15 reasons why gyms and studios need to create their own virtual fitness workouts.

Virtual fitness classes are becoming more and more popular with current fitness enthusiasts and new starters. Here are 15 reasons why fitness businesses need to start creating original virtual fitness classes to give them the advantage in their local area!

  1. Giving current members access to online workouts allows them to stay motivated and on track with their training. Virtual classes can help them stay on track when they go on holiday or are away on business. Helping members to workout wherever they are means they stay loyal to you and reinforcing relationships so they don’t feel like they’re behind when they return to training.
  2. It’s easy to reversion fitness videos into shorter free workouts and clips for social media. It’s then easy to send traffic to consume the full-length content because it’s the content they most value!
  3. More people are working out at home than ever before. Research suggests 62% of gym and studio members do some sort of exercise at home with fitness apps or use digital platforms. Your members could be looking for a convenient solution to train more with you.
  4. Virtual workouts advertise your facility 24/7 if you publish content on platforms like Instagram TV and YouTube. Optimizing your content for search engines can help people in your local area find your business.
  5. Producing high-quality videos is cheap and easy if you have your own camera and studio space. You don’t have to hire a space to make your videos and you can build a library of content quickly. Workouts can be short, so you can film them whenever the studio is not being used.
  6. Over time your workout videos will increase in views and watch time. Use these statistics and dive into the analytics to get a better understanding of your audience and create more of the content that’s most popular.
  7. Showing participants in your videos helps to reassure others that the program is suitable for them too. They may even recognize a friend participating and your loyal followers will be keen to share with their friends any video content they appear in.
  8. Allowing new prospects the opportunity to try before they visit your facility is great marketing. It’s not heavy on your resources or demanding of your staff’s time. You’re providing useful content that they can build into their routine so they want more. Exercising remotely also helps them to build their confidence before they attend in person.
  9. Free videos serve as a gateway to premium content and possibly additional revenue streams. Allowing members to upgrade their memberships to include access to your virtual workouts is a quick way of increasing profits.
  10. Allow your members to downgrade to a virtual membership if they need to take a break. Keeping your members connected to your brand and giving them a low-cost option increases the likelihood that they’ll come back.
  11. Offer free trials to of your virtual workouts to loyal members so they feel rewarded and appreciated for their efforts.
  12. If you have a community who enjoy your free workouts, offer them to sign up for a 5-day video workout challenge – a splinter of your paid program. Those who complete the challenge will feel more compelled to continue their progression and take the next step.
  13. If you sell a premium product or program that’s oversubscribed, you can offer a primer video workout program to complete until places become available again. This helps to pre-qualify applicants to improve conversions. The ones that make it to the end are more likely to buy your higher-priced product.
  14. Virtual fitness classes provide an opportunity for you to partner with other local businesses. You could offer advertising space in your videos to clothing, equipment or food brands.
  15. Turn your instructors into local celebrities! Class participants love their instructors and instructors love Instagram! Invest in your immediate talent and they’ll be proud to shout about their classes and bring in new business!
  16. Members will relocate to other facilities to follow their favorite instructors. So having an exclusive video library of workouts from your top instructors could appease them in the event of your top instructors leaving.
  17. Getting new members to visit again as soon as possible increases their membership lifetime. Emailing them links to stretching videos they can do at home helps them to recover faster. This lengthens the customer journey; connects them to your brand for longer, and shows that you care.

7 Ways to Use Your Fitness Promo Video

So you’ve created a promo video for your fitness product, service or facility.

You’ve put it on the homepage of your website, posted it to YouTube and shared it with the world on Facebook.

Job done, right? Now you can sit back and watch the leads flood in!

If only it were that simple.

Maybe 15 years ago, the novelty of being one of the first to feature a promo video on your homepage might have pulled in a few new customers, but not anymore.

And if you’re hoping that posting to YouTube and Facebook will send a flood of traffic to your website you’re going to be disappointed.

So what’s the correct strategy? How do you use your promo to bring in more business?

Well, you need to earn the attention of your audience at the appropriate time using three marketing strategies.


Promote – Push your content to the right audience at the right time

Discover – Allow your content to be found easily in searches

Intercept – Increase the impact of the engagement opportunity to a higher level.


The following examples explain how you can put your video in front of your target audience at the best times for more successful marketing.


Add a video player screenshot to your flyers and posters (PROMOTE & INTERCEPT)

Flyer still work; offline advertising is not dead. It may be less popular than before but that also means it’s easier to stand out with good copy design. Make your flyers more engaging with a simple video player screenshot of your promo video plus a QR code. Make it easy for them to scan a code to watch a video and monitor the performance of you traditional marketing campaigns by paying attention to YouTube analytics and views.


Add a video player screenshot to your emails (PROMOTE & INTERCEPT)

Email plays a huge role in warming up cold audiences, so feature a video player screenshot of your promo in the content or footer of your email and add ‘VIDEO:’ to the subject line to increase open rates. If you’re sending out e-mails for your sales funnels then this is a simple way to tempt a click and direct your audience to your homepage or special offer.


Reversion and repost your video to YouTube (DISCOVERY)

If your promo video features testimonials from customers and members, re-edit and repost the video as a ‘review’ of your facility. 80% of customers prefer making informed purchase decisions based on research, rather than talking to a sales advisor, so make it easy for them to find positive content for your product or service. Using ‘Review’ with the name of your facility and location in your YouTube video title means you have the best chance of appearing in searches.


Tradeshows (PROMOTE)

Save a copy of your video onto your iPad for trade shows and fitness expos. Don’t rely on unpredictable data connections to stream your content on demand. If you’re presenting, play a few seconds before you go onstage to settle and entertain your audience. Remember, trade floor are notoriously noisy places, so if you’re planning to play a version of your video on your stand, create a version with subtitles so you don’t need to shout over your own video to chat with prospective clients.


Facebook Video Adds (PROMOTE)

If you’ve crafted a great promo video which explains how you can help your target customer, experiment with it as a Facebook video ad. The cost per click for a video view on Facebook is still very cheap compared to text-based ads and Facebook’s targeting platform makes it super-easy for you to run your ads at the best time to reach your audience. Short or long videos work provided they give the audience valuable content that focuses on customer benefits. Longer videos work well if you’re educating or demonstrating products. Shorter videos work well for relatable content such as client case-studies that show a before and after state.


Facebook Business Page (INTERCEPT)

Pin your video to the top of your business page so it’s the first thing new visitors see and add a custom thumbnail that’s going to make your video stand out. Make sure to include a description with the location and address of your business first along with contact information. Beef up the copy with an extended description of your business plus a transcript of the narrative or interviews. People use Facebook search to discover and research, so it needs text to find your content.


YouTube Channel Page (INTERCEPT)

Feature your video at the top of your YouTube channel page so it’s the first one new visitors see and again make sure you add a comprehensive description and thumbnail.

Are you using all these strategies to get more video views? If not, what are you waiting for?


Richard Playfair is a video producer Sweatlife Films and former fitness professional.

Sweatlife Films specializes in creating content for the health and fitness industry and video marketing specialist.




The Video Promo Checklist For Gyms and Facilities

If you’re planning to make a fitness promo for your gym or facility, here’s your 10 point checklist to help you prepare for your filming.


Get permission 

If you share a building or gym space with other businesses or training companies let them know you’re filming and ask them to help keep areas tidy. At busy times people, bags, and equipment can quickly make places look untidy so consider filming at times which are quieter so you can control the look of the environment better. An experienced video production team know how to film and edit videos so they appear busier than they are.


Let your members know you’re filming

Put up posters, make announcements on your tannoy, and post updates on social media and in your newsletters. If you give your members enough advanced notice they’re less likely to complain and some may just skip the gym until filming has finished. Give as much information as you can about your plans to film. Explain what you plan to film and when, so members who love the camera can boost class numbers and those who want to strategically avoid being filmed can carefully plan their visit or train in a designated ‘no filming zone’.


Create a shot list

One way to make sure you get everything you need for your project is to create a shot list. Missing something important could mean extra filming and is needed and your project may take longer to complete. In pre-production, your video team will help you to compile a list of everything you need to build your final video. You should always plan to film more than you need because not everything you capture will be good enough. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll get 1 minute of great content for every 10 minutes of footage.


Plan your filming

Allow your video team to arrive early and go over your plans one more time and don’t forget to tell them about any last minute changes. Depending on the scale and length of the project, allowing equipment to be stored on site can save you valuable time setting up if you’re filming over a series of days. If you’re planning to use drones to film exteriors of your building you should contact your local council to gain appropriate permissions for this. If your facility is in a built up residential area you may not be allowed to get these types of shots, and if you are, it could take months to get your proposal approval.


Prepare your staff

Leading up to filming regularly remind your team of the filming date and what’s required of them. Ensure they are dressed appropriately to represent your brand and if you’re interviewing them, help them to prepare and rehearse so they are natural and confident in front of a camera. Ask your staff to sign release forms which permit you to them in your videos, so in the future, if they work elsewhere you can still feature them in your video.


Check and clean your facilities and equipment

Don’t expect your venue to look perfect for filming. You may only get one chance to get the shots you need so make sure your venue is clean and tidy and all your equipment works. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to miss small details that can be hard to ignore once caught on camera. Be prepared to remove decorations or other objects if they risk dating your videos. For example, if you’re planning to film your video just before Christmas it’s a good idea to remove all decorations and ornaments so you can create a more neutral video that is timeless.


Pick the best time

Down lighting in studios and gyms means it’s difficult to get bright and vibrant footage during the evening or if natural light is limited. Bringing in additional lighting may not be an option but turning the lights on will certainly help. The fitness experience is often enhanced by the lack of light to build mood and atmosphere, but for the sake of filming, you may have to sacrifice the member experience for filming so it’s possible to see what’s happening. If you’re planning to film holistic programmes such as yoga or Pilates then try to film at sunrise in the winter or early in the evening in summer. The quality of light at these times is rich, warm and inviting and suggests a time of reflection and connection which stylises this type of content well. It’s also convenient that these types of classes are always popular at these times for good numbers.


Choose your locations carefully

Mirrors can make filming in gyms difficult because they reflect light and can catch the image of the camera operator. Cycling, Pilates, and yoga studios are typically quite small and they are not easy to move around in without disturbing members. If you’re after the best shots to show off your classes and equipment, consider temporarily moving them to bigger space for filming.


Prepare for interviews in advance

If you’re planning to interview clients or gather testimonials from members or class participants, do them all at the same time to capture a large volume of content quickly. Prepare your questions in advance so each interview only takes a few minutes and set up in a quiet room away from and background music or noisy air conditioning units so footage can be easily edited.


Check for fire drills

Make sure you know when fire alarms are tested at your location so you’re not interrupted by any planned fire drills, equipment servicing, and cleaning schedules. Ensure your video team has access to a locked room where they can safely store their equipment in the event that the building has been to evacuated.



Essential Marketing Videos For Gyms

The Promo Video

Promo videos are essential for gyms and facilities because they allow new members the opportunity to tour the facilities before they visit for the first time. This means that when they finally step through your door they are more likely to join, and you don’t need to dedicate staff resources to gym tours followed by the obligatory sales pitch.

However, epic promo videos only make your business more efficient and profitable if you can reach the right customers before they visit. Hosting a promo video on your website and YouTube, or pinning it to the top of your Facebook business page isn’t enough anymore, you need to adapt and reversion your promo to reach audiences through other channels. This means creating shorter versions for social media platforms like Instagram and ensuring your promo looks great on mobile as well as desktop.

You’ll always get visitors to your facility who haven’t seen your website or your promo video, so it’s handy to have a copy on an iPad if you don’t have a TV playing your promo in your reception area.

There’s no perfect length for this type of video though shorter is always better. If your promo is stretching to three minutes or more, you’re probably trying to cram too much in, so consider splitting your promo into shorter service specific videos which are more useful tools. For example, if you own a health club, with a swimming pool, spa and gym, create a simple promo to summarise the facilities and then individual promos to explain each in more detail.


Client Testimonial Videos

Did you know that more than 80% of customers rely on testimonials to make purchase decisions?  Short and succinct testimonial videos are highly effective tools when it comes to building trust in your brand. In many cases, social proof is all that’s needed to spur people into action, that’s why word-of-mouth and referrals are so powerful.

The best testimonial videos have a story to tell that others can relate to, so it’s worth picking your contributors carefully and rewarding your clients for their time. There are a lot of weak testimonial videos out there that are put together in a rush, spending time planning your content carefully to create a something meaningful and influential that’s not easily forgotten.


Client Case Study Videos

Not all clients will be happy to give testimonials and not all testimonials will produce great content, so if you’re limited by enthusiastic participants or useful material focus instead on creating content around specific individuals to create case studies.

These fitness journeys are popular on social media channels and help to demonstrate the expertise and personable skills of your trainers. Publishing these blog style videos on YouTube and Instagram allow the audience to join the client on the journey and engage with the content through comments and questions. Promote this content to your members and in your local area to attract new clients and turn your trainers into local celebrities.

These fitness journeys are popular on social media channels and help to demonstrate the expertise and personable skills of your trainers. Publishing these blog style videos on YouTube and Instagram allow the audience to join the client on the journey and engage with the content through comments and questions. Promote this content to your members and in your local area to attract new clients and turn your trainers into local celebrities.


Trainer Profile Videos

Every personal trainer at your facility should have a profile video which explains how they can help your members reach their fitness goals. Profile videos make it easier for members to find the trainers they resonate with most so they become clients quicker and are less likely to quit.

It’s important that these videos present trainers as the expert but not the star. It’s not an opportunity for them to show how fit and strong they are but how they treat their clients and the efforts they go to to get their clients results. Include footage from typical sessions, comments from clients and fellow trainers to build a sense of community, support and positivity that resonates with those who aspire to achieve more.


Class Videos

Fitness classes are a huge draw for members searching for a new gym, but they’re not necessarily enthusiastic about all classes on your timetable, so it’s wrong to assume that a few clips of classes in your promo video are enough to tempt new members to join.

If you run a large facility it’s important that you promote all of your classes uniquely.Research has shown that despite the popularity of independent cycling, Pilates and yoga studios, people still join larger facilities for these individual programs. Likewise, members of gyms also attend community classes such as Zumba and Insanity.

If you run a large facility it’s important that you promote all of your classes uniquely. Research has shown that despite the popularity of independent cycling, Pilates and yoga studios, people still join larger facilities for these individual programs. Likewise, members of gyms also attend community classes such as Zumba and Insanity.

Short introduction videos for each of your classes are a great way for your instructors to connect with members before they attend for the first time. This allows first-timers to see classes in action can give them the confidence they need to attend and because we know members are loyal to good instructors they will follow them from club to club. So promoting videos of popular instructors teaching at your facility across social media can help drive KPIs.


Recruitment Videos

Working in the health and fitness space has never been so competitive and finding the right talent with the right qualifications and experience can be challenging. If you’re proud of your ethos, company culture and facilities then share this content to attract your perfect candidates. Allow prospects to tour your facilities and get to know your team; tell your story and explain why you do what you do.

Invite candidates to engage with your videos and ask questions to build relationships early. Use this process to refine the candidate pool and improve the quality of submissions to make the formal recruitment process quicker and keep prospects suitable for other positions ‘warm’.


Group Fitness Instructor Auditions

Despite the number of qualified group fitness instructors being at an all time high, experienced instructors that can drive up class numbers are hard to recruit because they’re loyal to the members and clubs they serve.

Announcing class auditions with videos can be an effective way of recruiting new instructors for classes and building cover lists. If you’re offering a better opportunity than rival clubs then it’s worth creating a video to show off your facilities and demonstrate how serious you are about finding the best instructors.