With gym membership figures at an all-time high and more competition in the industry than ever, gym businesses need to ensure they are constantly assessing the experience they provide to members, and how this is affecting their bottom line.
In order to make the most of this peak level of interest in health and fitness, gyms should be actively seeking ways to motivate members and keep them coming back, and one key player in doing so is technology.
There are so many consumer alternatives to the physical gym space - such as workout apps and live online fitness classes - that gyms now have to compete with. While consumers are used to accessing content so readily, gym businesses need to be incorporating digital technology that provides the same level of inspiration and engagement in their venues.
While great gym-floor music and good quality equipment are also essential, digital signage provides the perfect way to reach consumers at various stages of the member journey, assisting with good advertising, communication and entertainment.
One of the advantages of using digital signage over print for advertising is that it is more eye-catching and we are naturally drawn to digital channels. Dynamic content is therefore more likely to gain people’s attention and encourage them to actually read and understand the message.
One way gym operators can benefit from this is by using their digital screens to advertise and upsell to members. When they have made the effort to come into your club, members are already in the stage of intent to work on their health, so what better place to advertise fitness-related products and services? For example, you could advertise retail, food or supplement products available to purchase in your club, providing convenience and inspiring consumers while also increasing revenue for your business. By using digital signage to broadcast these products across screens in your venue, you’re likely to reach people in the best state of mind to purchase, and can therefore offer more than just a space to workout.
As well as advertising to existing members, digital signage could aid your business in attracting new joiners. In a lively and fast-growing industry, it would seem dated to rely on the use of print materials for marketing and onboarding. Why not widen the reach of your digital screens by showcasing a series of slides on your centre’s best features, targeting visitors when they enter your club? This will impress and immediately capture their attention, getting their journey off to a positive start. The use of digital technology in gyms also implies that your business is current, and investing in new solutions - something that is key for consumer experience.
One of the main benefits of using digital signage over print is that you can update content in real-time, with minimal effort required. As opposed to needing to redesign, print and assemble materials, digital content can be created in moments and switched at the click of a button. Therefore, if an advert isn’t working for you, or perhaps you’d like to promote an event or offer at late notice, the process couldn’t be easier.
A key way to maintain a positive relationship with members and subsequently retain them is to communicate well. While it’s important to interact on a face-to-face level, digital signage can also provide an easy way to personalise the member experience. One way to do this is to broadcast personalised messages celebrating birthdays, announcements, or perhaps someone’s recent achievement. This kind of activity will make your members feel special and a valued part of your gym’s community. When this happens, members are more likely to continue their membership rather than seeking an alternative fitness solution elsewhere.
As well as personalised communication, digital signage allows gym operators to better spread awareness of news and important messages. While posters and flyers are easy to ignore, digital content that is strategically placed and scheduled to play at suitable times will be more effective in getting members to read and understand the message.
Furthermore, people love giving feedback on topics they care about, but often only when they’re asked for it. By broadcasting open and encouraging questions in the gym environment, your members will feel more inclined to share their thoughts. For example, asking consumers, “How did you find the new Spin bikes today?” - a focussed yet simple and open question - allows members to feel like their opinion as an individual is highly regarded. This will allow you to build on your relationships with members and gain insight to improve the experience you provide.
Your audience will, however, need to be guided in how to respond to any questions or suggestions you pose via your screens. One great route here would be to add, “Tell us what you thought on Twitter @MyGymName”, giving a clear call-to-action and encouraging interaction via social media.
A lot of fitness venues simply use digital screens for entertainment purposes such as broadcasting TV, as this is definitely still worth including in your digital signage strategy. Particularly during busier periods when members want to be in-and-out, it’s important to have good entertainment streams available in a central area, such as on your gym-floor.
However, there are other ways to entertain members than with the use of TV or music. With the ability to upload videos of many different formats to your screens, why not begin sharing daily workouts, with short video demonstrations to give your members new ideas and get them engaging further with the brand. This could play on screens in a certain designated ‘zone’ in your venue, either at regular time intervals or specific times of day.
If you have a small team and are struggling to provide a sufficient number of classes, you could even use your digital screens to bring virtual classes to your venue. These videos could be pre-recorded by a member of staff and included as a regular part of your class timetable, giving members more choice and opportunities to participate in group workouts even when an instructor isn’t available. While this may not suit larger gyms or those that pride themselves on personal experiences, this could be perfect for smaller venues with members that know what they’re doing and are happy to ‘get on’ with their workouts. Convenience, after all, is key!
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The above are just a few of the ways in which digital signage can benefit gyms. If you’re looking for ways to improve your member experience, spread awareness or increase sales, and are prepared to get creative, the opportunities are endless!
Very cost-effective as an advertising, communication and entertainment platform, digital signage also provides a level of convenience that other methods, such as print, do not. With a hassle-free, time-saving system like Startle Display that is so easy to manage, utilising this in your club is a no-brainer. The chances are, your competitors will be using it, and staying ahead of the game by investing in a professional solution will ensure that you're making the most of your efforts.
To discuss more about how a digital signage provider can aid your gym business, contact Startle at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help to advise you on available and appropriate solutions for your business!