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Offline is the New Online: How a Fitness Company Can Improve their Online Marketing Offline

By Steve Mehr, CEO of WebShark360

successThe health and fitness industry is highly competitive, much like the world of internet marketing. These days, internet users are savvy surfers who can spot traditional marketing tactics a mile away. According to Google, only 25% of advertising results in click throughs from internet visitors. That means 75% of traffic comes organically. But how do you increase your internet traffic? Try thinking outside of the box and expanding your online marketing to include offline efforts.

Offline marketing and online marketing does not need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, in 2013, marketing streams will start to merge and businesses will see a definite boost from merging the two marketing streams. To gain that leg up over your competitors, abandon the techniques the rest of your industry is using. Instead, position yourself as a leader and expand your marketing efforts in an intelligent way.

Market Offline to Boost Online Efforts

The internet is a big place, but advertisements for fitness products and health companies are a dime a dozen. They’re usually focusing on miracle pills, diets, and companies claiming that using one trick, you too can obtain magic results. Do you want to run your business as a scam and attempt to trick consumers into using your products?
Instead, try branding your company in a different manner. Step out of the shadowy generic ranks of fitness marketers and define who your company is and what your product stands for. Try using these offline tactics to reach your audience and build engagement.

Throw an event to publicize your products and services to online industry specialists. Do you have a new workout video to market, a new gym, or other new product?

• Throw an event to publicize your products and services to online industry specialists. Do you have a new workout video to market, a new gym, or other new product? Own it on and offline. Throw an event and invite fitness industry bloggers, journalists, and leaders. Create an online #hashtag to publicize the event and encourage these writers to use the hashtag when talking about your event. Offer these writers a draw- the ability to use the new product, take pictures using equipment, leading classes, or otherwise participating. Track online placement with the #hashtag you created. Upload photos of the events to your social media and offer journalists and bloggers the ability to access fun photos later. These kinds of offline events are becoming increasingly popular in business and have helped boost online engagement incredibly.

• Sponsor contests offline such as a local fun run. Encourage online participation and engagement by challenging participants to come up with training regimes, fun ways to unwind after the race, or contests for logos in advance of the event that will be featured on your website and social media. By reaching out to sports enthusiasts and participants, your brand can build familiarity with consumers and encourage engagement with your brand.

stretch• Host a day of fitness for the community. Offer free classes, demonstrations, races, or whatever’s appropriate to your products and services. Create a specialty #hashtag to promote the day of fitness within the community online. Reach out to local media to similarly promote the day and your business’ brand. Reach out to members of local government like City Hall to come participate, to announce a race, or to similarly preside over the day. By combining these efforts, your brand can effectively gain organic press, online exposure, and community favor.

Think Outside the Box

Fitness and health industry marketing is a highly competitive arena. Results are hard to achieve if your business is trailing behind the pack trying to replicate the efforts of others. Be a leader instead and merge your online and offline marketing streams to gain more consumer engagement and press. Think up a creative way in which your business can reach out to industry leaders, press, and consumers. You don’t have to break the bank to obtain publicity for your brand. With some creativity, your business can spread the word of mouth offline to start a wave online.

– Steve Mehr is CEO of WebShark360, specializing in online marketing services. His clients include highly successful plastic surgery practices, high profile attorneys, and more.