Marketing Your Members’ Success Stories
In our ever-increasing social world, traditional marketing collateral and eye-catching websites are being cast-off by consumers in favor of Yelp! reviews, Facebook likes and blog commenters. Whether you run a restaurant, hotel or fitness center, customers are less likely to ask you why they should spend their money at your business, and more likely to ask each other.
That’s why, as fitness club operators, it’s more important than ever to showcase real success stories of our members. Whether it’s a new mom who dropped her post-pregnancy pounds, or a guy who got back into his high school football form, member success stories always have been the bread and butter of fitness club marketing. But, even if you have the best story ever written, it’s not going to tell itself. Here’s what you can do to get the most out of your members’ successes.
1) Personality counts: While I’m not downplaying the impressiveness or importance of people’s accomplishments, in our industry, member success stories can all start to sound the same. It’s great when someone has lost 10, 20, or even 100 pounds, but the thing that’s going to strike a nerve with potential new members is WHY they lost that weight. Tapping into the reasons why someone chose to make a change in their lives — whether it’s family, health or a major milestone — is just as impressive as the actual change itself. After all, “Chuck who lost 30 pounds,” is great, but “Chuck, father of three, who lost 30 pounds because he wants to be there for his kids,” is more relatable. Ask a few questions, and paint a more complete picture.
2) Going viral: Once you’ve created your member success story, you have plenty of opportunities to showcase it in marketing materials. Traditional methods, such as in-club flyers and community posters are great, but the real opportunity is online. On our Snap Fitness corporate social media accounts, we’ve found that the posts that feature member success stories get more shares than anything else. That means that new potential prospects are far more likely to click the link and check out your member success story than any offer or discount. Even if you aren’t all that tech-savvy, make sure you help spread the word through social media.
3) Where do they go next? It’s great to showcase how far your members have come, but it’s just as important to talk about how they plan to capitalize on that success. By showing that these members continue to work out at your club, it reinforces the idea that you can help members achieve results — and maintain them. Plus, it’s a great way to cross-promote services like personal training or group fitness classes, too. The member success is great, but it’s just the start of the journey.
By Patrick Strait, communications manager for Snap Fitness