13 Fitness Center Advertising Ideas (Online and Offline)

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

The fitness industry seems like it’s stronger than ever before, and it’s only going to continue growing! If you own a fitness center or are considering starting one, advertising is a great way to get more clients in your door!

In today’s day and age, advertising online is incredibly important. With billions of people on social media and using the Internet daily, it’s a great way to reach your target audience. But it’s also important that you don’t forget about advertising in more traditional, offline formats as well! 

Let’s explore 13 fitness center advertising ideas that can help your business’ name become a household name in your community.

1. Invest in Fitness Studio Software

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

If you are starting a fitness center or studio and haven’t already invested in software to help manage your business, you should research your options. There are plenty of fitness business software packages available that have long list of features that will not only make your clients’ lives easier, but yours as well! 

While the focus of having software for your fitness center is to give your clients a place to book their classes online, pay for their services, view schedules, and more, some studio software packages allow you to develop marketing campaigns through e-mails, advertisements, et cetera. There is software like Mindbody that will even automate your marketing! 

All of this to say, this is a fitness center advertising idea that could really help you out in more ways than one! 

2. Advertising through Social Media

Whether you plan on investing in fitness studio software or not, consider having a social media presence for your business. Worldwide, there are a reported 3.6 billion social media users, and they predict that number to increase. 

Simply having social media is a great way to get your name and brand out there. But actually using their advertisement features is definitely a top advertising idea. If you look at Instagram’s advertising campaign, you can set your own budget (starting as little as $5), set a target audience, and even goals for your business. On top of this, you can even monitor the advertising and see how many people you are reaching and more. 

There are lots of other benefits to using social media for advertising, and it’s a great place to get your feet wet, so to speak, in raising brand awareness and getting people to know more about your fitness business. 

3. Advertise through Influencers

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

Continuing with the social media theme for advertising ideas, you could also use local influencers in order to gain more potential clients. An influencer can be anyone on a social media platform who has a notable following, especially if they are interested and share about a particular niche. For example, there are lots of fitness influencers who post about health and working out.

What many companies do is find influencers in their area (by looking up their social media accounts) and pay them to talk about and advertise their brand, products, etc. You could find an Instagram influencer who is local in your area, pay them for advertising or even invite them to use your gym. Then, have them write some social media posts about their experience.

The idea behind this is that some of their large following would be inspired by their posts about your fitness center and want to give your place a try! 

4. Cross-Promotion

Are there any other small businesses in your area that hold the same values as you and your fitness center do? Well, you could consider cross-promotion as an easy advertisement idea! 

For example, if there’s a local eatery or grocery that sells healthy and nutritious foods, you could offer those items in a snack area or at the register where they have your flyers in their store or offer a special discount for members at your gym.

With cross-promoting, you are working with companies that have similar clientele, hoping you can help each other out and reach more people!

5. Advertise through Podcasts

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

Another online marketing idea, could be to find a fitness or health related podcast and advertise through them. Podcasts are audio episodes where people talk about various topics. Podcasting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and many pod casters make their money through advertising. 

This could be another great way for you to get the word out about your fitness center to a niche audience that you know loves and values similar things. However, you will need to select a podcast that is based in your region to advertise with. 

6. Flyers

This may seem like an old school idea, but it’s still a good one! A great offline advertising idea that has stood the test of time is flyers! Curate a well-designed flyer you feel represents your fitness studio and come up with all kinds of creative places to display it! 

If allowed, you could place it near health food stores, health food restaurants, and other places that people who go to gyms would frequent! 

Often, local 5ks or fitness races will have giveaway items in a bag for race participants. This would be another great place to see about putting your flyer in! 

7. Complimentary SWAG

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

If you want to take it a step further beyond a flyer, you could always have some cool items made with your fitness center’s name on it! From water bottles to bracelets to sweatbands, the sky’s the limit in creating some complimentary swag!

As mentioned above, these giveaway items would be great to give out at local races and fitness challenges in order to get your business’s name out there! 

8. Host a Giveaway 

If you have some really cool swag made, you could always host a social media giveaway! You could even throw in a few free visits to your gym!

Hosting a giveaway is a trending way that businesses are getting their names seen and increasing their numbers of followers on social media. More often than not, businesses will require those that want to “enter to win” to not only follow their page but also share the giveaway post on their personal Instagram. That way, the word is spreading and more and more people will see your giveaway.

So, while you may give away some items that cost you money, it may bring about more followers on your social media, which may also bring about more people to your fitness center! 

9. Offer Referral Incentives

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

For another great offline fitness center advertising idea, you could always offer referral incentives to your loyal customers! Maybe you could host a “bring your friend to the gym” day where the person gets in free and your member gets $10 off the next month. Or, maybe you could offer a deal where each friend they get to sign up for a membership will get them a certain amount off of their next monthly payment.

It doesn’t have to be big to make a big impact, but the primary goal of this marketing idea is to get the people you already know who love your services to bring in their friends and grow your company in that way. 

10. Offer Trial Periods

Offering trial periods is another tried-and-true marketing strategy for fitness centers. Many offer a free trial week, a free trial class, or a first month at a very discounted price. No matter what you decide, this is a great way to get more people into your doors. 

This advertising idea can be online or offline, depending on your method of getting the word out. You could put this offer on flyers, on social media, on the radio, on TV, or more! 

11. Run a Fitness Challenge 

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

Similar to a trial period, many fitness centers and gyms will have a fitness challenge to get people to come in and commit! Typically, these challenges will run for a specific length of time (usually 4, 6, or 8 weeks), and you can advertise either online, offline, or both! You could even see about getting an influencer to join the challenge or talk about it!

The great thing about running a fitness challenge is that it draws in the type of clients that you want: people who are motivated and dedicated.

12. Put on a Race or Competition

If you’re up for it, a great way to advertise your gym or fitness center is by hosting your own race or fitness competition in your area. Your name will get out to the public. You will (hopefully) have lots of participants who are active and passionate about fitness, and you could have the race benefit something that is close to your heart. For example, you could raise money for the local fire department, a nonprofit organization in your town, or something else important to you and your community.

This will definitely grab your community’s attention and put your business’s name in their minds the next time they want to get a workout! 

13. Engage with Local Community

Fitness Center Advertising Ideas

One of the biggest and best offline or online advertising ideas for your fitness center is to engage with your local community. This could take many forms, but some of the most popular are sponsoring an athletic team, making a donation in your fitness center’s name, or even hosting a fundraiser yourself. 

This not only gets your name out there, but it also shows others that your business values its community. It shows them you care and that you want to help others.

Photo of author

Jessica Meacham

I’m a former college athlete turned marathon-running and outdoor exploring mom of two little ones. From hiking through Iceland to paddle boarding in Lake Tahoe, our family is always up for a fun adventure that incorporates fun and fitness!

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