So, you’ve launched a digital fitness offering. How will you take it to the next level to ensure customer engagement is maximised?
We asked our team, our customers and some of our recent podcast guests for their advice. Here are our four favourite tips.
Tip #1: Make it all about the end consumer
“There’s a land grab in fitness at the moment, and businesses that think outside in, not inside out, will be the ones that succeed,” said tech consultant John Blackburn when we spoke to him for The Wexer Podcast in July of this year.
“The more you can take what the person wants and embed it in their day-to-day life, the more relevant and meaningful it becomes to them and the more they will come back.”
Forget gut instinct. Forget what your experience might tell you. The joy of digital is that it hands you clear, usable data – not just what customers tell you they do, or would like to do, but what they are actually doing.
Use this data to continually review and refine your digital offering. How are people using it? What content are they watching? How long do they watch videos for? At what time of day is it worth doing live-streams, and when – or for what type of content – is on-demand better? Which instructors are proving to be your online superstars? Particularly for content not behind a paywall, where are users coming from: sales channels, your app, direct links?
With digital, you can see very clearly what’s working… allowing you to do more of it.
At a macro level, we can tell you that strength workouts are the most popular content on the Wexer platform, while most streams last around 10 minutes as users combine multiple shorter classes in curated workouts based on their needs that day.
But that’s the big picture. You need to know what your members want – and as Invited’s Michele Meleski said on The Wexer Podcast, you must then use this insight to create “thoughtful programming” that meets these specific needs.
Tip #2: Get into wellness, collaboratively
With the boom in wellness, there’s a gap right now into which fitness providers could reasonably hope to step: that of a wellness hub which draws together and joins the dots between various repositories of expertise and programming, both physically and digitally.
Almost inevitably, though, this will need to be a collaborative venture; with perhaps one or two exceptions globally, a single fitness provider will never be able to do it all – certainly not in a competitively expert, undisputed market-leading way that takes in all the different facets of wellness.
Where you have in-house expertise, your content creation strategy should include the empowerment of your experts. Incentivise them to consistently create powerful new content that ensures a steady stream of new content.
But where you don’t have in-house wellness expertise – sleep, perhaps, or stress – bring in external partners who can help you deliver in a way that reflects positively on your brand. Wexer, for example, which prides itself on having the world’s biggest (and ever-growing) wellness content library – not just fitness but holistic wellbeing too.
You don’t have to physically do it all to be an effective wellness hub.
Tip #3: Partner for scale
The joy of digital is that there are no geographical boundaries, meaning global scale is achievable if done well. But, warns Blackburn: “In today’s world, when barriers to entry in digital are so low, the need to scale without investing in it is important.”
And that means partnership, says Jason Leone of Core Health & Fitness: “If you don’t have the resources to build a solution to meet your members where they want, when they want, go externally to find the resources to support members and make them stay longer. Lean on the Wexers of the world.
Blackburn adds: “Leverage partnerships and make them look like seamless offerings to your customer. Don’t link out to them. Take all the offerings and stitch them together to look seamless. It’s a way to scale without scaling.”
Tip #4: Maintain a local flavour, even as you grow
Your digital offering is an extension of your brand and must be directly relevant to your members. We believe this has to include offering content that’s bespoke to you, featuring your own instructors as the recognised faces of your brand – the people your members already have a loyal relationship with.
Leverage the existing connection between these instructors and your members to create powerful, popular digital content. Fill your platform with great content people can only get from you.
“Fitness is about feeling a connection with someone, even if virtually,” said Sweat Factor’s Mike Donavanik in his Wexer Podcast. “It’s why it’s so important for clubs to champion their own rockstars online as well as in-person.”
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