May 8, 2024

Why Word of Mouth Marketing Matters—and How to Leverage It

Your clients are your greatest brand advocates, so why not continue to tap into their influence?

Why Word of Mouth Marketing Matters—and How to Leverage It

There’s a science behind word-of-mouth marketing, and the power that this type of marketing holds over consumers is a game changer for any business or brand. (And there are studies to prove it.) Over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising. Plus, word-of-mouth marketing is the main factor behind up to 50% of all purchasing decisions. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is defined as “the communication between consumers about a product, service, or company in which the sources are considered independent of direct commercial influence that has been actively influenced or encouraged as a marketing effort.” Those consumers? Well, they are your clients having those conversations, and their loyalty to your fitness studio is a key factor. So how can your fitness studio further tap into word-of-mouth marketing—and what channels can you use to leverage this result-driven, revenue-generating form of marketing to benefit your fitness studio (and your bottom line)?

We’re breaking down the details and sharing strategies you can easily implement at your fitness business while utilizing your studio community members who are already invested in your mission and brand. 

Investing in client connections 

How word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly effective in growing your studio

1. Deliver exceptional service: The foundation of any successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy is to provide excellent service and results to your clients. Remember why they chose your studio. When your clients have a positive experience at your studio and see results that align with their wellness journey, they are more likely to recommend you to others.

2. Encourage referrals: Don’t be afraid to utilize this tactic! Actively encourage your current clients to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your studio. Offer incentives such as discounts, guest passes (they are super-easy in Walla), or free classes for each new client they refer. When your members share something they love about your studio, that positive energy and encouragement will naturally be noticed by those they are sharing the experience with. 

3. Host client appreciation events: Organize special events, workshops, or classes exclusively for your current clients as a way to show your appreciation for their loyalty. These events can also serve as opportunities for your clients to bring along friends who might be interested in joining—and make it something your members will want to share on social.

4. Create a deeper connection to your community: Foster a stronger sense of community within your fitness studio by organizing group activities, challenges, or social gatherings. When clients feel like they are an integral part of a supportive community, they are likelier to talk about their experiences with others.

5. Utilize social proof: Share testimonials, success stories, and more from satisfied clients on your website, social media channels, and marketing materials. Social proof is a powerful way to build trust and credibility with potential clients, and it can be used across all marketing channels to nurture leads.

6. Offer a referral program for like-minded local businesses: Partner with other local companies, such as health food stores, spas, artists, or wellness centers, to offer joint promotions or referral programs. By partnering with businesses and brands that align with your studio, you can tap into new client networks and attract clients already interested in health and wellness.

7. Provide an exceptional customer experience: This might seem obvious, but from the moment a potential client walks through your door to their ongoing experience at your studio, strive to exceed their expectations at every touchpoint. Make sure your instructors and front desk staff are familiar with the information. Happy clients are more likely to become brand ambassadors and spread the word about your studio.

Optimize channels for better results 

Utilize all your channels to increase word-of-mouth marketing for your studio

1. #winning: The power of social media 

 User-generated content (UGC): There’s nothing better than your client's content! Encourage your members to share their experiences with your brand on social media by reposting their photos, videos, or reviews. UGC adds authenticity and credibility to your brand.

Engagement: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. This interaction strengthens relationships with your clients and encourages them to advocate for your brand—and to continue to tag and contact you.

Influencer partnerships: Big or small, well-known or local, collaborate with influencers whose values align with your brand and who are truly passionate about your fitness modality. Influencers can authentically promote your products or services to their followers, generating word-of-mouth recommendations.

2. Keep talking: Customer reviews and testimonials:

 Promote review platforms: Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, or industry-specific review sites. Positive reviews act as social proof and influence potential customers' decisions. Also, offer your members a little time-sensitive incentive to fill out a review (like a discount on a plan, entry to win a swag basket, guest passes, and more!).

Testimonial campaigns: Collect and showcase testimonials from happy customers on your website, social media, and marketing materials. Testimonials provide tangible evidence of the value your studio offers.

3. Meaningful connections: Influencer marketing

Identify relevant influencers: Like we mentioned before, research and identify influencers whose audience aligns with your target market. Partnering with influencers allows you to tap into their engaged followers and leverage their credibility. Also, take a deeper look at your studio members, their social profiles, and engagement. You might have an influencer in class with a lot of influence you didn’t even know about that might be willing to help with word-of-mouth marketing for a studio discount. 

Authentic collaborations: Build authentic relationships with influencers who resonate with your studio brand. Authentic endorsements from influencers lead to more genuine word-of-mouth recommendations.

4. Test and try: Word-of-mouth campaigns

Viral marketing: What every brand hopes to achieve! Create campaigns or content designed to go viral and spark conversations. Unique or entertaining content is more likely to be shared, leading to organic word-of-mouth recommendations. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and see what other brands are doing outside the fitness industry. 

Contests or giveaways: Run contests or giveaways that encourage participants to share the promotion with their friends or social networks. This will amplify the reach of your campaign while generating buzz around your studio.

5. Don’t lose touch: Customer feedback and engagement

Active listening: Solicit feedback from your clients through surveys, polls, or social media discussions. Actively listening to your members’ needs and preferences demonstrates that you value their input.

Responsive customer service: Provide timely and helpful responses to client inquiries or concerns. Excellent customer service builds trust and loyalty, leading to positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

By effectively implementing these strategies and channels, you can create a robust word-of-mouth marketing strategy that amplifies positive recommendations, enhances brand awareness, and drives customer acquisition.

Customer retention is the key

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit lobortis arcu enim urna adipiscing praesent velit viverra sit semper lorem eu cursus vel hendrerit elementum morbi curabitur etiam nibh justo, lorem aliquet donec sed sit mi dignissim at ante massa mattis.

  1. Neque sodales ut etiam sit amet nisl purus non tellus orci ac auctor
  2. Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potent
  3. Mauris commodo quis imperdiet massa tincidunt nunc pulvinar
  4. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident sunt in culpa qui officia

What are the most relevant factors to consider?

Vitae congue eu consequat ac felis placerat vestibulum lectus mauris ultrices cursus sit amet dictum sit amet justo donec enim diam porttitor lacus luctus accumsan tortor posuere praesent tristique magna sit amet purus gravida quis blandit turpis.

Odio facilisis mauris sit amet massa vitae tortor.

Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

At risus viverra adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat nisl pretium fusce id velit ut tortor sagittis orci a scelerisque purus semper eget at lectus urna duis convallis porta nibh venenatis cras sed felis eget neque laoreet suspendisse interdum consectetur libero id faucibus nisl donec pretium vulputate sapien nec sagittis aliquam nunc lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus purus in.

  • Neque sodales ut etiam sit amet nisl purus non tellus orci ac auctor
  • Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti
  • Mauris commodo quis imperdiet massa tincidunt nunc pulvinar
  • Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti
What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

Nisi quis eleifend quam adipiscing vitae aliquet bibendum enim facilisis gravida neque euismod in pellentesque massa placerat volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur gravida odio aenean sed adipiscing diam donec adipiscing tristique risus amet est placerat in egestas erat.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua enim ad minim veniam.”
Next steps to increase your customer retention

Eget lorem dolor sed viverra ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum felis donec et odio pellentesque diam volutpat commodo sed egestas aliquam sem fringilla ut morbi tincidunt augue interdum velit euismod eu tincidunt tortor aliquam nulla facilisi aenean sed adipiscing diam donec adipiscing ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra nibh venenatis cras sed felis eget.

President & Co-founder

Passionate yogi, wellness aficionado, and client relations expert with over 15 years in FitTech

Stay in the loop

Get webinar announcements, industry news, product feature release announcements, Walla insights, and more delivered straight to your inbox!