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How Important is Facebook Targeting for Fitness Studios… Really?

Mike Arce

Mike Arce

Bold statement. Ready? If you overthink your Facebook targeting, you’ll be lucky to get a single lead…

Facebook has 2.7 Billion active uses every Month. Somehow all of us small business owners are fortunate enough to get in front prospects at relatively low costs, and without competing against giants.

Facebook also has the added bonus of letting local businesses get really granular with Facebook targeting so that ads get seen by literally anyone you want.

So, if you want to show your ad to only women who are 36 years old, live in New Jersey, and also like CrossFit, no problem — you can do that.

But… it’s important not to get too focused on targeting interests when you’re already focused on a specific geographic area. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a rabbit hole with no way out, and no leads in the pipeline.

How Important is Facebook Targeting for Fitness Studios?

Let’s say you own a yoga studio and your ideal clients are women between the ages of 30 -50, with a specific career field (because you know it pays well), and like fitness and healthy foods.

Already, this is pretty niche.

Now, it can be tempting to filter even further down based on your ideal member’s interests. There are so many options it seems like the list is never-ending.  The problem is, it’s going to be very difficult to get your ad in front of, well, any legitimate prospects.

First, not everyone lists all of those things in their profile. There might be a mom with 3 kids who lives right up the street. She’s looking for a small, community-focused fitness studio that isn’t too strenuous. But she doesn’t include “fitness and healthy foods” in her profile.

If your targeting is too narrow, she’ll never know you exist.

Remember, You’re Not The Only One Competing For Attention

Add in the fact that there are probably other studios in your area (usually a 5-miles radius for local businesses) targeting the same audience.

So now, your chances of actually bringing in enough leads decreases even more. Also keep in mind that you want to target at least 40,000 people in your reach.

The more granular your search criteria, the stronger your filter becomes.

Another concern is that most local businesses aren’t able to use all of their advertising budget when they add too many targeting criteria. This is especially true if the business relies on customers coming to them, like a fitness studio.

Even then, avoid using all of the criteria available in Facebook targeting, unless you’re working on a national or global scale. The more granular you get with your Facebook targeting, the lower your potential reach.

Ok, so what should you do? Who should you target?

How Fitness Studios Should Run Facebook Targeting

Instead of getting caught up in advertising to those with specific interests, target the proper zip code, gender, and age group. Those 3 are gold and that’s exactly how we do it at Loud Rumor.

Facebook targeting

Here’s why:

First, women are more likely than men to claim offers. On top of that, women are more willing to visit a new gym that offers a free trial.

We also know that women under the age of 28 are less likely to earn an income ideal enough to afford a boutique fitness studio. Doesn’t apply to all women (or even men) under 28, but for targeting purposes, best to put your money towards women between the ages of 28 and 55.

Lastly, we know that women in “zip code A” are more likely to make a decent income versus women in “zip code B.” The way we figure this out is based on the average cost of homes in the area, as well as the type of businesses nearby.

These Facebook Targeting Results Speak For Themselves

When we did this for another one of the fitness studios we work with, it got 427 leads in 31 days….

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And here’s the thing: If you set up your Facebook campaign in a pay-per-click model, which you should be doing, you only pay when people click on your ads.

So if a 40-year-old woman in your target zip code has zero interest in getting in shape, she’s not going to click on the ad. It’s in front of her, but it’s not going to cost you anything.

Which means you now get to use that budget for the next person—someone who is more likely to click on your ad, go to your website, and sign up for your classes!

Refine or “Optimize” Your Facebook Targeting Audience

The longer your ads run, the more time you have to collect data on the people who click. As time goes on, you’ll learn what the people who convert have in common. Which is awesome…

Maybe they’re all in their 30s, live in “zip code B,” etc. Once you find all of this out, you’ll eventually notice what interests they share too.

That being said, now is the point where you can start adding interests to your targeting. This way you can be only focused on showing your ads to people you know become leads.

Without spending any more money, you’ll be able to drive more leads — meaning your cost per lead is lower and your profit per customer is higher.

BONUS: You can also take this list of people who actually clicked and converted to create a brand-new “lookalike” audience for targeting.

Final Thoughts On Facebook Targeting

So although Facebook targeting is a great tool for many local fitness businesses, unfortunately the thing that makes it so awesome is usually the thing that crumbles a gym’s ability to be successful. That is, the ability to get extremely narrow in their audience targeting.

Don’t fall for all the wonderful bells and whistles and use every feature possible. If you do, it’ll dramatically limit your Ad’s ability to get in front of enough people. Not to mention, it’ll destroy your Marketing budget.

This is what leads so many fitness businesses to think that Facebook isn’t really a good advertising option for them. But the truth is, they were just 3 feet from gold!

Facebook is still a fantastic place to advertise and get the most bang for your buck as far as lead generation goes. It’s just important to keep things simple.

How do you use Facebook targeting for your local business? Tell us in the comments below.

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