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We think gyms are missing a trick when it comes to how they use their digital screens.
When you walk into a gym you’re often faced with a series of screens. Are they used well? In all honesty, probably not.
Digital screens in gyms generally mirror the TV screens we have at home and not even the Netflix experience of curated content and algorithms that we’re used to today. TV is great for passive watching but in a gym, when we have little else to focus on, this seems like a huge wasted opportunity. With the right tools, gym digital signage could become much more impressive, tailored and interesting.
The 1950s gym TV experience shows content which sits between a series of ads which almost always aren’t relevant to the situation they’re served in. How many times have you been in the gym and seen an advert for a takeaway or burger restaurant? Sure, some of the audience might appreciate the refuel but for most, they’d rather see some gym wear, or a healthy recipe.
With digital signage, you get to handpick your adverts for your audience. This cuts out anything which isn’t 100% relevant and when relevant adverts are served, their effectiveness goes through the roof. Adverts also help cross-sell other advantages and benefits of your facilities – some of which your audience may not even be aware of.
Digital signage in gyms allows you to create digital menu boards for your cafeteria, adverts for space hire, local business news and even sponsored content from brands that your audience actually want to hear from.
Not only is your content working harder but you’ll be fuelling your own advertising at the same time.
Another benefit of digital signage is that the content can be handpicked, scheduled and added to playlists which can change depending on who’s present at that time. Specific content for your early risers, then different content whipped up for your late night gym goers.
Already, you begin to tailor your messaging by the type of audience and the time they visit.
As well as time-tailored content, you can also mix up a huge variety of content that your audience would be interested in. Live news and sports scores, social media dashboards, noticeboards, quotes and even presentations or dashboards. This is much more interesting than that night’s soap operas or music videos your audience has seen a million times before.
How many customers in a gym actually plug in and listen to the TV shows? Probably a fraction as most have their own music or podcasts on. With your own digital signage displays, audio isn’t essential to the experience. Great visuals, a few nice images and videos with subtitles work just as well.
There are a ton of benefits of something as simple as social media dashboards of your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. This encourages more of the customers in the gym at that time to tweet, post and share which extends your reach far beyond the physical building. When you have more content, the feeds become more interesting and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like seeing their post up on the big screen?
Competitions can be fuelled by realtime updates with customers entering their times or number of reps. Studies even show that social media increases exercise motivation and can increase stamina.
Use this to your advantage and you’ll have happier and better exercised customers – all from a simple bit of playlist reshuffling!
When we think screens we often think advertising or TV. Content that’s selling or content that fills up background noise. Yet studies show that delivering informative content while exercising helps retention of information.
Information can be delivered in a much more visual and engaging way than a leaflet or printed wall chart. Get creative – deliver videos that show your customers how to use new machines. Pick a customer of the week and allow them to share their top five tips up on the digital screen, or create a leaderboard where customers can compete to become champions.
One of the big concerns in any gym is customer retention and getting those nice word of mouth referral cycles in place. Digital signage is a big advocate for both, allowing you to tell stories and provide content that will easily lead to increased sign-ups and brand presence.
Here are two more benefits we haven’t even mentioned yet; wayfinding and reduced static signs. How many times have your static gym signs become redundant? From last minute class changes to studio swaps, digital signs are much easier to update than signs that are nailed to the wall.
When all of your signs become digital signs, you have the power to create a connected gym space that you can change to suit your audience, time of the year and current priorities (for example, higher sales of fitness classes). Need to push a new promotion? Get it up on the screen. Worried your best customers have forgotten about all of the additional services you’re offering to new joiners? Pop a full service guide up onto your display.
Then you have endless hours of staff time spent on orientation. With a well-placed digital sign you could cut this completely and give your new joiners the power to find their own way. Simple wayfinding and room booking technologies such as our partner app AskCody allows the gym to run on your schedule, whether that changes each day, each week, or once a year.
When staff aren’t caught up giving directions and informing customers of room changes, there’s a lot of potential for what they could do instead.
If only more of those in charge of gyms knew how easy it was to use the very screens already positioned in gyms to create a richer, more tailored digital signage experience. If the screens are already in place, why not switch them over and provide a tailored content experience that makes the gym more of a joy to train in?
For a free trial of ScreenCloud, the easiest digital signage content management system, visit https://screencloud.com.