Public spaces that were once filled with crowds and camaraderie have largely shuttered in 2020, with an uncertain timeline for return. But people still seek ways to stay in shape – even if that means reconfiguring their workout regimen. Consumers are looking to engage with fitness brands that can make the transition to 'working-out from home' as smooth as possible. Fitness brands have the opportunity to drive new connections and become the ultimate thought leaders in the fitness space with their communities right now. These five unique strategies can boost engagement, sales, and even help brands source necessary content for campaigns.
1. Get Creative with Your Messaging
While many are still not able to go to a gym and are staying safe at home, fitness brands have to shift the focus of messaging in their marketing campaigns. For example, instead of emphasizing how “stylish” your activewear is, focus on the comfortability for those working from home. Community is core to many fitness brands’ missions. Puma shows a great example of how they are centering their campaigns around supporting their community. Puma’s goal is for its customers to post and hashtag user-generated content (UGC) to help everyone achieve their goals.
2. Free Online Classes
Work from home mandates directly impacted individuals' schedules, including exercise routines. Keeping up with fitness and balancing other shifted responsibilities has proven to be a challenge for everyone at this time. One way fitness brands can build value with their audience is by creating online and on-demand fitness classes. Alo Yoga has done a great job of engaging with their loyal yoga community by offering free classes on YouTube and Instagram TV (IGTV).
3. Social Media Challenges
Challenges aren't new, but they're more accessible than ever before. With TikTok on the rise, brands are pivoting their marketing strategies to become more centered around social media “challenges”. These are great ways to leverage content being posted by your community as well as give your customers a fun way to engage with your brand. Many brands create challenges to encourage fans to rally behind a specific cause and share an associated image to raise awareness or funds for the cause. Or, in the case of fitness brands, using challenges to highlight unique or creative ways people can stay fit without the gym could be a cool way to crowdsource content.
Contests and social media challenges can go hand-in-hand in boosting engagement overall. A contest can inspire your work from home customers to share more content and creates a better connection with their customers. Brands like HYLETE launched the #MyHomeGym contest for their community to share how they are keeping up their fitness journey at home for a chance to win a $300 gift card. HYLETE encourages customers to motivate each other by posting inspiring content to make working out at home more accessible and a little more fun.
5. Utilize Influencers
Now is a great time to use radical approaches to sourcing and creating content. If influencers aren't a part of your strategy, here are a few reasons why they ought to be. Instagram and TikTok have become hotbeds for fitness influencers – and with many trainers looking to grow their digital engagement, now can be a good time to partner with well-known names in the space. For example, Kira Grace highlights their influencer community on their site to inspire their customers.
While many brands are facing challenges right now, fitness brands may have an opportunity to drive better brand connections and improve their word of mouth marketing simply by creating a cohesive and connected presence across their community.
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