How to Get your Facebook Ads Working for Your Gym

Are you tired of  wasting time with Facebook ads that don’t lead to much in the way of brand awareness of new clients? Or Maybe your ads bring in a certain number of leads, but usually they’re low quality leads that never convert into clients?

This is the problem we were having at Madlab School of Fitness for years. The leads our ads generated were never people willing to pay a premium for a personal coach and a long-term fitness plan (i.e. the type of people we best serve). 

This changed recently when we started working with Nittany Digital, a father-son team based in Pennsylvania with extensive experience in developing multi-layered campaigns for corporations, colleges, hospitals, non-profit organizations and health and wellness facilities, to name a few. 

With gyms, their focus is to help improve brand awareness, increase new memberships and promote events and programs, which is exactly how they’re helping us. 

We chatted with Steven Campbell II, the son from Nittany Digital, about the do’s and don’ts in online advertising.

4 Tips to Online Advertising for Gyms

1. Boosting isn’t enough 

Campbell said one of the biggest mistakes he sees gym owners make is boosting posts and thinking that’s advertising. 

“There is a huge difference in boosting a post and creating a sponsored ad or post. Boosting only gives you three options for targeting within your audience: people who like your page, people who like your page and their friends, and people in your local area,” he explained. 

“With sponsored ads, we can do everything a boosted post can do but also incorporate custom audiences, specific demographics, interests, purchasing behaviors and so on,” he added.

Sponsored ads also let you retarget individuals who have visited your page, but didn’t take action. This is “crucial,” Campbell said. 

“Ninety eight percent of the users who visit your site do not take action,” he explained. 

This doesn’t mean they’re not interested. It just means they might need a nudge or reminder to take action. Hence the retargeting to remind them you’re here. 

Sponsored ads also allow you to create targeted ads, which has been the key for us at Madlab School of Fitness. This allows us to advertise directly to people who convey certain characteristics, from location to demographics, as well as their interests and behaviours within the various social media platforms.

Check out this story about Madlab Group gym owner Brandon Robb and how his very targeted ads helped him bring in 33 new clients during COVID.

2. Make Sure Your Copy Represents Your Unique Needs

“Make sure your text is compelling,” Campbell said.

The biggest thing we have found at Madlab School of Fitness is that our text needs to be written in an honest and authentic way that truly represents who we are. 

We are not the quick fix, 6-week challenge type of gym. We’re not going to promise you that you’ll lose 30 pounds in 30 days.  

We’re looking for people willing to commit for the long-haul, willing to hire a personal coach, willing to be patient and embrace small steps in a habit-based approach to change, in achieving long lasting results. 

“It can’t be a generic approach. We used to post copy that didn’t reflect us in any way, but now our ads represent what we’re actually selling,” said Tom Sarosi, a coach at Madlab. “This has led to way more qualified leads.”

3. Create a Clear Call to Action and Follow up Fast

It’s also important to have a “solid call to action,” Campbell said. “Create a call to action in your headline that grabs their attention.”

Then, if the prospect does choose to act, keep the form they must fill out short and sweet.

“People have limited attention span and will get annoyed if they must spend too much time filling out a form. Annoying any potential client is a no no,” he said.

Then, once you obtain the lead, reach out within 24 hours maximum, Campbell suggested. 

4. Experiment

Test various things. Campbell calls this A/B testing.

“A/B testing helps you find out what works and what doesn’t. How is your audience responding to video ads (versus) static ads? (Try using) different images but the same text, or having the same images but different text. Understanding your audience and how they respond is crucial,” he said. 

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