We have the opportunity to work closely with yoga studios across the country, from designing websites to implementing marketing campaigns. As with any other industry, the world of marketing for yoga studios is changing. We’ve written about general marketing tactics to try this year, but have a few thoughts specifically for our friends running yoga studios. In addition to everything you’ve been doing, finding quality website design, and marketing yourself in person, here are a few places to spend some energy this year!
Local listings are as important as ever. Local listings are these map listings that show on the first page of Google, often before normal organic search results. The statistics on local listings are staggering. According to Google’s own research, half of mobile searchers are led to a brick and mortar store or location within 24 hours of searching. That is, half of people will actually go to a location after finding it on local search. Furthermore, over 18% of local searches lead to a sale within one day.
You can spend some time this year focusing on your Google My Business listing. The listings you see in the pack of three on the home page are not random. They’re utilizing a complex algorithm (read more in our post Understanding Search Engines and SEO to learn more) that takes many factors into account. You can work with this algorithm to improve your rankings by making small efforts yourself.
First, drive reviews to your local listing! Ask your students to leave you a review on Google. You can even make a shortened link to your review page, like we did with MMktng.com/review to make it easy and simple.
Next, make sure all of your listing information is correct. Your business name, website, phone number, address, and hours should be uniform across different listings. Make sure you have this information on Google, Facebook, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, Foursquare, and other directories.
Finally, make sure to keep everything up to date. You can add photos or ask your clients and students to add photos. You can also now upload videos to your Google My Business page. Although not a direct ranking factor, pages with more photos and more recent updates tend to receive more clicks and engagement.
2. Utilize Old-School Outreach
Guest posting was a powerful way to rank in search engines, but the tactic has been heavily abused and considerably devalued. However, there’s still great value in connecting with other people. You can secure guest posts that help with SEO, write for pages that drive traffic and awareness to your site, and connect with influencers in your industry. If you’re wondering why your site doesn’t rank in search engines, backlinks may be the culprit.
You can find blogs, websites, and influencers in your niche and area to contact. Look to work with local yoga studios, meditation teachers, fitness centers, and others who may have followers and readers interested in your offerings. Reach out and see how you can work together. You can do this with websites, podcasts, or social media accounts.
One of our favorite tools is Ninja Outreach. It’s a bit pricey, but an incredibly useful tool if you utilize it. You can find websites, influencers, and contact information. You can even use their templates or craft your own to email right from the software. It’s a wonderful way to make connections, follow-up, and build some presence online with no technical expertise needed. If you want help finding influencers or guest post opportunities, you can also contact Mindful Marketing at the bottom of this post and we can help!
Social media is an incredibly useful tool for marketing, and can be utilized with a relatively low price tag. We talk to far too many people who are spending hours and hours a day on social media accounts without much to show for it. We’re not in favor of full automation; that leaves users feeling like they’re having an impersonal interaction. Instead, you can automate some tasks of your social media marketing efforts to help boost your efforts, save time, and see better results.
First, use a tool like Buffer to schedule out posts. This is a tool that can be used for free to help you schedule posts on social media accounts. You can add posts into your queue, and not have to worry about finding content to post. You can even use their Power Scheduler feature to schedule multiple times to post the same image or post, which is great for sales, specials, and events. You can also cross-post to multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more!
You can also automate tasks on social media to grow your follower base much more quickly. On Instagram and Twitter, you can set up a few things. First, you can auto-like photos. This simply likes photos with specific hashtags. You can target photos that have #yoga attached or #yourcity. The user sees you liked their photo, and you may have gained a new follower! You can also automate following and unfollowing of users, but this gets into shaky ground if not done wisely as it can be quite annoying and invasive. Finally, you can automatically message new followers to welcome them to your account! If you’re interested in automating liking, following, or direct messages, you can contact Mindful Marketing and we can set this up for you! These are incredibly effective ways to build a social following and can make a big difference.
4. Use Your Email
Email marketing is one of the best forms of digital marketing out there. According to a recent study, email is about 40 times as effective at gaining new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Yes, you read that correctly! When you send an email, you’re going directly to somebody’s inbox. Your chances of reaching the individual are far greater than hoping they see you on social media or in a search engine.
You can set up an email marketing campaign for free with MailChimp. There are many other services out there, but it is hands-down our favorite. With MailChimp, you can collect emails from website visitors and students and save them to a list. You can run automation with the lists for free, welcoming your new subscribers, following up a few weeks down the road, and getting the task off your plate once it is set up. When somebody subscribes, you can offer a coupon or bonus class.
To collect emails, you offer a call-to-action. Offer the website visitor something truly useful via email, such as a coupon code, free class, or yoga video. Make it something enticing, and you can collect quite a few emails every day! For example, One Mind Dharma’s page with Guided Meditation Scripts generates about 50 subscribers to the newsletter every day. This is 1,500 a month, or almost 11,000 a year. Here’s a real example of a call-to-action below! Use this guide to get yourself set up with an email marketing campaign.
Enter your email for free to get our step-by-step guide to setting up email marketing!
5. Incorporate a Scheduling Platform
One of the big things we see missing on yoga websites is some form of online scheduling. Although this may seem unnecessary, it can make a huge difference. When people register for an event or RSVP to a class, the likelihood of them actually showing up is far greater than if they simply see your website and cannot register. Giving somebody the opportunity to register increases follow-through and you have the opportunity to get the person on your email list!
The most well-known scheduling platform is MindBody. It works well, can handle quite a few of your business needs including point-of-sale transactions and accounting, but it starts at $75/month. If you’re running your site on a CMS like Wordpress, SquareSpace, or Shopify, there are cheaper options to secure registrations on your site. Each system offers plugins that are far cheaper and can handle registration. Most incorporate with credit card processing companies, PayPal, MailChimp, and more.
This is a relatively simple step that can impact your business significantly. Taking registrations online dramatically changes a user’s experience with your website and encourages them to actually show up to class. And, you get the added bonus of capturing leads from your site and valuable analytical data.
6. Create (Live) Videos
Creating videos is a wonderful way to extend your reach and increase engagement. Consider some of the numbers:
- More than 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook a day (via Social Media Today)
- 55% of people watch an online video every day (via Digital Information World)
- Videos generate 12x the shares that text and image posts do on social media (via Small Biz Trends)
- Video posts reach 35% more people on Facebook than other posts (via Social Media Today)
- People spend 3x longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos (via Social Media Today)
These statistics are important. We can read over this and ignore it, but if we really pause we can see how beneficial a bit of video creation may be. The stats on live streaming are even more dramatic. As a yoga studio, you can utilize this information with incredible ease. Some of our clients have a tough time producing content with their business, but yoga certainly lends itself well to video content.
You can create some simple videos to use on social media. Below is an example from One Mind Dharma. This has consistently been one of their most popular posts on social media, and was a quick creation. Try to create something related to yoga and remember to make it relevant so people associate your name with something positive!
You can also go live on popular streaming platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Offer a little guided breathing meditation, a super simple yoga pose or sequence, or take some questions and answers about yoga practice. By putting a face in front of the camera, you connect with your followers and greatly increase the chance of shares, engagement, and converting people to customers.