Content Marketing & The Power Of Influence
The health and fitness industry has tremendous opportunities for brands looking to communicate effectively and sincerely with their audience. While the industry has experienced strong growth in the last few years in an arguably more health conscious society, the market has also become crowded with new start-ups opening shop nearly every day. So how can your brand cut through the noise? We argue that a well thought-out content marketing strategy can help your brand become a trusted resource and ‘training’ partner for your audience.
In the health and fitness industry credibility is the cornerstone to building a strong relationship with your customers. With so many wellness-related products and services available, consumers need to be convinced that your brand provides a superior solution that can support them in their journey towards wellbeing. Customer testimonials, awards and industry certifications all signal quality to existing and prospective customers, and these have widely been used by supplement companies, gyms and personal trainers.
More recently, large social media communities and association with athletes (global and local) or other fitness and lifestyle influencers have become an important way for brands to both get their name out but also build credibility as “a trusted choice”. For example, fitness influencer Michelle Lewin uses her Instagram account, with 13.2 million followers, to promote her Fitplan app which has video guided exercises, coaching tips and progress tracking. StuMac, with 108k followers on Instagram has utilised his social media reach to create his own brand based on a 'Quest to be Jaco De Bruyn' day series that following his journey from a normal gym goer to becoming a WBFF Pro. He is known to only promotes brands that resonate with him keeping the brands one hundred percent authentic and genuine.
Similarly, the sportswear brand Gymshark has capitalised on social media marketing via paid partnerships with influencers. By turning valuable influencers, such as IFBBpro athlete Chris Bumstead or fitness YouTuber Meggan Grubb into brand ambassadors, Gymshark has been able to create a loyal customer base, as well as grow their business at a phenomenal speed of 217% allowing them to reach £41m in 2018.
Gyms have also acknowledge the value of an active social media community. Pure Gym has grown their Instagram following to 41.7k, giving their brand messages notable reach and credibility. Glasgow supplement brand Spartan Protein managed to triple their turnover with social media influencer engagement and a new UX optimised website. Check out our case study for Spartan Protein here.
The above examples illustrate how building strong and loyal social media communities can be both an effective and profitable way to showcase your brand and its strengths.
Importance of being found
In order to grow your customer base, you need to ensure that your audience can easily find you. This is where search engine optimisation falls in. For gyms and personal trainers, location-based searches, such as “Glasgow Health Club” or “Fitzrovia Gym” are an important way to establishing a presence. To rank highly on a search engine listing, your website needs to be of high quality. In practice, this means that the site is easy to navigate, mobile optimised, contains the appropriate keywords and includes good-quality rich media.
Looking at the user journeys and personas of a typical gym goer, we could identify that the main uses of a gym website were but not restricted to:
- Searching for opening times
- Description & Times of classes
- Personal Trainers
- Images / Videos of the equipment and staff
All of this is not only informative, it gives the site crawlers more information on the site to index and pinpoint, especially for localised searches such as city names, that in turn contribute to an improved local ranking and better visibility on search mechanisms.