D o you own a fitness-related business and would love to get a bit more traction on your Instagram during these difficult times? Or perhaps you’re looking for some inspiration to help your fitness brand thrive through COVID-19 despite lockdowns and social distancing measures?
It’s no secret that the fitness industry has gained tremendous popularity over the last few decades, driven by wearables, healthier habits, and fitness influencers. However, the lockdown measures that have been implemented around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have heavily impacted the industry and, more particularly, personal trainers, studios, and gyms.
The good news is, from popular fitness influencers to successful gyms and apparel labels, some fitness brands have managed to pull through and even flourish as they harnessed the power of social media marketing.
To help you learn from them, we’ve highlighted below ten European and American Instagram accounts that have managed to adapt to the COVID situation and have even been thriving this year.
1. Digme Fitness
The UK-based yoga, HIIT, and running studio has done a great job at keeping its audience engaged and connected during the pandemic through its Instagram account.
Indeed, to help its customers navigate these difficult times, the brand has been posting videos of the Digme Fitness team delivering supportive and inclusive messages, turning the fitness venue into a friendly, approachable, and trustworthy studio.
Digme Fitness has also managed to identify potential gaps and opportunities and has launched a few innovative initiatives throughout the year to help its customers stay emotionally and physically healthy and fit during lockdowns.
As a result, Digme Fitness began offering a bike-rental option along with virtual bike classes for its clients to recreate a studio atmosphere at home and enhance their at-home workout.
2. Luke Worthington
Luke Worthington is a London-based fitness trainer for Nike who has a PhD in nutrition and has a very loyal audience on social media.
Luke’s feed brims with educational fitness and nutritional tips to help people make the most of their workout every day. One of the great things Luke has implemented is a Q&A Sunday session where he meticulously answers questions from his followers about specific training exercises.
During the various lockdowns in the UK, Luke has also been posting workout videos to help his followers stay in their training routine or jump on the health and fitness bandwagon. Luke’s posts are always incredibly detailed and, not only provide exercise and guidance on the number of repetitions or amount of weight that should be lifted, but they also perfectly explain the mechanical process behind each exercise and how they affect the body.
3. Treinadora Carol Vaz
Treinadora Carol Vaz is a highly successful Portuguese fitness trainer who specializes in helping women achieve their health and body goals through group and personal training sessions.
While Carol mainly works in a gym setting, her Instagram feed shows how well she has adapted to the COVID situation as both her and her clients are observing COVID-19 guidelines, wearing masks in almost every picture or video post. Not only do the posts convey her strict respect for the rules and her commitment to putting her clients’ health first, but they also show that Carol is always there to support her loyal clients, even during challenging times.
Despite the masks, her feed conveys a feeling of happiness, excitement, and fulfillment as her clients work hard and get to proudly showcase their results live!
4. Alice Living
Alice is an English personal trainer who specializes in fitness and nutrition. Over the last few months, she has been providing her audience with a lot of videos about daily stretch routines along with easy at-home workouts requiring little to no equipment.
To help her audience keep fit throughout the pandemic, Alice has also set up multiple 28-day challenges, connecting with her followers on a daily basis to provide fitness and emotional support.
Along with training tips, the personal trainer and social media influencer offers valuable nutrition tips and answers her followers’ questions regarding snacking and eating habits when stuck at home.
Alice’s feed is brightened up by her smile and her friendly attitude, which makes her very approachable.
5. Barre Shape
Barre Shape is a boutique Barre & Dance studio located in Paris. The venue’s Instagram feed brims with healthy and delicious food recipes, motivational quotes, along with fitness exercises.
In order to adapt to the lockdown restrictions, Barre Shape has created a Video on Demand (VOD) platform where users can find classes and tips 24/7. This has been very beneficial to the studio as it has allowed it to reach a national audience.
To keep its followers in the loop and remind them about its online classes, the brand consistently posts about class options and times.
The feed also features a Coronavirus story, updating customers and followers about the latest government guidelines.
6. L’Orange Bleue
L’Orange Bleue is a fitness brand featuring over 400 fitness clubs in France.
The brand’s feed is bright and vibrant, just like the different personal trainers featured in the multiple coaching videos. Through these videos, l’Orange Bleue provides training tips and exercises to its audience and encourages its followers to jump online to attend one of its numerous virtual classes during lockdown.
The brand’s strategy on Instagram is remarkable as it perfectly harnesses the power of video content to clearly inform followers about upcoming classes, while giving them a snapshot of what challenges will be covered during the sessions. Their engaging and interactive approach combined with a clear and vibrant color code conveys energy and good vibes.
Besides, to navigate these difficult times and stand out from the competition, L’Orange Bleue is rolling out a brilliant online Advent Calendar strategy. Indeed, every day in December, followers have the chance to enter different giveaways with amazing prizes to be won! This is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth and increase brand awareness.
Like many fitness brands, the Swiss outdoor sports retailer has developed online classes to help its audience keep fit and stay active during the pandemic.
As a result, Intersport has managed to create a loyal online community by launching its workINS initiative (#WorkINS), providing followers with almost daily at-home workout sessions requiring little to no equipment for outdoor sports, including running and football.
These sessions are run by friendly and highly skilled professional coaches whose specialties and hobbies are featured each week in specific posts, making the brand more personable.
The brand has also created a workINS story highlight to make it easy for followers to stay informed about upcoming workINS sessions.
Shifting from mainly posting about apparel to providing workout tips and guidance under a well-thought-out social media campaign, has allowed Intersport to successfully adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging followers to check the brand’s Instagram account regularly and engage.
8. Orange Theory
To keep its audience entertained and active during the pandemic, HIIT studio Orange Theory is constantly innovating and launching new initiatives while consistently providing educational video content featuring training tips and fun or inspirational quotes.
Indeed, the brand has launched free 30-minute workout sessions (available on its website) along with a new YouTube concept where health and fitness experts share tips on how to train better and live longer. The Instagram posts regularly remind followers about these new initiatives, which provide added value and enable the brand to spice things up.
Another thing that helps set Orange Theory’s Instagram strategy apart is its fun and engaging challenges set for homebound or socially distanced fitness lovers. Some of these interactive challenges include the online #DriTri (triathlon), marathons, and Hell Week, a challenge where after completing 4 of 12 tough workouts on specific days, participants will be rewarded with a Hell Week t-shirt, creating a sense of community. All of these can be done using the Orange Theory app.
Note that many posts feature trainers and customers wearing masks, which shows that the brand cares about its customers’ safety. Orange Theory even has a ‘’Let’s Talk Mask’’ story highlight featuring advice on the best masks to wear while exercising.
9. Shauna Harrison
Shauna Harrison is an avid runner and yogi who specializes in public health. Her feed brims with educational videos breaking down strength training moves and pictures of her personal achievements, making her both knowledgeable and personable.
As a Doctor in public health, she’s particularly sensitive to COVID-19 guidelines and strives to educate her audience through her posts, encouraging her followers to wear a mask and observe social distancing. In all of her indoor posts, she wears masks herself, all personalized with strong educational statements.
During the pandemic, she has also launched live online yoga classes to help her audience keep fit and stay engaged.
A strong commitment to following COVID-19 guidelines and educating her community, combined with useful training tips and exercises and live online yoga classes, have allowed Shauna to grow her Instagram following and increase her brand awareness.
Besides, all of this information is neatly organized and easily accessible in her story highlights where followers can register for online classes or learn more about COVID safety measures they should follow.
An article about top fitness brands to follow for content inspiration during COVID-19 wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Lululemon.
Indeed, the iconic Canadian apparel brand has done a great job at harnessing the power of video content to help its customers keep fit during the pandemic. Not only has Lululemon been producing a lot of training and educational video content in partnership with famous Lululemon ambassadors, including yoga instructors and endurance athletes, but the brand has also launched a lot of fun virtual challenges for people to participate in individually, all around the world while in lockdown.
One of these challenges includes the hugely successful ‘’Move and Stay Connected Challenge’’ organized in April and May 2020. The idea was to encourage everyone to exercise for 20 minutes a day minimum, five days a week while working from home. The participants were also encouraged to track their fitness through a dedicated app to keep them motivated. Another popular virtual event the brand has launched is the SeaWheeze Virtual Half Marathon, with thousands of runners and yoga fiends participating in the challenge worldwide.
These popular events, combined with useful and high-quality fitness video content, have set the brand as a reference to follow during the pandemic to keep fit the fun way.
Note that in many videos and posts, the Lululemon team also recommends that its followers keep a safe distance when running or exercising outdoors. This is a best practice you should definitely use in your own posts.
We hope this article has provided you with some great inspiration and will help you navigate these challenging times better. While lockdowns and social distancing measures present a challenge for a fitness-related business owner, they can also be an opportunity for you to develop your online presence the right way and, ultimately, improve your bottom line. Not sure where to start? Get in touch here as we’d love to help!