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With many gyms under city-mandated shutdowns and CDC recommendations to stay home, many gym owners are left wondering what to do with their Facebook ads during the COVID-19 pandemic. Should you decrease your budget? Should you pause your ads altogether? It can be difficult to determine the best course of action and how to make the best use of a tight budget in tough times. We understand the financial strain the COVID-19 outbreak has had on our customers and realize not everyone is able to continue advertising at this time. We’re here for you, and we’re in this together. This post will focus on how to effectively scale back your budget if you have resources available for advertising.

Change Your Objective

It might be tempting to pause your ads altogether during times where lead generation is low. However, if you have a small budget to allocate to your Facebook ads you can still use it productively.

Lead generation and conversion ads are more expensive because you’re usually asking for contact information or membership/ trial sign-up which comes with a price.  Switching to a Traffic or Engagement objective allows you to scale back your budget while still engaging your audience and building brand awareness. These objectives will also help you create a warm audience you can then target with your Lead Generation ads in a few months.

It can be harder to see the return on these objectives because they aren’t generating direct leads but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the investment. Audience targeting is key to running successful Facebook ads. Use this time to build a strong relationship with your audience. Provide relevant content and strong social presence to establish your business as an expert in your industry.

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Best Practices for Traffic Campaigns

Instead of sending traffic to your website homepage or a sign-up page, send users to blog posts or other relevant content in your industry. This type of content helps your business establish authority and show your audience you know what you’re talking about. Simply put, it creates trust.

This could be a post including 5 ways martial arts increases self-confidence, how CrossFit can reduce stress and anxiety, grocery lists, infographics, home workouts, meditation techniques etc. Anything that provides valuable information to your audience is fair game!

Best Practices for Engagement Campaigns

There are three types of Engagement objectives in Facebook Ads Manager: Post Engagement, Page Likes and Event Responses. For this post we’re going to focus on Post Engagement and Page Likes. With the current COVID-19 recommendations, event responses aren’t the most relevant.

Post Engagement and Page Likes are great low-cost options to spread brand awareness in your community and get connected to people interested in what you have to offer. Use posts to promote any online class formats and positive messaging. Staying active on your Facebook page promotes an engaged community that all future prospects would love to be a part of!

Long-Term Strategy

By running these low-cost options, you’re able to keep your audience engaged and keep your business top-of-mind. With Facebook’s audience targeting options, you’re able to create lookalike audiences based on the activity you get from Traffic and Engagement objectives. This leads to a warmer captive audience when you’re ready to look for leads again. The strategy here is to serve your lead generation ads to people who have interacted with your business recently through your Traffic or Engagement campaigns, rather than casting your lead generation ad to a cold audience who might not be familiar with your business. In the end, this leads to warmer leads and a higher conversion rate!


Watch our COVID-19 planning webinar to see how industry leaders are handling these abnormal times.