The fitness industry is massive and growing. The US represents the largest health and fitness market in the world, valued at an estimated $30 billion, with more than 38,000 locations and over 60 million members. Demand is growing as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment opportunities in this industry will grow faster than average over the next 10 years.

So, in this inherently competitive, growing market, how can fitness professionals use video to get ahead? What are the video marketing takeaways for other industries?

Attract New Customers

The biggest challenge for gyms, personal trainers, and instructors is the universal business goal of attracting new customers. One of the best ways is to leverage online video. After all, many consumers research and discover health trends and fitness facilities on the web.

Local Video SEO Strategy

To reach these customers, a smart top of funnel video marketing strategy entails taking advantage of localized search terms. Then, cast a wide net with social media, blogs, and other sharing sites.

For instance, someone might research exercise classes in their local area. If you are a personal trainer looking to connect with that type of person, think of the types of searches they would use to find your services. They might look for “personal trainers near me” or “personal training in [my location]”.

One approach would be to try creating workout videos filmed in local parks or near other landmarks. Then, share your videos with keyword-optimized titles and descriptions, including the location information, to help your website show up at the top of search engine results pages for those terms.

Where to Share Your Video

A critical step for any video marketing campaign is to select where and how to publish your content. This will in turn inform how many versions of your video you should make to suit different platforms.

To grow your top of funnel acquisition, you need very broad exposure. Sharing your video on social media is likely a wise choice, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Make shorter promotional versions for the social media platforms where you have the largest following. Then, direct viewers to visit your website for the full workout video.

If you use a professional online video host for the videos shared on your website, you can take advantage of lead generation tools to help grow your business. For instance, you can use your long-form workout videos on your website to grow your email list or drive traffic to a signup page.

This strategy increases your exposure on different networks, but importantly, does not give away your expertise for free. By focusing on localized search terms, you’ll be more likely to reach viewers in your specific area. Be sure to use a persuasive call-to-action in your videos to catch their attention.

Improve Existing Clients’ Performance on Health Goals

Online video is the perfect tool for publishing a series of workouts (or any type of how-to) on the web. Using video creates a very personal connection with the person going through the exercises. Viewers can get a clear sense of your style and expertise as a trainer.

Compared to text and images, video viewers are more likely to use proper form since they can see it demonstrated from start to finish. They might be more likely to complete the exercise without having to stop and check that they are doing it correctly.

Even better, clients can take it on the road with them, so you can help them stay in shape even when they are traveling. Making your core content easily accessible in a highly digestible format is ideal not just for fitness, but for a wide variety of industries.

Word of Mouth and Testimonials

Social sharing of workout goals and videos is a trend that’s showing no signs of stopping. Take advantage of it to benefit your business.

Connect with your customers online, and share interesting workout facts or techniques with them in short, shareable video clips. You can set up groups on Facebook for your classes, and encourage people to connect with each other. This would not only help with client retention, but would get people to share information about your classes and specialty online.

The key is not to be pushy or to directly ask them to promote you to their friends. Unless you have a stellar referral program, they probably will not go for it. Organic word of mouth marketing is the best for local client referrals.


There are other options worth mentioning. Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools on the web. Ask existing clients who have achieved substantial results, or who simply love working out with you to say so on camera. This does not need to be a big production as your testimonial video will come across as more authentic if it is not overtly staged.

Even better, you could try and get some of your students to participate in a short workout video and demo some moves for the testimonial. The best part about getting participation from your clients is that they might just share it with their friends and family members – free marketing! Here’s a guide to getting your customers to appear on camera.

From acquiring new customers, improving their performance, and getting them to help spread the word about your business and services, there are plenty of lessons to be learned about the use of online video in the fitness industry. Which is most relevant to you? Did we miss any important takeaways? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter!