When it comes to gymnastics marketing in 2023 it can be difficult to know where to start. There are hundreds of advertisements showing guarantees of how to generate new business, but they often turn out to be lies or spam. With so much noise how can you know what to really rely on? I created this article to help cut through all of that nonsense and create an actual strategy for your business that is based on results, not promises. Below we will cover the 16 ways to market your gymnastics center and generate meaningful changes for your business.
Before you start marketing your business
Prior to talking about how to market your business, I wanted to dedicate this section to talking about the best way to prepare for gymnastics marketing. What do you need to know before starting your marketing strategy?
There are a couple of major things you will need to decide before you can start marketing your gymnastics center. The first thing to find is why you are marketing your gymnastics business. It is easy to write off a default answer like “to make more money”, but the simple fact is that it is always more complicated than that.
I challenge you to fully understand your marketing need before you begin these strategies. You might want to get new trials, but where do you need those signups to go? What do those customers need to do and why is it essential for them to do so? Thinking about these questions can create a deeper understanding of your marketing from a better perspective that can fuel results. This can help you create your own funnel that will earn new customers and cut down on mistakes.
Deciding Which Gymnastics Marketing Method Is Best For Your Gym
Each of these gymnastics marketing methods has great potential to help your gym, so the real question is not what method is best. I prefer to see it as which method provides what your gym needs the most, and which method are you most likely to use for the long haul. Real tangible results come from consistent effort over a long period of time so choose only as many as you can upkeep regularly. It is much more beneficial to use one of these methods for a year than it would be to use 16 for a month. Now let’s get into the best methods of gymnastics marketing in 2023
1) Google My Business Optimization
Google my business is a free listing that every business can get from google. It is a massive help to people finding your business when they search for gymnastics “near them”. If you look this up on your phone right now you will see something similar to this:
This is called the map pack and it is a list of Google my business listings. Google ranks these on thousands of factors which can get pretty complicated. The most important thing to do is to make sure that you have a profile created for your gym, then to make sure that it is filled out completely and correctly. This alone will help your Google my business listing to rank better. However, there are many other methods to use to rank above your competitors to bring in more customers
Optimizing your google my business listing can have a nearly immediate effect on your business to help customers find your information. Many people in your area simply search for “gymnastics near me” and then click to call on the first location. Developing your listing will capture these easy leads with little to no effort.
For more competitive areas where you might be competing with 3 – 5 other gyms within your area, there are some additional methods to help boost your local SEO ranking and outperform your competitors.
2) Start Email Marketing To Your Customers
Email marketing is a time-tested method of helping to get new signups and retain current customers. This method is at its best when paired with another advertising option like Facebook advertising or google ads etc. This is because email marketing inherently does not truly find new customers. Instead, customers have to sign up to then be email marketed to, because of this it is a nearly unbeatable follow-up method, but a poor way to initially reach customers.
Another great use of email marketing is to improve customer retention by sending customers regular information and helpful content. After all your customers share a common love for gymnastics why not help give them more of what they love? This is also a great way to help customers remember important events going on so they do not miss out.
Email marketing is a great tool to have at your disposal. I like to think of it as the glue of any good gymnastics marketing campaign. It helps to turn a one-time click into a lifelong customer better than almost any other tool out there.
3) Create or redesign your website
No matter what business you run, a website stands at the center of all of your marketing efforts. Almost any method of advertising that you choose will depend on your website at some point or another. Social media ads will usually point customers back to your website landing pages. Email marketing uses lead magnets and content to get customers to sign up for your mailing list. Google listings will direct people to check out your website for more information, and the list goes on.
In all of these ways, your website will be used to help facilitate customer signups, so having a great website is crucial for a successful marketing campaign. Even if you run the best Facebook ad campaign ever, but customers are redirected to a nonfunctional page it will all be for nothing. There are many, many factors that make a website “good” but here are some of the most important ones:
- Fast-loading website (under 3 seconds)
- Works properly on the phone
- Easy to use and navigate
- Attractive to customers
If your website matches all four of these major factors then your website is ready for advertising. If you are not sure I encourage you to test it yourself to see. View the site on your phone, or ask a friend or family member to sign up for a specific class. If your website does not pass any of these four tests then it would be best to have a website redesigned prior to your marketing efforts.
4) Start a referral program to get new leads
There are many ways to begin a referral program at your gym, most of which take little time to implement. One of the basic referral programs you could run is to simply ask your current students to refer a friend or family member in exchange for some value to them. Referral programs like this can be given out to both parents and the students of your various programs.
Parents are probably going to be most interested in financial incentives. You could easily offer deals for siblings, discounts on merchandise, or upgrades based on new customer referrals.
Referral programs for your gymnasts will usually be a little more fun. Kids that refer a friend might be able to earn a special prize like a wristband, or maybe if the whole class refers to X amount of kids they will get a party. The only real boundaries of this marketing method are your creativity, so feel free to have fun with it.
As for how to actually get the referrals I recommend handing out referral slips with just some basic information. Such as the gym name, address, phone number, and a place for who referred them. This can then be redeemed by the customer when they get signed up. This helps to make the process fail-proof as customers will have to get the slip in order to participate. You can also run a similar promotion on social media that your customers can share with their friends.
5) Advertise with social media marketing
Social media advertising is one of the most useful and profitable methods of advertising on this list. It is complicated to initially set up, but once you have become familiar with the process the benefits are numerous.
First and foremost, using social media advertising allows you to immediately generate interest in anything you would like. This might be a new class, an event, or a promotion. Social media ads are like an on/off switch that can get new customers signing up immediately. This way is one of the fastest ways to find leads because it does not take months to take effect.
Secondly, social media ads have incredibly advanced algorithms that target your ideal customer much better than you or I would ever be able to. By leaning on their advanced technology you can relax and let the social media platform handle most of the work. Unfortunately, this does come at a cost, social media ads are not free. However, they very often create a positive return on your investment once everything is functioning properly.
How To Get Started With Social Media Marketing
Getting to the point where everything is working well will take some time. So you will need to be comfortable with getting your hands dirty to make this method work for you. Once you do so it is certainly one of the best options for generating new customers on this list.
By far the best platform to advertise on will be Facebook/Instagram. Next best would be Google ads although they are usually a more expensive option than Facebook ads. Other platforms like Youtube, TikTok, Pinterest, and Twitter have some promise, but I would recommend these for later. After you have already found success on Facebook/Instagram. Additionally, for most gymnastics centers your ideal customers will be on Facebook/Instagram as their primary social media platforms of choice so it is perfect.
6) Engage customers with SMS messaging
SMS messaging is very similar to email marketing, but modernized to send text messages rather than emails. These messages have a much higher open rate and can greatly improve your ability to reach your customers. However, businesses need to be careful about being too intrusive in a customer’s life, which text can become if overused.
This method is best used sparingly. The best application would be for creating reminders of upcoming classes to help customers remember. You could also remind individual groups of important dates such as a meet or gym event.
In general, I think that this marketing method has good potential, but it has to be used carefully. Customers do not want to be annoyed by constant text updates from your business. Always make sure that you get customer consent prior to sending any text messages to comply with your local laws.
7) Become an Industry Expert With Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to help customers while earning their interest in your business as an industry expert. Customers already have many questions about gymnastics and your business. Why not answer some of those and help to find new customers at the same time?
Content creation is a slower process than many other advertising methods on this list, but it can also earn you some of the best long-term results. Being the go-to authority on gymnastics in your area is a wonderful position to place your business in.
The best way to start content creation is to begin answering the questions that you are asked every day and post them on social media. An important note to make here is that creating the number one video on Youtube for how to do a cartwheel is very difficult. However, creating good content and sharing it on social media with your customers is much more achievable. This method also works best when paired with other choices on this list. Two of the best are email marketing and social media ads since they give you more ways to send your information out to your customers.
8) Host a giveaway or contest
Giveaways and contests are a great way to pull some new attention to your gym and earn customers. Gymnasts are usually fairly competitive so these challenges give them a really fun way to test themselves.
These contests can be structured in many different ways. You could create events that are targeted toward your gymnasts or more general options for the public to enjoy.
Here are some quick ideas to kickstart your brainstorming process:
- Best gymnastics photo outside of the gym, the winner gets a special prize
- An Olympic-style event with various gymnastics strength challenges. This could include things like the longest handstand, longest hold on a bar, highest jump on the trampoline, farthest jump into the pit, etc. then get your gymnasts to bring their friends so they can all give it a try and give out prizes
- The most amount of referrals from a class gets to have a pizza party or other fun reward
- Host a dodgeball event with pit blocks and the winning team gets an awesome prize
Like many other methods on this list, the only real limit here is your creativity in creating the event. These are great ideas for how you could create a fun competition either inside or outside of your gymnastics center.
9) Offer a special promotional deal/Challenge For New Signups
This marketing method is very similar to what many traditional gyms use during the customer signup process. However, it can be very effective with your gymnastics center as well. An example of this promotional challenge would be to come every week for 3 months in a row to receive 25% off your classes. If the customer misses a week (without a good reason) they miss the deal also.
This method works as a great win/win for your gym because customers are incentivized to attend regularly, making them more loyal customers of your business. With a tempting deal on the line customers also have an easier time saying yes to signing up. After that, they will be able to appreciate everything your gym has to offer in their time at your gym.
Unlike a free trial, this marketing method increases customer loyalty and encourages customers to stay for the long haul. Please edit the exact time/percent off to match your individual needs. Keep this in mind as a powerful way to increase signups from your other gymnastics marketing efforts as well.
10) Start a Facebook Group For Your Gym
Customers like to stay up to date on everything going on at your gymnastics center. As previously discussed, email marketing and sms messaging are great ways to do just that. However, both of these methods lack what Facebook groups can provide, easy back-and-forth dialogue with your customers.
A Facebook group is one of the best ways to create your own corner of the internet for your customers. Here you can discuss with them, get their insight, and create a better relationship with hundreds of customers at once. Facebook groups are a wonderful tool for your business to create and maintain meaningful relationships with your customers.
11) Host special events and fundraisers
Offering fun events around the year can help keep your business on top of the minds of your customers. These events are a great place to invite the family to see their gymnast’s abilities. Throwing great events can help to improve customer satisfaction, and if done correctly can also help you find new trials.
If you do not have special holiday events or fundraisers this could be the perfect place to expand your gym. An example of a great event could be a cartwheel-a-thon fundraiser. This is where friends and family can pay a certain amount of money per cartwheel and the gymnast tries to do as much as possible to earn for charity. This same idea could be applied to handstands pushups or many other types of challenges. These kinds of events are a great framework for a ton of fun and also community goodwill. To get bonus points also ask a local news station to cover it for free exposure.
12) Generate New Reviews For Your Gym
Reviews help to make any sales process run a little smoother. They are one of the best ways to convince customers to sign up by showing them that people just like themselves have tried and loved the services that you offer. It is the perfect reassurance that they are making the right decision.
There are many different ways that you can get new reviews, the first is by simply asking your customers. Many gyms and owners never ask even though they have hundreds of customers that love your service. Most customers would be happy to leave a review if they were just asked.
A great way to get customers to write more reviews is by handing out review slips from the office. After helping a customer hand them a slip saying how much you would appreciate a review and the instructions on how to do so. This is a very easy method and that can help to drastically increase your number of positive reviews. You can also get reviews digitally by asking for them on your social media account, or through email marketing.
Always respond to reviews and thank whoever left them. Even reply to negative reviews with an email address to send more information. This will help your business appear more open to customer feedback and more welcoming.
13) Open New Classes To Serve More Customers
Creating more options for your customers can help to capture more potential signups. Expanding to offer an adult open gym, ninja, or cheer classes could be the next move for your gymnastics center. This is a very time-consuming decision and not something that should be taken lightly. However, it could be just what is needed if your options are limited.
Having a wider variety of classes amplifies almost every gymnastics marketing method on this list. If you offer two new classes you have two new options to promote and two new audiences to promote to. It is a compounding effect that could help you earn new customers you could not reach previously.
Here are some great classes to consider expanding into:
- Ninja / Parkour
- Adult Gymnastics
- Aerial silks
- Martial arts
- And many others…
14) Partner with other like-minded businesses
No matter where your gym is located there is bound to be other organizations near you with customers that might be interested in gymnastics. Partnering with these businesses and offering their customers a great deal could be an easy way to find new customers. If you offer adult classes a great example of this is through working with CrossFit gyms. Offering a great deal to these individuals can help you find new customers that have never thought of trying gymnastics. In exchange, your gym might show a deal for CrossFit to your current customers as well.
Creating these mutually beneficial relationships with local businesses can get the word out there without needing to spend any money or take any large investments. Brainstorm if there are any businesses like this near you that might be perfect to reach out to. Some other excellent examples of likeminded businesses could include:
- Swimming centers
- Rock climbing
- Traditional gyms
- Soccer / Basketball / Baseball / Volleyball teams
- College classes/groups
- Highschool classes/groups
- Elementary schools
15) Start Blogging For your Gymnastics center
Blogging can be very helpful to increase your overall website traffic and website ranking in Google. It has many potential benefits, but in terms of return on investment for gymnastics centers, it is fairly low. It is no secret that blogs take a large amount of time to create and upkeep. Posting regularly can take hours out of your week and add up over time. Because of this blogging is best as a passion project, but not recommended for direct results. From my experience with a visually based topic like gymnastics, content marketing does much of the same thing but in a better way.
All that being said, there is still certainly a place for blogs online it just might not be the best use of your time for generating new signups for your gym.
16) Generate Attention with Print Marketing
Print marketing has been around for hundreds of years for a reason and it is not going away. Pamphlets, fliers, banners, and posters are a great way to convey information in a simple and un-intimidating way. All these forms of print advertising can be used in many ways across your business’s marketing efforts.
They can be used by your office staff to promote new events, or by your team program to show their recent accomplishments. Fliers can be hung up at various locations to advertise your gym, and pamphlets are a great way to inform customers about events happening in your gym.
Best of all customers can take home most print advertising and keep it handy as a reminder to keep your gym further on the top of their minds. Print marketing is a wonderful method of getting the word out there and it works even better when paired with other options on this list.
By far the best and easiest way to make this advertising material is by designing them in Canva. Canva is full of helpful templates that you can customize in minutes to create the perfect flyer for your gym, I can not recommend this software enough. Then from there send it to Vistaprint, or another service like it, to print off as many copies as you would need.
Summary of Gymnastics Marketing in 2023
Gymnastics marketing can be very complicated and has many moving parts so it is best to only bite off as much as you can chew. Doing a little consistently is much better than draining yourself for a month straight and then turning away from advertising altogether.
It is always best to start with just one option from above. Learn about the method that you have chosen, learn how it works, what it helps and what defines a successful campaign for your needs. Work continuously until you can hit your success threshold and only then move on to adding another. Adding these items in this way will create sustainable growth.
If you would ever like any advice or assistance on these marketing strategies I am always happy to help. My expertise is in gymnastics marketing and I have helped many gyms benefit from these exact services. Let me know how I can assist by contacting me here.