Fitness models and fitness bloggers are the hottest demographic in the industry, with nearly three quarters of women looking for new ways to connect with other women, according to a recent survey by the International Federation of Sports Marketing (IFSM).
The industry is worth nearly $10 billion annually in revenue and the IFSM says more than 2.5 billion women are active in the field of fitness.
“Fitness is a booming market, and it’s getting more competitive every year,” IFSMF President and CEO, John Schulman, told TechCrunch.
“With the rise of social media, people are sharing videos, photos, and images to promote themselves, which is what the influencers are doing.”
Schulman is referring to influencers, who have the power to make or break a brand.
“In the last five years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the influencer game,” he said.
“When people started posting videos, images, and links on Instagram and Snapchat, they had to find a way to sell to an audience.
Now they have a direct connection to the influent, and that’s what we’re seeing.”IFSMF says it launched its first national survey in 2016 and the latest one, which was conducted in 2016, found that more than 60 percent of women said they wanted to become more active.
That number increased to 70 percent among women ages 18-29.
Fitness bloggers are also increasingly taking on more challenging roles, such as marketing themselves, Schulmann said.
While a number of influencers have focused on selling products and services to women, there is still a gap in the market.
IFSMR also noted that a growing number of women are choosing to create their own content.
As a result, it is up to the industry to grow its reach beyond traditional outlets, SchULMAN said.
“If we want to be seen as an influencer, we need to reach a younger audience,” he explained.
“We need to grow the brands we create, the platforms we build, and the brands that we sell.”
In the U.S., the majority of women have chosen to go out and exercise, but the industry is still in its infancy.
According to a study by the Women’s Health Research Institute, more than half of American women between ages 25-49 are active, and women aged 25-34 are the most active in their lives.
The IFSME says it has been working to develop new ways for companies to reach the more active market, including the creation of new content to promote fitness brands.
However, the challenge remains in making the influents’ marketing efforts relevant to a broader market.
IFSMM is working on a new platform that will include a platform for businesses to market to influents, as well as new tools to promote the industry and its products, Schuerer said.
In the meantime, Schuselman said that the IAFM has already established partnerships with more than 20 influencers.