Fitness Content Marketing Top Trends – Anastasia Dyakovskaya

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For professional and would-be athletes alike, working out is often more mental than physical.

From building regular workouts into your routine to believing you can accomplish the goals you set for yourself, your inner thoughts and feelings play a part in every aspect of your physical fitness.

That’s why content marketing is so important for the health and wellness industry. The right kind of storytelling has the potential to inspire and motivate, drive people to perform their best, and build close-knit communities of like-minded enthusiasts.

Here’s how some of today’s leading fitness brands are using content marketing to get audiences pumped and eager for every workout:

Investing in business-building blogs 

These days, it’s nothing new to find magazine-quality editorial from brands across industries, and the fitness category is no different. One look at the likes of Furthermore, Equinox’s publishing arm, run by a team of former Condé Nast editors, confirms this, and sets the bar for others to follow, with standout stories and stunning visuals.

But fitness companies are finding that there’s value in using content marketing to achieve other business goals beyond consumer sales. And that’s where some of our favorite brands come into play.

Take the iconic athletic brand Adidas.

Its digital magazine puts an HR spin on the fitness-driven lifestyle by addressing a challenge that most athletes face: How can you best leverage your athletic mindset in the workplace?

“Tackling work life with an athlete’s heart,” Adidas’ GamePlan A blog strives to engage current and future members of its workforce (as well as athletically minded employees elsewhere) with content that focuses on work-life balance, better business practices, and workplace wisdom. The goal: to build a strong company culture and attract and retain employees.

Articles and videos garner eager readers and viewers by the thousands, piquing interests with topics like “Yoga – The Secret to Finding Your Flow in the Workplace,” “Women Talk – Giving Positive Female Leadership a Global Voice,” and “The Secret Behind Our Habits – 3 Learnings from Successful Athletes,” which has achieved 15,000 views since early January.

Then there’s ClassPass, the service that provides members with access to dozens of fitness studios in their areas. ClassPass offers The Warm Up, a consumer blog that features your standard workout and wellness tips. But it’s After Class, the company’s B2B publication that targets gyms and workout studios, that really shines.

Aesthetically speaking, it’s cutting edge, and conceptually, it is, too. Branded as a “partner empowerment” blog, the platform splits itself into topics covering Marketing, Expansion, Operations, Class Experience, and Resources – in short, everything a gym or fitness studio owner needs to know. But it’s also “a community for fitness studios to connect with and learn from each other,” according to the site’s About page. And, “with a wealth of revenue-driving knowledge… as well as spotlights on emerging trends and top-tier studios and instructors, After Class is [a] go-to resource for timely industry news,” curated for those that matter most to the brand.

After all, without all those participating businesses, where would ClassPass members go?

Ask yourself: What audiences can you use content marketing to engage beyond your primary target market? 

Cultivating authentic, inspired social media communities

Social media provides a virtual alternate reality, right in the palm of anyone’s hand. That’s what makes the platforms so perfect for fitness-focused storytelling. You won’t break a sweat while scrolling through Instagram or Facebook posts, but the right content and a strong, supportive community might just make you want to.

Community has been an essential part of Barry’s Bootcamp, since long before the invention of social media. “Back in 1998, every instructor knew your name, your dog, your daughter, everybody; it was like ‘Cheers,’” says CEO Joey Gonzalez. And “we’ve really tried to preserve that through the years.”

Today, however, continued growth does depend on social – at least in part. And for Barry’s, “our community is a huge driver for bringing in new customers,” Gonzalez told Forbes last fall. On Instagram, a supportive yet playful tone welcomes users and puts them at ease, while inspirational yet real-life posts motivate them to do more.

305 Fitness has found similar success on Instagram, but with the help of influencers, as well. The “rave-meets-workout” dance cardio classes make for perfect social fodder, where simple scrolling can suddenly lead to a heart-thumping would-be workout.

“The classes are so fun and upbeat that influencers really want to capture that energy, and Stories allow them the chance to do that,” says Mae Karwowski, Founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency Obviously.

What’s more, Karwowski says, “305 Fitness has been very savvy about using the platform to gameify the influencer experience, allowing them to unlock more classes and perks by choosing to post more. It creates a positive feedback loop between the creator and the brand and keeps them coming back. And because the brand has developed such a creative way to reward influencers for using Stories, they’re getting a ton of really awesome content. That leads to people seeing those posts and wondering how they can get involved as well, because it looks like so much fun. And it feels very authentic, because it is.” 

Ask yourself: How can you encourage your audience to tell stories on social media that inspire others to share and to get moving? 

Serving content via connected devices

In 2018, we no longer consume content solely on our phones, tablets, and laptop computers. No, these days, modern technology means that content can live in many other places.

Companies like Peloton and Mirror deliver new, proprietary workout experiences via revolutionary devices, right into customers’ homes. And unlike those Zumba and yoga DVDs collecting dust in closets across America, this is the start of an in-home exercise routine that people really want – even need – to do.

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The 12 hours of live video Peloton streams per day is broadcast to homes across the country, providing a consistent array of fun, always-new workouts to those who prefer to train in the comfort of their living rooms. But with close-up shots of instructors shouting out personalized messages to subscribers, along with live data that shows how you measure up to other riders in the same virtual class, the experience is immersive enough to feel like you’re right there in the midst of the action.

Creating voice-activated content 

Somehow seemingly much less high-tech in comparison, though impressive nonetheless, voice-activated content is another trend we’re seeing in the wellness space this year. Brands like Fitbit and Headspace have incorporated Alexa Skills into their offerings, an extension that works with Amazon’s popular virtual assistant and that can be enabled for free with countless existing and soon-to-be applications.

With a simple, “Alexa, open Headspace,” users can choose from a range of commands that take them through their meditations or help them begin to wind down for bed. Likewise, with Alexa’s FitBit skill, subscribers can check in on their daily stats, sleep patterns, and other fitness goals.

Both brands still have a ways to go in matching user expectations, but what matters is that they’re already at it, experimenting in the speech recognition space. Time waits for no one, and neither does tech. Will your company rise to the occasion and take advantage of all of the tools available to our trade? If you want to stand out and succeed, you know what to do. And for those techies who just can’t wait to feel the burn? Try saying, “Alexa, start 7-Minute Workout,” and see what happens.

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How to Introduce Content Marketing to Other Business Functions – Gaby Tama

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In this infographic series, we share the top five trends that will shape content marketing in 2018, as well as key tactics for implementing them into your program to drive the results that matter most to your company. Here’s how to introduce content marketing to other business functions.

Content is key to any company’s success. And as more companies of all sizes realize the impact contact marketing can have on their businesses, they’re increasingly adopting its strategies. From boosting brand awareness to driving leads, sales, and operational efficiencies, content marketing can result in substantial ROI.

Which is why content marketing is moving out of the marketing realm and into all areas of the business.

Consider how a content marketing strategy could benefit your human resources department. In the same way that content marketing is used to target buyers or customers, it can also be deployed to attract and retain top talent. In planning your next recruitment campaign, consider incorporating a full-funnel content marketing strategy to deliver content that engages your target pool of prospective candidates and eventually gets them to apply.

Bloomberg L.P. shows us what’s possible by using content marketing to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. The Bloomberg D&I blog features a vast array of articles that highlight the company’s commitment to an inclusive workplace. Anyone who visits the blog can gain a clear understanding of where Bloomberg stands on pertinent D&I issues, and how that stance manifests throughout the entire organization.

A curated, culture-focused blog of this sort could ultimately be what motivates a curious job seeker to fill out an application, or an undecided candidate to accept an offer.

Content marketing can drive business-oriented solutions in all areas of your company, not just your HR department. In the infographic below, we share our tips on how to introduce content marketing to other business functions:

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Visual Content Marketing: Why It Matters and How It Differs from Content Writing – Aby Nicole League

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Content is king in digital marketing, with written words still ruling today. But a content marketing trend has become so mainstream it’s hard to ignore its value: visual content.

No wonder Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social networks worldwide. Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest are also catching up. Visual elements like images and videos dominate these social media channels, with some of them getting viral.

All-text-without-visuals is a thing of the past—visuals reign in content marketing nowadays. For your campaigns to stay relevant to the times and your audience’s ever-changing needs, beef them up with the right mix of text and visuals.

Why You Need a Visual Content Strategy

Let’s define first what it means to integrate visuals into a content marketing strategy.

In visual content marketing, you use images, videos, infographics, memes, or other types of visual content (may be accompanied by informative or inspirational text) for your marketing campaigns. Visuals come in an appealing, engaging format to entice people to visit your website, know your brand better, or buy your product or service.

Content marketing becomes successful with the use of well-designed visuals. According to PR Daily, visual content gets viewed 94% times more than content without any visuals.

Marketers see the valuable impact of visual content on growing their business. In the 2018 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study, B2C marketers chose pre-produced videos (45%) and illustrations or photos (29%) as among the most effective content marketing types for meeting their company’s specific goals.

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In the future, visual content will still be the bread and butter of both B2C and B2B content marketing campaigns. Marketers plan to use more pre-recorded videos (77%), images (68%), and live videos (63%), according to a 2018 Social Media Examiner report.

If your peers in the digital marketing industry can do it, so can you. Here are four specific ways a visual content strategy can help you achieve your business objectives.

  1. Raising brand awareness

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners— they can retain information better with images, videos, and other visuals than with written words.

Additionally, the Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2018 survey found that 83% of consumers who have watched a branded video would consider sharing it with their friends. More shares mean more visibility for your brand.

Want your audience to remember your brand? Use visual content to increase your brand recognition and recall. For one, you can put a watermark of your brand logo in all the visual assets you use online. When an image gets viral, people can easily associate that with your brand.

Check your company website or e-commerce site, as well as your landing pages. Are they just static? Make your brand easier to remember by updating them with compelling photos, videos, and other visuals. Just don’t overdo it.

  1. Increasing website traffic

By 2021, videos will account for 82% of all consumer Internet traffic worldwide, based on the latest forecast by the Cisco Visual Networking Index.

Video production costs a lot of money, but it’s a necessary investment to attract more people to your website. If you hesitate to make videos a part of your content marketing strategy due to budget concerns, consider how much your business will lose in terms of website traffic. Videos have been the rage these days—embrace it.

  1. Engaging customers through visual storytelling

Adding visuals to written content makes your content marketing campaigns more interesting and keeps your audience engaged. Rather than having long blocks of text, for instance, several images that break them up makes your content easier for people to skim and digest.

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According to BuzzSumo data, Facebook posts with images had 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Meanwhile, including images to Twitter updates resulted in 150% more retweets than plain text updates.

Visual content also helps you to keep your site visitors on your landing page. This raises the click-through rates to other parts of your website and the visitor’s engagement with your brand.

Why do people prefer to engage with visual content? With just an image that resonates with your audience, you can elicit joy, sadness, shock, fear or anger. That’s how powerful visual storytelling is.

  1. Improving conversion rates

Ultimately, higher brand awareness, site traffic, and customer engagement from a successful visual content marketing strategy can all lead to increased lead generation and sales.

Video content, for example, is a key driver in the buyer’s journey. The 2018 Wyzowl Video Marketing Statistics Report notes that video has become “a decisive factor” that convinces consumers to purchase or download a product or piece of software.

The report found that a brand’s video influences 81% of viewers to buy a product or service. Also, 95% of people learn more about a product or service by watching an explainer video.

How is Visual Content Marketing Different from Content Writing?

Visual content creation and content writing aren’t mutually exclusive. Together with content planning and promotion, these critical parts make up the content marketing process.

Nevertheless, it helps to know the differences between the two types of content, so you can better strategize your campaigns.

  1. Visual content gets your message across faster

The human brain processes visuals in its visual cortex, a less busy and faster part that’s separate from the busier section that processes words. This is why it’s faster and easier to understand, for instance, a cooking instruction through a video rather than text.

  1. Visuals are easier to remember

Images, videos, and other visuals are processed in the brain’s long-term memory, while words are processed in the short-term memory. When people read text-based information, only 10% to 20% of it gets retained. Add a picture to a written information, and people will recall 65% of it.

  1. Creating visuals is harder than content writing, but not as hard as you think it is

It takes a specialized skill set to produce a stunning infographic or educational video. But even if you’re not a designer, you can still create great visuals. A lot of online visual content marketing tools can help you easily edit images, create memes, and animated GIFs, convert PowerPoint slides to video files, and more.

  1. They’re suitable for different business-customer relationships

Should you use more text or more visuals in your content marketing campaigns? It depends on whether you’re marketing to consumers or to other businesses.

B2C marketers prefer visual content over textual content. The 2018 B2C Content Marketing Report shows that most B2C marketers use pre-produced videos (76%), illustrations or photos (67%), and infographics (59%).

On the other hand, B2B marketers use text-based content more than their B2C counterparts do. According to the 2018 B2B report, B2B marketers use case studies (73%) and ebooks or white papers (71%). Additionally, most B2B marketers said ebooks or white papers (62%) and case studies (47%) were the most effective content marketing type.

Moreover, blogging is more important to B2B (36%) than B2C (22%) marketing, found a recent study by the Social Media Examiner. Meanwhile, more B2C marketers (36%) see the importance of visual content than B2B marketers (25%). 

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.