Content Marketing Trends in the Fitness Industry

content marketing fitness industry

The fitness industry is a unique market unlike any other, dominating the content marketing world. And for good reason — who would actually go to a gym without constant encouragement? If you’re trying to compete in this segment, you’re going to face stiff competition. What worked well in 2017 might not be as effective in 2018, meaning that if you want to survive, you’ll need to update your game. Stay atop the metaphorical scoreboard by using the following tips for content marketing for the fitness industry.

Utilize Popular Keywords and Topics

To stay relevant in the fitness industry, you’ll need to have a good grasp of the overall trends. For 2018, this means several things, but most importantly, the continued popularity of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT has been a big part of the fitness scene since 2014, and it once again took the top spot in a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine on 2018 fitness trends. Group training, wearables, bodyweight training, and strength training were also in the top five, so any variation of these keywords is sure to curate interest and bring hits to your site. Other words in the top 10 include:

  • Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
  • Yoga
  • Personal training
  • Fitness programs for older adults
  • Functional fitness

Some keywords to avoid? Worksite health promotion, exercise apps, and outcome measures all dropped out of the top 20.

To make the most of these keywords, use as many variations as possible in both your content and your hashtags. Using them thoroughly in the content will help search engines pick up your content and rank it higher, while using hashtags will help users locate your content directly on social media sites. Plus, users will be far more willing to read and share content that is relevant and interesting to them.

Promote a Lifestyle

To see results at the gym, you need to do more than just lift weights. Much of the change comes from choices outside the gym, such as eating well and getting enough sleep. Many people don’t realize this, so it’s important to educate them on how a healthy lifestyle works rather than just posting pictures of your new gym equipment.

You might want to create nutrition guides, offer workout tips, and even provide educational articles of the importance of sleep. Answer your readers’ questions and provide how-to content that will guide them in the correct direction. Make your brand more than just a gym, but rather, an entire wellness repository.

One way to promote a healthy lifestyle? Use social media, and lots of it. For example, Instagram and Snapchat stories are hugely popular ways to convey a series of posts throughout the day. Since 81 percent of Millennials said they wanted to exercise in a survey conducted by Nielsen in 2014 (compared to only 61 percent of Boomers), focusing on social media is a good way to target them. You might want to post stories about meal prep, before and after fitness classes, or even do a mini fashion show of some workout clothes.

One way to promote a healthy lifestyle? Use social media, and lots of it. Tweet This!

Use and Talk About Real People

The average person does not look like a bodybuilder who spends hours at the gym. In fact, most of the people you’re trying to reach probably haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years, meaning they’ll have a healthy pooch belly. So why would you use images and descriptions of fitness professionals when marketing your gym?

Sure, providing fit bodies pumping iron does offer some sort of motivation for out-of-shape newbies. But it’s also extremely intimidating. Newcomers might be afraid to try your gym because it looks too intense or they think they’ll be fat shamed for showing up. In fact, a study of 2,000 people found that 49 percent of Americans avoided the gym because they felt too intimidated about going. Even worse, 56 percent feared they’d look out of place because they weren’t as fit as others there.

Therefore, try to be as real as possible when it comes to creating content. Avoid using stock images of models lifting weights; ask your customers if you can photograph them during their workout instead. Rather than writing articles on diet plans from famous celebrities, poll your gym members and see what kind of diets they follow. Be as real as possible, and people will start to take notice.

Take Advantage of Influencers

Another big trend in the overall content marketing industry? Influencers. These are people that you pay to promote your brand on their personal social media accounts. This all ties back into the desire for authenticity. People are tired of getting force-fed messages from corporate brands. They want to see how a product or service will affect them on a personal level — and getting recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues is a great way to ease their uncertainty about a product.

When seeking out influencers, don’t just look for people with huge amounts of followers. Instead, find people who share the same values and lifestyle you’re trying to promote. They don’t necessarily need to be fit Instagram models, but rather, people who enjoy working out and who others would trust with a recommendation. Provide them with content to share, but also allow them to put their own spin on it, otherwise it will just seem like a paid promotion. Overall, the goal should be collaboration and partnership — not employer and employee.

Market Through Podcasts

Not everyone can have a strong written content game. Luckily, for the fitness industry, this isn’t as detrimental, as there are plenty of other ways to reach your customers. One of the biggest is through podcast marketing. One study found that 40 percent of exercises listen to podcasts on a regular basis, so this is a huge market to tap into.

Prepare short and succinct ad copy and reach out to popular podcasts to see if they’d be willing to air your advertisment in the sponsored section of the show. It’s a good way to promote limited-time deals. Better yet, you can reach out to podcasts airing in your geographic area to concentrate specifically on garnering local customers.

Can’t find a podcast to partner with? Create your own! Have your personal trainers give tips, interview gym members, and even have a FAQ section that tackles common fitness myths. Plan to release episodes weekly or monthly on a consistent basis for the best effect.

Content marketing for the fitness industry doesn’t have to be a mystery. As long as you understand your audience and the ways to reach them, you should have no problem attracting new customers to your business. Most of all, be authentic in your approach and cognizant of current fitness trends, and your marketing efforts will earn you the results you crave.

And if you’re looking for a writer to help you reach your goals? Check out some of WriterAccess’s most popular fitness writers!


Passionate, collective, and creative, Kristy S is a professional writer looking to expand her horizons. With an extensive background in creative writing, Kristy S. bring ingenuity and uniqueness to all her projects. Previous work experience writing hundreds of informative articles, journalistic pieces, and marketing copy gives her the qualities and characteristics required to bring clients superior work.


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