If you work in the health and fitness vertical and sell your products or services online, digital marketing can be tough for you.
Health and fitness is all the rage these days, as it's now an industry that generates more than 80 billion dollars in revenue per year in the U.S., and with so many businesses focusing on the same field, it can be hard to get your business to stand out from the rest.
In order to successfully market your e-commerce health and fitness company, not only do you have to reach the right audience using the right digital channels, you also have to convince consumers (who you never meet face-to-face) that they want to do business with you and not another company they can find online.
Luckily, however, while marketing a health and fitness e-commerce company can be a challenge, there are companies out there who've proven it is possible, and there are many businesses that've run ad campaigns so successful you should look to them as a model for your own.
If you're ready to market your e-commerce health and fitness company to the world, take a look at these stellar examples of real world health and fitness e-commerce marketing campaigns, as well as the reasons why they did so well.
Kayla Itsines' Sweat With Kayla
Kayla Itsines is often regarded as one of the biggest social media celebrities today. Itsines is a fitness trainer from Australia, and she made a name for herself by creating an Instagram account to showcase the progress of her own fitness journey, as well as the clients who decided to tackle her fitness program.
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ARMS AND ABS!! ☀️☀️ . 12 reps per exercise for 3 rounds !! Set a timer and race a friend !! (save this video and do it after!!) . Tricep dips Seated row (resistance band) -Shoulder taps Flutters Single leg ab bikes Incline push hop Bent leg jackknife Toe taps Raised leg sit ups . www.kaylaitsines.com/app
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Itsines' Instagram popularity grew so large thanks in part to a workout regime that she developed and started selling on her website via PDF. Once she had made a name for herself via social media marketing, she created and began to sell a fitness app, Sweat with Kayla.
Itsines' app isn't just another workout app; it has skyrocketed in popularity and generated a huge amount of revenue since (TechCrunch predicts it will bring in more than $77 million this year).
One reason that her app and brand is so successful? A multifaceted online marketing strategy that relies heavily on social media – but also other channels and extremely convenient features – in order to build a customer base.
User Generated Content on Social Media
Itsines' main marketing platform is Instagram, where she originally launched her business.
Itsines doesn't focus on promoting her product directly. Instead, she builds a brand by sharing user generated content.
Itsines regularly shares progress photos of current customers who are doing her workouts. These photos are reposts of photos that customers have shared on their own social media accounts with relevant hashtags.
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@fallfaceforward 8 weeks into my #BBG program😍👏🙌 Can’t wait to see more of these incredible progress photos! If you have a photo you want featured, tag @kayla_itsines ON the photo and hashtag #bbgprogress ❤️❤️ www.kaylaitsines.com/app
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This user generated content allows Itsines to build credibility and loyalty, and it doesn't cost her anything, which means more marketing dollars for other channels.
The user generated content Itisnes uses also serves as a way to recognize the efforts of her fans, which helps build a sense of rapport, making her followers likely to stay loyal to her brand and products.
Finally, it encourages the creation of a community, who can serve as ambassadors for Itsines' brand and help encourage others to get involved (and buy). These happy customers, who feel loyal to Itsines and to one another, act as her own brand ambassadors to do marketing work for her, and they serve as advertisers and testimonials, all rolled into one.
Free App Trials
Before Itsines makes people buy a subscription to her app, she offers them a free week-long trial.
The app is $19.99 monthly, which may seem expensive to someone who isn't ready to commit. However, the weeklong trial with access to all features of the app gives people the chance to decide whether it's worth the cost to them or not, and once they see how good the app is (and get hooked), they feel more willing to shell out the money for it monthly.
Easy Signup and Payment
When you want to get the Sweat app, you can sign up with Facebook. This makes acquiring the product super easy for customers, and eliminates barriers that would stop them from buying.
They can also make payments with PayPal, which makes the payment process more convenient. Reducing obstacles to sign up and payment help up the chances that people will buy.
Other Digital Platforms
In addition to using her social media prowess, Itsines relies on other digital advertising channels to market her app. She has a website and a blog with useful content that helps her build her reputation as a valued thought leader worth buying from.
She offers a discount on her product for signing up for her email list, and she regularly sends sales, upselling and informational emails to the list.
Gymshark is a product-based health and fitness e-commerce company that used smart marketing tactics in order to grow into a hugely successful business.
Gymshark sells sports clothing and accessories, and they were once named Britain's Fastest Growing Company. They differentiated themselves by making clothing that met the demands of people who went to the gym – not fluorescent and neon clothing, but instead, more subdued, comfortable clothing featuring the company's unmistakable logo.
Social Media and Influencers
Gymshark generated sales of £12.8m within four years. Their marketing tactic was similar to Itsines' reliance on social media as a way to reach a large amount of people for an affordable amount of money.
The company paired with 18 top influencers to spread the word about the brand via platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and various blogs.
By relying on influencers to post pictures of Gymshark products and share information about the company (with links to buy), Gymshark was able to reach those influencers' audience of more than 20 million, without needing to rely on traditional tactics like email or PPC.
Here are some unique and smart ways the company was able to harness the power of influencers; these set them apart from other brands:
• Authentic Reviews:
Gymshark used influencers, but allowed the influencers to give audiences their authentic reviews. This helped the brand build credibility and trust with the public.
• Online-to-Offline Pop-Up Experiences:
There's a reason that influencers are powerful: the public likes them and cares what they think. Gymshark harnessed this sense of connection and trust by offering pop-up experiences where fans could meet their influencers in real life. This was a great tactic for making customers feel special and cared for, building brand loyalty and giving them an opportunity to buy in person.
• Unique Referral Links:
Gymshark gave each influencer a unique referral link. Then, they gave the influencer a commission fee each time someone bought from the link. This encouraged the influencers to actively share information about the brand regularly, promoting awareness of the company and encouraging the public to buy.
One other way that Gymshark grew their business was by offering new customers deals and discounts, using coupon sites like ClothingRIC.
By regularly sharing and updating information about sales, coupons, and deals, Gymshark appealed to a millennial audience who wanted to buy but didn't have a lot of spending power.
Ultimately, health and fitness is a lucrative industry to be in right now, if you can rise above the noise. By paying attention to e-commerce two companies who did online marketing right, you can model your promotional efforts after theirs and figure out how to grow your business into a recognizable, thriving brand.