So, you’ve started charging for your digital fitness offering and you’re looking to maximize revenue from this new stream, whether through digital as an add-on or by encouraging more members to buy into membership tiers that include digital as standard.
To do so, you’ve decided to use your own-branded platform to stream your own content, as well as offering virtual classes from third-party providers. Great. So, what now? What are the secrets to engaging users and spreading the word that your digital service is something worth paying for?
#1 – Pick your star instructors
This one goes without saying, but you want to use your rockstar instructors to ensure your members get an exceptional workout experience wherever they are. One important thing to note, though: being a top instructor in-person doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a rockstar online; a different skillset is required to engage people who aren’t in the room with you. Be ready to try out lots of different trainers and build your offering around those who draw the online crowds.
#2 – Set up a standardized recording structure
You want your online offering to reinforce your brand. To look and feel the part. To clearly come from the same place as your in-club offering. With that in mind, we recommend creating a standardized recording structure in-club and/or in instructors’ home studios. It doesn’t have to be all-singing, all-dancing, although a number of operators are now investing in their own filming studios. What it does have to be is an experience that people can immediately see is yours. Consistency is key.
#3 – Incentivize your rockstars
You’re going to want a steady stream of good quality, engaging content for your digital platform, and that’s time-consuming for your instructors to create for you – especially when you consider that they’ll ultimately be balancing this task against their full-time, in-club role. A good policy is therefore to financially reward those whose sessions are popular online. Pay everyone a base fee for their content, but on top of this add ‘syndication’ incentives for high-performing content, with a sliding scale of bonuses paid based on number of attendees.
#4 – Get instructors involved in promotion
Instructors shouldn’t see their role as just creating the content, then job done. Encourage them to also promote their class releases, including links to the live events or pre-recorded classes when released; the promise of extra income for high online traffic (see point #3) should help here.
It has always been the case that instructors generate high levels of loyalty among their regulars, but online, they have a chance to take this further and become an influencer; harness this for the benefit of your club, but be ready to reward them for the part they play in your success.
#5 – Be consistently fresh
Keep your online schedule consistent so users know when to log in for their favorite class; just as in-club, you’re trying to build a habit here, and online visits should be seen as part of members’ overall attendance.
Within that schedule, make sure you’re consistently adding new content, hosted by the faces your members are craving, to drive continued engagement with your brand.
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