Having a digital presence to promote your business is no longer just a plus, but a necessity.
People like visual content. People like to feel included. People no longer like to make phone calls to know if a business is open or if there are special promotions this week; they want the information given to them regardless of if it’s a store, a restaurant or even a CrossFit Box.
Joe Pellitteri, the senior vice president of sales at Vivial Marketing Solutions, said that gyms, particularly CrossFit Boxes, inherently lead themselves to a social environment and sense of community.
“There is a camaraderie among athletes, which provides an ideal dynamic for digital marketing, specifically, the opportunity to leverage social media as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy,” said Pellitteri. “Since CrossFit athletes thrive on sharing workouts and accomplishments with friends, family and other gym members, social media has proven to be a prime avenue for them to update others on their progress and compare notes with fellow athletes.”
Pelliterri went on to say all social strategies should typically work around one goal: keeping followers engaged. He gave advice on where gym owners should start when crafting the social part of their marketing mix:
A business’ marketing mix is often called the “Four Ps of Marketing” and is comprised of people, product, price and promotion. The social strategy falls under what can often be seen as one of the most important components — promotion. You could have the best product in the world, but unless people know about it, it won’t sell.
Pelliterri said it’s important to find where athletes are spending their time online and work on building an online presence on a specific platform that makes sense.
“Before jumping into Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and other social channels, it’s important to find out where athletes are already spending their time,” said Pelliterri. “It’s better to provide robust and engaging content on one or two social networks where they know customers are spending time, rather than having a lackluster presence on a lot of channels … that being said, CrossFit is highly visual and tends to pair well with image centric platforms [so Affiliates] should keep this in mind as they not only decide which channels to utilize, but also when generating their content and posting strategy.”
Along with having a social media presence, it’s good to have one “home-base” of information to always lead readers back to a website.
“Having a website with basic, but important information like an overview of the gym, location, hours of operation and contact information is essential as customers are increasingly looking for information on-the-go,” said Pelliterri. “Nearly 50 percent of small businesses don’t even have a website, let alone one optimized for mobile, and with Google saying that more than half of searches are performed on mobile devices, not having a website, especially one that is mobile-friendly, can mean the difference between a customer finding your gym or going to the competition.”
Try to find a way to keep things simple so you can continue to focus on running your business. “At Vivial, we have found that business owners of all sizes typically point to a few challenge areas: they think there isn’t enough content readily available to put a website together, they think building a website is a huge time commitment or they don’t have the staff or resources to keep the website updated,” said Pelliterri. “We live in a digital world and marketing is such an import part of the marketing mix to connect and engage with current and potential members. Therefore, if owners don’t have the internal resources to handle it, I recommend finding a partner to help.”