The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) estimates that 1 out of every 5 Americans is a member of at least one fitness studio. The health club industry recorded a 7.8% growth in revenue between 2017-18. There are more than 39,500 fitness businesses in the United States. In such a hyper-competitive market the question is “How does a fitness business differentiate themselves?”
Fitness marketers are scouting marketing technologies that can help them do that. Technologies such as beacons, QR codes, and NFC are amongst the top contenders for technology-driven marketing. From top brands to young start-ups these technologies are being adopted by many. In this blog, we’ll focus on QR codes and how they can be used to market a fitness business and differentiate offerings from the competition. From sharing fitness routines to advertising discounted memberships, there are many use cases for QR code marketing for the fitness industry. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is a QR code?
Organizations have long used QR codes to deliver product information with ease. Now marketers are using QR codes in innovative ways. From redirecting to specific landing pages to initiating calls, emails, in-app interactions, pdfs, messages. QR codes are being adopted by marketing professionals and consumers alike.
According to Statista, the number of US households that scanned QR codes in 2018 was 9.76 million. The study projects that by 2020 there would be 11 million households that scan QR codes on a daily basis.
A QR code is a type of 2D matrix barcode that can be linked to a website, location, landing page, pdf, audio/video, call, SMS, email, and plain text. Consumers that scan the QR code are redirected to the online resource. There are many free QR code generators in the market. Most of them let users create QR codes that link to a specific URL, share contact information, or promote specific user actions. Fitness businesses can print QR codes are of two types:
- Static QR code: A QR code that can be linked to a single online resource. These QR codes cannot be changed or edited. Marketing material with static QR codes can only be used for one marketing campaign.
- Dynamic QR code: As the name suggests, dynamic QR codes can change its online destination. Marketing material with dynamic QR codes can be used to showcase different marketing campaigns.
How can I promote my fitness business using QR Codes?
There are many ways that QR codes can benefit fitness marketers. For example, a customized landing page can lead consumers to a virtual tour of the fitness facility. While organizing events QR codes can collect post-event feedback through forms, QR codes can be a vital tool for integrating online marketing with offline experiences.
Let’s take a look at a few ways QR codes can be used in fitness marketing:
Attracting new members
For example, while planning to market a new membership plan businesses can create QR codes that lead directly to the membership page. Traditionally, you would only share information about new plans but to actually sign up for them the consumer would have to visit your gym or look for the membership page online.
With QR codes marketers directly lead potential customers to the membership page and increase the chance of converting. An ideal location to place QR codes is a call-to-action element that is visible and scannable from a distance. The idea is to make the QR code easily accessible.
When strategically placed there is no limit to the number of ways of engaging consumers. Fitness videos, tutorials, testimonials, a fitness marketer can use a lot of different ways to entice consumers and make them sign up for a membership.
Promoting/Announcing gym events
Fitness centers regularly conduct events such as wellness programs, yoga camps, and meditation sessions. These are effective ways of establishing the fitness business as a thought leader in the industry. Marketing yoga and mind wellness camps using QR codes can be effective. QR codes can lead to sign-up forms, landing pages or call actions to book a seat at a yoga camp. It will also serve as a count for how many people are attending the event. QR codes can effectively contribute to the marketing funnel and generate MQLs regularly.
Promoting events and garnering participation can become cost-effective using QR codes. It takes less than a minute to create QR codes, and the same can be printed and distributed in bulk. Businesses can collect information such as the number of scans and scan location and pinpoint localities to target in future campaigns. In a way, QR codes not only work as a bridge between offline interactions and online experiences but also provide data and analytics to guide future marketing campaigns.
Improving offline user experiences
QR codes can be used to educate customers. QR codes linked to educational pdfs will serve as a source of information to learn how to use particular equipment. It could distribute exercise manuals that help consumers practice the most effective ways to exercise improving the overall experience for members and helping them achieve results from daily exercises.
They can also be used to share nutritional facts, diet plans, interesting facts about fitness, mind, and body in general. QR codes make a fitness facility interactive and enable businesses to offer technology-driven consumer experiences. Rather than a few trainers struggling to provide individual attention to every customer. With a little help from QR codes, their job would be to supervise and manage them.
Sports clubs and gyms can use QR codes to increase their social media following. QR codes can be linked to social media pages that direct customers to Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or Facebook pages. Consumers today identify well with organizations that have a healthy online presence. Word of mouth has turned into the word of share nowadays.
Users share posts, offers, and social media pages. Make your offline content shareable across online platforms using QR codes that link to social media pages. Encourage members to scan and post/share on social media. Increase your social media presence by gathering social mentions and shares for posts.
How to create QR codes
Select a suitable QR code generator
An ideal QR code generator is a software that allows you to create, design, customize, and track QR codes. The QR code generator of your choice should let you create static and dynamic QR codes. It should come with a dashboard that tracks and collects analytic data for the QR codes created.
Dynamic or static which QR code to create?
An important decision in QR code marketing is to choose the type of QR code you create. A static QR code is ideal for single use-cases. For example, a QR code to be featured in flyers should ideally be a static QR code. Consumers will most probably discard the flyer after scanning the QR code once. Whereas a QR code that is to be fitted onto machines should be a dynamic QR code. This way fitness marketers can use the same QR code to showcase multiple marketing campaigns without changing the QR code printed.
Generating QR code
To generate a QR code select the type of online resource to be linked to the QR code and enter the details. A few common types of resources that QR codes can be linked to are: websites, landing pages, social media channels, app download links, location shares, plain text, and contact information. Once you have entered the online resource its time to design and customize.
Designing and customizing QR codes
Once the QR code generator and QR code type are selected the next step is to design and customize them. QR codes can be designed by adding colors, background images, and company logos in them. A fitness business can match the QR code design with the company branding to generate recall value with every scan.
QR codes can also be customized to give them a certain uniqueness. Essential elements such as eye frames, eyeball colors, shapes, as well as inside patterns can be modified as per the fitness brand. All of these features further point to the importance of selecting a QR code generator with the best features in earlier steps.
Save/print QR code
Depending upon whether the QR code is supposed to be used separately or as an element its time to save your QR code in a suitable format. The most commonly available formats are jpegs and png. While there are a few QR code generators that offer the ability to save QR codes in SVG format.
Integrating QR codes to marketing needs is a task that should be done with finesse and expertise. While integrating marketers must ensure that the content used for campaigns is engaging and informative. It is important that QR codes add value to every interaction with consumers. Fitness businesses should create content that resonates with users and gives them a reason to interact with the QR code. They should identify the target consumer segment and create QR code campaigns that target them for maximum benefits. When tactfully integrated these QR codes can be a source of credible consumer insights that can act as inputs for future campaigns.
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