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Your Health Club Needs to Utilize the Power of Video

If a picture was worth a thousand words, then how many words is a video worth? Today video is more important than ever for clubs looking to optimize lead generation. That doesn’t mean independent health club owners should forget their blogs, Twitter accounts and other content marketing avenues we’ve discussed in the past. But, they do need to know that the correct content, used in the correct way, is truly king.

All marketing is content driven, it is the effectiveness of the message and how well it “speaks” to the buyer throughout the purchase cycle that makes it powerful — especially in today’s buying environment. When it comes to nurturing health club leads, there needs to be more to the message than copy rife with buzzwords and sales pitches in order to make a lasting impact.

Speaking video, here's one of our own from the iClubs/Athletic Business Conference trade show last month in San Diego.

Today’s buyers must be empowered by the information provided in order to believe that they are making the right buying decision from the right fitness provider. It is information provided by the company that reaches these buyers, and stays with them every step of the way, that will lead the way to sales. Meanwhile, competing clubs are left to compete on lower common denominators such as pricing alone.

“Often health club owners and other business people are afraid to give away too much information, for fear of it eating into sales,” says John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker and author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. “But in today’s buying cycle, consumers are more likely to buy — be it a membership, a service or a product —from a company they have gotten great information from and built a relationship with by repeat visits for that information.”

While a recent survey by MarketingProfs.com of B2C marketers across all industries, showed that marketers believe e-newsletters and live events are still the most effective methods of content marketing, the use of videos comes in third, with 65 percent of those surveyed saying they believe videos to be “highly effective.”

In the case of creating content that will nurture a buyer throughout their journey, it all starts with taking steps to look deeply into the needs and the buying cycle for your target audience.

RELATED: Attracting New Members Is Great, But Don't Forget About Your Current Ones

This is where video can make a huge impact on the membership sales of your gym.

Take a look at any realtor’s site. Almost every house being marketed has a 360-degree video tour of the home. Do you have a 360-degree video tour of your health club? Sure, they also have pictures, descriptions and bullet-points, but being able to experience the club through video may give the prospective member a more life-like feel for the facility.

Also, a YouTube channel that has informational “how-to” videos of exercises and workouts can not only drive traffic to your site, but build a level of trust in your staff’s ability to help those first-timers have a fun, safe and effective experience. That gives your health club a step up on the competitor down the street, no matter what they are charging for memberships.

However, it isn’t only prospects and membership sales that can receive a bump from video. Take, for instance, that new small group training program that the fitness center is launching for the New Year. You can describe it on a poster, show still shots of generic classes, and have your staff “talk it up” forever, without really capturing the experience. But, having a demo class with your staff and/or volunteer members posted online, looping on the TVs in the club and on your social media can really generate a buzz that can turn it from a fizzler to a sizzler.

Marketing is an ever-evolving science. For independent health clubs, adding video to the mix may be a way to separate from the competition and boost reputation and revenues.

RELATED: Tattoos, Red Bull and Valuable Lessons in Marketing a Health Club

John Agoglia has spent nearly two decades either working in health clubs or writing about them. He currently writes for several digital and print publications in and out of the fitness industry.

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