Over the past year and some more, the rules of everything, including fitness, have changed. Due to lockdowns and gyms closing, people have started exercising outside. They have also turned to YouTube and other social media to find ways to stay active while quarantining. Moreover, sportswear brands have seen an increase in sales over the last year. At the same time, they have focused on developing trendy, comfortable, and tech-friendly clothes. And finally, brands have added online celebrities to the mix, which has led to the evolution of fitness influencers. This article will focus on what this evolution implies.
Social media has provided access to fitness influencers’ lifestyles
Social media, such as Instagram and YouTube, connect people worldwide in a way that was not possible before. This connectivity and accessibility to shared ideas and information have created a global community. Fitness influencers take up a part of that community and use the benefits of this accessibility to share their routines and lifestyles. By doing that, they can spark intrigue and interest. And since the pandemic outbreak, their influence has grown bigger and stronger.
Fitness influencers are more relatable than traditional athletes
While the entire world knows about Christiano Ronaldo or Serena Williams, fitness influencers on social media have a clear advantage over them. Their audience can relate to them on a highly personal level. These are just regular people with a talent they readily share with us. We perceive their lifestyle as something that is more within our reach, and therefore, we are inclined to develop a deeper connection with them.
This has enabled fitness influencers, and influencers in general, to cultivate more intimate relationships with their fans than traditional celebrities. It has also paved the way for influencer marketing to thrive. This is because audiences will trust influencers when they recommend something.
Influencers have made fitness achievable for everyone
Before, the fitness industry maintained that the perfect body image was reserved for the few who worked the hardest to achieve it. Just remember the bodybuilders. But now, when you watch the videos of a fitness influencer you like, you feel that that type of body is attainable for you too. You can identify with this person, and when you see them, the thought that comes to your mind is: if they can do it, so can I.
Fitness influencers have become fashion leaders too
Fitness influencers have gone beyond inspiring their followers to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. Now, they have become leaders of new fashion trends in the fitness industry. And it’s no wonder. Since we have been forced to spend more time in our homes, we have had more need for comfortable clothes. And those clothes have proved to be more than adequate both for workouts and lounging around.
Given that fitness influencers on YouTube and Instagram have filled in for personal trainers and gyms, they have received considerable numbers of new followers and subscribers. Combined with the growing demand for comfy but stylish apparel, it was a winning combination for sports brands. And fitness influences have become a new marketing channel to boost the already thriving market.
Fitness and lifestyle become more intertwined with more home workouts
Exercising has always been an inextricable part of a healthy lifestyle of a fitness enthusiast. However, over the past several years, some new trends have started developing. There are yoga routines focused on core strength, group fitness classes that promote empowerment, various personalized guidelines for a healthier lifestyle, etc. There has been a variety of fitness experiences, and it has continued to grow. With the coronavirus outbreak last year, the development of these trends has accelerated considerably. And the need for social distancing lead to an increased demand for home workout inspiration. Brands that have already catered to home workouts benefited the most, which is not much of a surprise.
The path to becoming a fitness influencer
It’s important to remember that becoming an influencer of any kind does not happen overnight. Fitness influencers have to produce enough content to attract the following. Moreover, they need to create content that will be of interest to their audience. Simultaneously, they have to cultivate their personal brand to distinguish themselves from the others in the industry. Branding is vital for any business, and in the case of influencers, they themselves need to become a brand.
For this to become a job, a fitness influencer should become a brand ambassador. They will endorse brand products using various techniques. For example, they will create a how-to video demonstrating how to use a particular product. Or they will create product reviews. This is beneficial both for the brand and for the influencer as they will both gain exposure. Also, working with a particular brand will help influencers develop their own. Therefore, it’s imperative to be selective when deciding who to partner with. An adverse incident can be harmful to the image and reputation of both parties.
Social media in general, but Instagram and YouTube, in particular, have played a significant role in the evolution of fitness influencers. Their popularity shows how social media has revolutionized consumer engagement and brought about new influencer marketing strategies. What is more, the power of social media is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
About Author: Jacklyn Delaney is a fitness instructor affiliated with Dubai Personal Trainers. She has been in the industry for the past ten years, and she has dedicated her life to helping people achieve their fitness goals. Jacklyn also runs an Instagram profile where she shares fitness and nutrition advice. Being a mother of two, she knows the struggle of getting back in shape after childbirth, so she mainly works with young moms and moms-to-be.