HubSpot’s Marketing Event

3 Vital Lessons We Learned From Attending HubSpot’s Marketing Event

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Nothing beats a good stretch of fresh perspective. Our blog team took a trip for some fresh perspective on the marketing industry and we’re happy to share what we learned with all of you. Take a dive into the marketing world today, join us in our recapand let’s get a new perspective on social media together!

Build Your Client Profiles With Social Media

colorful icon of two people
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform and per its own quarterly report, an average of 50 minutes or more a day is spent on their site per person. So if the average person reads around 200 words in a minute, then an estimate of 10,000 words are read in that 50 minutes a day from Facebook users. That’s more than two chapters of the first Harry Potter or Game of Thrones book!
So, what does this mean? One takeaway is the importance of personalization. If people are taking around an hour a day at minimum to engage in content relevant to their personal lives, then the messages they will want to continue reading should ideally be in line with their established preferences. These preferences can of course always be recorded in a Client Profile for future occasions such as birthdays or client anniversaries, etc.
How can a business tailor their content for personalization? I would say a variety of options never fails to accomplish a personalized experience. For example, if you develop a poll post on social media you can utilize the comments section for that post as an “other” option answer. Not only does this prompt engagement among clients—it also gives them an opportunity to type their message directly to you in their own words rather than selecting an answer.
I also reached out to my boss for her thoughts too!

The average amount of time that people spend per day on Facebook alone is incredibly eye opening to the opportunity it creates to engage with not only clients but attract potential clients as well. The stats learned while participating in Hubspot’s marketing event, further drove home the importance and value of crafting the right message for your audience. One tip I would give anyone looking to utilize this platform for their business would be too often check the built-in analytics to gauge how your content is performing. From there you can easily make informed decisions to tailor your message accordingly.

Great advice! Another insight from social media we learned comes from an out-of-the-box perspective. Because Facebook is so popular, what is the preference for platform access? Do clients prefer a computer, laptop or going mobile? These preferences can very well determine the presentation of your content. For example, video news content on mobile devices is commonly featured with large captions and an option for no audio. For the mobile user who may be quite literally on the go, the video then connects to them in the same way that it would for a user who is stationary. With the captions, there is no need for raising the volume or finding a quieter environment to concentrate because the content is tailored to their situation and therefore instantly digestible.

Communication Makes the Experience

illustration of a letter in an envelope
In a recent article, we mentioned the value of overlooked communications that, while may feel technically dated, can still carry an impact. Examples of these communications include ‘Thank you’ notes and—it may seem a bit contrary to recommend handwritten communication, however, to assume all our clients who use social media and technology don’t enjoy a letter can be a mistake. Not to mention we’re honoring grandpa and grandma each time we sit down and handwrite a letter. Remember that you can always double check your clients profile page under the Customer Relationship Management feature for their contact info as well as any information you have recorded for them. We also encourage watching our online webinar: How to Become A Data-Driven Powerhouse, to ensure the best is being made of your EZFacility account.
You can also start an experience with members by communicating a follow-up. Follow up conversations have become somewhat prominent due to how fast communication has become so email is where to start. Our Email Marketing Tools has hundreds of templates to choose from. If you need a quick brush up on how to make use of email templates, please check our support guide here.
And if you are interested in keeping in touch more than often, the EZFacility Branded App could be your best step of all! A branded app permits clients the ability to have access to your business within their smartphone. With the help of our design team, we will help you visualize the brand identity of your business into an easily accessible app from the symbol to the layout colors. Bigger buttons? You got it! No social media or carousel images? Done and Done! We’re happy to help you sculpt the app to your liking.
illustration of a desktop computer and mobile phone

Self-Service is awesome

Ah, self-service. It can be seen from car rentals, hotel check-ins, gas stations, grocery stores… The list goes on and it won’t stop anytime soon due to the popularity it serves for a pleasant consumer experience. As the saying goes, convenience is king, and with the time saved throughout our day-to-day lives it would benefit more to add Member Self-Service to your time-saving helpers tools. Member Self-Service grants client access that puts them first. They can book sessions, lessons, update their contact info, pay bills, view schedules and cancel appointments online. In addition, you have the power to define requirements for bookings and package classes as well as set restrictions for members with unremitting balances. You may even open self-service to the public—enabling a bigger market audience towards your business. It wouldn’t be self-serve if it didn’t serve both your client and yourself! We welcome you to take a tour of our newly improved feature in our support center.

The Big Game and Your Business.

The Big Game and Your Business.

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The Big Game is almost here and it can really help your business. Yes, that’s absolutely right. As long as you tread extra carefully from using trademarked words such as “Super Bowl”, the Big Game can help improve the status of your business. The idea of celebrating while presenting your business may sound like a huge multitasking feat-but with the help of social media, the idea is a lot easier (and even fun) to accomplish. Here’s how you can get started right away.

Words and Phrases To Use On Social Media Posts: The Big Game, The Big Day, The Big Football Game, Pro Football Championship, American Football, The Game, Football Fun, etc.

Facebook Live is Your TV

A 30 second TV advertisement during the Super Bowl can cost as much as 5 million while videos shared on Facebook can cost a total of nothing. According to Salesforce, 73% of Super Bowl viewers use two devices while watching the game.This allows a wonderful opportunity to use Facebook and its many methods of post engagement, namely Facebook Live. By going candid, clients will be drawn in by a casual aura-and it doesn’t have to be a long video. It could be a 10-second clip of asking gym patrons for a cheer vote of their Pro Football Championship winner.

Twitter is Your Radio

In a statistic run of Twitters activity, audience views during Super Bowl 50 were at 4.3 billion. One way to take advantage of Twitter during the game is through the rotation of play by play tweets known as live tweeting. Note that the The Big Day doesn’t have to be the main event of a live tweeting session, especially if you want to put your business directly in the spotlight and not beside it. Think Budweiser (Yes Really) According to a 2012 study from the  American Veterinary Medical Association, 36.5 percent of the United States population own dogs. It’s possible Budweiser was aware of this when they added a puppy to their iconic Clydesdale in their latest commercial hit. (Fun fact: the Clydesdale was first introduced in 1933 during the end of the Prohibition Era as a method of transportation. As of this time, it is now recognized as a promotional symbol.) It’s important to recognize what Budweiser has done better than other businesses, and that is creating and maintaining a good business icon. The steps to establishing a mascot tend to be costly but with free-to-use social media platforms at your disposal, there’s nothing to lose when you put your pet on camera.

The Power of Food

According to the National Retail Foundation, viewers of Super Bowl 50 spent an average of $82.19 on food, team apparel, and decorations. Another zero cost strategy would be to share a healthy game day recipe on social media. You can even take the project one leap further and post your own how-to video across Facebook and Twitter. If the content resonates with fans, use it for other popular events and holidays. (And congratulations by the way, you got yourself a theme going!) Contests One of the best ways to ensure client engagement on social media is by using the words “contest” or “prizes”. With some imaginative thinking, you can turn the next Big Game into an effortless marketing campaign for your business facility without giving up a single penny.

sporting event fans

Making Special Events a Revenue Stream

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Looking for ways to create a new revenue stream or beef up an existing one? Look no further than the space all around you. It’s all you need in order to pull in earnings over and above what you make through membership dues.

I’m talking about special events. You have the space. Chances are you have open time slots too. Given these, you have the opportunity to invite community groups, families, schools, and anyone else you can think of in for one-off or recurring events. You just need to figure out how to position yourself as the place to call when someone is looking for event space.

From an event planner’s point of view, pricing is probably the top concern. What you can reasonably charge probably depends a lot on where you’re located — there are facilities in Manhattan that charge upwards of $5,000 just for a kid’s birthday party; joints in small towns probably couldn’t get away with quite so much. Do some research and see what the going rates are in your area. Then figure out how little you can afford to charge. I know that sounds anti-intuitive, but the fact is that if your facility’s primary function is to provide lessons, leagues, games, coaching, and the like, maybe you can consider anything that comes in from special events extra. Keeping your fees low can help make you the most appealing place in town.

On a related note, don’t get hung up on providing extras. Keep those fees low by offering the minimum that groups and families need in order to create their own fun: a space. Maybe a space and a couple coaches, some sports equipment. Too many facilities think they’re competing with other kinds of venues that go all out providing decorations, food, entertainment, and the like. You’re not that kind of venue; you’re a sports center or health club with some space to offer. And many event planners want to choose their own extras anyway. If you feel you must offer more, think about devising package plans: space plus extras for those who want a “just-the-facts” option for those who don’t.

But do be sure to offer incentives. Give free passes to classes, practices, and training sessions to event planners; offer them the chance to secure the space a second time for half price. Brainstorm whatever other kinds of incentives might work best for your facility. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to see the event as a marketing opportunity. Ask your event organizers if you can hand out flyers during their events — or, better yet, flyers with coupons attached. Let everyone who comes know what kinds of classes and services you offer. And, most importantly, make sure you are pulling reports on sales of these programs and offers in your club management software.You will want the physical proof of your progress! If you do it right, special events can be more than just a revenue stream — they can bring you new members and clients, too!

Take Advantage of Special Events

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Wandering around among witches, dragons, princesses, and Harry Potters this Halloween, I watched my own little ninja’s jack-o-lantern fill up with various forms of sugar, and I despaired — not at the thought of all the junk food he’d be consuming, because I knew that after a few days the novelty would wear off and he’d forget about it, but at the thought of all the tempting treats that would be sitting in my cabinet over the next couple months. While I’m pretty good at defeating sugar cravings day to day, Halloween candy undoes me. There’s so much of it, it’s all so accessible (when my son’s not looking), and it ignites so many nostalgic childhood pleasures.

That’s why I was grateful for the fitness center employee dressed in a Superman costume (replete with giant, fake muscles — not that he needed them), who was standing on the street corner handing trick-or-treating chaperones coupons for a free cycling class. His mere presence reminded me, first of all, that I needed to keep my eyes on the prize, no matter how many tiny Butterfinger bars my son was collecting; more than that, he lifted from my shoulders the burden of excuses I’d been carrying around. I had wanted to try a cycling class for a long time, but I kept coming up with reasons not to. Now, at a key moment, I was being offered one for free.

What a great idea, I realized. Halloween is a terrific opportunity for a business to rustle up new clients — especially if that business is in the fitness industry. People are out in the streets, there’s a festive atmosphere, and there are a lot of guilt-inducing treats for folks to indulge in. What better time is there to remind people of the benefits of working out, and to give them an opportunity to try your offerings at no charge? Better yet, if you send an employee already scheduled to work for the day out to handle distribution, the cost to you is nothing more than what it takes to print the flyers.

This goes not just for Halloween, but really for any kind of special day: the upcoming cookie-, pie-, and sweets-filled holidays, for sure; a community fair or carnival; even Veteran’s Day. Whenever people are out and about, take advantage of special events and spread the word about what your business offers. And, with fitness, the work you do is always relevant.

That Superman must have pulled in at least a dozen new clients on Halloween — I saw parents and babysitters eagerly reaching out for his handouts. And when I took the free class, I was pretty sure the woman next to me had the same help-I-just-ate-another-mini-Kit-Kat look on her face that I did. I think she and I will both be going back for another class.

What Mothers Really Want

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Mother’s Day is a holiday that always makes me cringe a little bit (and not just because I’ve usually forgotten to send a card to my mom). What I don’t like about it is that it encourages showering mothers with gifts we really, truth be told, don’t need. Flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed? No. What every mother I know truly needs, more than anything else, is time — and, in particular, time to work out.

There are a lot of activities a mother can, and does, learn to do with her children: cleaning the house, cooking, getting groceries, going to the doctor, even completing part-time work. But working out is a different matter. You can run around with your kids, sure, or jog alongside as they ride their bikes, but the focus necessarily is the kids and their needs. In order to get a true, satisfying, fully beneficial workout, a mother needs to go it alone, but daily demands on the schedule often make carving out time impossible.

What can your gym do to help? The best thing would be providing childcare for the length of a class or workout session. If this is an option for your facility, consider giving your clients who are mothers a voucher for a free or discounted babysitting session this Mother’s Day. If you don’t have the capacity to provide childcare, how about making available class packages that never expire (allowing mothers, for example, to purchase ten classes but not specifying that those classes must be used in a month or six months or some other period of time). You might also consider offering more classes during school hours. I love my gym, but it offers most classes in the morning, when I need to work, and in the evenings, when I’m home with my son. What I long for is yoga or Pilates or cycling at 2 p.m. — but between the hours of 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. there are generally very few choices.

One of the reasons I feel strongly about the need to make it easy for mothers to get to the gym is that mothers are particularly susceptible to unhealthy habits. We gulp down a few quick bites on the run, or we grab pizza because it’s what our kids our eating (but our bodies sure don’t process the pizza like our kids’ bodies do). We take care of everyone else and forget to take care of ourselves. We prioritize household chores over working out.

Caitlin Moran, a comedian, writer, and feminist thinker, points out another, more serious problem that many women who are caretakers face: “Overeating is the addiction of choice among carers,” she writes in her excellent book How to Be a Woman. “… It’s a way of [messing] yourself up while still remaining fully functional, because you have to…, [of] slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone.” It’s true: a lot of women who overeat do it because the stress of being a “carer” drives them to seek some kind of outlet, but a kind that won’t cause dramatic trauma, as a drug or alcohol addiction might. For such mothers, the ability to work out would make a world of difference. Your facility can help by helping them find the time to focus on fitness.

Keeping Up-to-Date in Your Industry

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It’s been over a week since we attended the Club Industry show, and it got us thinking about how important it is to be present at these sorts of industry events. While it produces significant leads for us, it also serves as an ideal avenue to connect face to face with some of our clients. It’s great to receive feedback from our current clients and not to mention the fact that this is the perfect opportunity to answer many questions they may have. Furthermore, we’re always connecting with others in the industry leading us to form great partnerships that benefit not only us, but our own clients as well.

That being said, we encourage you to take part in industry events and shows. You’ll have the opportunity to not only exchange ideas with your fellow fitness colleagues but become inspired by what others in the industry are doing as well. Being a part of these types of events is also important in order to stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry. While it’s vital to stay true to your own business model, it’s just as vital to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of consumers. You’ll find that just by intermingling with them, you can learn how to roll with the punches and stay relevant.

Gaining industry knowledge will serve in helping you improve your business and better service your customers. In the end, keeping up with your industry’s evolution is essential to being successful in today’s business world. Stay on top of it and later enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Some of the major upcoming industry events include:

  • Athletic Business Conference & Expo – December 1-3, 2011
  • IHRSA 31st Annual International Convention & Trade Show – March 14-17, 2012
  • NIRSA Annual Conference and Recreational Sports Exposition – March 27-30, 2012
  • United States Indoor Sports Association’s 2012 Facility Operators Conference & Trade Show – June 11-14, 2012

Check back often for more ideas and tips and we’ll hopefully see some of you at these events!