The world of digital fitness was knocking down studio walls way before Covid-19 emerged. Clubs and studios of all sizes saw the added benefit of engaging their members both in club and on the go. Pre-Covid there was already an abundancy of Fitness Apps, offering unlimited audio and video classes and sessions with top tier instruction for an at home sweat, promised to rival any in-studio class.
We all love, crave and appreciate (now more than ever) the in-person experience. Whether it’s a one on one with our favorite trainer or being packed into a class with dozens of other fitness junkies moving together to motivating music. We enjoy the physical touch of our coach or instructor, that person who is physically and emotionally there to change our lives for the better.
Physical touch, physically being with others has now turned to physical distancing during this pandemic, but physical distancing does not have to mean being socially or emotionally distanced from others. We can still get what we need from our fitness gurus, who like a doctor, can still prescribe and administer our preferred fitness experience that makes us physically, mentally and spiritually whole with an online offer. Hence the fitness and wellness industry should be deemed ESSENTIAL.
Have you experienced that class high from your basement or living room yet? During this challenging time of being home with family and kids have you felt an escape via a digital fitness class? Maybe a live ZOOM where you join in weekly to move your body and relieve your mind while seeing your friends in multiple squares across your laptop. Have you posted high-fives in the chat box after 10 burpees and 20 pushups? Yeah that’s the experience! Online fitness businesses are growing at rapid speeds because the experience is real. What did your instructor do to motivate and inspire you through the digital space, really see you and connect with you right there where you were – at home?
Here are a few tips that will allow you to create FITNESS MAGIC through the camera lens:
- Foster COMMUNITY. People want to surround themselves with like-minded people. The term “there’s strength in numbers” rings true. A few studies have shown that 95% of people who’ve started a weight loss program with friends finished the program and that the healthy actions of others rub off! People are also less likely to skip a workout if someone is expecting them to show up, this is the same in fitness streaming workouts.
- Have an authentic connection and ENGAGE. Take a few beats occasionally to walk closer the camera and speak directly to your class. Express words of inspiration, empathy, understanding, motivation as well as cues on proper alignment. People want to be seen, if you can’t touch them really see them and speak to them, if you are authentic you will grow your online personal or group training offer.
- EDUCATE your class on the WHAT and WHY of the workout. Don’t feel rushed to start, people appreciate a strong introduction, especially if they’re new! Introduce yourself, what you’ll be teaching and why you chose the exercise and moves for your class that day and the benefits they’ll see in their body if they continue to do this on a daily or weekly basis. Smart fitness content is the key to a successful online fitness videos or live streamed offers, but be sure to message your offer properly when promoting and speaking to your followers.
- Use MUSIC to motivate. Due to music licensing issues or poor sound quality this component is a tough one for many when offering online classes. We’ve written about hacks with Zoom or the use of mixers, but to keep this part simple you can share your playlist with your class and they can play on their own while listening and watching you!
- Film in a CLEAN space with minimal background clutter. People want to just see YOU and not a messy room. If you’re filming in a studio, still make sure the background is clean and organized so your digital tribe can just focus on YOU! Your studio space is part of your fitness production business, just like your studio in your club, make sure your virtual fitness offer is clean and matches your offer.
- Use your VOICE to motivate, calm, encourage, cue and control the speed, tempo, flow and intensity of the class. The audio is just as important as the video for your participants. Many online fitness consumers have shared that the voice of the instructor needs to be clear so they can hear what they’re cueing when they’re not watching – especially during planks!
Online workouts are here to stay. We hear the industry now calling this a HYBRID approach to both in-studio and digital fitness offerings. We see this as ringing true as many polls have shown gym goers and fitness enthusiasts of all ages are now deeming this the new “expected experience”. One thing we do know is fitness is essential to both our physical and mental health. Fitness and wellness is the ONE thing that can help us battle illness and keep us living longer lives to enjoy our family, kids and grandkids. The goal is to have a strong body and mind and daily movement can enhance that. Add in the community of workout buddies and caring coaches creating a sense of belonging and support – that only fuels the soul.
Now that clubs and studios are reopening we can get our physical fix, albeit distanced and still have the digital fix whenever and wherever we want it. The reality that we can harness fitness magic both LIVE and DIGITALLY whenever we want is a powerful position to be in and good for the mind, body and spirit.
Have you asked yourself whether you should deliver your content to any specific channel; social media, YouTube or a 3rd party aggregator site? A common misconception is by delivering content on a particular platform it may dilute the brand, or diminish content value. The predominant truth is if your strategy is subscriber growth you must engage through Consumer Preference Platforms. Meet them where they seek interaction! Once you garner their attention you embolden them into your Platform organically.
The first step is to delineate how and where to bolster your content strategy? There are times when delivering content to specific platforms is effectual if you are already executing a marketing initiative. However, there are advantageous methods to achieve both the how and the when. The key consideration is based on increasing value of brand and content. And, we know that value is a “Person’s determined usefulness of a product”. So it is essential to expose as many users to your brand to boost engagement.
Your goal, is to build your fan base or kingdom. By partnering with other companies you can leverage their technology, marketing and sales resources and distribution networks. The most common distribution partnership is called content licensing. Content licensing is the distribution of media assets to any third party, generally for a fixed term, and for a fixed price. Put in other words, there are vast audiences of fitness consumers who are starving for content. Licensing companies take your content and distribute it through their channels to reach the consumers who want it and who are willing to pay for it. The resulting transactions create an extended fan base and revenue stream for you while giving the Licensor the inventory they need to meet the demand.