With more people spending time at home and scouring the internet looking for ways to improve their health and fitness routines, audiences are more dependent on digital content than they’ve ever been in the past. In fact, one recent global study found that engagement on social media has increased 61% over regular usage rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For health and fitness businesses, this means that social media marketing is no longer an optional component of the marketing mix—it has, essentially, taken center stage—creating both opportunities and challenges for fitness brands. In a world now dominated by digital marketing, consumers’ feeds are being flooded by businesses vying to capture their attention. It’s no longer enough to just create content—health and fitness businesses that want to break through the noise need to understand how to create and distribute compelling content that captures viewers’ attention.
Here are five ways fitness brands can amp up their social media marketing strategies in 2021:
1. Go live
Eighty percent of social media users say they’d rather watch video than read a blog, and internet users collectively watched more than 1.1 billion hours of live video in 2019. It should come as no surprise that with numbers like that, more fitness brands are going live to deliver content to consumers across the most popular social networks. The demand for social broadcasting is anticipated to continue to rise, creating a huge opportunity for fitness brands looking for ways to improve their social media marketing efforts.
2. Be inclusive
Inclusivity isn’t just “in”—it’s the new standard expected of fitness brands. Today’s consumers want to align themselves with health and fitness companies that promote equality, accessibility and welcomeness to all. In fact, 70% of Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers. Fitness brands that choose to ignore this and continue to tout their exclusivity, or limit their messaging to an elite demographic, will not receive the same support or following as in years past.
3. Consider influencer marketing
If you’re familiar with the saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” then you already understand why influencer marketing can have such a profound impact on business. Consumers want to be like the people they admire—they want to walk like them and talk like them, so to speak. So, what better way to boost engagement on your company’s social media networks than with an endorsement from a popular influencer? It is worth noting, however, that more fitness brands are shifting to nano-influencers as many marketing budgets shrank as a result of COVID-19.
4. Utilize user-generated content
Almost half of marketing professionals (48%) believe that content created by customers helps humanize their marketing. User-generated content is an important part of social media marketing because it helps to establish trust between businesses and consumers by providing a genuine reflection of what other customers can anticipate when engaging with a particular business. User-generated content also provides fitness brands the ability to showcase success stories, creating emotional appeal that can have a huge impact on buying decisions.
5. Invest in social advertising
With almost half of the global population using social media, it makes sense why so many fitness brands are investing in social media advertising. Social media advertising capabilities continue to improve, providing fitness brands the ability to reach their target audience with ease and accessibility like never before. In terms of performance and engagement, social media ads that contain video strongly outperform those that use static images, so it’s worth investing the time to create engaging video clips to get the most impact from your ad spend.
Because the social media marketing landscape is always changing, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and pay attention to emerging trends. Fitness brands that want to stay relevant and competitive need to be willing and able to adapt and adopt quickly to break through the noise and develop lasting, authentic relationships with consumers.
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