Photo by Geert Pieters

If you run a fitness facility, having a video along side your advertisements can attract new customers, but if done poorly it can also scare customers away. What things attract new members and what things cause them to shy away? We asked 119 people to share their opinion.

In the fitness center industry, a main theme we heard from potential members is that they want to work out with people similar to them. Young, people prefer to work out around other young people. Minorities prefer to work out among other minorities. But this preference is strongest among people who are overweight and/or older. Seeing all young, fit clientele in a fitness video is all it takes for people with larger body types to look elsewhere.

85% of the people we surveyed would use the internet to find and choose a fitness center. (Note that 33% of people surveyed have never used a fitness facility to this point in their life.) 29% of all respondents said they would not watch a video before choosing a fitness center. The reasons they gave were: Videos typically fail to provide an honest and authentic explanation and representation of the business; Videos fail to be concise and are usually too slow, time-consuming or long-winded; They prefer to visit the facility in person. On the flip side, 71% of consumers say they would watch a video if in the market to join a fitness center. Most said there are both good and bad videos out there. Videos can be useful and informative, but most viewers are wary the information will be biased/one-sided.

People want videos to be concise. Shorter lengths are a signal to the viewer that the video may do a good job of being concise. A portion of people are less likely to click on a fitness center video that is too long for their preference. When we asked "What length of time should an fitness center service video be limited to?", here are the results:

  1. 2 minutes: 34%
  2. 1 minute: 27%
  3. No Limit/>2 Minutes: 15%
  4. 90 seconds: 8%
  5. 30 seconds: 7%
  6. 15 seconds: 6%

Unlike other industries, the average preferred watch time limit is well over 40 seconds with more people than ever giving answers like "as long as it takes to see the whole tour".

When asked "What things in a video would improve your interest in choosing that fitness facility?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind were:

  1. Has all the amenities/equipment I need (pool, hot tub, steam room, classes, yoga, tennis, racquetball, trainers, nutritionists, day care, juice bar) 29%
  2. Good price, deals 12%
  3. Cleanliness 12%
  4. Sincere, accommodating, knowledgeable, friendly staff (Seeing instructor encourage a member) 11%
  5. Realistic view of the entire facility (equipment and people using it) 10%
  6. Seeing larger body types or older ages 8%
  7. Providing an appealing, personalized workout program 8%
  8. Information needed is provided (What to expect on a first visit, client traffic, activities, programs, rules, contract details, why your facility is better than another) 6%
  9. Video is concise/not longer than it needs to be 5%
  10. Showing it is in a nice neighborhood 4%
  11. Friendly people/atmosphere 4%
  12. Newer equipment 4%
  13. Attractive decor (theme, mirrors, hardwood floors) 4%
  14. Accommodating hours, card access 4%
  15. Organized 3%
  16. Appealing clientele (upper class, fit, attractive) 3%
  17. Cheerful, informative narrator, no sales pressure, realistic goals 3%
  18. Not crowded, no wait times to use equipment 2%
  19. Shows how to use the equipment 2%
  20. Good building security/safety 2%
  21. Seeing diversity in staff and clientele 2%
  22. Testimonials from current gym goers 2%
  23. Membership perks/Bonus amenities 2%
  24. Facility is close in proximity 1%
  25. Handicap accommodations 1%
  26. If health insurance paid for it 1%
  27. If they did not have a video 1%
  28. Good video production quality (original, authentic, no jingles) 1%
  29. Before and after of real clients 1%

When asked "What things in a video would cause you to shy away from choosing the fitness facility?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind were:

  1. Seeing only young, fit, or bulky weightlifters (making older, overweight people feel self-conscious) 17%
  2. Sales message is too aggressive, slick, exaggerated, dishonest or arrogant 12%
  3. Price (Too high/extra fees or failure to mention price) 12%
  4. Lack of desired amenities or equipment (overnight lockers, pool, steam room, jacuzzi, towels, showers, food) 11%
  5. Not authentic (staged, using actors not real members, bad acting, sounds scripted, over-the-top enthusiasm, cheesy, cartoonish) 10%
  6. Unclean 10%
  7. Run-down/worn out 8%
  8. Unfriendly or unappealing members 8%
  9. Owner or staff does not come across as friendly, professional 7%
  10. Video fails to show equipment/all areas 4%
  11. Low quality production (shot on a flip phone) 4%
  12. Cramped space, facility too small 4%
  13. If the video is too long, not concise, wanders off topic 4%
  14. Too busy/crowded 3%
  15. Proximity/distance 3%
  16. Bad neighborhood 3%
  17. Sweating people 3%
  18. Annoying background music or noise 3%
  19. Video fails to provide desired facts/information 2%
  20. if the video is boring, generic 2%
  21. Non-ideal scenery or atmosphere (too trendy) 2%
  22. The fact that they have a video 2%
  23. Unnecessary graphics 1%
  24. Lack of diversity 1%
  25. Gym is empty/no people 1%
  26. Facility is dimly lit 1%
  27. Limited hours 1%
  28. If the facility is too big 1%
  29. Poor audio 1%
  30. Pushing you to use a trainer 1%
  31. If trainers are unqualified (no degree) 1%
  32. Hearing from customers 1%
  33. Undesired rules (can’t bring water into) 1%

We asked consumers if a fitness center video should include these 6 common features:

  • 85% want pricing (10% indifferent, 5% do not want)
  • 84% want a tour of the facility (12% indifferent, 4% do not want)
  • 59% want to see the building and neighborhood (35% indifferent, 6% do not want)
  • 43% want the owner/manager to narrate in the background (42% indifferent, 15% do not want)
  • 21% want to hear the story of how the facility came to be (37% indifferent; 42% do not want)
  • 13% want an animated logo intro (45% indifferent; 42% do not want)
For more survey results, check back here:

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