You’ve been hosting online fitness classes for a while now, your members are starting to come back to your physical studio, and you’re seeing fewer members attend your virtual classes. Instead of completely turning away from online fitness, we encourage you to take this opportunity to grow beyond your physical studio.
First, let’s define online fitness classes; we mean both live and on-demand videos. And at some point during the pandemic, you have offered online classes as a class pack or an additional offering to paid memberships to keep members engaged with your studio. But as we see the light at the end of the tunnel, why would you still want to do online fitness classes? Here are 3 reasons why:
- Convenience: members want the flexibility to workout whenever and wherever they want. Les Mills found that 80% of studio members plan to still incorporate digital workouts post-pandemic.
- Comfort: members want a stress-free experience of working out in their own safe space. New members may feel intimidated attending in-studio classes, and giving them the ability to join your classes from the comfort of their own home allows them to enjoy your unique studio offering.
- Growth: online fitness classes will allow you to go beyond and reach new members. This means acquiring new clients who are not within the vicinity of your physical location. Studies have shown that the global virtual fitness market is projected to reach US$59.23B by 2027.
So now that we understand why we should not pack up our cameras and tripods, how do we encourage members to utilize your online platform? Here are the top 6 ways to get members hooked on your online classes:
- Virtual Trial Classes: hosting trial classes allows newbies and inactive members to test out the platform and see if your virtual offering is a fit for them. Giving unlimited live and/or on-demand access for a set period will allow them to understand and explore the platform. Hosting free live streams once a month is a creative way to re-engage inactive members and newbies to join in and give them a snippet as to what they’re missing out on!
- Referral Programs: let's not deny that word-of-mouth works. It helps get your unique studio offering out there, especially when your members bring their friends and family to the studio. And what better way to give back to your loyal members who are referring new clients than by gifting them free classes, merch, or discounts on your studio's membership fee?
- Fitness Challenges: create weekly or monthly fitness challenges that include both in-studio and online participation. This allows your studio to transition from an online offering to a true omnichannel experience. Fitness challenges will encourage your members to build the habit of utilizing your digital content. Don't forget to include challenge prizes, such as heart rate bands, free classes, or gift cards (no one can resist a Lululemon gift card). Check out this blog to learn more about omnichannel fitness.
- Social Media & Email Marketing: constant communication about your online classes ensures that your members are always up-to-date and reminded to use your digital platform. Educational posts and emails about how to access your virtual offering, testimonials of your members enjoying the platform, and even snippets of how your virtual offering looks will encourage more members and newbies to try out the platform.
- Offline Communication: constant face-to-face communication with in-studio members about your online classes. Instructors can give personalized tips and tricks on how to use the platform or even what videos to watch for an extra burn after class. This ensures that your members are personally updated about the online platform.
- Easy-to-Use Platform: whatever platform you use must be easy for you as studio operators and your members. The worst thing to do is lower your members' experience; your online classes have to be an added value to them. Only a few platforms go beyond generic digital libraries, and Tribe offers metrics tracking for studio operators and members. These metrics will be qualitative data for studio operators as they can identify the most active members, the most popular coaches, and the most popular fitness classes. It also gives your members quantitative data on their fitness activities that will get them hooked on racking up points or challenges that your studio offers.
We hope this helped encourage you to offer an omnichannel experience for your fitness studio members. Ultimately, it's about your vision for your studio. We view omnichannel fitness as the next stage to retaining current members, acquiring global members, a new revenue stream for studios, and much more. Give your members a platform designed specifically for omnichannel fitness. Talk to us, we're ready to help.