I don't know your local business environment, but here's my experience.
My wife and I have a branding and digital marketing agency in Southwest Florida. We moved here in 2012 not knowing a soul, Prior to that, we had run an agency together in Switzerland, so when we came to Florida we were starting a brand new agency in a brand new environment.
The single most effective marketing tool for us has been networking, and our local chamber of commerce has played a big role in that. We joined the chamber not long after setting up our business and it was gold mine for us. We have since become very involved in the chamber and other networking groups and events. It's brought us tons of business.
Word of warning, many people join chambers and similar groups and they expect it to bring them business. It doesn't work that way. You have to get involved, go to events, get to know the staff, and you have to be visible and engaged.
Now, being a digital marketing agency, we also use digital marketing to attract business. One of the things most local businesses overlook is local search business listings. Services like Google, Facebook, Yelp, YellowPages and others publish information about local businesses. Some of these service are know and syndicators, meaning they supply info about local businesses to other services, including mobile apps, and other search related directories. If you are not listed on these syndicators or if your information is inconsistent or unverified, guess what, you are not going to be found on these services. I know everybody talks about Google search, but it is not the only place people search for businesses. To find out if your business is properly listed, we have a free, no obligation tool on our website to test your search listings. I encourage you to visit http://www.brilliantlens.com/local-search-listing-visibility-test and find out how your business comes out.
If you contact through local communities. And offer some special package to nearby clients, your gym business will expand like anything.
Also, I suggest you to modernize your way to interact with clients, client-gym, client-trainer interaction. You can use mobile app for this type of personalized interaction. An app is not and expensive affair now.
If you contact me, I can offer you gym business related app with chat feature, it will be very helpful for gym to interact with clients, a happy clients is best advertisement than expensive ad campaigns.
The first thing you should do is to reseach the market and learn your potential clients needs. I personally believe that none business can be profitable without a powerful marketing strategy. It's great you're using Facebook, blogs, Twitter. Unfortunately, that's not enough. Try to contact these guys - http://thecmoclub.com/ . They're true marketing experts!
Social Media is mainly for marketing but the Sale is done thru direct marketing, i.e. visiting local gyms. Organizing events for the Fitness freak and trainers. Display of products, etc.
In my opinion a reputation marketing plan is the best way to market locally. Having positive reviews and a good irresistible offer can bring in qualified prospects into your marketing funnel.
I have designed/marketed for a few fitness locations around myself. The best I found is foot traffic, some drop mail options locally in the 1-5 mile of your studio & free sessions. You have a very tough business to reach. Deal with a marketing agency in your area. That KNOWS your area. They can also come up with some slick ads that draw attention. Good luck!
Social Media , PPC , SEO , Email Marketing , Offline marketing . Sponsorship in events etc etc ,
get more on online marketing and branding on destinsol.com
I would incorporate using video and participating or sponsoring a few health fairs in your local area. Create a sign up sheet at the events and add them to your email list. Utilize that list to grow your business. Best of luck to you!!!
Grassroots marketing for fitness has worked very good for me in the past. I've partnered with charity events, LifeWalk, Susan Komen, etc. with a small investment or none, you can have a team sponsor and support to raise money and also a table or booth to introduce yourself and service. Being face to face with potential clients is a 10000000x more effective that Facebook ads. Let that happen organically anyway with actual clients. If you have the money get a nice car/truck and have it wrapped with your ad. Either hire a team or have your employees drive it around to areas where fitness is important. Targeting LGBT is great for this, having driving around when sports games get out, pass out a unique piece of POS other than a flyer that the consumer will take home and use. Be sure that everyone who is representing you know everything about what you do, all the services you offer and is an active member there as well. A great angle for fitness bus is to take the fear out of the gym process, if it's memberships, intimidation for not being fit when joining, offering a unique service like a 30 day 30lbs fast start program. You could partner with local farm to table restaurants or juice bars that would receive benefit by being part of your 30 in 30 fast start. People like consistency in your marketing and messaging. Be sure your social media and web is consistent and frequently updated. Allow reviews to be posted on your site with results. Have a mobile site that is just as functional as your traditional, make as much info, pricing, billing, signing up, accepting payments, etc available online where a new client doesn't have to call or come in person. The clients that have used group coupon sites have never profited or benefited in ANY way by advertising with them. They bring a different type of consumer that has no interest in trying a new fitness facility or what you have to offer that is unique from other similar businesses. They are in it just for the deal and you will be taking a loss on each deal, pissing off existing customers, guaranteed bad reviews no matter what and with a published 1% customer retention rate by using these sites, you might as well just buy a sign at the dollar store that says CLEARANCE SALE - EVERYTHING MUST GO - GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. Having a YouTube channel is great, posting videos to social media outlets with a fitness tip, intro to yourself, business, upcoming events, etc. work very well. I've partnered with many weight loss clinics and Doctors and that has worked very well too. You can offer a free or discounted intro 20 min class at the clinic/hospital to the patients of your partnered Doc's. This has worked very very well for my fitness clients because these people have just taken a drastic step to save their lives, so needless to say, they are a very captive audience.
Instead of membership drives to turn and burn with high pressure sales and contracts like all the big chains do, follow the lead of the cell phone companies now. No contracts, no pressure, ability to do it all online. I think the Sprint Framily campaign is genius and could translate easily into your business.