Video Marketing: Insider Tips For Health, Wellness and Fitness Businesses

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Video marketing helps people imagine their experience with your health club, yoga studio or wellness center. Done well, it’s a great way to get people to take that first step through the door.

It’s the difference between showing people a photograph of a Mediterranean village–or showing them what your hotel room was really like, the waves and seagulls on a deserted beach at dawn, and friendly conversations as you relaxed in a taverna.

The following content ideas help you create interesting and original videos that attract potential clients to your health club, yoga studio or wellness center.You’ll notice that exercise instruction videos aren’t on this list. Frankly, unless you’re Ross Enamait, who knows a thing or two about good fitness videos, they’re ineffective marketing tools. Another me-too video showing people how to do lunges sheds no light on what your business would be like and how you can help change their lives for the better.

1. Product reviews and comparisons

Say you offer a weight-loss program:

  • Film a “Pepsi Challenge” for several low-calorie frozen entrees.
  • Taste-test unusual fruits and veggies that would be new to many of your clients.
  • Visit several local restaurants and share recommendations on diet-friendly cocktail options with reduced or no sugar or alcohol content.

2. Debunk myths and misconceptions

List the top three myths potential customers have about your health club.

Maybe they think gyms are only for people who are already in good shape. Maybe they think chiropractors are all about “cracking necks.” Or maybe they’re afraid that taking yoga means you have to roll around on the floor.

Now, make individual videos that debunk each myth.

3. Behind the scenes

Give prospective clients an inside peek. It increases their confidence that they know what you and your wellness business are “really” like.

  • Narrate a video what’s in your fridge and tell us why.
  • Get a friend to video one of your workouts. Tell us about your priorities and tradeoffs. What do you do when you only have 15 minutes? What do you do when you travel?
  • Show us how one of your fitness instructors gets lunch ready for her kids. How does she balance fun food with what’s healthy? How does she pack enough to keep them going until soccer’s done at 6:30 p.m.?

4. What’s your secret?

Interview a happy client about how your business has helped them change their lives for the better. A word of warning, though: these videos are hard to do well. Most testimonial videos seem scripted and boringly self-promotional.

The key is to focus on their experiences, not on your health club’s features and programs. Just ask a few open-ended questions and let them talk. For example:

  • What had they tried before this?
  • What’s surprised them most about their experience with your health club?
  • What advice would they give someone now?

5. Tag-team with a partner

Instead of featuring one employee, use a tag-team approach. This works especially well when the conversational give-and-take is naturally strong between two individuals.

6. Show comparisons

If your wellness business offers programs for folks with physical limitations, show prospective clients side-by-side examples of how you make a given exercise safer, or more accessible.

For example, how do you modify certain yoga poses for students with chronic and permanent limits on hip rotation? Show us the traditional exercise and then give us a point-by-point explanation of how and why you modify it.

It’s not a conventional exercise instruction video; instead, you’re demonstrating your sensitivity to client limitations and your expertise in adapting your services to their unique requirements.

7. Use props

Props are fun. For example, if you offer healthy cooking classes, do a video that tells us how to make five different meals with the same five ingredients.

8. A how-to video series

Perhaps you could show prospective clients how to jump-start a healthier lifestyle. One short video might focus on drinking more water (a fun opportunity to use props!). Another might be a fun look at unintimidating and novel ways to start being a bit more active. Yet another might look at some ways to improve sleep hygiene and sleep quality (another good prop opportunity!).

9. Do a time-lapse video

This idea’s especially helpful if you work with clients focused on a specific goal. Weight loss is an obvious scenario, but couch-to-5K programs or triathlon training or farm-to-table healthy cooking programs are also a good fit for this approach.

10. Give a facility tour

This idea’s not for everyone. You can’t just walk around and say, “There’s a treadmill.” “There’s the sauna.” That’s supremely uninteresting.

But if you have facilities that are actually interesting and unusual, like a functional fitness approach that uses tractor tires or playground equipment; or you have a great story to tell about certain aspects of your brick-and-mortar business, consider this approach.

Remember, too, that what matters to customers isn’t just the “technical” side of your business.

For example, security concerns often deter potential members for 24/7 unstaffed, card-access fitness centers. A video overview of your security arrangements would reassure potential clients.

11. Interview a local expert

Think broadly. You could:

  • Have a graduate student or faculty member at a nearby university comment on a helpful study.
  • Interview a local organic chef about keeping veggies fresh.
  • Interview your sales rep about the latest features on your selectorized weight equipment.

12. Man-on-the-street interviews

How about a poll? Ask them if they think we should limit soda sizes. Should we require school cafeterias to provide healthier food even if kids won’t eat it? Should employers be required to offer onsite fitness centers or gym memberships?

13. Predict the future

Nope, I’m not talking about trends here, but something that’s infinitely more important to your clients.

Most of you can predict the obstacles that your clients will encounter. Perhaps your clients are unusually sore after their early workouts at your health club. Maybe you know that most of your weight loss participants hit a bump in the road at the 30-day mark.

Do a video that helps them anticipate this bump in the road, explains why it happens, and give them strategies for successfully getting past it.

14. Report on an event

This idea works especially well if you sponsor a team for a local run or walk, or if you’re the headline sponsor for almost any event.

Use a “roving reporter” approach and interview organizers, participants and spectators at the event. Get reaction shots as your team crosses the finish line. Talk to them about their fundraising tips.

Finally, some quick tips to keep your videos interesting:

  • Most wellness businesses should post videos in three places: your website, YouTube and Yelp.
  • Use YouTube, not Vimeo. YouTube no longer restricts video length and it’s much more visible in search engines.
  • Switch “visual gears” about every sixty seconds. For example, switch from someone talking to a still shot to text to a graphic to a prop.
  • Short videos are generally best, from 1 to 5 minutes or so.
  • Be true to your personality and that of your business. If you’ve got a great comedic riff on weight loss and your clientele appreciates that kind of humor, post a video! If you’re not naturally funny, don’t force it. If your style is formal and academic, play to that strength without overwhelming viewers.
  • Optimize your video titles and descriptions for Google.
  • Include a link to your website in your YouTube video description.
  • Promote links to your videos in your monthly newsletter and on your website.