Over the past two years, our sector has been transformed. The hastily executed online pivot of March 2020 has been refined and embedded in our norm, morphing its way into a sustainable digital strategy – one that recognises ease, convenience and flexibility as pivotal to the new fitness consumer journey. In the process, the hybrid future has been brought forward 5+ years for operators around the world, becoming the hybrid here and now and empowering today’s members to flip between digital and in-person experiences to suit them on any given day.
That’s a momentous reinvention to sum up in just one paragraph, but at the same time, it’s already been discussed at length. Rather than continuing to reflect on what’s happened and why, we’re keen to now look ahead to what comes next. And at Wexer, our view is unequivocally this: 2022 must see a new, renewed emphasis on content to ensure clubs are delivering a true hybrid experience, not just hybrid technology.
Why content specifically? Because in a hybrid world, where physical and digital are equally important, members need to be able to dive straight in to a familiar experience wherever they are. Clubs must deliver exactly the same user experience across all touchpoints. And of course, where equipment is essentially anchored to the gym, content can be perfectly replicated and disseminated across all channels.
As such, content creation is no longer an adjunct to the business of running a club. It is the cornerstone of hybrid success, underpinning omnichannel delivery of the club experience.
And it isn’t hard to do. Run a live class, film it at the same time, then make it available through your app, to your members’ smart TVs, on-demand in your virtual class studio… All of a sudden, the content you’re already creating has new life, new power, new reach. You can quickly hit the critical mass needed to service member demand.
[And of course, we have all the technology and expertise to help you do this, from the Wexer API to Wexer Connect – the space on our platform where you can stream your own self-produced content, launched originally on our ‘any time, anywhere, any device’ web product and imminently launching on our in-club Wexer Virtual platform too. In short, we can help you get your content everywhere, without giving it away for free via social media platforms.]
In turn, the power of your instructor team skyrockets. Always key drivers of loyalty in-club, your own rockstars are now your USP in a crowded digital fitness marketplace. It is these familiar faces who will help you connect with and retain your members wherever they are, as well as exponentially growing your reach.
But it will only happen if you recognise and reward the value they now represent. Empower and incentivise your superstars to promote the content they create with you. Pay them more for content that drives high usage. Help them grow their profile at the same time as rewarding them for their role in your success, to ensure their ongoing loyalty to your brand even as their reach and appeal grows.
In short, recognise that their success is your success, but work hard to ensure they know the flip side is also true: that they will do better with you than on their own.
This is the virtuous circle that sits at the heart of what we’re calling the Content Marketplace Flywheel, and it will be key to success in 2022 and beyond.
Find out more about the content marketplace, and how Wexer can help your business harness its full power to thrive in a world of digital superstars: firstname.lastname@example.org