How Fitness Centers Are Lifting Brand Awareness with Virtual Tours
by Klaudia Marzec, on Mar 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM
The biggest issue that fitness centers face is a lack of new membership signups, especially when the weather starts to get nice and people choose the outdoors rather than the gym.
The operating costs and upkeep of any fitness center are very high and no matter if there are 100 people, or 10 people at the gym, the doors have to stay open.
Based on the technological trends, investing in traditional marketing and advertising such as discounted memberships are only effective to a certain point. Those efforts lack the ability to continually expand and reach new customers. That’s where virtual tours come in.
Advantages of Fitness Center Virtual Tours
The goal of every fitness center is to bring new people through the door and convince them to start a membership. It is important to note that fitness enthusiasts look at many criteria before choosing a gym.
Imagine if a potential client was looking online for a gym that had certain features like a lap pool. With a virtual tour, that prospect would be able to virtually navigate through your facility and easily discover all the features you offer.
- Increases SEO
- Increased presence in Google searches
- Higher website traffic
- More time spend by potential customers on tours than photography
- Increased efficiency in gym tours
- Availability and consistency of content across multiple platforms
- A 24/7 open house to an unlimited amount of people
- Market to a variety of demographics
Fitness center virtual tours save gym employees time because each person interested in the gym can tour it at home first and only come to the on-site tour when they are really interested in a membership.
People spend an average of three minutes on a tour which is much longer than anyone takes to look at a photo. That is a lifetime in internet years. When someone spends that much devoted time in one place online, there is a higher chance that your users will convert directly from the virtual tour.
Allowing an easy and comfortable way to virtually tour everything from the main gym floor to the juice bar can be the difference between gaining another membership or losing out on that prospect.
Virtual Tours Are Powerful Sales Tools
Virtual tour technology has become so advanced that they've become massive sales tools. For example, facilities can opt to incorporate what are called hotspots (information tags through the tour that provide the user with more details about the space).
Fitness center virtual tours are leveraging hotspots in a number of ways:
- Juice/smoothie bar menu and prices
- Front door hours of operation
- Informational buttons that introduce your personal trainers
- Interactive custom buttons that show you how to use a machine
- Video clips of sample trainer workouts
- Info on classes offered
The options with hotspots are endless. On top of sharing small amounts of information, you also have the ability to show off your amenities such as a pool, a lounge area or even the cafeteria.
Another benefit that comes with having a professional virtual tour is that you can have it directly uploaded on your Google My Business and Google Maps.
With the virtual tours posted on your GMB listings page, you are being exposed to new customers who are searching online looking for a fitness facility to meet their needs. This increases how many people see your location and ultimately get you to your goal of increasing memberships.
Fitness Center Virtual Tours Are Cost Effective
Many fitness centers shy away from virtual tours because of the cost associated with them.
How much do virtual tours cost in the first place? That ultimately depends on all the assets involved with that particular gym. Let’s break it down in general terms and from a long-term investment standpoint. In most cases, it only takes about 18 gym members a month to cover the cost of a virtual tour.
An average gym has about 6,500 members which is over 300 times more than needed to cover the average cost of a virtual tour.
On top of being cost effective, virtual tours tend to appeal to a much younger audience. The average age of a gym member is 40, but by leveraging a virtual tour for your fitness center, you could reach a much broader age demographic.
The Strength Behind Virtual Tours
With this knowledge, fitness center virtual tours have become the new sales tool for 24-hour gyms. As you consider all the marketing avenues for your fitness facility, consider incorporating interactive content for your gym members.