I occasionally crawl the small business forums on Reddit, and offer my 2 cents. This time though I found the following post, with someone looking for help advertising a youth gymnastics studio (or gym).
I suggested Facebook ads, but ultimately they seemed a little lost — Facebook ad can be righteously confusing. Now I don’t know much about gymnastics business, but I do know a good bit about Facebook ads, and reaching a lucrative audience. I’m also working on doing an online course on Facebook advertising that will put my actionable knowledge and a plan in place for anyone who wishes to learn. So I think I’ll outline what I’d do if I owner a gymnastics studio and needed to market on Facebook.
First… The geo targeting. Set the audience to a local base. No one wants to go out of their way to take the kids to gymnastics. A few might, but the vast majority just want to travel a few miles. I’d set a radius really close by.
Set Up the Basic Audience
There’s 2 ways I’d go with this.
First of, families with children. No surprise, you can’t get people without children to bring the kids in. You can even market based on the age range the kids are in.
Next, possibly income. Obviously you need to market to those that can afford your services. It’s an economic reality. You could do select income ranges or exclude income range. Facebook’s data on income isn’t the most precise, so you may want to try net worth, or home value to identify the appropriate demographic.
A Word About Your Advertisements
With an audience in line, next up is the ads. Here’s the catch, you don’t want to use ads that look like ‘ads’. Nobody, particularly on Facebook, like ads. You’ll need to be more subtle and provide them with something this demographic will be interested in. What I suggest doing is writing a couple articles that would engage parent. Good informative articles that are detail rich. Something like:
‘How Gymnastics Will Help Long Term Motor Skill Development’ — all parents want their kids to be successful long term and you need to appeal to that.
‘How Youth Gymnastics Will Help Little Jimmy Get That Football Scholarship’ — maybe run this one only to men.
‘How Weekly Gymnastics Lessons Helped Jane’s Daughter Do Better In School’
Then post them on your website; your company blog (your website does breathe right?). Now you’re going to want to create ads for ‘link clicks’ so people see these headlines, and click through to your website to read the article.
For images, use actual images from your gymnastics studio. Images that look real. Just like something someone one of your friends would share and role through your news feed. No need for professional photography.
Notice there is nothing about selling here. No buy now. No special offer. Just get your audience to engage and absorb your brand. They will have read your articles — which means you’re the authority, not your competitor. They will have read your articles — which means you’re the authority, not your competitor. If they’re interested in putting the kids in gymnastics, who are they calling? If your article (the ad) was good they’ll share it. And that is where Facebook ads compound like the time value of money.
More Advanced Facebook Advertising Ideas For The Gymnastics Studio
Use the Facebook pixel, to retarget customers who read your articles. They already showed interest, so stay in their face. At this point, since they are no longer ‘cold’ to your brand, you could try some more direct ads, but just having them see your ads again is highly valuable.
Reach Your Past Customers
Take a list of phone numbers and email addresses from customers who recently stopped attending, upload it in the ‘audiences’ section of facebook and run the same ads to them as well. Maybe they’ll come back. Or use a promotion for past customers. Promotions and direct ads can work, but you only want to use them on warm audiences (people familiar with your brand already).
Try A Look A Like Audience
Using your past customers list, Facebook will let you create an audience that matches the most similar 1% of the population. In other words, the ones that look like your current customers.
Hope that helps the random person that posted on Reddit. If you have success or failure let me know. .