How to advertise online for an instant and ongoing stream of website visitors

Digital Fitness Marketing Lesson 1

Posted on 03-03-2018

In this series of Digital Fitness Marketing Lessons, we share our strategies, experiences, and insights on marketing any fitness club, yoga studio, gym or cross box.

Why you want to learn what we teach in our Free Fitness Marketing Lessons series

Ever since our marketing agency's inception in 2004, our growing team of Fitness Marketing Experts developed and launched successfully many innovating marketing strategies, creative concepts, and technical innovations in the field of (digital) fitness and gym marketing. Let's go on a journey and see what top 5 lessons we learned from working with almost 2,000 fitness studios in 13 countries! Countries including the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and our home country, The Netherlands!

Based on this all, do you think we are qualified to share some insights that can be helpful to grow your own fitness or health business?

So let's go to lesson 1!


Lesson 1 - How to advertise online for an instant and ongoing  stream of hot and interested website visitors

What we share works in every country, in every town and for every club, studio or box

We've heard them all. All the reasons why (digital) marketing for your business would not work. A.o. we heard: nobody is online here, in our community no one uses Facebook, we already tried advertising in Google Adwords once and it didn't work, we're in a small town so everybody knows one another and just walks into our gym when they want to start, we're in a big city so they don't want to respond to ads, our target audience is older people and they are not online, we serve poor people and they have no internet, I never click on a digital ad myself, and on and on.

Most commonly heard: "In our area, people are different!"

This is the most common one! And you know what I found... It's true! The claim that everybody ís different is true! Different in a cultural context that is. Psychologically though... everybody in every country, state or town is exactly the same. Good marketing is based on reaching the target audience psychologically and emotionally! It's all about grabbing attention first. That's how we were able to make extremely effective fitness marketing scalable for every language and every age group. We measure everything! Our benchmark shows and proves it all.

Why advertise?

Why would you advertise at all, when everything is free! from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media posts! Well, simply because the Google Adwords search results are the best way to guarantee you are instantly visible to your target audience that is actively searching for your business or your type of business. And Facebook and Instagram Ads do the same and even reach all passive searchers as well, that's a hidden value.

You will learn about why and what on:

  • A - Google Adwords
  • B - Facebook Ads
  • C - Instagram Ads
  • D - Ads


A - Google Adwords: Certified Google Adwords Partner since 2009

In marketing the first step is quite simple: be visible where your target audience is looking for you. Google Adwords ads guarantee: you will be in front of them as well as in front of the ones who are looking for just any club or studio. Instantly.

Our Google Adwords strategy: focus on directly generating new members/appointments/leads. Ever since 2009, when we first qualified to be an official Google Adwords Partner, we have been able to lead hundreds and hundreds of new monthly and highly interested website visitors to our clients' websites. Every month, month after month, year after year. For every type of client in the fitness industry, whether it is a fitness club, gym, yoga studio, personal trainer or weight loss challenge club. In 2009, our colleague Wouter Cornelissen was the world's first ever Google Certified fitness marketer.

Google Adwords will bring a guaranteed constant and stable stream of hot and very interested website visitors. The tip of Chet Holmes' sales pyramid that is (almost) ready to buy. Even in the middle of summer down season, so forget the summer slump!


B - Facebook Ads: Explosion of fitness leads started in 2014 

Let me introduce you to Frano Matic, the world's first ever Facebook Certified fitness marketer

Frano: "Facebook feels like having been around forever But mind you, in 2014 it was only around for 10 years. In that year we cracked the code and created a strategy that has been pouring out many thousands of monthly leads for all our clients in each of the countries we work in. Nobody used the strategy we still have as our foundation today. We call it the Holy Grail of Facebook Marketing."

"But ... there is a challenge that hurts every fitness pro or entrepreneur that understands why they want to advertise on Facebook!" he continues.

"Actually, there are a few challenges. The first challenge is growing competition. Not just competing with other local fitness facilities for the ad space in your target audiences Facebook timeline. Competing with virtually every business that wants to be in front of that same audience. Think of any local clothing store or restaurant, any nation-wide webshop, any international consumer brand. As a result of that growing group, prices are going up! And everybody knows: prices will never drop! The best time to start doing Facebook ads is now."

Frano finishes with: "Besides that, everybody copies the ads of their competitor. We have been copied so many times, I think over 2,000 times even including a typo, hilarious! But the most challenging situation is that just some basic knowledge of marketing and Facebook isn't enough anymore to put up an ongoing producing ad campaign. We almost have to be rocket scientists to understand and analyze all data and possibilities within the Facebook ad program."

We are very happy to have our own 'Facebook Ads rocket scientist', Frano Matic and his Innovation Team, working on multiple innovations and A/B Test optimizations daily.


C - Instagram Ads: New effective and respected advertising strategy since 2015

Remember back in 2013, when the first-ever Instagram advertising brand Michael Kors generated many negative reactions by angry Insta users?  A lot has changed since then. And Insta ads appear to bring good value for money, is what experts like Gary Vaynerchuk notice as well. With many hundreds of millions of active and still relatively young users, Instagram is an important social network for the fitness industry to target.

Facebook now owns Instagram. From your Facebook ad-account, it's easy to create Instagram ads. But... the big issue is that people visit Facebook with a different mindset than how they visit Instagram. And that is something hardly anybody seems to comprehend. Instagram is proof that a single picture can be worth more than a thousand words. A simple copy paste from a Facebook ad is not the guaranteed way that leads to big successes.

We've been running Instagram Ads for our clients since 2015. And since summer of 2018, we use a proven renewed Instagram ad strategy that attracts amazing numbers of fitness leads at currently interesting low prices. Of course, depending on the age of the target audience. But mind you, the 40+ age group is growing fast on Instagram!


D - Ads: Growing market share in search

Everybody knows that Google is the dominant search engine. But hardly anybody knows that the Microsoft search engine with 22.8 % in 2017 has a growing market share in the USA. Especially with the longer search queries. Again, in 2016 Hidden Profits Marketing was the world's first ever Qualified fitness marketing agency. Proof that on and on all important search and social platforms we generate ongoing results thanks to our knowledge, skill and ongoing innovation.

The fun thing about this all is, that hardly any other gym, fitness club or PT or yoga studio is advertising on Bing. Prices are still quite low. might be what we at Hidden Profits Marketing like to call a hidden treasure (says as well).


Hidden Profits Marketing:
The world's 1st and up to this day still the only fitness marketing agency
that was certified by the BIG 3: Facebook, Google, and!


Let's finish Lesson 1 with this last question:

"Seriously, advertising? Why pay if you can have free content marketing?"

We do get questions from fitness business managers and owners, why we are not focusing primarily on free content marketing. Like creating fitness- and health-related blogs, vlogs, columns videos, podcasts and more for all of our clients.

Well, there's a simple reason for that: in the United Staes of America, in Canada, as well as in England, Ireland, Scotland, and the rest of the world really, everywhere people are being bombarded by fitness and health-related messages. Action plans, diets, exercise videos, inspirational pictures, fit girl selfies, foodies with colorful dishes of healthy food...

In every newspaper, every glossy magazine, every social platform like Facebook, Instagram, and on the millions of fitness, yoga and health websites. What we actually do for our clients? We help them ride the wave of health consciousness that is going global. The wave that is created by others. A wave that helps create awareness for health, fitness and healthy lifestyle. A wave that helps us get leads, appointments, and new members for our clients! That's why we have such low costs per lead for our clients in any country we work in.

So in the end, we dó have a content-based strategy, one that drives new business. But it's not a content creating strategy. We let all the other content work for the benefit of our clients.

Do you want Free Fitness Marketing Lessons in your inbox?

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And if you find this interesting, please share with other professionals in our lives changing industry.


See you in Lesson 2!


Author: Aernout Leezenberg, founder & CEO


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