Running your own business is no easy task, it’s even harder when you have to focus on both operations, marketing, and management. When you own your own boxing, MMA, or other combat sports gym, you usually have to do all three, maybe even the training of all your students. Most gym owners are looking for ways to grow their clientele and increase their monthly membership. Let’s dive into marketing for your combat sports gym.
Start With Digital Marketing
There are too many times that I’ve seen gyms market themselves through lawn signs or light pole posters. This is a very ineffective way of marketing for a few reasons, but mostly because you can’t track it and it will be taken down eventually. These days if you aren’t online, then you don’t exist. Just depending on foot traffic and referrals won’t give you the businesses you hoped to have when you first started.
Let’s talk about the few things you will need to do to start getting people in the door.
Your Website is the Core of Your Efforts
If you don’t already have one, you will need a website that is optimized both for SEO and conversions. If your website is subpar, then you will need to redesign it to be more modern. Your website is the face of your business and can make or break your digital marketing efforts. The goal will be to get people to your site, and into your email, phone, or gym so you can sell them. The only way to do this is if your website screams quality and trust. You want it to look like big money was invested in it, even if it wasn’t.
Once your website is up, the very next thing you will want to do is local SEO. This will involve setting up a Google MyBusiness page and getting yourself to show up on the local maps when people search for your type of gym. For example, if someone searches “boxing gym in Miami” then you will want to show up in the map results. A Google MyBsuiness listing will help you accomplish this. However, you will have to do a little more to beat out the people already showing up in the search results.
Step one after you set up your map listing and verify it (Google will send you a code), you need to collect reviews. Send a link to your business listing to all of your students and get them to leave a positive review. The more reviews you have, the better for both conversions and SEO.
The other step of it will be to earn links from other local websites. This will help Google recognize you as a trusted source for what you do in your area. This will be the main way to move up in local rankings and map results. Simply offer free content to other websites that are relevant to both of you and ask that you can get a link within that content. Most website owners will be open to free content.
Another great option for you to market your gym would be Facebook and Instagram ads, which are both done through the Facebook Ad Platform. The reason Facebook wors so well for something like this is that it allows you to target people based on location and interests. So you can target people interested in your combat sport, who live within a certain miles radius of your gym. As long as your creativity is up to par, you will likely get a great response.
The best way to do this is to create an incentive program for those that see the ad on Facebook. Give them a certain discount to use when they come in and this will allow you to both converts better and to keep track of where people are coming from.
Sean, Founder of Brawl Bros., said this in regards to Facebook marketing for combat sports: “Facebook is an effective tool in this industry because fight fans love to share with each other. It isn’t one of those things that they like to keep to themselves, it’s very much a community that thrives on communication, which can help your business.”
Fitness is huge on social media, and you will get a big benefit from running ads because they can be shared and tagged to be seen by other people. In this industry especially, you should get a good cost per result as it is not that competitive.
Google ads can seem more expensive than Facebook ads, and they are, but they also have something called intent. In Facebook, you’re simply showing up in the middle of your potential customers feed, hoping that they’re interested in your offer, or even that they see your offer. In the end, their end goal is to see what they’re friends are up to and not necessarily to purchase service.
With Google, you get to target people that are actually actively seeking what you’re offering. You’re able to bid on search terms rather than demographics. As long as your website and landing pages are enticing and convert well, you should be able to get a much better ROI than a social campaign in the long run.
Don’t Forget Good Old Fashioned Business Development
When it comes to marketing for your fight gym, don’t forget to partner with other businesses that can potentially refer you good traffic. This can be something as simple as calling on local businesses that have clients that may be in need of fitness. If you’re more focused on getting young fighters, then collaborate with schools and youth clubs.
Last but not least, be everywhere. If there is a fitness expo in your area then you want to show up! Most of the people there will be locals, and you will have a chance to pitch your gym.
It All Works if You Work
In the end, all of these marketing efforts have the potential to change your business for the better, but you won’t know until you engage in them. If you need help, please feel free to reach out to us directly!