How Gymshark Built a Thriving Fitness Brand Through Influencer Storytelling


For a startup seeking to stand out within the crowd, the aggressive well being and health business may be one of the vital troublesome locations to start.

But within the age of digital video, the appropriate piece of viral content material may even out the taking part in discipline.

Take Gymshark, a scrappy new health firm that turned the fastest-growing retailer within the United Kingdom in 2016. Launched in 2012 when founder Ben Francis was simply 19, it has grown into a multimillion-dollar health model.

Just browse the health tag on Instagram to see Gymshark’s $38 Flex leggings — considered one of its many affordably-priced merchandise that discovered a cult following amongst millennials.

Gymshark leverages a distinctive influencer mannequin, utilizing first-person accounts from revered athletes and its personal followers to create disruption by group. 

Every time Gymshark posts a video to its Instagram, greater than 4M followers tune in to test it out. It’s not luck that makes this firm go viral time and again; it’s a native understanding of digital storytelling by influencer advertising and marketing.

To develop an efficient social technique that doesn’t depend on luck, content material creators must all the time be writing and finessing the story their model tells to its viewers.

In a Tubular Labs webinar, Calum Watson, Head of Sponsorship at Gymshark, shared ideas and insights about how the corporate has leveraged digital video to grow to be the business’s scrappiest success story.

Here’s what you possibly can be taught from the corporate’s influencer-based content material technique.

Trusting Your Influencers Is Key

Watson mentioned that digital video was important to Gymshark’s development even from the very starting. Starting out in 2012 with simply a few merchandise, founder Ben Francis was already sending garments to health YouTubers in hopes they might put on and overview Gymshark merchandise.

Francis “spent every penny” to get a sales space at UK health expo BodyPower and to rent health YouTubers to indicate up. This is the place Gymshark had its “Eureka moment.” Francis realized that individuals who hadn’t heard of the model got here as much as ask the YouTubers for photographs.

“That’s the importance of digital video,” Watson mentioned. “Niche YouTubers are more than just guys in front of a camera on the internet. They have communities. (Francis) was just one of many people who gave up their time every week to watch their videos on YouTube.”

Today, the corporate sponsors 18 completely different social media influencers, which the model calls “Gymshark athletes.” These athletes embrace excessive profile bodybuilders Lex Griffin and Nikki Blackketter, who obtain free Gymshark attire in change for posting in regards to the merchandise as model ambassadors.

Watson says that with these sponsorships, crucial factor for Gymshark to do is to belief that athletes know finest tips on how to attraction to their audiences.

“We pride ourselves on our relationships with our athletes,” mentioned Watson. “We don’t just give them an image and a caption to use. It’s a two-way conversation.”

Let Fans Join the Story

Gymshark’s influencers have a mixed following of over 7.6 million, and every of these followers is inspired to grow to be a part of the Gymshark narrative, too. It’s not solely influencer media, but in addition user-generated content material, that populates the health model’s social video.

On January 1, Gymshark began a viral motion simply in time for New Year’s Resolutions. It kicked off the hashtag #Gymshark66, which inspires followers to work out for 66 days in a row, with a video that featured peculiar folks overcoming their exercise insecurities.

Netting 11.1M views, it inspired tens of millions to affix the #Gymshark66 problem. According to Tubular information, content material together with this hashtag introduced in 34.6M views throughout social platforms prior to now 90 days.

“The goal is to spread that positive message about Gymshark trying to help people,” mentioned Watson.

Each week, the model creates a exercise video for its viewers to observe together with. When followers submit their very own movies, Gymshark will typically share these too, making customers really feel acknowledged whereas encouraging much more folks to affix in.

Fitness challenges construct Gymshark’s narrative because the face of a motion, not simply a clothes model.

“Creative storytelling was a way to stand out of the crowd,” Watson mentioned. “People buy into Gymshark because they want to be part of the community. Investing in the creative side helps us evoke emotion and help people find a connection with the brand.”

Learn from Valuable Metrics

Gymshark grew almost 200% between 2013 and 2016, however the firm isn’t slowing down, persevering with to research and refine its video advertising and marketing strategies at each flip. One of the instruments it depends on to measure its success is Tubular Labs.

“We use Tubular to see engagement for our athletes and influencers,” Watson mentioned. “Looking at views, engagement, shares, and comments through Tubular helps us understand certain audiences and the content they consume.”

For instance, Watson found by Tubular information that Gymshark athlete Zac Perna has a very younger viewers. Watson shared the info with Perna and gave him concepts for a teen bodybuilding sequence.

As a direct consequence, Watson mentioned Perna’s sequence “gained 70,000 subscribers and earned 5.5M views over the course of a number of days.”

It’s simple to see what’s trending on social platforms by Tubular and begin conversations. Having the info there to assist validate choices is absolutely vital.

Watch the total Gymshark webinar right here!

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