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Aruba, September 13, 2013 - At the most recent She Owns It business group meeting, we discussed advertising. Several group members — Alexandra Mayzler, Jessica Johnson and Susan Parker — were unable to attend the meeting, but they offered their thoughts in individual conversations afterward. Additionally, Erica Rosenfeld, co-owner of Bari Jay, provided comments separately. Beth Shaw, who owns YogaFit, said she had “big advertising issues,” which she attributed to the decline of print publications since she founded her company in 1997. Back then, she said, deciding where to advertise was simple. YogaFit reached its audience with ads in health and fitness magazines and in the printed publications of various fitness industry groups. She said advertising codes allowed YogaFit to determine whether its advertising was effective.
But as the number of print publications declined, she said, it became increasingly hard to reach the fitness industry workers that YogaFit targets with its teacher training programs. While some of those publications have gone online, she said, many don’t sell ad space anymore. “So, how do I reach memberships?” she asked. Deirdre Lord, who owns the Megawatt Hour, suggested that Ms. Shaw build relationships with bloggers. But she added: “You don’t just send in an ad. They want to know why they should talk about you.”
Ms. Shaw said blogs are “there one day and gone the next, whereas magazines seem to always have a longer shelf life plus a pass-along readership that I just don’t think you get with online advertising.” Ms. Lord pointed out that in fact, many blogs do have staying power. She added that while she had no information specific to healthy living blogs that Ms. Shaw could target, she did know that “mommy blogs” had become a big industry. But she reiterated, “It isn’t so much advertising, it’s when the blogger says, ‘Check out the YogaFit studio.’ ”
Ms. Shaw said the changes do have a positive side: “I’m not spending as much money in advertising as I used to.” Additionally, she said, “We’re doing a lot more social media.” “By ‘doing,’ what do you mean?” Ms. Lord asked.
“I’ve got a full-time person in the office just posting on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ve got a Pinterest account now,” Ms. Shaw replied. But whether these posts will serve to connect YogaFit with its fitness-instructor market remains to be seen.