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Because of COVID-19, thousands of gyms and fitness studios around the world have been forced to close their doors. This has led consumers to seek out ways to exercise at home, which is essential to staying healthy, a sense of normalcy and daily routine, to help ease anxiety or stress, and even offer much-needed social interaction. Even now, limited reopening of gyms people are still focused on at-home fitness routines.

This shift to at-home fitness has added fuel to some of the biggest trends already occurring within the fitness industry. Below are these trends are outlined and look at what brands can do to remain top-of-mind during this time. 

TREND #1: Fitness Instructors Are Gaining Influence, Fast.

While almost 45% of global consumers are devoting more time to social media, over 10% are also creating and uploading content themselves. This is especially true within the fitness industry, where more than 350,000 fitness instructors and trainers in the U.S. alone have had to shift their businesses online, with the majority pumping out workout content on social media in an effort to restore some level of normalcy. 

In order to keep their businesses running, fitness instructors have turned to streaming options, typically through Zoom or Instagram Live (IG Live), to provide their clients, fans and followers with some level of normalcy. For now, many of these classes are being offered for free – as a way for trainers to stay connected while they work out the kinks and figure out how to monetize their services for new and existing clients. Some of these individuals, however, are providing their followers with an option to contribute whatever amount of money they feel comfortable with via Venmo. 

TREND #2: Brands and Influencers are Coming Together

During a time when the majority of gyms are closed or just reopening and millions of people are facing their new realities of at-home life, fitness brands and influencers have come together to provide live-streaming and on-demand workouts.

Lululemon x Gabby Bernstein: Although Lululemon has temporarily closed all of its retail locations, that’s not stopping the brand from staying top-of-mind during this time. Lululemon has continued to live its community-driven mission by tapping one of its Global Ambassadors, Gabby Bernstein, to host a meditation on the brand’s IG Live. Leading up to the event, both the brand and Gabby drove awareness by posting about the upcoming session, encouraging followers to tune in and follow the brand for more ways Lululemon plans to bring workout offerings online.

Macro-Influencer Melissa Wood-Tepperberg: Melissa Wood-Tepperberg’s on-demand streaming workouts already have a cult-like following and now, her following is expanding even more with subscription sales up 10 percent for the first two weeks in March. Wood-Tepperberg, and many other fitness influencers who own their own fitness studios or brands, have started leveraging Instagram Live to open up workouts to the public, resulting in not only new followers, but paying customers, as well.

Micro-Influencer and Equinox Pilates & Fitness Instructor Ali Baldassare: At the micro-influencer level, boston-based Equinox pilates & fitness instructor Ali Baldassare of @mslali1 has begun offering up daily live Instagram classes to replace her in-person fitness classes she teaches. No equipment is necessary for her workouts, allowing everyone at home the opportunity to participate. Like many other micro-influencers who have now started offering live workout classes on Instagram, Ali asks her followers to contribute what they are comfortable with ($1, $2, $5, etc.) for each class through Venmo.

TREND #3: Shift from Instagram to YouTube

As fitness influencers continue to crank out new workouts — both live-streamed and on-demand —we could begin to see a shift away from Instagram Live towards YouTube, as YouTube is more easily accessible and synced with smart TVs. As well, YouTube allows for live videos up to 12 hours, where Instagram Live only supports videos for up to one hour. 

Even with the shift to online fitness, not every gym or fitness business can generate revenue right now, but if you can, then it is critical to improve your cash flow and keep the lights on. However, at the same time, every business needs to be investing in marketing that will help them post-COVID. For businesses that need marketing materials created on a budget, there’s Flocksy. They help businesses with all their marketing projects for a fraction of the price they would pay an inhouse team. Flocksy’s service replaces the typical full-time designer, video editor, developer, or writer and more.

Flocksy was designed to work with small to mid-sized businesses the way they do business best. Their retainer-based monthly service fee includes all work, licensing, and more. Clients can do as many projects as they can complete in a given month.  To better focus on client work, projects can be located into Flocksy’s dashboard and are completed one at a time.  When a business signs off on a project, the next one begins. Flocksy enables you to keep a team for the long haul or change them around whenever you want.  Their professional creatives and active team members serve as outsourced members of a business’s team.

Flocksy is a professionally managed flat rate creative services and content platform focused on long-term relationships with clients, designers, and partners. It utilizes only U.S.-based project managers who understand the needs of both clients and on demand teams. Their team is fully vetted and tested, ensuring their clients get top notch results for the projects they desire. Flocksy was founded in 2016 as the first platform of its kind to offer the breadth of services and consistency of teams.

According to the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association), the $30 billion health and fitness industry in the U.S. has been growing by at least 3 – 4% annually for the last ten years and showed no signs of slowing down before COVID-19 swept across the country. As health and fitness companies begin reopening, there is a huge market awaiting them. Marketing to past and future customers is the right thing to do at this moment and Flocksy can help you pull that off quickly, affordably, and with great results.

Adam Legas

Adam Legas

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