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What are the best marketing and advertising ideas to promote your gym?

Updated: Nov 13, 2023


A man shouting in a loud speaker

The best fitness marketing and advertising ideas for helping to promote your gym are the ones that work for you. If you work in a small town, your strategy will differ from someone working in a busy city. If there is a lot of competition in your area, you will need to market yourself more aggressively than if there is little competition.


Offline Marketing Strategies for Gyms

Free but time-consuming

  1. Join local online fitness forums and answer people's questions honestly and without judgment. In a short amount of time, you’ll become a trusted member of the community and be seen as the fitness studio that really knows what they're doing.

  2. Offer a free 7-day gym pass. It's the same as giving a sample in the supermarket.

  3. Run a month-long challenge. Make a fitness program to help people change themselves to meet a mini-goal in a month. It’ll bring in people who are getting ready to commit to a gym and see yours as the gym they know. It also brings foot traffic to the gym so that everyone can see just how busy it is!

  4. If you are able to offer a free individual meal plan then you’ll already be helping your client to lose weight. What else do they need to do once they have committed to eating better? Why a gym membership of course!

  5. Offer a free personal trainer session and let people see exactly what they’ll be paying for. The one-on-one commitment shown should convince them immediately.

Cheap but effective

Man and woman hanging posters
  1. Print up some colorful but still basic pamphlets and hand them out at public events. Focus on being their local gym.

  2. As a small gym focus on the idea of personalized service, whilst still keeping professional and not giving away anything you can sell.

  3. Make a competition that appeals to your target audience, define the entry criteria, and publicize it. The first thing you'll need is a prize or "incentive," which should be something that will make participating in the competition (and giving away their phone number or email address) worthwhile. If you own a gym, the best thing you can give away is a membership; whether you offer a free month or year is entirely up to you. Then you must specify the entry criteria. Because our goal is to collect potential members' contact information, you should consider requiring an email address or phone number (or both) in order to enter.

  4. Contact old members as soon as you can. The world has changed since COVID and people now look at gyms differently. Many people miss the camaraderie of a gym environment as well as missing the more expensive or large equipment they couldn’t put in their home gym. A rejoining offer can be anything from a 10% discount to a pair of sneakers and a branded water bottle.


Online Marketing Strategies for Gyms

Ads on mobile devices

Create a website that at least has your image, phone number, and location. This is the only place people can interact with you before they actually come to the gym so do not be afraid to not only invest time and energy in it, but make sure you are happy with the design before going live.


Online advertising with Google or Facebook is a cheap way of getting in front of your audience and bringing them to your website.


Instead of just advertising to everyone within 15 miles of your gym, maybe advertise specific programs to specific audiences. The over-65s might appreciate a class earlier in the day, young mothers might prefer a class after school drop-off, and so on.


Mix up the images you use, and try to make them as real as possible. We can all tell when the grinning person on the static bike is a model or a real person.


Write a small blog with thoughts and ideas on fitness to be seen as a knowledgeable person on that subject.



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