Use Facebook Ads to Grow your Orangetheory Studio

By February 14, 2018Orangetheory

Attention OT Nation! Facebook advertising is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to reach new members in your local area.

Whether you’re just starting to consider your marketing strategy or already work with us to generate qualified leads, we’re happy to answer all your burning questions about Facebook advertising.
We’ll start with the basics, then answer some of the questions we hear the most. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, we invite you to contact us directly for more information.

First things first…

What’s a Facebook ad?

A Facebook ad is a creative message and offer delivered to a target audience on the Facebook platform. It typically contains the following:

  • Your studio name (which links to your studio’s Facebook profile)
  • An engaging message
  • An attention-grabbing image or animation
  • A headline, description, and caption that motivate the viewer to sign up
  • A call-to-action button for people to click if interested in the next step (a Facebook lead form or branded lead-capture landing page)

Most of Orangetheory’s target audience regularly uses Facebook. If we use this platform to deliver the right message to the right people, Facebook ads have the potential to drive exponential growth to your studio.

What type of Facebook ad is best?

Ads can be presented in a variety of formats to strategically reach your target audience and inspire them to try a free workout at Orangetheory.

  • Web conversion ads: Direct users to a separate lead-capture landing page where they enter contact information to claim a free workout.
  • Lead ads: Directs users to a lead-capture form without leaving Facebook.
  • Video ads: While some ads show a still photo or image, videos and animations can help your ad stand out.
  • Carousel ads: Multi-image or multi-video ads that users click through to see different elements of the workout.
  • Canvas ads: Interactive full-screen mobile ads that let users swipe and tap to get the information they want.

Each ad is displayed differently, with different text quantity limitations, depending on whether a user is viewing it on mobile or desktop.

We encourage focusing on a mobile-first approach, as most of your core demographic is using Facebook on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Different ad formats work best with different markets, and our team continuously tests different types of ads to see what works best for yours.

Keep in mind that before an ad goes live, it must be approved by Facebook. While transformations make for great organic social media content, transformation images and claims about weight loss are not allowed in ads.

Who should my ad target?

Facebook ads include targeting options such as zip code, radius, age, gender, interests, and more. Targeting parameters allow you to reach local prospects who are most likely to sign up for Orangetheory.

Core Orangetheory demographics are available to you with your login here, through Brand Central. Different ads can be used to resonate with specific segments of your core demographic—such as ads that target only millennials or ads designed to speak to a limited but qualified male audience.

The ability to target Facebook users by interest is a useful but often misused tool. Counter-intuitively, avoiding fitness-related interests can yield better results. Through extensive data collection and analysis, we continuously find other common interests among Orangetheory members and leads—things that relate to their day-to-day behaviors, like their favorite local coffee shop or even a clothing brand.

As we work with individual studio locations, we continuously gain additional demographic information about your market to further help us reach qualified local residents who are likely to sign up for Orangetheory.

How much should I spend?

Orangetheory corporate recommends spending $1,000 to $3,000 per month on ads, with a budget that fluctuates throughout the year according to seasonality trends.

Across hundreds of Orangetheory studios we work with, monthly ad spend varies from about $700 to $3,700, with an average ad spend of $1,500. It’s always about spending what makes sense for your individual location—and that’s something our accounts team continuously provides guidance on.

Budget discussions should focus around market and audience size, timing, and your goals.

Greater ad spend doesn’t always equate to more leads. If your qualified audience is too small, spending more can actually result in wasting money to show one ad to the same person multiple times in a small timeframe.

That being said, an Orangetheory studio in a densely populated area, like a big city, might be better served by a larger budget that allows hitting a higher number of qualified candidates.

While the advertising landscape is full of all types of businesses competing to show their holiday sales and promotions to your audience in December, many markets profit by increasing spend in Quarter 1 instead, when personal change and betterment is top of mind. A college market may want to scale back on ad spend in the summer when the town quiets down, while a suburb may want to attract that same crowd when they’re back at home for the summer break.

Keep in mind that your advertising goal may not always be leads. Mature studios who need to focus on increasing retention and referrals through improved member experience and engagement may be best served spending a modest budget on event marketing to generate RSVPs for an upcoming studio challenge or milestone event, like a 5-year anniversary party.

How many people should my ad reach?

Reach, a metric indicating how many people your ad is shown to, is often misunderstood.

Greater reach means more studio visibility, which means more members signing up—right?

Actually, it’s far more beneficial to reach a small pool of qualified leads than to reach a huge number of people who would never consider trying the Orangetheory workout.

When setting up an ad, Facebook will show you how many people your ad could potentially reach given the selected ad spend and targeted parameters. But just because there are 100,000 people you could potentially reach, your ad may not be delivered to all of those people. Based on Facebook’s algorithm, targeting, and process of optimization that tried to find the most qualified audience, your reach will typically be much lower.

Which metrics should I be monitoring?

CPL, or Cost Per Lead, is a significant Facebook ad performance metric—but it’s not the most important.

CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition, is crucial to campaign performance and your studio’s growth. As an example, consider a Facebook ad that delivers 1,000 leads, but only 10 of those leads turn into members. It would be much more valuable to allocate spend on a Facebook ad that delivers 100 leads, 50 of whom sign up and become members.

There are many other metrics that will help you make decisions about your ad creative and targeting. Our LocalLight reporting dashboard provides full transparency and allows each Orangetheory studio to track all aspects of its Facebook ads.

How many leads will I get?

As you can see on Brand Central, ad performance will vary for every studio based on your market location as well as your studio age. Lead count may vary drastically even for two Orangetheory studios who are just a few miles apart.

Benchmark lead performance metrics based on urban density and studio age are available on.

Our accounts team will help you understand ad performance benchmarks and individual results for your specific studio, and our digital advertising team works hard behind the scenes to optimize targeting and ad creative to deliver the best results for your individual campaign.

When should I make changes to my ad?

The best results depend on informed, data-driven decisions. Based on the performance of your Facebook ad campaign, it may not need to be changed for weeks or even months. Other ads may need to be changed more frequently.

We constantly innovate new creative and targeting strategies so we can be ready to make changes as soon as they’re needed.

Facebook’s algorithm favors steady performance, pacing, and consistency, so pausing a campaign or making drastic uninformed changes typically won’t boost studio growth in the long run.

What else can I do to make sure my ad performs well?

Not all ad performance is tied directly to the ad itself. Online reputation makes a huge difference as well.

These are some tactics you can implement today to help show Facebook that people want to interact with your business:

  • Promptly like and respond to Facebook comments, reviews, and inbox messages.
  • Post relevant social media content that gets people commenting and talking to one another.
  • Use Emma email marketing to encourage engagement on Facebook, such as comments on posts and leaving positive reviews.

Although ad typically focus on lead generation rather than social engagement, we do encourage monitoring ads for any comments so they can be responded to promptly.

What about Instagram ads?

Facebook acquired Instagram, making the two platforms more connected than ever—but each social media site reaches a different audience.

Instagram’s audience is younger, so it can serve as a useful advertising platform for Orangetheory markets with younger demographics.

Based on market research and testing, our team rolls digital ads onto Instagram for those studios who will benefit from it.

Other questions?

We’re here to help. Join our Facebook Group to stay connected—it’s a great platform for any questions you may have, as well as to share your own marketing insights with the extended iluma Agency and Orangetheory network.

We’d also love to hear from you by phone (786-363-2620) or email ( and invite you to learn more about our LocalLight digital marketing program for Orangetheory Fitness on our website.