Justin Tamsett of Active Management, I recently attended FitnesBiz Melbourne, hosted by Justin Tamsett of Active Management, to check out what health clubs are up to in the world of social media that may be applicable to small businesses.  Like many small businesses, it seems that the majority still have much work to do in terms of developing effective strategies that provide both value to their online communities and return on investment to their businesses.  However, it was great to see some excellent examples of the use of video (even if they are coming out of the US).  I am sure many small businesses dream of making their videos go viral, but feel they are not capable because they:

  • Don’t have the budget.
  • Don’t have a decent camera.
  • Don’t have the software to, don’t know how to or don’t have time to edit video.
  • Don’t have tangible products to demonstrate in a video because they are a consultant.
  • Don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera.
  • The list goes on…

These days developing a decent video to promote your business doesn’t have to cost too much of your hard earned dollars or time.  Chances are all the equipment you need is within reach.  Provided you have a smart phone and it was purchased within the past couple of years you probably have a camera that can take decent enough video.  Assuming you have a computer with internet connection, then you have access to all the software required to make your video.  You don’t need to include yourself in the video if you don’t feel comfortable and you don’t need to include your products to get your message across.  All you have to be is a little bit creative in your thinking and strategic in your sharing to gain maximum impact and exposure for your video. Here are some examples of how this has been achieved within health clubs.

Crunch Fitness

Think about trying to reproduce something like this for your business.  Get some equipment you use in your business everyday, visit a fancy dress shop, see what your granddad and best friend are up, find a large enough room, turn off the lights, strategically place some lighting for maximum effect and start filming.  You only need 16 seconds of footage, so it shouldn’t take you too long. Now use a program such as iMovie (if you are a Mac user) or Windows Movie Maker (if you have a PC) to add some music over the top for dramatic effect.  These programs are so intuitive these days, with useful tutorials, help and online forums to assist you with the process.  Don’t forget put your business name, logo, tag line and website at the end and you are done.  The great thing about that also is that you now have a template that you can use at the end of each of your videos to keep your message and branding consistent. If its creating narrated images and videos of what you see on your computer screen that you are looking to do, then check out Jing.  It is simple and free. Granted Crunch Fitness probably had a larger budget than you and probably went to a little more effort than that, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t produce something just as effective.

Anytime Fitness

It is likely that Anytime Fitness spent very little on this campaign at all.  I wouldn’t be surprised if their products supplier foot the entire bill given the amount of exposure they got out of this campaign.  Do you have any product suppliers (with bigger advertising budgets than you) that you might be able to go into partnership with for your campaign? The thing I particularly liked about this particular Anytime Fitness Campaign is that it was multi-faceted, with different videos targeted different gym users.  They did their research and realised that women are their biggest users of the elliptical, whilst men generally prefer the treadmill and therefore scripted their voiceovers accordingly.
They also made a version for those that prefer weight training over cardio equipment.
Anytime Fitness have taken their video campaign one step further by customising the Anytime Fitness YouTube Channel to reinforce their branding.  This is particularly useful for those that are coming across their brand for the first time as a result of their video campaign.  The company logo and contact details are prominently placed in the top righthand corner of the page, the colours are consistent with the company branding and the images used make it obvious what the products and services on offer are and who the target audience is.

Leo’s Sports Club

My favourite all time health club video remains the one from Leo’s Sports Club, which demonstrates the benefits of exercise in a rather unique fashion.  There is no gym, no equipment, no personal trainers, but it makes me want to work out at Leo’s Sports Club.  I must warn that there is some nudity in this video and it will make you laugh.
If you know of any other great examples of videos promoting health clubs that we may be able to learn from, then please share the links in the comments below.  If any of these ideas inspire you to make your own video I would love for you to share the end result and what was involved in making it in the comments below also.