Crossfit’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years and gyms are popping up in every neighborhood. As a business man and ex-college athlete, I love crossfit; the combination of high intensity workouts that rarely last over 45 minutes fits perfectly with my competitive nature and busy schedule. As a consumer the large increase in gyms has been great – I no longer have to travel 20 miles to work out and the level of competition has driven the monthly price down to a much more affordable rate. However, as a crossfit ‘box’ owner the amount of competition has taken a toll on even the top crossfit boxes. I decided to put together a list of 5 easy, simple and cost effective ways to market your crossfit box.
Here are some highly effective crossfit marketing strategies to grow your box:
1. Facebook Ads: Facebook ads can deliver high returns in a very short period of time for an extremely low cost, but we don’t recommend them for every business. They are only effective when your target customer regularly logs in to Facebook. Since the crossfit demographic skews younger, a good ad campaign can deliver amazing results. Facebook’s platform allows you to target people who are in crossfit groups, ‘like’ crossfit pages, and post updates with a crossfit hashtag. Our suggestion is to create a series newsfeed ad offering a free class or free trial at your gym targeting these groups. This type of ad generally registers a high click-through and conversion rate and your gym can see an influx of customers within a week.
2. Instagram: Almost all of our crossfit clients were already using Instagram when they hired us. Instagram is great because it has such a young and active user base (the average Instagram user spends three times as much on Instagram than any other social network). However, just posting pictures and videos to your account isn’t enough; if you aren’t actively reaching new users, there really isn’t much of a point. Instagram doesn’t allow ads (yet) so the only way to reach new users to be creative. These are a few of my favorites:
- Give away free swag at your gym (t-shirts, hats, etc.) in exchange for social media posts wearing them
- Hold competitions at your gym and encourage members to post their results
- Give away a free month of membership to any member who refers a paying member via social media
3. Groupon: I was hesitant to include this because the Groupon market is saturated with crossfit gym coupons, but I still believe its an effective marketing tool. The rationale behind the Groupon is simple: offer a short membership at a large discount. This is one of the oldest marketing techniques in the book – get people in the door at cost (or loss) and win them over with your awesome service. There are two main reasons it works for the crossfit model:
- Crossfit gym costs are extremely low so even at the discounted monthly cost, you can still breakeven.
- People who try crossfit even hate it or become obsessed. Your main concern should be getting people in the door, even if it means taking a slight loss the first month.
4.Corporate Programs/Local Businesses: I used to work at a large Fortune 100 company and they were constantly pushing fitness programs on employees by offering incentives to those who performed well. Working in this environment I know firsthand how much emphasis businesses put on employee wellness (and how much money they’re willing to spend on it). Penetrating a corporation isn’t easy, but here are a few suggestions on how to get involved in the business community:
- Attend BNI or Chamber of Commerce meetings and give out free pamphlets on proper exercise and dieting
- Offer businesses group or employee discounts for membership
- Offer to travel to a local park or company gym and give group classes
5. Free Weekend Workouts: In my experience 8 out of 10 gyms already offer some form of free workout, but its the most effective way to get customers in your gym. As I mentioned earlier, due to the cult like following crossfitters have, the main goal as a gym owner should be to get new customers in the door. In addition to free classes at your gym, you can also offer to do boot camp style classes at public parks. This not only gives your current member base a change up to their normal routine, but also gets your business out in front of hundreds of other people who come to the park to work out as well. Make sure you reach out to others at the park and offer them a free workout! 6. Search Engine Optimization: Obviously, we’re biased but SEO is the best way to market your crossfit gym for 2 reasons:
- Very few (if any) of your competitors are doing it
- It requires little to no effort on your part
Think about how much time you spend building your company’s social media profiles – but does anyone use social media to find a gym? Social media is great for interacting with your current customers and engaging with potential ones, but people aren’t going to Facebook to search for a gym. For that they use Google. The best part about SEO is you don’t have to lift a finger. The process is pretty simple:
- Person goes to Google and types in “Crossfit gym in Miami”
- Search query returns a list of websites of which yours is at the top
- Person clicks on your website and is directed to a lead capture form
- Person enters their information
- You get an email notification with an interested person’s name, email, phone number and questions/comments
Doesn’t that sound nice? This a gross over simplification of the SEO process but a good SEO company can deliver these results for your box. Watch what Yandy Roman from Crossfit Muscle Farm in Ft. Lauderdale and Downtown Miami has to say: We work with 63 Box Owners across the county and would love to work with you. You can speak to us on live chat by waiting 10 seconds on this page until the live chat box pops up or you can call us at 1-800-672-6974 .