They run, they bike, they hike, they swim… they cook, they read, they shop and they share.
Fitness enthusiasts have been forming communities for decades, and the Internet has only made it easier to connect the running club in DC, the yoga lovers in Boston and the trailblazing cyclists of Tahoe. When it comes to social, I find the sweatband analogy most fitting (ha!) for exercise enthusiasts because they use the web to research classes, races, sneakers, recipes, retreats and yoga poses, and absorb every tid-bit of knowledge to share with and motivate their communities.
The buzz around healthy living, both online and offline, presents unique opportunities for publishers, product developers and advertisers:
- Publishers: With hundreds of Pinterest pinboards like “Move it!” and “FITspiration,” and busy readers looking for the perfect 20-minute workout to jump start the day, publishers are forced to craft new content every day full of tips, tricks and techniques for a healthy body, mind and soul. (Examples: Women’s Health on Pinterest; Fitsugar on Pinterest)
- Product Developers: The on-the-go fitness enthusiast uses a smartphone device not only as a Walkman, but as a stopwatch, a training guide, a GPS and a heart rate monitor for exercising. The pressure’s on for product developers to build newer, cooler mobile apps for these tech savvy consumers to take with them during a workout (Mobile fitness apps: MapMyRUN; Fitness Buddy)
- Brand Advertisers: While writers, designers and developers find new ways to marry technology with fitness, advertisers have new platforms for reaching consumers. The hyper-engaged fitness audience searches for innovative ways to meet their health goals, whether it’s a new Pandora station to run to or a cooking full of low-cal quinoa recipes, these types of curated content are a natural fit for advertiser tie-ins and branded moments. (Fitness advertiser integrations or original content : Nike running Pandora station; Lululemon YouTube channel,)
While social media platforms enhance the collaborative nature of fitness communities, word of mouth marketing is still the strongest form of persuasion. In order to better engage the fitness audience with our brands, we need to engage them with useful tools and content online in hopes that they will share that wealth of knowledge with one another offline. Let’s move the conversation from Facebook straight to the trailhead, from Twitter over to cycle fit class, and become the official sponsors of healthy living – on your mark, get set, GO!