As we come out of lockdown and back to business-as-nearly-normal, what have been your big learnings from the past year?
More specifically, what changes have you brought in to the business, and which of these – although originally a response to COVID – will remain embedded in your operation moving forward?
One clear contender has to be all that fantastic online content you’ve been producing – all those live streams, featuring your superstar instructors, to keep members engaged while they’ve been stuck at home for months on end.
What happens to all of this now? With ‘hybrid’ the buzzword on everyone’s lips – that balance of in-club and at-home workouts – what is your content strategy moving forward?
Maximise the value of your instructors
As we move forward into this hybrid world, we have to recognise the huge value that still exists in digital fitness content.
Equally important, we have to recognise the power that lies within each and every one of our superstar instructors. These individuals are today’s content creators. It is they who, given the right platform, can engage members both in and out of your club.
The evidence? Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the high levels of engagement that can be achieved when a member training away from the club is able to take part in ‘their’ class, led by their favourite instructor. It’s one of the factors that underpins the future power of the hybrid model.
The challenge now, though, as we return to the club environment, is that members’ access to your superstars is restricted, at least in person, with class capacity still limited. The big question then: what happens to perceptions of the in-club experience – compared to the flexibility and convenience of online – if members can train with their favourite instructor online, but not in-club? It could be another blow to getting GX fans to re-engage with their club at all.
Scarcity of instructor time is certainly going to be a huge challenge now as your instructors – individuals who over the past year have become online superstars – resume their day jobs. How will you spread instructor time across in-club and online in a way that keeps your members happy? And equally important, how will you pay for all this?
The key is to have a content strategy that maximises the value extracted from every minute of instructor time.
Connect comes to Virtual
With this in mind, there’s a great piece of news coming out of the Wexer camp: the imminent launch of Connect to the Wexer Virtual platform.
Wexer Web Player customers will know what this means, but for those who don’t, let’s catch you up quickly. Connect is already a hugely popular feature on our ‘any time, anywhere, any internet-enabled device’ Web Player platform. Essentially it hands operators their own TV channel on which they can share their self-produced content – on-demand, live streamed or ‘as live’ – within the branded, password-protected environment of their white labelled Web Player.
Now, with Connect also coming to the Wexer Virtual platform, clubs will be able to make their own-produced content available in their Virtual studios too. In turn, the reliance on live instructors to bespoke and premiumise the in-club experience will be reduced, even removed. That’s particularly vital when limited class capacity is making ROI on live classes tough right now.
No doubt you’ll still want to offer some live classes, but these now need to be weighed up as part of a comprehensive content strategy – one that also recognises the value of filming these classes, for example, to maximise the investment. One that still allocates some instructor time to creating powerful digital content that can be used multiple times, on multiple platforms, for maximum impact, ROI and member satisfaction in the new hybrid world.
Save money, grow satisfaction
Now picture the scene. Far from stressing about the cost of laying on additional classes to keep members happy in these socially distanced days, you’re able to cost-effectively run round-the-clock virtual classes, in-club, featuring your very own superstars.
Of course, these can be interspersed with cherry-picked classes from Wexer’s extensive on-demand class library, to offer further variety and/or cover off any genres where you don’t have in-house expertise.
In some cases, you’ll save on live instructor fees – all without detracting from the bespoke feeling of the in-club experience, as the virtual instructors will now be familiar faces, creating content that’s exclusive to you.
In others, you’ll simply maximise the bang from every buck invested in your digital content. You’ll squeeze every ounce of value out of your own-generated content, because you’ll now be able to use it in-club as well as online (even better if you have a Web Player for out-of-club experiences, so everything sits within your branded ecosystem).
And layered on top of all this, of course, comes higher member satisfaction courtesy of a seamless experience – one in which they have far more opportunities to do their favourite class, with their favourite instructor, at their convenience, whether they’re in the club, at home or in the park.
If you haven’t yet mapped out your content strategy, now is absolutely the time to do so – and Wexer can help. Get in touch now at email@example.com