In recent years, digitization has transformed the fitness industry. The shift has resulted because of the countless apps, blogs and video tutorials that are now easily accessible to users. Due to this, no longer does one need to visit the gym or hire a personal trainer to achieve fitness goals. While there are numerous options available, one app that has successfully captured the hearts of users and kept them engaged is Sweat with Kayla, created by Australian fitness trainer Kayla Itsines.
Granted that Sweat is not the only online fitness program out there. Popular programs such as P90X, which has workouts for men and women, and Blogilates by fitness guru, Cassey Ho, came up around the same time, but none of these have been able to replicate Kayla’s success. Today, we analyze the strategies that have contributed to the success of the Sweat app, which is geared to bring in US$77 million this year.
1. Ease of Access
Over the years, technology has changed the way in which fitness gurus market their programs. From VHS tapes, DVDs and online video tutorials on platforms such as YouTube, today, apps are the way to go. After the initial success of the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) PDF e-books, Kayla capitalized on her popularity by creating a mobile app that offered the same workouts, so that they could be accessed by women from anywhere – an invaluable convenience, especially for busy working women, who often don’t have time to go to a gym.
2. Building a Community
BBG was not the first fitness program that made its content available online to users. When Kayla first offered the Bikini Body Workout, several popular programs had online communities, but none of them had a presence on Instagram and Facebook. As a result, they couldn’t expand their reach beyond 3-4 million followers.
3. User Engagement
Building a community of followers is just half the job done. With the numerous fitness apps and online workouts that users have access to, keeping individuals motivated and engaged is a challenge, especially without the physical presence of a trainer. Part of Sweat’s success is its community interaction with reposts or sharing or pictures of workouts and before/after images of users to applaud their progress. This, in turn, keeps other users motivated as they can see the results and believe that it can happen to them too if they stick with the program. Push notifications are another key element to increase a person’s motivation to complete their daily workout.
4. Subscription After Trial
While users can see the results of the program through before/after images on Instagram, one of the main factors that hook customers is that the app can be tested before the user starts paying for it. The initial download is free, and users can use the trial period to decide whether they want to subscribe. Usually, users are hesitant to pay monthly subscription fees without experiencing results, but the free one-week trial allows them to assess the program benefits to understand if it is worth the money.
Since women are the main target for the program, the design of the website as well as the app store page includes feminine elements such as bold colors, gender-specific content, tips and tricks. The tone is conversational like Kayla is trying to understand her friend’s problems and providing solutions for them. The content is friendly rather than preachy and focuses on encouraging a woman to improve her lifestyle.
6. Holistic Approach
One of the disadvantages of many fitness apps is that their offering is restricted to a specific set of workouts. By collaborating with Sjana Elise and Kelsey Wells, Kayla has created a complex system that covers mind and body fitness, nutrition and post-pregnancy workouts, so that the app covers a wide range of needs of the target audience, namely women.
7. Bonus Features
Besides geolocation tagging, which helps users to track their workouts and current position, to complete the workout experience, Sweat offers curated music playlists can be streamed through Apple Music, and it plans to expand this to the Apple TV soon. Additionally, videos of Kayla demonstrating a routine and a post workout module built into the app help to keep the users injury-free and speed up recovery.
8. Social Sharing
While the Instagram page is the main platform for community interaction, Kayla has continuously explored new techniques such as creating a #BBG hashtag and made content available on other platforms like YouTube so that anyone can try a few of her video tutorials and share them easily. This has helped to expand her following further.
9. Regular Advancement in Technology
The Sweat team is extremely tech-savvy and understands the need to keep up to date with the newest technologies. After progressing from eBooks to mobile apps, the team is now building a watch app. Where earlier a user could view workout videos on the iPhone, with the watch app, advanced users who don’t need to see the demo on the app will get an audio notification about the next exercise. Additionally, they are exploring Augmented Reality (AR) so that they can offer women the best technologies when it becomes available.
At TechAhead, we have experience in creating a wide range of health and fitness apps for clients from across the world. Our team is adept at iOS and Android app development. Additionally, we have AR specialists who can help to take your app to the next level.
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