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5 Facebook Ad Rules That All Gyms Should Follow

5 rules for facebook ads

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Too often I hear gym and fitness studio owners say, “We’ve done Facebook Ads and they didn’t work for us.” When I ask what they did, I usually hear at least 3 of the 5 Facebook ad rules broken. Frankly, it’s no wonder it didn’t work. Here’s how to fix it…

Here’s the problem (in my opinion): Since everybody uses Facebook as a social network, they think they’ll naturally know how to market and advertise on the platform.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. To succeed with Facebook ads, gyms need to understand how different targeting methods and features work. On top of that, understand bidding algorithms, conversion targeting, and performance statistics.

Facebook is indeed the most amazing and beautiful online advertising tool to date, but it requires hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to learn how to use it right.

A huge part of improving Facebook ad performance includes taking online courses and reading blogs like this one. That way you know the Facebook ad rules and how to implement them.


Learning From Facebook Ad Experts

During the past 3 years, I’ve learned how to effectively spend advertising dollars on Facebook and how to make it work for gyms.

I’ve learned from trial and error, from colleges, from bloggers, and from well-known online experts.

So, in order to save you some time and effort, here are 5 Facebook ad rules that every successful gym and fitness studio we work with absolutely lives by.

Some of these rules may surprise you. Some of them you’ll already know. But what’s important is that they are all a must for every campaign.

Rule #1: Always Be Testing

In online advertising today, there are just too many variables to look at.

There’s practically no way to get everything right with your very first Facebook ad. You have to test several versions through a number of different variables to build a campaign and an ad that drives results.

It is not easy to split-test advertising campaigns. Here’s why:

  1. It can be difficult to come up with ideas of what and how much to test.
  2. Analyzing performance to determine which test version surpassed the other is complicated.
  3. Testing is a time-consuming process, especially creating all the variations of a split test.

But it’s an absolute must that every pro will always follow if they really want to close…

Think about all of the different diets and workouts someone needs to go through. It takes time and effort to find the one that works and that they love enough to do consistently over time.

The same thing goes for your Facebook ads.

So, here’s a quick tip to make it a little easier…

BONUS Facebook Ad Rule: Only Split Test One Thing At A Time

Never test multiple things. If you want to know that you’re using the right copy in your ad, make sure to keep the headline, newsfeed link description, and creative (static image or video) the same in both ads.

That way you can isolate the copy and know which one resonates better with your gym’s prospective members.

The same thing goes for static images, videos, and headlines. Test each thing one at a time.

Pair all of your final split tests together for the ultimate set of ads.

Rule #2: Use the Facebook Audience Pixel

A Facebook pixel allows you to build audience lists for retargeting campaigns and track the conversions of your campaigns.

As long as you have a website or landing page (you should send them to a landing page 99% of the time), you can add a Facebook pixel.

It’s an absolute must because conversions are not only used for tracking but also for ad campaign optimization!

Why Facebook Ad Optimization Matters

So, when you run ads for 100,000 users, it can be pretty expensive to reach them all.

But, when you use conversion tracking, Facebook automatically uses that conversion information to learn more about the users that are most likely to convert.

When your ads are optimized, they get in front of people more likely to be prospective members of your gym. Which is pretty cool.

Also, it results in more conversions at a lower cost. Building audience lists for retargeting campaigns also opens up the opportunity to attract already engaged users back to you through special offers.

Rule #3: Track Every Facebook Outbound Link Via Google Analytics

This might not seem related to the other Facebook ad rules, but it’ll help you enhance your Facebook ad performance long-term.

If you’ve ever run a campaign with a great CTR (click-through rate) and low CPC (cost per click) but saw very few conversions, Facebook reports won’t tell you why.

The Importance of Knowing Your Prospective Member’s Journey

It might be a bad landing page experience causing a high bounce rate, or a technical issue preventing the user from completing a certain action or process.

Whatever it is, you need to be able to see why prospective members on your gym’s landing page from a Facebook ad actually convert—or don’t convert.

Only then will you be able to analyze and figure out why your campaign doesn’t reach its goals.

That’s why you should track all your Facebook paid traffic with Google’s UTM parameters (5 total) in Analytics.

Rule #4: Use Audience Insights Tools

Of the Facebook ad rules, this one often gets overlooked… but it’s incredibly important!

If you want to target 25–55-year-old women, within your 5-mile radius, who are interested in “Fitness” and have “searched for gyms (2 weeks),” you need to know what that info actually means.

In other words, who are these audiences?

For that, Facebook built Audience Insights. This tool allows you to analyze a targeted audience and compare it to all Facebook users (including your Website’s Custom Audience) in several consumer categories including:

  • Demographics
  • Facebook Activity
  • Household data
  • And purchase behavior

When it comes to targeting your ideal client, this is basically gold!

Rule #5: oCPM Bidding

Unless you run a retargeting campaign for up to +/- 5,000 users, always use oCPM bidding (optimized cost per 1,000 impressions).

There have been tons of tests by bloggers who have even shared their results, such as Jon Loomer. In Loomer’s study, he did an experiment of CPM vs. oCPM…

It turned out that although oCPM only got 75% of the impression that CPM did, it accounted for 3X the link clicks. It performed better! oCPM always wins.

The thing with oCPM is that you let Facebook optimize the bid so that you’ll reach your objective at the lowest price.

When you bid at a fixed CPM, let’s say $10, you basically tell Facebook that you want to reach all the users in your targeted audience that cost $10 CPM and below.

Example of oCPM vs. CPM

Now, how do you know if Jill, who actually really wants your offer, costs $10 CPM? Vice versa, how do you know that John, who costs under $10 CPM, actually isn’t interested in your campaign’s offer at all?

Well, you don’t… but Facebook does.

So by bidding with the oCPM, you basically tell Facebook this:

Show my ad to Jill as long as she has a high chance of converting, even if it costs $15. But, don’t show my ad to John if his profile isn’t in a high probability for a conversion, even if it’s under $10 CPM.

The $10 CPM in this case is just an imaginary line of the highest price you think you’d be willing to pay. Facebook has this down to a science.

Master these Facebook ad rules and you’ll be well on your way to increasing gym leads at lower costs!

If you have any other Facebook ad rules that should be added to this list, comment below and let me know. I’d love to check them out. Happy advertising, all. Cheers!

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Loud Rumor

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