Businesses have always had to be flexible to develop with market challenges. In the fitness industry, brick-and-mortar fitness businesses are no exception. Whether its new legislation or a pandemic, the need to strengthen your business to survive and thrive in challenging times is essential.
Today, one way fitness brands are taking control of their biggest challenges is by using video. While it may seem like an odd and possibly even unreal concept, it’s happening.
How online instructors can boost revenue
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What makes video so special?
Everyone’s watching online videos today. Take YouTube. Do you know that the video-on-demand platform streams over one billion hours of content to its users each day?
It’s clear that people are consuming more video today than ever before. But what does that mean for your fitness business’ growth and sustainability?
Two reasons why virtual and live video is your next step
Growing a business is tough. If you’ve wondered how to grow your fitness brand, but haven’t found any ways shy of traditional avenues, here are three reasons why video will help.
Scaling a brick and mortar business isn’t easy
There just aren’t enough hours in the day to work with and help more customers. Your studio and calendar can also only take its capacity of members. And when you look at the traditional model of growing a business, a lack of time and limited access to finances to expand premises (more branches and staff) will mean that you can’t grow unless something big changes.
Being online is different. It allows you to serve more people who are ready to pay for your services, without the massive overheads. And you don’t have to worry about space to get online. Monetizing video through online fitness programs allows you to offer instruction to more members than ever.
The world has awakened to the importance of being online
People can access almost any kind of product and service through the web today. This makes it possible for businesses with online storefronts to leap ahead of those without.
Think about it. With access to a host of services and the opportunity to broaden that scope to include fitness on-demand, it’s a no-brainer that consumers will jump at the opportunity.
Fact is, being online isn’t a nice-to-have anymore, it’s a must-have. Monetizing your virtual events and classes offers a revenue stream that can serve your business in tough times. And should challenges arrive that render your brick and mortar presence out of commission for an unpredictable amount of time, you’ll be prepared well into the future.
Mini case study: How Wheelhouse transformed using on-demand video
Wheelhouse is a San Francisco based studio. It offers a combination of yoga, core strength classes, and indoor cycling. The brand has evolved its offering to include online video classes.
The move online is a perfect fit for Wheelhouse. It gives people the chance to keep up with classes anytime and from anywhere. It also makes fitness available to those who want to work out from home.
But most of all, Wheelhouse still has a strong community focus. At present, Wheelhouse is using Instagram to interact with clients and offer online classes as a test pilot program. They also have a vocal community that shares what’s working and how to improve, transitioning more inclusive and effective.
How to go virtual and monetize your videos
While Wheelhouse is an outstanding example of a forward-thinking fitness brand taking action. You may wonder how you can take the next step and go virtually.
Here’s a step-by-step formula for shifting to video. It covers how to launch an on-demand video streaming platform that also allows you to stream live videos.
Step one: choose your business model
Choosing your video business model is about the content you’ll create and how you want to share it with the members. There are two main profitable monetization models, and you can offer a hybrid.
Subscription Video on Demand or SVOD
You create videos and sell them a membership to your site. Your site can include various plans with tiered offerings, granting access to members based on their plan selection.
Transactional Video on Demand or TVOD
TVOD is like pay-per-view. You create videos and sell them for a onetime fee. These are then accessible to members for as long as you choose. Live streaming is a form or TVOD. You can create live streaming events, market them online, and go live with your audience.
Whatever you choose, deliberate all options. For example, if you plan to scale your brand, you could easily do so with live streams to large audiences. And the same is possible with SVOD. By offering videos through a subscription model, you get to generate a reliable revenue stream.
Using SVOD and TVOD together allows you to reach a larger audience and offer more value to your members.
Step two: plan and create your content
The videos you create aren’t going to be far from the in-person classes you provide. As a starting point, plan your videos by walking through your routine as you would in person. Think about all the information you must share with members about each exercise, the technique, the time it will take, and more.
Tip: if you’re not sure what your members want out of a class, think back to the classes you’ve given in-person. Did your members provide feedback on what they like or dislike about them? Use as much information as you can from personal experience to plan and create your best videos.
Creating videos may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but that will melt away as you get into the process.
Step three: a site to host your videos
With your videos ready for the world, it’s time to prepare your website to showcase them. Your site will act as a 24x7x365 salesperson, sharing all the information your visitors need to convert them into paying customers.
New live stream ticket and widget
Now promoters can stream events
And getting your site set up to sell fitness videos isn’t as hard as you think. Platforms like Uscreen make creating a storefront easy.
For example, Uscreen takes care of hosting your videos, comes with a state-of-the-art video player, has secure billing functionality for customers to pay for videos, and lets you stream live videos.
They also come with free and easy-to-use website templates that simplify the entire process of building a site. And if you’ve wondered about marketing, that’s taken care of, too. You’ll have community and marketing features integrated into the platform for you to engage with your audience, build stronger relationships, and learn more about what they want.
Step four: promote your virtual studio
Promotion online is just like promoting a brand offline. For your business to grow, you have to get out there and share it with the world. The idea of digital marketing may sound a little daunting, but it’s not. If you’re new to it, think of it to reach your ideal customers where they are to share how you can help them achieve their fitness goals.
Getting started with promoting your studio online? Here are three ways to reach your audience:
Start with an email blast to all existing members and share that you’ve launched a new online studio
Go social and share the news on all of your social media accounts
Leverage Digital PR to create buzz around your new virtual offering
Use paid media to target and reach people who fit the profile of your ideal customer. You can advertise on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and many other platforms,
Bonus tip: launch your own OTT Apps
OTT or over-the-top apps are custom apps you can launch for your fitness brand. I know, the idea may sound expensive, and possibly impossible, but you can create and share fitness videos through your own OTT apps. And doing so gives you the chance to reach more people through whatever platform they want to stream your content.
OTT platforms like Uscreen help brands quickly roll-out branded apps, without coding knowledge or experience, and see amazing results. On average, we’ve measured a 30% bump in revenue for brands that offer OTT apps to their audiences.
Video is the next step in the evolution of boutique fitness businesses. People have embraced VOD and live streaming the world-over, giving fitness brands the opportunity to grow.
By going virtual you create a way for members to get and maintain fitness away from your studio, fortifying your business, and guarantee its success.
Author PJ Taei
PJ is the founder and president of Uscreen, a turnkey video monetization and OTT platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.