4 Content Marketing Rules for the Fitness Industry

Long before I knew anything about marketing, I think I knew the fitness industry was good at it.  At least, I could tell they wanted to be.  My middle school self noticed their really long TV commercials (with so many free things thrown in!) and their tiny little ads in the back pages of Boy’s Life.  I wasn’t ever pushed to spend my lawn-mowing money on any of their products, but I definitely knew what they were, where to buy them, and how much they cost.

So, the fitness industry may not have converted me ten years ago, but times have changed.  With content marketing, the fitness industry has been able to ramp up their efforts even more.  If you own a fitness-related business, I have four content marketing rules that you can start using immediately to boost your bottom line.  Who knows… you might even have been able to make a middle-school-me one of your customers with these techniques…

#1 Blog With Dedication

This first rule is a good starting point for just about any industry, but I feel that it’s especially important for the fitness industry.  Whether you’re selling nutrition consulting services or workout equipment, I’m willing to guess that your brand is built around the concepts of dedication and commitment.

It’s so essential that your blog practice what it preaches and be dedicated.  That doesn’t mean you have to blog every single day.  Rather, you need to develop your blogging regiment, and stick to it.  You could blog daily or bi-weekly.  Either way, stay the course!

When it comes to what you blog about, keep things value-oriented instead of self-promotional.  Diesel Strength is a good example of a value-oriented blog.  There’s a good mix of inspiring posts, instructional/how-to posts, and even the occasional touching, non-fitness post like this one.  Also, follow Diesel’s example and keep your blog titles clear and succinct so that your readers are interested in clicking – but don’t give it all away either!

#2 Repurposing Content As Much As Possible

Once you have your blog up and running, I’d like to encourage you to repurpose the content as much as possible.  Repurposing content isn’t lazy or the easy way out.  Rather, repurposing is working smart.

If you have a great blog post that’s drawing a lot of traffic to your site, why not try vamping it up as a landing page?  Or, try turning it into a YouTube series to reach a different audience.  I could keep going, but rather, I’ll just direct you to 37 Ways to Repurpose a Single Blog Post, written by CEM co-founder, Amie Marse.  Make your content work for you!

#3 Set Up Barriers With Guides

The fitness industry is doing a great job with creating barriers.  If you spend a lot of time or money creating an awesome blog post or guide, it makes sense that you would:

(a) want to give it away to anyone and everyone, or

(b) want to sell it for a modest price.

I would encourage you to do neither.  Rather than handing out your great guide to every single website visitor that “comes through the doors,” leverage your guide to get information from those walk-ins.  For example…

Let’s say you offer a personal training service.  You blog regularly, sharing advice like “5 Super-foods You Should Eat” and “9 Ways to Improve Your Workout.”  Your blog is helpful, informative, and well trafficked.

A guide could create an opportunity for you to share more information.  Perhaps you share a few secrets about your paid personal training service in the guide.  Instead of giving this information away for free, require visitors to sign up for your newsletter in order to download your guide.  If your blog is already valuable, interested customers are going to be okay with doing this!

Now, you have some good leads, approved access to their email inbox, and you’re boosting your reputation as an authority in your industry because of the new guide.  Leverage your power!

#4 Develop an App

Last rule: develop an app (but, please, hire someone, and make it good).  There are so many great fitness apps out there, including the Nike+ Fuel Band App, iMapMy, and My Fitness Pal.  Everything from calorie counting to jogging routes can be simplified and improved upon with a good phone app.

Also, your app doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel.  You can treat your app as another (more interactive) way of repurposing content.  If you are selling a diet plan, for example, create an app that allows customers to download their meal plan on their phone so they don’t have to log-on to your website.  The point of apps – and all content marketing, really – is to add value.  By simplifying a pre-existent service, you can add value for the customer, all the while working smarter not harder!

What content marketing strategies have you noticed to be effective in the fitness industry?

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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