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Mastering Online Fitness Marketing: A Quick Guide

August 23, 2023
tim saye

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Navigating online fitness marketing for your business, whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned professional seeking a review, can undoubtedly present considerable hurdles.

Whether you're stepping into the arena for the first time or seeking a fresh perspective, join us as we look at practical steps to construct a robust online fitness marketing strategy.

1. Understanding the online fitness landscape

The online fitness sector continues its upward path, with personal trainers progressively embracing digital platforms, such as personal trainer software in addition to traditional face-to-face interactions.

This shift, sped up by post-pandemic issues, is driven by three core factors: heightened health and fitness awareness, the surge in remote work, and the continual evolution of efficient online tools for fitness service delivery.

Key trends and behaviors

Examine the key trends and behaviors shaping your industry; this will inform your initial online fitness marketing approach and feed into your strategy on an ongoing basis. Here are some current trends to consider:

  • The popularity of wearables
  • The use of VR for immersive fitness experiences
  • A focus on wellbeing and mindfulness
  • Clients increasingly look for specialized experts
  • Clients still want to be part of a community, even at home
Opportunities and challenges

Delivering fitness services online presents its opportunities and challenges. Try and identify as many as you can to help you avoid pitfalls and maximize advantages. Sometimes, a challenge can be directly answered by an opportunity:

Challenge: There’s a lot of competition online

Opportunity: Use your expertise to offer specialist services

Challenge: Trust can be an issue when operating online rather than face-to-face

Opportunity: It’s easier than ever to get certification (and online reviews)

2. Defining your target audience

The next step is to identify and understand who you are directing your services at (your target audience) to effectively create an online fitness marketing plan.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s essential to have a clear idea of who you’re aiming to reach:

  • It enables you to tailor your subject matter to their interests and needs
  • It helps you find the right tone for communications
  • It gives you insight into the kind of offers they might respond to
  • It helps you to determine where you are likely to find them
  • It informs your keyword research

Here’s a synopsis of our step-by-step guide to identifying them:

  1. Pin down exactly what you’re offering – what services can you offer that will play to your strengths and give you the edge?
  2. Research competitors and trends – can you find gaps in provision, and spot opportunities in current trends?
  3. Analyze all of your data – examine the metrics of your online visitors and look for commonalities
  4. Talk to current, past and potential clients – find out more about who your typical clients are, their interests and preferences
  5. Define your ideal audience and create personas – use all of the above to help you visualize characters when planning marketing activities.

3. Building a solid online presence

You can start building your online presence by establishing the landscape your fitness business sits within and the market you want to target. There are several elements to this:

Create a website

This should look professional, be easy to use, and optimized for SEO. You could use an agency to design a site for you, use one of the many online tools available to design your own or create a simple branded site using PT Distinction’s mini-site feature.

Leverage social media

Set up business accounts on the social media platforms that are most used by your target audience. Use these platforms to engage with your audience and build brand awareness.

Use content to showcase your expertise

Create a plan for your website and social media channels to keep them updated with content that showcases your expertise (e.g. blog posts, videos, and podcasts).

4. Developing engaging content

Once you’re all set up online, plan how you’ll create engaging content on an ongoing basis and what form it will take. Different channels lend themselves to different types of content:

Blog posts

Typically hosted on your website, blog posts are a good way of sharing detailed information that your followers will find valuable. Concentrate on subjects that you’re knowledgeable about, eg, nutrition, and motivation.


There are all kinds of ways that you could use this increasingly popular medium to engage with your target audience, for example, by making exercise demos or whole workout routines or asking clients to upload video testimonials.

Social media posts

These are great for more bite-sized pieces of content, such as fitness tips, behind-the-scenes glimpses, sharing achievements, and flagging up offers or events (more on social media marketing in point 5 below).


Also growing in popularity, podcasts can be a effective medium for showcasing your expertise and reaching a wider audience.

Put together a plan based on your strengths, the needs of your target audience, and the types of content you want to focus on.

5. Social media marketing for fitness businesses

Social media planning is a major component of any marketing strategy; it’s one of the key mechanisms for building your brand and engaging with your target audience.

First, decide which platforms to use; your market research will inform this. For online fitness businesses, you could be looking at Facebook (good for building communities), Instagram (good for attracting lifestyle followers), and YouTube (good for showcasing expertise).

It’s certainly worth considering other platforms, particularly if you have identified a niche market that uses them.

When setting up on social media, take some time to optimize your profiles so that they are professional, relevant, searchable, and consistent.

Create a posting schedule to keep your accounts current and set regular time aside for engaging with your followers. Consider paid advertising options to target specific audiences and boost your visibility.

6. Harnessing the power of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is when businesses partner with social media influencers to promote their brand; these people have a solid following and are considered experts in their field.

It’s about tapping into the trust between the influencers and their followers; their endorsement can carry a lot of weight, giving you credibility and extending your reach.

This type of marketing is a good match for the fitness industry, focusing on aspiration and lifestyle choices. However a word of caution, just because someone has thousands of followers does not mean that partnering with them will help.

A word of caution. Choose influencers that you know have followers that are related to your fitness niche. This way you will know you are able to reach your target audience.

7. Analyzing and optimizing your marketing efforts

You can put together the most impressive-looking marketing strategy, but unless you keep track of outcomes,, you’ll have no idea if it’s working. Therefore, a key part of your plan should be regularly monitoring key metrics to check for effectiveness. These are likely to include things like:

  • Web stats – how much traffic do you get, where does it come from?
  • Social media analytics – who is following you, what do they engage with?
  • Email responses – are people opening your emails, what actions do they take?

Set meaningful goals and assess progress. Depending on what kind of website you have, which social media platforms you’re on, and what email software you use.

Analytics are usually built in, but there are also tools available that can consolidate some of this analysis, for example, Hootsuiteenables you to monitor (as well as manage) all of your social media accounts in one place.

Analysis is just one part of this exercise; the other is applying your findings to optimize your marketing efforts. It’s an ongoing process whereby you plan your strategy, implement it, analyze the results, and tweak activities accordingly.

This article has given you a good introduction to online fitness marketing strategies. With plenty of research, careful planning, and a robust monitoring process, you should be in a strong position to effectively promote your online personal training business.

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