember not try to sell, rather provide value, in order to help your audience reach their goals.  This approach will set you apart from your competition who do nothing but promote.