Do you want to grow your yoga studio using online marketing? Here are 8 essential concepts to understand about search marketing, website design, and social media, along with other tips from the yoga marketing specialists at Marketing 360®:
Yoga Marketing Idea #1: Learn the Tactics of Inbound Marketing
Initially, you probably think about going out to get potential new yoga students. But today, the better tactic is to let them come to you.
The internet brings pull marketing to full force. That is, instead of an interruptive ad you send out to a large target segment, you create channels of awareness that let people who are interested in yoga come to you.
This is, of course, the main thrust of search marketing. If someone is considering Yoga, their first step will be to go on Google and research their options. This is your first opportunity to get in front of them, and it’s an important one.
It’s likely that your first contact won’t result in them scheduling a class. But you can provide some information, get them to follow you on social media, get them on an email list, and use retargeting ads to keep in touch. And all of these happen because they gave you permission to provide more info when they first visited.
Over time, you earn greater trust and increase the chances that you’ll get a new student.
All this happens because your content was findable at that critical moment when they decided it was time to look into yoga.
Yoga Marketing Tip #2: Develop a Solid Website
In today’s digital world, your website is the front door of your business. It’s the focal point you can direct all your other marketing efforts towards.
A website explains your services, introduces our instructors, educates people about yoga, and provides your contact information.
You can blog to improve your search rankings, link your website from your Google My Business Page, and use your site to build awareness of your brand.
Websites today must be clean, simple, and refined. You want a professional design that doesn’t overwhelm visitors. For example:
Website designs like this UXI template are not expensive to develop. Put your best digital foot forward with a strong website design.
Important Tip: Create an Infographic
Some online ideas come accross better when you present them visually. Try using infographics in your design:
Yoga Marketing Idea #3: The Art of Empathy
As a yoga professional you have an advantage over many business owners: you have a strong sense of empathy for your clients.
Use this sense in your marketing strategy. The web is very much a customer-centric world. People gravitate towards content that speaks their language. If they get confused or there’s a lack of connection, they’ll just move on until they find what they want.
This means that if you’re targeting experienced yoga students looking for advanced classes, you need to speak to their needs. If your targeting newbies who aren’t even sure if yoga is for them, you need to speak their language. The more you can tailor your content to match the needs of the audience, the better your results will be.
Remember that your yoga website design, social media, blogging, and certainly advertising is not really about your studio. They’re about the needs of your prospective students. Marketing content that fails to empathize usually does a poor job of online lead-generation.
Yoga Marketing Tip #4: Get On Board With the Trends
In the US, yoga is a pretty trendy type of fitness. The clothes, lifestyles and social aspects of yoga play a role in getting people interested.
A local yoga instructor in Boulder Colorado was struggling with her marketing. Classes were empty. She needed to do something to really gain some momentum.
The answer: goats.
You’re probably aware of the goat yoga trend that started in Oregon:
And why not enjoy a beer with goat yoga?
One thing you may have to face is that your magnetism as a yoga instructor – powerful though it is – may not be enough to draw in new students.
Don’t laugh at the trends, embrace them. You may well need them to get people into your classes.
Yoga Marketing Idea #5: You Need to Market and Advertise
Understand that advertising and marketing are not the same things. The difference connects to empathy, target, and timing.
Consider the experienced yoga student looking for a new studio. This person probably has a fairly short sales cycle. They’ll check out a few yoga studio websites, get a feeling what’s a fit, then schedule a class.
You advertise to this lead. Your content is more focused on special offers and direct-response, call-to-actions that require immediate action. You want to appear at the very top of search results, especially on mobile searches, so you’ll use a paid search campaign. You may use retargeting aggressively over a short time period.
This lead is likely to make a decision immediately. If you don’t win them early, you lose them to a competitor.
On the other hand, take the person who’s considering yoga for the first time as a way to help with their chronic back pain. This lead may take months before deciding to come in for a class.
You have to market to this lead with strategic, non-promotional material that educates them, builds their trust, and ultimately motivates them.
You have to be strategically prepared to communicate to this type of lead over the longer sales cycle. You use blog articles, videos, newsletters, and social media to nurture them over time.
If you hit this lead with too aggressive of an advertisement, you’re likely to scare them off.
These strategies and tactics sometimes overlap. But if you have each in place and use them effectively, your marketing will do better overall.
Yoga Marketing Idea #6: Offer Unique Value
Yoga studios that succeed offer a little more than just yoga. They have what we call in marketing a unique value proposition (UVP).
Like it or not, if you want to make a successful business out of yoga instruction, you have to take-on a competitive stance. As a yoga instructor, this is obviously not going to be a hardcore slash and burn campaign designed to take the competition out. But it does require a UVP.
A UVP is the offerings and service touches you add that make your studio unique from others in the area. Examples we’ve seen include:
- Adding extra services like Tai Chi classes or martial arts.
- Having a dietitian on staff.
- Creating a superior ambiance with the interior design of the studio.
- Offering special class hours for groups like Moms, business people, or students.
- Offering classes for groups like teenagers or the elderly.
- Teaming up with local brew-pubs for Yoga with beer classes.
The ideas are limited only by your creativity. Yoga in the US can be quite trendy, subject to styles and fads. Sometimes you can develope a unique twist to your yoga classes by getting ahead of these trends.
Be aware that if you don’t give people a reason to choose you over another studio, you leave it up to chance. That’s not a way to get ahead in a competitive market.
Yoga Marketing Idea #7: Go Social
Yoga studios are the type of business that does well with social media marketing. Use these free platforms to your advantage.
Set-up a Facebook page and post several times a day. Your existing students are the main audience for the content you create, making this an excellent client retention tool. Facebook is like a digital bulletin board where you can post updates, yoga tips, and news about students. Everything you post can then be shared by your followers, giving you exposure to prospective students.
Because yoga has visual appeal, use platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat to post images of poses and exercises with at home tips. Take some short videos and create a Youtube channel for short lessons people can watch anywhere.
The idea here is not to substitute classes at your studio with social media content, but to supplement them and keep your students engaged. Done well, this can become another UVP. As your followers share interesting posts on their channels, you create valuable awareness marketing.
Yoga Marketing Idea #8: Know Your Marketing
There is an old saying that described how confusing marketing can be:
I know half of my marketing isn’t working, I just don’t know which half.
This saying is out of date. With digital marketing, you should know if your marketing is working or not. The underlying goal is to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
This is the purpose of the Marketing 360® marketing software. It’s a tool that tracks everything you’re doing with your yoga marketing, from SEO to social media traffic, and organizes it so you understand the value of your marketing efforts.
You will find that some channels do better than others, and you’ll want to invest more in those. But you can’t assume what will work. You have to let the market tell you what works. Verified data is one of the most valuable parts of your long-term marketing strategy.
Digital marketing has a lot of advantages with speed and reach, but it can also get complicated. If all this sounds like a bit much in addition to running a yoga studio, then Marketing 360® might be for you.
Contact us today for a free marketing consultation, or click on the link below for quick info on plans and pricing. We’d love to be able to help you out!