Go Big or Go Home, Case Study

Doing the heavy lifting for SMB brand awareness

Much like the running boom that characterized the 1970s, the 2010s are experiencing a new weightlifting and fitness craze. The modern fitness industry is booming, with new facilities, social media fitness icons and online coaches by the bucket load breaking into local economies everywhere. While this fitness obsession is great for healthy minds and bodies worldwide, it can pose a competitive problem to local gyms, workout clubs, and activity centers. So how can a local fitness facility stand out in a saturated market? The key is to build awareness in consumers through hyper-targeted digital advertising. Make your brand name synonymous with fitness!

The break of a new year is always a peak time for searches related to “physical fitness” and “home gym,” but keywords like this are making big waves year-round thanks to Google My Business and the ability for consumers to quickly find local gyms and gauge their reputation from user reviews. Just look at the screen to the right showing some of the recent search volumes for consumers looking for local gyms and fitness centers:

Are you capitalizing on this online search trend? This fitness boom can mean big bucks and growth for your facility if you nail down your digital marketing. That’s where the experts come in. We used digital advertising to generate over $11,000 of new revenue and 100+ new customers for one local fitness facility with a strategic, multi-channel advertising campaign.

The Client

Fit4Life* is a 24-hour fitness facility that focuses on making fitness and healthy an easy and convenient lifestyle choice. Affordable, convenient and open around-the-clock, Fit4Life makes staying active and healthy simple for the local community. Whatever the consumer’s reason for getting started, Fit4Life is there to help them reach their personal fitness goals.

*The name of the fitness facility has been changed to protect their privacy and anonymity
*All Data pulled from ahrefs.com

The Campaign Process

Fit4Life ran a Calls & Visits campaign with messaging revolving around a new “Free 30 Day Pass” for their facility. The creative, ad copy and goals were based on this campaign message, and the goal was to drive people to redeem their free pass, leading to future recurring revenue from paid memberships.

Objective: Drive people to the landing page with the goal of having them fill out the contact form to redeem the free fitness passcode.

CTR Goal: Fit4Life set their click-through rate goal at 0.10%. This means that of the people who see the ads, 0.10% would click through to the landing page.


Corporate Rebranding


Website Redesign

Day Turnaround

Amazing Result

The Method

The digital advertising fulfillment process for Fit4Life involved five main tactics to help drive in-store visits to the establishment:

  1. Google AdWords campaign with programmatic bidding
  2. Review and location extensions
  3. Customized mobile-optimized landing page
  4. Programmatic display ads with geo-fencing and conversion zones
  5. Facebook ad campaigns

Google AdWords campaignwith programmatic biddingUsing Google AdWords with programmatic bidding ensured that the Fit4Life ad was exposed to a highly-targeted audience of people who have indicated purchase intent by searching for local keywords related to the business. Programmatic bidding ensured that the budget was spent in the most effective way possible.

Review & Location Extensions

Review extensions allowed Fit4Life to include third-party reviews in their search ads, promoting all the positive consumer feedback directly on the search results page of Google. This ensured that Fit4Life stood out from the competition and increased the amount of click through.

Location Extensions helped consumers find Fit4Life when they were searching on any of their mobile devices. When consumers were nearby the physical location of the business, the fitness facility appeared at the top of the list to make it easy for people to find their way to it with a map, address or distance to the business.

Custom Mobile-Optimized landing page

Armed with the logo and promotional photos supplied by the Fit4Life staff, the digital advertising team designed a custom landing page to encourage people to view the facility details, engage more deeply with the business, and drive them to redeem their free pass. The landing page included custom engaging copy, a video, details about the business and a form with a specific call-to-action to encourage consumers to leave their contact details to redeem their free pass.

Programmatic Display Ads

Programmatic bidding ensured that Fit4Life’s campaign budget was spent in the most effective way possible. This combined with selected targeting methods ensured great results for the business. Fit4Life selected three standard targeting methods for their display campaigns to drive consumers to redeem the free pass.

  1. Search Targeting
  2. Keyword & Category Targeting
  3. Geo-fencing

     1. Search Retargeting

The search retargeting method reaches more consumers, more often and more effectively with industry-leading keyword-level search retargeting technology. This allowed Fit4Life to target consumers with display ads based on the searches they made across the internet.

By bidding on relevant keywords to display the Fit4Life ads, like 24/7 gym, workout club, and fitness gym, it’s only the consumers that were already researching for fitness centers that saw the ads for the free Fit4Life membership.

  1. Keyword & Category Contextual Targeting

Keyword contextual targeting is a method that engages new consumers by displaying ads that resonate with the content they’re engaged with online. Contextual targeting looks at the category and keywords of the pages the consumer is browsing and serves them highly-relevant ads. By serving Fit4Life ads to people researching workouts and fitness centers, the digital advertising team was sure that the ads they served were relevant to the consumers, and conversion was more likely.

  1. Geo-Fencing and Conversion Zones

Geo-fencing is advanced location-based mobile advertising technology that allows businesses to serve ads to customers who have a proven interest in the product/services based on their store visits in the real world. By setting up virtual “conversion zones” around physical locations, like competitor’s businesses, the digital advertising team targeted consumers who visit that location and served relevant ads for the business on their mobile device. When that same consumer then entered the geo-fenced business, the conversion zone recognized the consumer and attributed that conversion to the geo-fenced campaign.

Fit4Life chose various competitor locations they wished to turn into conversion zones so that when consumers visited competitor gyms, they would start receiving ads for Fit4Life’s free membership pass. By serving ads in this way, we knew that the consumers receiving their ads were already interested in maintaining at and active lifestyle.

Facebook ad campaigns

The recipe for success for Facebook advertising is to reach a highly-targeted audience the optimal number of times within a certain amount of time. The digital advertising team ensured this with advanced, award-winning Facebook advertising technology that goes above and beyond best practices. With Facebook Ad campaigns, we can guarantee reach and frequency of ads served to a laser-focused audience.

All these tactics worked together in harmony to drive real-world results from the digital advertising e orts, with proven results delivered in monthly reports.

The Results Were Amazing

The Results – Two Months

Overall Campaign Results

In two months, Fit4Life gained over 282,000 impressions from the multi-channel campaigns run by the Digital Advertising team. Here’s the kind of buzz that the campaign delivered for Fit4Life:

1724 635 73 101
ad clicks engagements on social & website clicks qualified calls & store visits unique form fills

The goal of the campaign was to drive people to redeem the free 30-day pass. With 101 unique form fills to redeem the pass, it’s clear that this campaign was a huge success. Each unique form fill represents a brand-new customer for Fit4Life and new revenue for the facility.

Another interest of the business owner is the engagements, clicks, calls and store visit numbers. A big bonus to look for on top of generating new business is having people talking about the business, engaged in their social presence, and generally recognizing their brand and signing up for their services.

With each new customer adding new revenue for Fit4Life, here are the big money numbers for the overall campaign:

$11,880 415%
campaign revenue return on investment

With each conversion valued at $150 (the dollar value of a new customer for the gym), the campaign generated Fit4Life $11,880 of new revenue. Calculate that against their $2,400 investment, and that brings you a whopping 415% ROI.

So where did these results come from? Let’s do a quick breakdown of the campaign results across the various advertising channels.

The Results – Two Months

The search network ads—text ads that would display on the top of the Google search results page—did well in generating new engagement for Fit4Life. Their ads were considerably more successful in terms of engagement than the industry average.

139 clicks

2.40% industry average CTR

3.73% click-through rate (CTR)

$1.48 cost per click (CPC)

55% Higher CTR than the industry average

60% Lower CPC than the industry average

Display Network Ads

The display network ads were run with geo-fencing technology, so when consumers were inside the designated geographical areas, they were served the Fit4Life ad on their mobile device. With 16 geo-fenced locations, the CTR and engagement on the ads varied per location, but the results were still impressive.

The value of a click on geo-fenced ads is huge, as the consumer engagement with the ad has a proven interest in the business’s service. The click-through rates on the ads that appeared when a consumer was within a competitor’s grasp are well above the industry average for general display ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is the largest social media channel with the most engaged monthly audience. Ads for local business served on Facebook can greatly improve brand awareness of the business, as well as generate new clients. Here’s what the Fit4Life Facebook ad campaigns gained in two months:

751 Ad Clicks

68 Likes, Shares, Comments & Reactions

41 “Sign Up” Button Clicks

2.20% Click-through Rate

$0.39 Cost Per Click

118% Higher CTR than the industry average

79% Lower CPC than the industry average

With the Facebook ad CTR well above industry average and the CPC well below the industry standard, it’s clear that the Facebook side of the campaign was a huge success. Plus, the 68 ad engagements show that people were not just reading and clicking the ad, but also publicly reacting, sharing with their friends and generally increasing consumer engagement and brand awareness for Fit4Life.

The results of all campaign channels demonstrate the huge benefit digital advertising had for Fit4Life.


We track metrics that matter

We know that 282,000 impressions and a 5% CTR may not mean much to a hard-working business owner. At the end of the day, we know you want to know “what result did this drive for my business?” That’s why we track metrics like direct phone calls to the business, in-store visits and new customer form fills, to show you the direct results of our advertising efforts. We care about real-world business results, just like you do.

We amplify your search ads

We ensure the best functionalist and reach of your search ads by using ad extensions. That way, our search network campaign offers more opportunities for consumer engagement with the advertisement. We can easily drive more phone calls to the business by adding Call Extensions to your ads, which makes it easy for the consumer to get directly in touch with your business. Want more traffic to your website? We’ll add additional Sitelink extensions to relevant web pages to get consumers clicking through. AdWords has a variety of extensions that expand your ad’s functionality and relevance to the searching consumer, and we know just which ones to use to drive the engagements and results you’re looking for.

Want to break industry standards like Fit4Life? Contact us today!


8601 Six Forks Rd. Suite 400, Raleigh, NC 27615

6470 Rogers Rd. #284, Rolesville, NC 27571


Local: (919) 792-8794 or (919) 336-0103

Toll Free: (877) 958-9792



Contact Us Today

6470 Rogers Road
Rolesville, NC 27571
United States
(919) 336-0103


8601 Six Forks Road
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27615
United States
(919) 792-8794