Digital Marketing: The New Frontier

Digital Marketing: The New Frontier

Industry experts discuss the growing interest of digital marketing and how they’re using different technologies to attract new leads. The world of digital marketing is growing quickly. Taking advantage of its popularity can help you tap into a whole new audience. While traditional methods like TV or radio ads can attract older audiences, younger audiences are more likely to see ads on social media or websites. These are just some of the methods The Atlantic Club, recently acquired by Genesis Health Clubs, is using. Other strategies that appeal to wider audiences include a referral program and special events. These allow potential members to experience the services and amenities of the club. “The Atlantic Club taps into a wide range of techniques to have an effective advertising campaign,” said Christina Brooks, the marketing manager. “Going in these different directions helps paint a big picture as to why our club is good for a wider demographic. It shows how we cater to and meet the needs of members of different ages and with different fitness abilities or interests.” An area they’re working to improve is advertising on social media. In addition, Brooks pointed out the benefits of seeing the analytics associated with web ads. Being able to access data from digital ads such as views, clicks and other interactions opens a new way to understand your audience. They help you see the areas of success or shortcomings from your campaign. “We’re working on upgrading our social media content to be more creative and engaging which is helpful,” said Brooks. “By working with our digital marketing agency, we have a broader understanding of how analytics work and how we can generate leads.” With their CMS, Keepme, The Atlantic Club can store data from leads and members. With this, staff can determine areas of interest for specific people and create marketing messages personalized to them. “We’re constantly learning how to utilize data to target our messaging to clientele who will be interested,” said Brooks. “The data compiled through our CMS program helps us generate these reports and figure out where we’re successful, what type of clientele we’re hitting the mark with, and how we can continue to do so or areas we need to adjust.” Merritt Clubs in Baltimore, Maryland, also relies heavily on tracking data and marketing technologies. Because the marketing team embraces many different tools, most processes have been streamlined or improved. “Those ROIs are essential for you to be able to spend your money wisely,” said Donyel Cerceo, the director of marketing at Merritt Clubs. “Make sure you have the correct software technologies implemented to help you track everything. This makes things easier for yourself so you work smarter, not harder.” A specific method Cerceo uses via HubSpot are drip campaigns. Instead of sending reminders about sales on membership costs or aiming to create a sense of urgency, the marketing department sends out e-books, wellness tips and healthy recipes at automated intervals of time. These messages show the club’s invested interest in a person’s well-being. It also encourages communication and follow-up, even if it’s months later, meaning any lead can eventually become a member. “It’s not a hard sell anymore,” said Cerceo. “It’s more of a softer approach where we understand people may not be ready to join right now. I don’t think people want that in-your-face kind of marketing anymore. Drip campaigns have proven beneficial to us.” Knowing your audience and what they’re interested in should be the basis of your marketing according to Haley McCoy, the senior brand director at VASA Fitness. “Be crystal clear about who your target audience is and where they spend their time and money,” she said. “Then utilize your ad dollars to reach them in those places.” One tip from McCoy is to create marketing messages that appeal to general trends in pop culture or fitness. Showing awareness of what potential members are interested in can increase connection. “Your target demographic expects you to speak to them in a way that’s fun and interesting with on-trend references and timely messages,” said McCoy. “Know your audience well. Then use cultural cues to craft creative messages that get them to take action.” Taking this a step further to truly individualize marketing messages can increase impact even more. Emails, web ads and other such tools can be curated and sent based on one’s interests thanks to the capabilities of today’s technologies. “Hyper-personalized content presented in a fun, creative way — like Spotify Wrapped — remains very popular,” explained Mccoy. “Using data to surprise and delight your customers with positive reinforcement is a great way to improve retention and brand loyalty.” To help facilitate and increase the variety of marketing messages, Cerceo recommended looking into AI. Different software can produce or edit text and images, but always take care when implementing these technologies. While Cerceo has found success with HubSpot’s feature that can rewrite or redesign e-newsletters for a fresher version, she’s still testing the reception of AI-generated ads alongside those that are human generated. Both are seeing similar levels of success right now, but she’s still looking for the program that’s the best fit for the club’s needs. “There are so many tools out there that you could be using right now,” said Cerceo. “It’s just about taking the time to do a little bit of investigation and utilizing them.” According to Cerceo, these technologies are vital to keep up with a modern, competitive market. It’s not only about using software for your marketing and sales needs, but also meeting customers on the technologies they’re using. “Make sure you’re staying on top of technology that’s not only happening in the fitness world but in the world as a whole,” explained Cerceo. “Make sure you’re adjusting your sales and marketing to fit where consumers are living and delivering the messages they want to hear.” With advancing capabilities, these technologies are changing what is demanded for digital marketing. It can be overwhelming, but they’re also meant to help streamline operations or better evaluate different campaigns. Using them to your advantage can help increase business.

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