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8 Ways To Promote Your Fitness Classes

Looking to pack out your fitness classes? We give you 8 ideas you can implement today.

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You’ve done it! You’ve created a fitness class that you know people are going to love. You’ve planned the routine, you have an amazing space and music to make people want to move.

Then it gets to the allocated time slot…. and no one turns up. Perhaps you get a few people but you could cater for so many more.

What do you do?

Whether you’re a gym owner, a personal instructor or someone who teaches fitness classes, coming up with a great idea is only half of the battle.

The other half is promoting your fitness class so that the right people hear about it. This combines marketing skills, knowledge of different inbound channels and knowing how to talk to customers to get them to want to buy in.

The challenge

Many of us in the gym profession assume that going to a fitness class is easy. Why wouldn’t someone want to come? What we don’t realize, is that for the everyday person, who may never have been to a class before, or who’s been out of action for a few months, it’s intimidating! As well as finding the right marketing channels to promote your fitness class you need to understand the barriers to entry that are stopping people from walking through the door - and help remove them.

Here are some ideas you can use to attract the right people - and in the right way.

8 Ways To Promote Your Fitness Classes

1. Instagram marketing

Instagram is a low point of entry for marketing because most people already use it. Not only does it have 800 million monthly users, but 32% of all internet users have a profile on the channel. The two age groups that use it most are 18-29 year olds (59%) and 30-49 year olds (33%). If your target audience sits within that bracket it could be a great way to promote your fitness classes.

Some of the tactics you could use on Instagram include:

  • Instagram stories - stories, even for brand pages, have a much higher engagement rate and are easy to create. Stories are a series of videos or images that users can read through. You can create stories by taking an image or video, or you can pre-create templates and use these to promote your fitness classes. A tool such as Adobe Spark, or Canva, will allow you to create a graphic in the custom dimensions 1080 x 1920, which is perfect for uploading to Instagram stories with information about your class.
  • Location tagging - posts on Instagram with a location receive 79% more engagement and for a fitness class, that will take place in a specific area, this is really useful for attracting people who are local to you. Add location stickers to your Instagram stories and check in on your actual posts to make yourself more visible.
  • Video - using video is proven to provide higher engagement on social media and Instagram is no different. Record a section of your class, film yourself talking to camera, or even interview someone after the class has finished, and share it to your channel.

2. Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a broadcast of video that happens in real time. The benefit of using it, over say pre recorded video, is that Facebook notifies your page fans when you’re “Live” in a video so that they don’t miss it. Some tips that will help you to make the most of your broadcast include:

  • Tell people you’re going to go live - you want to build anticipation so that when you hit “Live” at least some of your audience are already there, waiting to watch. One of the ways you can do this is by coming up with a specific broadcast, rather than just plugging into a fitness class in action. For example, why not do a Q&A with you answering your client’s most common questions? Sharing knowledge is a great way to attract viewers and remove those paint points.
  • Provide value - in the same way you might use a Q&A approach think what your audience might gain from watching your Facebook Live. Will they learn how to do a new exercise? How to improve their form? Why one exercise might be more effective than another? Always add value.
  • Respond in real time - a mistake many make is using Facebook Live to broadcast but acting like it’s a pre-recorded video. When you’re “Live” viewers can send in questions and respond to your comments, so use this to make it a two-way street.

3. Fitness challenge

Asking someone to come to your fitness class may not be enough. You may also need to challenge them when they get there. If you think about campaigns such as “Dry January” which encourages people to not consume alcohol throughout an entire month, it works because:

  • It has a challenge element that makes people want to complete the entire thing, a bit like getting to the end of a board game.
  • There’s accountability because they’re not facing it alone.
  • There’s support where those taking part can speak to others who are undertaking the same challenge.

You can use exactly the same concept for your fitness class. Perhaps you want to challenge your gym members to attend a class every week for 8 weeks and report the difference, or take-up one early-morning class per week. You could easily create a challenge card, like those little coffee store loyalty cards you get, and stamp or tick one-off, which will help your members to feel a sense of achievement at the end of it.

4. Printed newsletter

It’s really easy to focus on digital channels to promote your fitness classes, but what about something that’s a little more traditional? A printed newsletter probably isn’t something you’ll want to do all of the time, as it costs money and affects the environment, but as a one-off or as part of a new launch, it can be really effective.

Use the newsletter to tell a story - perhaps it could be a personal letter from you on why you created the fitness class and exactly who it has helped in the past. You could even hand address the newsletter and send it via post, which would make it more personal and likely increase the chance that it’ll get opened.

5. Digital signage

How many gym members do you already see each day or each week? Often, current members have untapped potential for signing up to fitness classes, but we still look outside of them for new members. This is where making the most of your physical gym building using digital signage will help.

Digital signage is when you use a TV screen and add content to it, that will help promote your offering. Because it’s a digital screen, you can change promotions as often as you wish and use it for multiple different functions such as:

  • Special promotions - showing a discount on your fitness class, a special offer or even featuring a “member of the week” is a great way to make the most of your screens.
  • Countdown - why not countdown until your fitness class is fully booked, or even until a new fitness challenge begins to get more interest and create a sense of anticipation?
  • Class schedules - if your current members don’t know what classes you have available, how can they book them? Use your digital signage screens to promote what classes are running - and when.

6. Corporate offers

If you have a lot of spare spaces you could look at a corporate scheme or offer for a group of people who might all sign up at once. This is great for approaching corporate companies and asking them to invest in a gym fitness program for their employees.

Many companies are under pressure to increase the health of their employees and reduce the strain of working in an office all day. Present the idea that not only will the employees benefit, and be more likely to attend when their peer group is interested, but that the company will benefit too.

7. SEO

Where do most people turn when they want to discover a new fitness class in their area? Google! Tools such as Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner will help you to discover not just the keywords people use, but when those keywords are most popular too.

A peak in traffic for the search term “fitness classes” in January is perhaps not surprising!

This is a great way to attract local search traffic to your fitness class that will be relevant to potential members. Try to find the keywords your audience would be searching, for example “body pump class North Carolina” and use the on-page SEO of your landing page, or blogpost to make it discoverable.

Just remember, keyword stuffing is not attractive to either the user or to Google so you need to go editorial and make your blogpost something that’s really exciting to read. Perhaps you could use “10 Benefits Members Have Named From Our Bodypump Class in NC”. This is much more interesting than using an entire post to sell, sell, sell.

8. Community group

Technology such as fitness trackers, apps and online groups are often used to help promote fitness and encourage differing socioeconomic groups to adopt a healthier fitness routine. One of the ways you can build a support network for those who attend your fitness class is by creating your own.

Apps can be expensive to develop, but something such as a Facebook group has a much lower entry point. Anyone with a Facebook page can set up a Facebook group and it can be made public, or set to private, which will make it more of an intimate environment for your class members.

Fitness groups provide a safe space to encourage others, ask questions and even to book in for classes if it’s something you use regularly.

Just remember that you will need to facilitate the conversation and encourage that all-important interaction between members as much as possible in the initial stages.

What other ideas do you use to promote your fitness classes? Tweet us @screencloud.

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