Gone are the days of a simple flyer to signify an event. Nowadays, getting information out to the public takes more effort in the forms of social media, community outreach, website content, word of mouth, etc.
Ardyth Hall, the owner of PUSH511 in Baltimore, Maryland, came from a business background in real estate and finance. Marketing is something she is always aiming to be better at and is constantly striving to see a strong return on investment.
“To me, I have found the best marketing is the quality of the service,” said Hall. “CrossFit is a service industry. It starts with your Coaches, your programming and your community. Your members are a great marketing tool. You can’t hide behind that. If you have a bad service, that is going to show.”
Lacey Guillot, a Coach at CrossFit Mandeville in Louisiana, said they have spent money in the past on print ads, but they have found huge success in word-of-mouth marketing, especially at community races like 5Ks. Not only are they spreading the word of their Box to the runners, but to the rest of the community watching the races.
“I’m usually at all the races because I like to take pictures of not only our members, but everyone in the race,” said Guillot. “I post those pictures online and tag the fundraiser or charity who hosted it. That’s our way of giving back to the community. We have had such positive feedback from it. People saying, ‘Hey I saw all of you at the race yesterday. I was wondering if I could get more information?’”
Hall, like Guillot, has found huge success at community events. She explained she sees marketing as a pyramid with current members and potential members needing their own separate marketing strategies. In terms of potential members, community events are where you are most likely to sell them on your gym.
“Our radius is about a three- to five-mile reach since we are in a city,” said Hall. “We do charity WODs that impact our members and Coaches locally. We are constantly trying to raise awareness and benefit the community around us. We like to do local things because people seem to be a little more giving if they see it happening right here in town.”
Ashley Bacsu, the owner of CrossFit 317 in Indianapolis, Indiana, has found marketing success through website traffic. Posting original content consistently brings value to their members and creates a buzz if members share it to their personal social media.
“The more we can provide value to people, whether they are members or not, is a big goal for us,” said Bacsu. “We want to provide value with our website through articles, videos or other things. We want to provide help even if you aren’t a member in our physical Box, but maybe hope to become one.”
CrossFit 317, like many Boxes, posts daily WODs. While many of their members check the site to see what they will be doing at the gym that day, those unable to make it into the Box can also see the workout. Bacsu said college students can utilize the site and might even invite friends to do the workouts with them.
“We have quite a few members that started with us in high school and leave for college,” said Bacsu. “They are still able to follow our programming while at school because they can hop on and check the website, and we are also a phone call away to help them modify anything.”
Something CrossFit Mandeville has found huge success in is their social media strategy. Guillot said they pride themselves on their marketing strategy that sets them apart from the everyday social media feed you see. On top of posting unique content two to three times a day minimally on Facebook, they also take a picture of their whiteboard at the end of the day.
“The people that come at 5 a.m. and never see the people in the evening classes can take a look at the whiteboard picture and see who killed a workout,” said Guillot. “Everyone enjoys that post that comes every night at 8:30 p.m. of the whiteboard picture. It exposes it to not only our members, but the friends of the people who share the photo and once they like our page they will start to see all the stuff we post.”
It seems a simple flyer will no longer suffice in making sure your Box stands above the others. Treat your marketing like your workouts by constantly varying your strategies and see what success can come from it.