The captive audience in your gym is a valuable asset, and digital signage can help you make the most of it. If you are currently treating your resident runners, rowers and riders to a view of a music video station, a static poster or, even worse, a blank wall, you are missing out on a whole host of opportunities to entertain and motivate them, promote your brand and even monetise your digital offerings.
Digital signage software has moved on a great deal in the past few years, so you can be a lot more in control of what is delivered and when to your customers via those displays. Repetitive content and advertising messages are likely to infuriate, but a personalised playlist of easily accessible varied digital content can encourage engagement and make your customers feel you know them as a person.
Make it useful
As well as providing the usual choices of TV and music entertainment, your gym-goers should be able to get access to training guides for the machine they are using. These could include introduction videos, suggested routines, or videos showing you how to avoid common failings. These will all save your staff time, and let people engage with the machine at their own speed. You can even create playlists which provide faster or slower tempo music to match the training schedule they choose.
These learning opportunities should ideally be linked to some way of celebrating their successes as they progress with a particular training device. There is no greater motivator than a sense that you are competing with others, and in a gym environment it is very easy to tap into this natural behaviour. With user accounts for your digital displays, you can create things like leaderboards, one-to-one or gym-wide competitions, and person of the day awards. This can encourage loyalty, more and longer visits, and even a sense of camaraderie as people get to know each other via the system by becoming ‘gym celebrities’.
This also gives recognition to those who are likely to be your most loyal customers and encourages others to match their levels of commitment – which is great for them and great for your bottom line.
You should allow any competition wins or other achievements to be shared on social media too. Once they are logged in to a personal account on a training machine, allow them to easily share personal bests to services like Facebook and Twitter. Let them show off their competition and target accomplishments in the gym, as it will give you an introduction and brand exposure to their peer group.
Let users know what else is going on
Using digital signage, you can advertise what else your gym offers to help boost membership and retention rates. Show any loyalty schemes you have or any bonuses for referring a friend. A simple list of upcoming classes and events can help drive sign-ups for additional classes. By focussing on what else you can offer, your customers can see how busy and well-run your gym is, leading them to be happier and more likely to take part in additional activities.
You can also make your own videos showing off what else the gym offers. A video showing a class in action, or introducing a new personal trainer, can be a lot more engaging than a message on a noticeboard. It’s also a lot easier for the customer to imagine themselves using the service, removing the fear of the unknown.
Get the advertising right
These digital signage systems typically will let you handpick your adverts. This means you can avoid inappropriate ads for fast food or beer, and instead tailor the ads to the likely aspirations of your clients.
If you do want to monetise the adverts you show, make sure you choose them well so as not to annoy your main income stream – your customers. Look for local companies with complementary services like physios, dieticians, sports equipment providers and so on. These businesses may happily pay to advertise to your customers, and even provide useful content not available anywhere else – for example, training and diet tips, best practice exercise routines, warm up and warm down suggestions, sports gear roundups, with the bonus for them that they are all quietly branded with their logo.
Overall, digital signage lets you be seen as engaging, and interested in the customer, while also saving you staff costs and promoting your brand – is it time for a digital upgrade at your gym?