Health Club Marketing Tips: Boost Club Membership with Content Marketing

January 12, 2012
As we roll into a new year, the health club industry is expected to continue its fast track of growth. This growth doesn’t just include membership (although that number is expected to rise, due to more people pursuing health lifestyles—IBISWorld), it also encompasses the increase in clubs using health club management software, and the latest marketing strategies – most notably content marketing.

While more fitness club managers look into the possibilities of content marketing, many are unsure how to use this new strategy to retain and recruit members. Content marketing isn’t just a passing fad that health clubs can afford to ignore. It combines tactics that can provide multiple opportunities for member recruitment, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing tactics.

By using the following 6 step process, your health club can initiate a content marketing plan that will fill your sales pipeline with new member leads for years to come, at a fraction of the cost of traditional health club marketing methods.

1. Do Keyword Research

As more people turn to the Internet to find products and services, the specific words and phrases they use to search for health clubs and fitness related topics are a key component of a successful content marketing strategy. The objective of our keyword research is to indicate, by virtue of relevance and search volume, which topics we should cover in the content we produce and distribute online.

For instance, the term “spin class” gets searched roughly 27,000 times each month and has the highest search volume of any “spin” related phrase. Writing content about the benefits of spinning classes, a popular spinning instructor, or even a piece about different spinning bikes are all good ways to get in front of fitness-minded people.

To understand the words that the most people use to find products and services like yours, use Google’s free tool Google KeyWords – it will help you determine the number of people searching in your industry, and how they’re searching.

Then, create a keyword glossary of those high performing words. You’ll use them in all your online content.

2. Start a WordPress Blog

There are a lot of great things about a blog. It’s a way for you to communicate with audiences, share information that can make their lives better, and best of all, it’s free! Go to to create a blog that will give you a stronger presence on the net. But remember, blogs are not just promotional mouthpieces; they are a platform for smart clubs to build relationships by providing relevant information to people who want to look and feel better.

Your blog should both educate and inform readers on any number of fitness and health club related topics. Try offering “5 Tips for Boosting Your Workouts for the New Year” or “What to look for in a trainer”.

3. Write and Post Content to Your Blog Two to Four Times Per Month

Think of your blog as a shout out to a new friend. If you go to all the trouble to start a new conversation, you don’t stop talking after the first discussion.  Blogging works in the same fashion – the only thing worse than not having a blog is neglecting one.

The more frequently you posts on similar topics, the more the search engines begin to classify your blog as an authority. Once your blog is considered an authority, each post you write will get into the search engines faster, and rank higher for your targeted keywords, leading to more traffic and new members.

However, remember there is a lot of static on the Internet. Be sure your blog isn’t just another source of white noise. Create content that your audiences will truly find valuable and timely.

4. Use Priority Keywords in the Title of Your Content

Remember those keywords in your glossary? To raise your search visibility, priority keywords should always be part of your title (whether in your blog or other online content such as press releases). Then, include that word in your top paragraph and use it two or three times within the body of your content.

Those keywords should link back to specific pages on your website that help prospective members find free passes, sign up for membership, or schedule site visits with your staff.

5. Make Your Content Easy to Share

Once you’ve created great content, make it easy to share by adding social sharing buttons for social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. This can be done using free plug-ins for your WordPress Blog such “Slick Social Share Buttons” Encourage your members to follow your blog and share it with their own networks.

Make sure your blog does double duty by sharing every post you write on your health club’s own social media accounts.

6. Add Your Content to Social Sharing/Bookmarking Sites

Don’t stop at your website and Facebook page; add your content to social sharing/bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg and Reddit.

Be sure to test the success of your content. If you aren’t getting many shares, visits or likes, it may be that your content isn’t providing value to your audiences. Scan competitors’ content to see how successfully their content performs – it may provide a whole new spark of inspiration.

The power of content marketing for health clubs cannot be overlooked. Our info-hungry marketplace has an appetite for helpful, entertaining and compelling content. Knowing that potential members will be scouring the net for their ideal club should be motivation enough to use content marketing to help them find you.

For more helpful tips on boosting health club membership, check out our blog post – Here’s Why You Need a Sales System in Your Health Club.