How The World’s Biggest Gyms Drive Sales from KOL Marketing

Word-of-mouth played a big role in marketing the world’s biggest and most popular gyms. From countless client photos on Instagram down to well-curated snaps from key opinion leaders, they succeeded in elevating their brand. In the digitally connected world we’re currently in right now, it’s only necessary to step up.

Time to get inspiration and learn how you can succeed in your own influencer journey like the fitness gyms below (special mention of one of Hong Kong’s top gyms!):

  • Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness is considered one of the top fitness gyms in the world. Aside from their world-class equipment and offers, what made them stand out is their 24-hour service. This tactic made it easier for them to reach different types of customers including students, entrepreneurs and people who prefer to exercise at night (and midnight!).

Aside from that, their KOL strategy also helped in getting more customers. One of their recent initiatives was their partnership with mega-KOL Eddie Hall, also dubbed as the 2017 “World’s Strongest Man”. They tapped him to promote the opening of a new AF branch in Peterborough. As of this writing, his post has over 22k likes (and counting).

This is a good case of niche KOL marketing! Anytime Fitness knew from the beginning that Hall’s social influence could help them reach more people because they share the same target audience (fitness enthusiasts and weightlifters), and so they worked with him!



  • Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym, an international company that offers a wide range of services (from personal training, group exercises to cardiovascular & strength training exercises), is also a leader in the business of fitness.

In terms of marketing, aside from working with Instagram gym ambassadors, they’re also focused on showing customer testimonials on their blog. Part of what makes them a reputable fitness gym are the success stories shared by both their clients and gym ambassadors.

What does it mean for *future* customers? When a gym client or a KOL tells their success stories about getting fit, it’s highly likely that the target audience will get inspired. In that sense, the target customers may be triggered to sign-up to be a member of the gym.



  • Fitness First

With over 360 clubs around the world, Fitness First proves its at the top of the market today. Just like the first two gyms, Fitness First is also an international company that focuses on body training and strengthening.

More than the sales, Fitness First is more focused on getting exposure. Why? It’s because everything starts with exposure. From the words of Samantha Bragg, head of marketing at Fitness First: everything is about personalising the experience for the customers. And so they tried to personalise their marketing strategy. Aside from working with social media influencers, they also dabbled on different types of content like “challenge” videos, clever posts, animated photos, and a lot more. Their goal was to get their audience hooked, and they did it!

Let’s take Fitness First HK’s IG account as an example, and let their posts speak for themselves:

View this post on Instagram

做GYM必備WhatsApp sticker已經低調推出啦🤭,想download?搵我地任何一位同事啦🤗 仲有咩sticker想要,記得留言同小編講😘 ❤️此sticker系列由本地插畫師ayip創作,多謝 A Yip Gallery Download here🤗 ➡️ Want to download the fitness stickers for WhatsApp? Please contact any of our friendly staffs. 🤗 If you want other styles stickers, please feel free comments ➡️and let us know. 😘 This sticker series was created by local illustrator ayip, thank you A Yip Gallery 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 每月收費,無須預繳,一個月費無限任玩,快啲黎試玩啦! 登記免費試玩/ Sign up now: 電話查詢 / Enquiry:31063000 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 。 如果你有任何關於健身的問題,或者事物想同小編分享,歡迎透過Facebook inbox,或IG hastag #FitnessFirstHK,直接將資料傳送給小編啊!

A post shared by FITNESS FIRST HONG KONG (@fitnessfirsthk) on



Special Mention

Pure Fitness HK is also killing the game right now. Check out our article about their impressive KOL and digital marketing strategy!


At the end of the day, it’s up to gym entrepreneurs to decide what type of marketing they should leverage. For Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Fitness First, KOL marketing is one of the many strategies that gave them the exposure and boost that they need.

The most important thing is to never forget to measure each of your campaigns. Doing this will give you the opportunity to see whether the strategy you chose impacts your business in a positive or negative way.