Gym Digital Marketing Ideas


The Importance of Marketing For Gyms

Marketing is important because it helps you establish a relationship with your target audience. It helps you seek them out and, hopefully, turn them into paying customers. Where many fitness businesses get stuck is when they realize marketing should be ongoing. It is not a one-and-done ordeal. That realization can be daunting because it means that you’ll have to consistently spend time tweaking and implementing your marketing plan.

Here are a few gym marketing ideas to help make the process of ever-evolving gym marketing a bit easier:

#1 Gym Referral Program For Gym Marketing

The key to a good gym referral program is to incentivize referrals in a way that rewards both the referring client and the newly-referred client. In other words, if you offer a free training session to a current client if they refer a new client to you then be sure to tell them that their friend who they referred will also get a free training session.

This makes your client feel as if they are sharing a special deal with their friend, and holds more prestige and sense of value, of being an “influencer” with “special access”.

Everyone likes to share and recommend things that make them feel important and “in the know”. A side benefit to this is that your referral source tracking will also improve because those who are referred will feel the need to mention who referred them in order to claim the special deal.

#2 Friend/Partner Pricing

This is a closely related cousin to a referral program. If you approach all of your current training clients and offer them special discounted pricing to bring a friend or a spouse/partner to train with them then many will say yes (this can also be just the excuse some clients have been waiting for to get their spouse/partner into the gym!).

The big bonus for you as the trainer is that typically they will both workout at the same time, so you’ve just increased your hourly rate without having to train any extra hours.

#3 Gym Rewards Program

A gym rewards program is a great way to incentivize all of the behaviors that you wish your clients would take on your behalf to act as brand ambassadors and market on your behalf.

You can create an elaborate points schedule where clients can earn different levels of points for doing things like sharing your gym page on social media, liking your gym Facebook page or Instagram page, writing a review on Yelp, checking in to the gym, and of course, the highest point value should be for referring a friend to the gym.

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#4 Gym Co-Marketing

Think of a gym co-marketing campaign as a referral program but between professionals/businesses and bi-directional. For example, think about the businesses closest to your gym. Chances are you have other small businesses in your shopping plaza or within walking distance even who are also interested in ideas to get new customers/clients.

If you have a supplement store close by (if your gym doesn’t sell supplements) then befriend the store owner and ask if you can put up some flyers and “special discount” referral cards in their shop, and offer to do the same in your gym.

Some of the same principles apply here as they do with structuring a good personal trainer/gym referral program: the more you can make the referred person and the referrer feel as if they are sharing insider’s access to a special deal then the more successful your co-marketing campaign will be.

The same applies to you. Ask the shop owner if they can give your members 10 percent off everything in the store and you will feel better about recommending them to your gym clients.

If you really want to take this to the next level then you can hire a dedicated staff member to create, manage, and implement a robust “gym perks” program where you offer your members a large assortment of discounts and savings from many different local businesses, all the while, getting the name of your gym out in the community and increasing the likelihood of other businesses referring new clients to your gym.

If you are desperately wanting to know how to get more referrals for your gym or personal training then this is a great strategy to implement.

A note of caution: This works particularly well if you concentrate on finding other co-marketing partners who offer complementary products/services to your gym members values.

Yes, you can probably strike up relationships with the owner-operators of the local fast-food restaurants and get your members discounts on burgers, fries, and pizza, but a better approach for your gym brand might be to talk to local health food stores, healthy restaurants, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and other businesses with a healthy image.

#5 Barter Agreement

An interesting twist on co-marketing is when you partner with other local businesses or service providers to exchange services on a swap/trade basis. For example, you may strike up an agreement with a chiropractor to trade an alignment for a personal training session or a massage therapist to trade a massage for a gym membership.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, and there’s often not a better way of trying out local offerings so you can feel good about what you recommend to your clients, but just be sure to talk to your tax advisor about any applicable tax reporting related to barter agreements.

#6 Community Events

Now that you’ve hopefully begun to build relationships with other businesses in the community, why not join together and organize a fun event for your community?

A gym has a natural tie-in with any type of community event revolving around the themes of fun, family, health, and fitness. Create a community health fair and family fun event.

Offer free food (talk to local restaurants, vendors, and food trucks), blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings, fun games for the kids, obstacle courses and fitness challenges, boot camp workouts and other fitness competitions, local music, flu shots, giveaways, fundraiser tie-ins with a charity or local cause, and many other ideas are all things that you can feature at your event.

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#7 Professional Referral Network

So, this is a little different than a standard gym client referral program where clients of yours refer new clients to your gym or to your personal training, and it’s also a little different than a co-marketing program where you and other businesses in the area co-promote each other to your members/clients/customers.

But instituting a professional referral network is different enough and important enough that it’s worth singling out. This is one of the best gym membership marketing ideas because if you are intentional about building out this network then you won’t see results overnight, but you will see results for years to come.

A professional referral network is when you actively and intentionally solicit other professionals to refer people to you for personal training. Your goal is to be the first person they think of when one of their clients needs a recommendation for a gym or a personal trainer.

The classic professionals to target include physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, doctors, corporate wellness directors (sometimes companies will even reimburse employees for gym memberships and personal training fees), and other similar professionals who routinely encounter people looking to make a change in their health, fitness, and lifestyle. YOU want to be their go-to recommendation.

So, how do you do this? Well, it’s worth taking a page from the classic pharmaceutical sales rep playbook. You need to:

  • Show up in person
  • Build the relationship consistently over time
  • Demonstrate your value (your certifications, credentials, and experience will be very important here, particularly to Doctors and physical therapists who need to trust that they are referring their clients to a competent professional)
  • Make it fun (could you drop off some goodies and gym freebies at a physical therapist’s office just like a pill-pushing pharmaceutical rep and likely get great results? You’ll never know until you try.)
  • Yes, you can win friends and influence people in medical and other professional offices.

If you are curious to read more about how pharmaceutical reps build those relationships and influence the prescribing habits of physicians over time, here are some eye-opening strategies and statistics in this article: Following the Script: How Drug Reps Make Friends and Influence Doctors.

#8 Walk the Gym Floor

This might sound low-tech, but speaking of winning friends and influencing people, one of the best marketing ideas for fitness classes is to simply walk around the gym, strike up conversations with regular gym attendees, and then invite them personally to attend one of your fitness classes.

Sure, you can hand out a flyer, or tack up a poster on the wall, but there’s something about a personal invitation that will get results that might surprise you. Be sure to position the ask totally from their perspective:

“YOU would love our Zumba class.”

“YOU would be great in our HIIT class. We need some more people that can do those plyometric workouts you are doing.”

The same strategy holds for getting more personal training clients too, of course. Striking up conversations with people in the gym with the intent of upselling personal training sessions has long been a key tactic for personal trainers.

However, beware that you don’t come across as purely self-serving, mercenary, and transactional.

Truly build up a relationship with people, show them that you care, take an interest in what their workouts and fitness goals are, and then when you provide them a laser-targeted personal invitation… they’ll at least be polite when they shoot you down.

Kidding! You’ll hear some nos, but do this the right way and you will also hear more yeses than you might suspect!

#9 Offer New Classes For Gym Marketing

Speaking of inviting gym members to try a new class or sign up for personal training, when’s the last time you added a new fitness class, boot camp, or challenge to your gym schedule?

One of the best ways to learn how to promote fitness classes in your gym is to talk to members and ask them what new classes they would be interested in attending.

Yes, I know, a revolutionary idea.

Talking to members and asking them what they want. I get it. Sometimes people don’t know what they want. But most of the time, they do. If you want new fitness class ideas then you’ve likely got an entire block of people milling around your gym right now who would be happy to share their opinions.

Everyone likes to be asked their opinion, and when you have a critical mass of people suggesting a similar type of class, then you have a built-in group of people you can sign right up.

Sometimes you may want to seed your list of potential fitness classes to create with some choices for your members to choose from, but be sure to always leave space for them to suggest their own free-form idea. Here is an example:

We are polling our members for new fitness class ideas to add to our gym schedule. Which of the following would you most be interested in attending? (you may select more than one):

Martial Arts/Boxing/Kickboxing
Olympic Weightlifting
Circuit Training
Other: __________

But remember, the key is that you actually go out on the floor and TALK to people, face-to-face, and ask them what new fitness class they wish the gym had.

#10 Staff Your Gym With Great People

Did you know that, on average, 1/3 of the members of a gym will cancel every year? This ~30 percent turnover rate means that there is a huge opportunity for additional revenue if you craft a gym marketing campaign aimed at improving retention. One way to do that is to hire great people.

You can have all of the best fitness center systems and processes, but if the people you hire are grumpy, rude, or unwelcoming to guests then your gym will leak people like a sieve.

Your gym’s marketing funnel can be honed and perfected to the extreme, but it’s good people who will keep your members around and even extract more revenue and more referrals out of your current members.

This is one of the best small gym marketing ideas because when you are a smaller gym then losing even a few members can have an outsized impact on your profitability.

Does that mean that sometimes your personal trainers will serve more like therapists than trainers? Yep.

Hire personal trainers who look and act the part. They should be interested in helping others and be exemplary role models for what a life that prioritizes fitness and health looks like.

No, this does not mean that every trainer must look like a Greek demi-god—in fact, it’s important to have a representation of different body types and different genders—but each trainer should clearly be seen as someone that “walks the walk” and doesn’t just “talk the talk” when it comes to fitness.

#11 Launch a Summer Gym Marketing Campaign

It’s time that you move beyond just January/New Year’s gym marketing campaigns.

We all know that January is one of the best times of the year to get new member signups, but if you don’t engage members and reach out to new members throughout the year then your success in January can end up being a revolving door problem for your gym.

One of the best summer marketing ideas for gyms is to focus on all of the natural reasons why people start getting motivated to get in shape as summer rolls around: spring break, looking good at the beach, warmer weather = fewer clothes, cookouts, swimming, vacations, cruises, weddings, class and family reunions, and other special events.

Every piece of marketing collateral you create should be written with this in mind. Imagine your gym members planning for a special event coming up in the summertime; you want to be their go-to resource to help them accomplish their goals.

Another thing to keep in mind when planning out your summer gym marketing campaigns is that summer is a time where students are out of school, and often in the area just for a limited time period.

You can offer discounted or even free rates for students, as a gesture of goodwill, and also as a way of hopefully earning a client for life. Planet Fitness even went so far as to offer free student gym memberships in the summer.

#12 Corporate Wellness Challenge

Appeal to business owners and local businesses by helping them motivate their employees to get in shape. All business owners are interested in having healthier, happier, and more productive employees, not to mention the cost-saving on health insurance premiums for a healthier workforce.

This will require buy-in from local business owners and wellness managers, but chances are, you already have people working out in your gym who have influence in their company were you to involve them.

#13 Offer a Free Training Day

This is one of the best social media marketing ideas for gyms because the offer is so simple: come into the gym on X date and you can work out for free, and train with a trainer for free. Everyone likes free, and everyone understands free.

#14 Create an Online Workout Group

People are busier and busier. Not everyone that wants to train with a personal trainer has a schedule that will allow them to do so, but launching an online workout is a great way to upsell regular gym members who want more personalized instruction but are unable to work out in person with a trainer consistently.

We have trainers and gym owners on the platform using online workout groups for many different purposes, but this is a great one to consider for your fitness center.

You can create different groups with different goals. Here, trainer and gym owner Paul Fabritz uses his custom-branded iPhone and Android fitness apps and a custom branded web portal with online workout groups that offer vertical jump training.

#15 Fitness Challenge

There are many different types of fitness challenges you can create to better engage your gym members while also serving as a magnet to attract new members. Choose a channel that you are comfortable with and that you (preferably) already have an audience.

This could be email, social media, your website, in-person, etc. Choose a time frame (8-12 weeks works well) and then choose a goal that is general enough to attract enough people while being specific enough to touch on a real pain point for people (losing weight, summer beach body, etc).

Use an automated software solution like to administer the challenge participants and onboard people to your apps and website or else be prepared to deal with the enormous new headache of manually helping people through the flow one by one.

We’ve done launches with thousands and thousands of concurrent users, and so a software solution is a must here.

#16 Use Instagram Hashtags For Gym Marketing Ideas

Instagram fitness marketing is worthy of its own in-depth guide. Hashtags can even be used for engagement within stories. One easy strategy any gym can use is to make good use of the most popular Instagram fitness hashtags:

Popular Fitness Hashtags
#GetFit #Cardio #Cycling #FitFam #FitLife #Fitness #FitnessMotivation #FitnessAddict #GetStrong #LiftHeavy #GirlsWhoLift #GymLife #GymTime #NoPainNoGain #PersonalTrainer #Sweat #Weights #WeightLifting #Workout #TransformationTuesday #FitQuote #FitnessMotivation #MotivationMonday #Fitspo #GetFit #Goals #YouCanDoIt #FitnessGoals #TrainHard #GoHardOrGoHome #NoExcuses

And here are some of the most popular nutrition hashtags:

#Health #EatClean #EatLocal #FitFood #GlutenFree #HealthyEating #HealthyRecipes #Nutrition #Paleo #Vegan #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #HealthTalk #HealthyFoodPorn #IQuitSugar #Detox #Nutrition #CleanEating #AvocadoLove #CalorieCounting #MealPrep #MindBodyGram

Running Hashtags
#RunnersOfInstagram #FurtherFasterStronger #RunningMotivation #Marathon #MarathonTraining #SeenOnMyRun #TrailRunning #InstaRunners #CrossCountry #Instarunners #LoveRunning #RunnerLife #RunningCommunity #RunningShoes #RunItFast

CrossFit Hashtags
#crossfit, #crossfitgirls, #crossfitlove, #crossfitlife, #crossfitfood, #crossfitcoach, #crossfitmoms, #crossfitters, #crossfitgirl, #crossfitlovers, #crossfitcouple, #crossfitstyle, #crossfitter, #crossfitmen, #crossfitfamily, #crossfitforlife, #crossfitlifestyle, #crossfitstrong, #crossfitathlete, #crossfitwod, #crossfittraining, #crossfitbox, #crossfitopen, #crossfitphotography, #crossfitmotivation, #instacrossfit, #crossfittersdaily, #crossfitmasters, #crossfitcommunity, #crossfitgames, #wod, #crossfitaddiction, #crossfitquotes

Of course, unless you use the software platform to grow your fitness business online and offer online training and online workout groups then many of these general fitness hashtags will be a waste for you if you only offer training to the very narrow slice of the Internet that can meet with you in person.

#17 Upgrade Your Website

One of the best gym marketing campaigns you can ever launch is to give your gym website a makeover. This is something that will pay off for years to come. People are searching for your gym online and visiting your website every day. Approximately 70% of people will search online for a gym close to them before deciding to go visit in person.

#18 Optimise Your Local SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key for gyms when competing for many local keywords (i.e. Austin Gym, CrossFit in San Francisco, Miami kickboxing, etc.) Adding and managing your gym in Google Business is a great place to start so that you can optimize how you show up in the local search results.

Learn more about local SEO in our guide, “Gym SEO: Local SEO Guide for Gyms

#19 Retarget Your Website Visitors

When people visit your gym website and then leave without taking action, what happens to them? Do you lose track of them? What if there was a way to continue to market to those people throughout their journeys across the web?

Well, using the Facebook Pixel and other easy-to-implement code snippets on your website, you can do just that with a remarketing campaign. Retargeting marketing campaigns have some impressive statistics and should be at the top of your list for online fitness marketing strategies.

#20 Post Actively on Your Gym Facebook Page

You do already have a Facebook page for your gym, don’t you? How often do you post? What kind of engagement do your posts get? Post consistently and pay close attention to the types of content that resonate with your target audience.

When someone comments on your posts, do you interact with them? Pay a college intern to run your gym social media accounts, and work with them to create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that you can use as a guide.

#21 Market to Ex-Members Who Have Moved Away For Gym Marketing Ideas

Every gym has ex-members who have left the gym due to logistics, schedule, or some other factor outside of their control. Many of these ex-members still love your gym, receiving training from your personal trainers, and all that you’ve worked so hard to build.

But if you can only ever help the people who are able to walk into your building during a set schedule then you are likely leaving a lot of money on the table. Use a professional software solution to grow and manage your fitness business by selling personal training workout plans online to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Maybe the answer to the question of how to get more members to your gym is more Zen-like than you realized. What if you were to ask a different question: how can I still engage members that can’t make it into my gym anymore because of time or location?

#22 Back to School Gym Campaign

When thinking about ideal times to market to potential new members it’s often helpful to think in terms of major life transitions and new life stages.

Some gyms target direct mail campaigns to new homeowners and other people new their area, so if you have a college or university close to your gym then a naturally related campaign would be to target these students with a back-to-school gym membership campaign.

Just note that you will often be competing against the (often free) campus rec center so hone your pitch accordingly. That being said, students are ideal marketing candidates for being interested in fitness and if you have amenities and marketing copy that appeal to this demographic then this can be a great way to get an influx of memberships every school year.

Of course, the downside to the student market is that this population tends to be a very transient one so your retention/churn metrics will suffer. Many times this is an acceptable tradeoff, but just be clear on what your expectations are for the student marketing before embarking on a back-to-school gym marketing campaign.

#23 Christmas Gym Promotion For Gym Marketing Ideas

“Give the gift of fitness this Christmas!” Ever heard that before? Most likely you have because Christmas time is a natural holiday for running a promotion. Don’t forget to target your marketing both at members who may want to sign up friends or family as well as other external potential members.

#24 Advertise Your Fitness Classes

Do you only think of advertising in terms of advertising your gym brand and standard gym memberships? If you have a robust class schedule then don’t forget that many people join a gym just for a particular class so if you don’t highlight that class then how will other potential class attendees ever find out about it?

Think in terms of types of classes—Cardio, Dance, Martial Arts/Boxing/Kickboxing, Olympic Weightlifting, HIIT, Circuit Training, Pilates, Yoga, Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga), Zumba, Spinning, etc—as well as individual time slots and specific classes. This is where affiliations and partnerships with other local groups and associations can pay off dividends too.

#25 New Year’s Personal Training Promotion

New Year, new you. Pretty common marketing angle, huh? It’s common because it works.

Say what you want about the hoards of New Year’s Resolutions members who flood your gym in January and then seem to disappear off the face of the earth in February, this is a key time for people to evaluate their gym options and you want to be front of mind and top of their list. Just make sure you get that recurring billing set up.

#26 Gym Content Marketing

Can you provide fitness educational resources to your gym members and others in your circle of influence? Whether it’s a gym email newsletter, blog posts, or social media posts, content marketing is a great way to grow your audience. First, demonstrate value, earn their trust, and then recommend helpful ways for your audience to reach their fitness goals.

Related: How to Tackle Digital Marketing for Gyms

#27 November Gym Specials

Snag some new gym members early by launching your gym holiday promo campaign with a November gym marketing blast. Sometimes the key to success is simply timing. Yes, Christmas, New Years’, and other times are classic times for having a gym holiday sale, but give a Thanksgiving-themed gym sale a try and you might just be thankful for the results.

#28 Gym Flash Sale

Flash sales are great because they incorporate an element of exclusivity and a ticking clock that can compel people to act. Let’s face it, your big, hulking gym isn’t really like a limited edition run of designer clothes or other fashion wear that can legitimately claim to be “sold out”, because today, tomorrow, next week, your gym will still be there.

A fitness studio flash sale is a great way to stir up some excitement and drive new members to your club. Here are some gym flash sale ideas: limit the time frame to 24 hours or 48 hours, offer “buy one, get one free” promotions on sessions, use online billing to promote via social media.

BONUS: Our Additional Ideas on How to Promote Your Fitness Business

As you may know, the traditional way to promote any health or fitness brand is to be there in person, promoting a healthy lifestyle. You can talk face-to-face with potential customers, take them on a personal tour of your gym, and even have them sit in on a few sessions.

A few other ways to promote your gym offline include:

  • Direct mail in the form of flyers and leaflets.
  • In-person events and meetups.
  • Free in-person taster sessions.
  • Going door-to-door to encourage new signups.

Yet when you look at the methods for marketing your fitness business online, they far outweigh what you can do in person. Even better, they free up your time so you can focus on keeping people healthy.

With this in mind, let’s dig into our top gym promotion suggestions.

18 ADDITIONAL Smart Gym Marketing Ideas to Get More Clients

The following fitness marketing ideas are ideal for growing your business online so you can get more clients through your front door.

1. Create a User-Friendly Website

User-friendly gym website

It’s hard to promote any business online if you don’t have a website. Your gym’s website acts as a central hub for potential customers to learn more information and sign up for membership.

If you don’t already have a website for your fitness business, we’d suggest creating one with WordPress. WordPress is the most popular platform for building sites, and it’s pretty easy to get set up. You can learn how to make a WordPress website here.

Once you have a website, you should also ensure it’s user-friendly. A site that’s easy to navigate and clutter-free will improve the experience for visitors.

So don’t get caught up with flashy animations and all the features you can cram into one place. This could hurt your page speeds and, in turn, make it harder for you to appear in search engines.

Instead, remember that less is more, and often the most straightforward approach is the best. Take a look at the best WordPress themes to get you started.

2. Answer Questions on Your Blog

With a website in place, the next logical step is to start a blog. Starting a blog opens a channel of communication with your clients where you can keep them up-to-date with new developments and news.

Consider using your blog to answer common questions your clients ask. You can also research what people are asking in search engines, then tailor your blog content to providing a clear answer.

Answer questions from google

This is what we call keyword research, which helps you appear in search results, and in turn, sends more traffic to your website.

3. Offer Free Online Taster Classes

free online fitness classes

Besides creating high-quality content for your blog, you can also put together taster classes to promote your gym. All you need is to record a quick video of your classes, which you can upload to your website.

These videos will give potential clients an idea of what to expect at your gym.

They provide insight into your teaching methods and helps people decide if it’s the right fit for them without having to set foot inside the building.

4. Create Members-Only Online Classes

member only classes

If your taster sessions work out, you can move onto offering members-only classes direct from your website. You can do this by recording lessons ahead of time, and uploading them to a locked section of your site reserved for paying members.

It’s easy to set up a members-only area on your WordPress site with membership plugins like MemberPress. Even better, it lets you offer different membership levels based on price, as well as recurring subscriptions for ongoing members.

You can also offer member-only perks and discounts to encourage more signups. To help you promote your gym with memberships, here’s a complete guide to creating a membership site on WordPress.

5. Offer 1-2-1 Online Consultations

Online fitness consultations

Online consultations are another excellent way to promote your fitness business.

People will pay a premium for 1-on-1 sessions with a coach or fitness professional. And since they won’t have to visit your gym in person, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience.

You can start by offering the first consultation for free, and then charging a recurring fee for further sessions. And to sweeten the deal, you can offer perks in the form of tailored meal-plans and training schedules for paying clients.

There’s a ton of ways to set up your sessions too. First, set up a booking system with a WordPress booking and appointment plugin. Then host your consultations using video conferencing software such as Zoom and Skype.

6. Offer Classes for all Fitness Levels

Fitness classes for kids

You don’t have to limit your classes to the fittest people either. Most people want to improve their fitness but may not be able to attend a gym physically.

To reach those people offer classes tailored to specific fitness levels which could include:

  • An introduction to fitness for children
  • Classes for adolescents
  • Sessions for the elderly
  • Specialized courses for people with disabilities
  • Advanced sessions
  • Level up classes for advanced clients

Offering classes for different abilities is not only a smart gym promotion idea, but it helps those often vulnerable groups feel included.

7. Use Time-Sensitive Discounts

Countdown timer

Another promotion idea for gyms is to use time-sensitive offers and discounts to encourage site visitors to sign up.

Promotions that end at a particular time creates a sense of urgency and the fear of missing out in potential clients. And that urgency spurs them into taking action.

You can create time-sensitive offers for your website using a tool like OptinMonster. OptinMonster is the most powerful lead generation software for marketers. And with features including discount timers and Exit-Intent popups, you can easily attract more customers to your gym.

You can learn how to create a count-down timer popup to increase sales here.

8. Run a Giveaway to Win Free Membership

One of the most effective gym promotion ideas on this list is running a giveaway on your site to win a free membership to your gym.

Since gym memberships are usually pretty pricey, offering one for free is a powerful way to drive traffic to your website and raise awareness for your gym.

You can easily create an online contest with RafflePress, the best giveaway plugin for WordPress.

rafflepress giveaway

RafflePress comes packed with all the following features to grow your business:

  • Ready-made content templates to get your giveaway up and running.
  • Drag and drop contest builder to launch your giveaway in minutes.
  • Actions to quickly grow your email list.
  • Powerful viral refer-a-friend actions to reach a wider audience.
  • Methods to promote your contest on popular social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
  • Distraction-free giveaway landing pages to encourage more entries.

Then once you’ve launched your giveaway, you can use these contest promotion ideas to ensure it reaches the broadest possible audience.

9. And Retarget Contest Participants

Your gym promotion ideas don’t have to end there either. When you run a giveaway with RafflePress, you can add retargeting scripts to serve ads to site visitors after they’ve left your site.

By using special offers in these retargeting ads, you can attract people back to your site for another attempt at converting them into paying clients.

Even better, retargeting scripts in RafflePress are set to fire right after someone enters your contest. That means as soon as they’ve entered, you can reach them wherever they go online with your ads.

retargeting in rafflepress

To learn how to create a retargeting strategy, check this guide out.

10. Offer Incentives to Refer a Friend

refer a friend to promote your gym

Friend referrals are effective gym promotion ideas for both online promotions and offline. When someone refers a friend to your gym, you can start a chain reaction where that person refers another friend, and so on.

But friend referrals are best used combined with a good incentive. So consider what you can offer to encourage more people to refer their friends.

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Money or percentage off discounts for a gym session
  • Free online classes
  • Personalized meal plans
  • 1-on-1 session with a personal trainer
  • Swag branded with your gyms logo

You can even use the Refer-a-Friend action in RafflePress to promote your gym during a contest. This action lets participants share your giveaway on all the major social media networks and through email.

viral refer a friend

11. Post Class Clips on Instagram

Instagram workout video

Speaking of social media, this is one of the first places to consider promoting your gym online. Every social media platform is bustling with users from all walks of life, making them ideal for reaching your target audience.

For fitness businesses, Instagram is one of the best places to market your gym. Instagram has a thriving community of fitness enthusiasts, and because it’s focused on visual content, your images and video clips can effectively promote the virtues of a healthy lifestyle.

Just remember to keep posts on Instagram of high quality with an excellent aesthetic.

For more informal updates, stick to Instagram stories. Stories let you share a more down-to-earth side of your business to help connect with followers on a more personal level.

12. And Use the Right Instagram Hashtags

instagram fitness hashtags

There’s little point talking about Instagram if we don’t also mention hashtags. Hashtags are what make the Instagram world go round, and they’re used to group content into categories, as well as making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.

Instagram hashtags are usually added to the bottom of a post. But it’s crucial to find the right ones for your business; otherwise, you won’t reach the right people.

Luckily we’ve researched the best fitness hashtags for Instagram, and we’ve listed them by category below.

Best Fitness Hashtags 

#GetFit #Cardio #Cycling #FitFam #FitLife #Fitness #FitnessMotivation #FitnessAddict #GetStrong #LiftHeavy #GirlsWhoLift #GymLife #GymTime #NoPainNoGain #PersonalTrainer #Sweat #Weights #WeightLifting #Workout #TransformationTuesday #FitQuote #FitnessMotivation #MotivationMonday #Fitspo #GetFit #Goals #YouCanDoIt #FitnessGoals #TrainHard #GoHardOrGoHome #NoExcuses

Popular Nutrition Hashtags

#Health #EatClean #EatLocal #FitFood #GlutenFree #HealthyEating #HealthyRecipes #Nutrition #Paleo #Vegan #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #HealthTalk #HealthyFoodPorn #IQuitSugar #Detox #Nutrition #CleanEating #AvocadoLove #CalorieCounting #MealPrep #MindBodyGram

Running Hashtags

#RunnersOfInstagram #FurtherFasterStronger #RunningMotivation #Marathon #MarathonTraining #SeenOnMyRun #TrailRunning #InstaRunners #CrossCountry #Instarunners #LoveRunning #RunnerLife #RunningCommunity #RunningShoes #RunItFast

CrossFit Hashtags

#crossfit, #crossfitgirls, #crossfitlove, #crossfitlife, #crossfitfood, #crossfitcoach, #crossfitmoms, #crossfitters, #crossfitgirl, #crossfitlovers, #crossfitcouple, #crossfitstyle, #crossfitter, #crossfitmen, #crossfitfamily, #crossfitforlife, #crossfitlifestyle, #crossfitstrong, #crossfitathlete, #crossfitwod, #crossfittraining, #crossfitbox, #crossfitopen, #crossfitphotography, #crossfitmotivation, #instacrossfit, #crossfittersdaily, #crossfitmasters, #crossfitcommunity, #crossfitgames, #wod, #crossfitaddiction, #crossfitquotes

And if you’d like to know what the best giveaway hashtags are, check out this article.

13. Repost Your Videos on YouTube

Post your fitness videos on YouTube

If you’ve gone down the route of recording videos for your classes, a great way to promote them to potential gym members is to upload them to YouTube.

YouTube is the biggest video platform on the internet, and it’s the 2nd most visited website in the world, so its full of people eager to consume your content. Even better, according to these social media marketing statistics, yoga and mediation videos are on the rise, having seen a 70% growth in popularity.

So if your gym runs yoga classes, why not record a few sessions an add them to YouTube to promote them. You never know, this could be the start of a thriving YouTube channel.

14. And Embed Them on Your Blog

Besides adding your pre-recorded gym videos to YouTube, you can also embed them in your blog. This two-pronged approach provides fresh content to your blog visitors, as well as promoting your YouTube Channel.

And because YouTube videos are now more prominent in search engines like Google, it’s another way to reach people searching for the type of content you’re offering. Even better, regular blog content is a factor Google takes into account when ranking your site in search results.

fitness videos in search results

You can easily embed a YouTube video in WordPress using a simple content block.

All you have to do is create a new post in WordPress. Then paste the video URL into the editor. WordPress then automatically converts the link into a YouTube embed block so that people can watch the video right from your website.

Embed a youtube video in WordPress

You can even kick it up a notch by embedding an entire YouTube feed on your site with a plugin like Smash Balloon.

smash balloon youtube feed pro

Smash Balloon’s Feeds for YouTube Pro lets you add customizable YouTube feeds anywhere on your WordPress site, including live streaming feeds.

You can choose from multiple layout styles, design the feed to match your brand, display views and subscribers, and more.

youtube feed demo from smash balloon

This is the perfect way to keep your website automatically updated with fresh content to promote your gym.

And one of the coolest features is the custom pause and end actions. Using this feature, you can display a link to a product page or display a thumbnail of another video when the current video ends.

15. Create Your Own Rewards Program

Yet another gym promotion idea that works for several business types is setting up a rewards program for loyal customers.

The idea is for every time someone uses your fitness services; they can accumulate points or even a stamp on their membership card. Then when they’ve collected a certain number of points, you reward them with a gift or freebie.

Gym rewards program

For gyms and fitness services, you can offer the following rewards to loyal customers:

  • A free class or session in your gym
  • Exercise plans based on crucial fitness areas
  • Discounts on their annual or monthly membership
  • Free fitness magazine subscriptions
  • Workout DVDs to use at home
  • A free subscription to a fitness app of their choice
  • Healthy snacks to boost energy during a workout

16. Partner With Health and Wellness Brands

Other businesses can play a crucial role in marketing your gym too. If you can find a local company that aligns with your brand values that also caters to a health and wellness audience (without competing with you), you can team up to form a brand partnership.

brand partnerships

Doing so enables you to leverage both of your audiences to reach more like-minded people while combining the marketing power of both brands.

Here are a few ideas for the types of businesses you could partner with:

  • Healthy food and drink brands
  • Businesses selling fitness equipment
  • Independent personal trainers and coaches
  • Local soccer and other sports teams
  • Clothing and sports attire retailers
  • Rehabilitations centers and GPs
  • Smoothy chains
  • Health supplement retailers

You could even create long-lasting relationships with several brands at once to further promote your gym.

17. Create an Online Workout Group

Fitness group

As you probably know, accountability is everything when it comes to maintaining your fitness. So one way your gym can encourage accountability while marketing your services is to create an online workout group where people can support each other.

One way you can do this is to add a forum to your WordPress website, where people can post updates on their fitness journey. It’s also a good place for people to ask questions and get help and advice from other members.

You can even use some of the discussions from your workout group as the basis for new content on your blog to better serve your audience.

18. Set Fun Fitness Challenges

Your workout group can also be the place where you set fun fitness challenges to encourage your members to achieve their best selves. This is a great way to take people’s minds off their ultimate goals and to focus on enjoying the experience of improving their health.

fitness challenge gym promotion ideas

Here are a few fitness challenges you can introduce to your gym members:

  • Running challenges that encourage people to go at their own pace.
  • Cycling challenges for people unable to run.
  • Rowing challenges to promote a full-body workout.
  • Challenges based on the most calories burned to encourage weight loss.
  • Healthy eating challenge using food tracking apps.
  • Challenges based on the most visits to your gym.

Besides promoting healthy competition, fitness challenges are an excellent way to increase member loyalty and build a robust community around your gym.

And there you have it. In this article, we’ve shared a ton of helpful gym promotion ideas to attract new members and grow your fitness business.

While you’re here, check out our guide on how to drive traffic to your website to get even more clients.

You can also see our guide to the best sports marketing and promotion ideas here.

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