Many gyms are turning to Facebook and Twitter to help climbers get excited about coming into the gym. But sometimes it takes a bit more than a witty quote or a cool picture to pique climbers interest. One gym trying to rise above the din is the Source Climbing Gym in Vancouver, Washington where co-owner and head routesetter Hans Kroesen and his business partner Michael Larry have started making YouTube videos of new climbs to entice members into the gym.
Kroesen says, “not only do the videos inform the community about new bouldering problems but we also find it engages our members and gives people incentive to come climb the new routes.”
The Source Climbing beta videos show one of the gym’s routesetters climbing a recently set boulder problem or route. The routes are not the hardest and may not have the coolest moves but as Kroesen says, “We felt that a video of a setter climbing one of the problems would showcase the wall, so we pick what we feel is the classic line on the wall regardless of the grade in order to get our community psyched.”
Kroesen and Larry wanted to broaden their internet presence beyond the typical social media outlets that most gyms use. By making videos they not only create more compelling content for Facebook but also create a presence on YouTube, which is the fourth most visited website on the Internet.
“We encourage our climbers to share their experience and if the beta worked for them” said Kroesen. This method of interacting with his members allows for a true conversation, something that is sorely lacking in social media. In fact Entrepreneur Magazine recently showcased the 12 biggest mistakes business make with social media. Number nine on the list is ‘Thinking that simply having a Facebook page and a Twitter account means they’re doing social-media marketing’. According to Jayson DeMers, from AudienceBloom, “A successful social-media campaign requires engagement and dialogue with your audience, and that doesn’t mean one or two “updates” a week. It means participating in discussions and ‘humanizing’ your brand. This is what builds brand loyalty, authority and credibility.”
Not only does making videos grow your online profile, which can be hard to quantify, it can directly grow your revenue. Kroesen says, “So far we have had an increase in member and day pass participants on the day we post these videos.” Kroesen added that the gym has also seen benefits from showcasing experienced climbers on their routes and boulder problems: “Our technique classes have had a significant boost from climbers wanting to learn how to climb more efficiently, so we feel the video of a good climber displaying proper technique has made an influence.”
Creating videos for the Internet does not require fancy professional camera equipment. All modern smart phones come with video cameras that can easily capture internet-quality footage of your gym. Then spend a little time getting to know video editing software such as iMovie for Macs or Video Maker for PC. Post it up on YouTube and then share the heck out of it on Facebook, Twitter and on your gym’s website.
Video is a compelling way to grab the attention of your members, and any gym not taping into this advertising stream will find themselves missing out on memberships and instruction fees.
Below is one of the beta video The Source produced for their members.