Find New Clients and Build Your Fitness Business Brand with Instagram Marketing
Instagram is an incredibly useful tool for marketing any business. Fitness professionals looking to promote themselves and their services can make particular use of this innovative online platform. Instagram has earned such a reputation for good reason, providing plenty of possibilities for promotion. When it comes to best practice marketing techniques, you’ll find a wealth of information online on how to supposedly utilise Instagram effectively. However, the vast majority of these insights simply suggest who you should be following, rather than anything too involved. Below, you’ll find a more refined reference point on how Instagram can be optimised successfully for fitness professional looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level.
If you’re at least halfway familiar with Instagram, chances are you’re already using it to some extent to market your business. You certainly should be anyway. Not only is it free-to-use, it’s an inviting platform for potential customers and followers. Once you’ve created an account and it’s set to public, you’ve a massive pool of potential followers at your disposal. What’s more, you can make use of effective organic marketing techniques to build those followers quickly. Lead generation is also possible when marketing tactics are used properly. Of course, all of this depends on one key thing – quality content. Continue reading as we delve deeper into what best practice behaviour you need to start adopting today.
Create a Premier Profile
First and foremost, you’ll need a first-rate profile at the heart of your marketing efforts. If you’re a total novice to Instagram, consider reading up on some designated profile creation guides or consulting the helps section of the Instagram platform. Make sure all your information is there for potential followers to access, with sufficient levels of detail and engaging images to capture attention and encourage conversions. One pivotal piece of info to remember to include is a viable link to your own website, should you have one.
Whether it’s imagery or posted copy, you’ll want to ensure your content hits high notes. When it comes to publishing photos to your Instagram, there’s no excuse for sloppy photographs when you consider the technical capabilities of even the most humble smartphone nowadays. Start thinking about what you publish with a content curator’s thinking hat. Set a base limit for quality control and always refer to these benchmarks before you post as a rule.
Apps and Editing Software
Most of the time, you’ll be able to rely on a smartphone or tablet for photography, so you’re well served by a wealth of free-to-use or very affordable apps for editing purposes. Browse what’s on offer and compatible with your device to find something that fits the bill, then start playing around with your new app companion to train yourself up. With the right app, you’ll only need a few quick adjustments to transform so-so captures into quality imagery that sings. You should also consider apps that provide you with a visualisation of what prospective images could look like in your feed. Apps like UNUM are ideal for this, helping you really plan ahead.
This is particularly handy for those who are either brand new to Instagram or those who know they suffer from keeping to a timetable. If you’ve decided on creating a varied slate of content, you can use a schedule to allocate certain categories of posts to certain days. Alternatively, you can more simply use a schedule to remind to publish a set minimum of posts on any given day. Scheduling is also useful for helping you get into the habit of adapting Instagram behaviours like re-sharing other posts and successfully implementing hashtags.
If you’re very new to the world of Instagram and find the prospect of unveiling a regular slate of new content, take things slow to begin with. What’s more, try out a few different content schedule drafts over the course of a few weeks to find something that suits you for the best. If in the first week the schedule you’ve drafted proved too time-consuming, tailor the second one to overcome the shortcomings that dogged the first. If you found the first trial schedule left plenty of time free and didn’t require as much effort as you thought, think about adding to a second schedule draft instead. Schedules like this never need to be locked down completely. Even the most successful Instagram user knows the importance of incorporating new things into their activity. Allow your content scheduling efforts to evolve and adapt as time goes on and always allow for some degree of flexibility.
Showcase a Satisfied Client
A happy customer is the ultimate indicator of a job well done. Historically, word of mouth was the only way a smaller business or sole trader might enjoy a far-reaching influence without a proper marketing budget. However, this is no longer the case thanks to Instagram. If you’re a fitness trainer with plenty of satisfied customers in your client book, make it known to your followers via your Instagram feed. One of the best ways to demonstrate your success with clients and ultimately, how good you are at your job, is to publish before and after case studies. In the case of Instagram, a quick post with a couple of images is all you need. Provided you’ve the permission of your client, add a photo of them at the start of your working history with them and then a recent one highlighting their improved muscle definition, weight loss or whatever success you’ve had with them.
Before and after case studies haven’t always enjoyed the best reputation when published elsewhere, usually down to unconvincing information and heavily doctored imagery. With Instagram, you’ve an easy way to overcome this as you can establish a visible timeline of progress, with followers able to retrace content previously published in your feed.
Build a Visual Brand Identity
This is key when it comes to developing a vibrant visual identity. If you’ve already come across other fitness professionals or companies with a style you like, take some time to dissect what’s there and pull elements from these schemes for your own. Be careful not to simply clone someone else’s efforts of course. If you’ve already got your own website, continue the colour scheme and design aspects from that into your Instagram presence.
Use Instagram Stories to Sell Yourself
If you haven’t already, make Instagram Stories you’re new best friend. It’s a great way to extend your brand-building efforts and is incredibly useful when it comes to promoting you, the person, behind said brand. One of the best things about Instagram Stories is that said story remains at the top of your feed at all times, meaning your regular followers and sometime lurkers alike will always see this, no matter how brief the time spent checking your Instagram.
When it comes to thinking up content to include, try and avoid the usual. You don’t want to waste time adding snaps of everyday activities at the gym. Instead, think about all those other little things in the orbit of a fitness workout that you encounter every day. Heading to the supermarket? Work your grocery shopping shenanigans into a story to give your followers a little insight into healthy eating and your everyday errands. Putting together a new training syllabus for your clients? Snap a sneak peek of you working on the document to excite existing followers and appeal to new ones.
Above all else, this sort of activity legitimises you as a business that’s bolstered by a real person behind the scenes, not an anonymous agency. It ensures your existing and most loyal followers have a strengthened attachment to you. It also might give sales leads a boost, with prospective clients who prefer the personal touch more likely to engage with you.
When it comes to people discovering your content hashtags are key. However, many newcomers to Instagram and social platforms don’t find it easy to wrap their heads around them. Even if you’re relatively familiar with them, you might find you’re not using them as effectively as you could be. As a start, you should definitely be looking into what others are doing within the fitness sector, undertaking a little competitor analysis to fine-tune your own hashtag tactics.
Generic hashtags are all well and good, but you want to be looking toward more specific ones so you stand out from a heaving crowd. Once you’ve got the following to warrant it, you can think about creating more unique ones and adding them to your posts, encouraging clients and followers to do the same. An ideal result of this is that your presence grows and brand expands its reach. Keep a note of the hashtags you’re using the most in a designated folder on your computer or smartphone so you can reach for them at a moment’s notice.
Tag Social Media Savvy Clients
Make sure you’re tagging whenever relevant. If you’ve uploaded a photo that includes a particular client of yours, tag them. This is particularly important if you’re clientele includes anyone with a sizeable bank of followers you could capitalise on. If you’re training someone who’s particularly savvy when it comes to social media, tagging a photo with them in and encouraging them to maintain this engagement could yield huge interest in your brand.
Engage with Valuable Content
It’s temping to post as much as possible to increase visibility and drive awareness, but it’s not always advisable to do this. Threadbare content that brings no value to the audience isn’t going to create a positive impression in their mind. Instead of them seeing a notification you’ve posted yet another second-rate update, create top-tier content so they’re actively looking out for your latest post or photo update instead.
To drive engagement levels, try enticing your followers with a reward. Considering your vocation, perhaps offer a free fitness e-book for adding a comment or sharing a post. To drum up real activity with your Instagram, think about holding an online competition. When deciding on prizes, remember your vocation. Winning followers who live local enough could be awarded a free training session or trial, while runners-up could be gifted promotional items bearing your business name and logo. At the very least, this kind of approach will produce a burst of awareness and interest in your services, increasing the number of incoming sales leads.
Keep Social Pages Connected
This one is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many people hoping to promote themselves and their services fail to implement it. If you’ve already got a thriving presence on other platforms, utilise these audiences to draw attention to your Instagram. This is straightforward enough with the use of a widget to your website, with any Instagram uploads then displayed on your main online platform. Don’t neglect to keep your other platforms updated as well. Got a Facebook page that’s served you well so far? Don’t dump your activities there to promote Instagram exclusively. Instead, ensure you’re uploaded fresh content to Facebook whenever you can and share Instagram content there after it’s debuted. The same goes for Twitter.
Consider a Business Profile Upgrade
Many businesses have already seen the worth of Instagram as a marketing platform. Those behind the scenes at the platform noticed this too, with business profiles now available for those looking to fully utilise it as a marketing weapon. With business profiles, users have access to a suite of handy tools that can be used to track activity relevant to marketing efforts. These tools include stalwarts like in-depth analytics, which are ideal for monitoring the success of new content ideas and promotional initiatives. More importantly, it gives you the insights you need to more fully understand your followers. You can discover where they are, who they are and what they’re doing. As such, you can subsequently tailor your marketing efforts to best meet the needs of this engaged demographic.