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Storytelling - the future of fitness content

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Storytelling is what makes fitness content feel more personal and authentic – elevating the experience beyond just a workout
Credit: Freemotion

Heading into 2021, storytelling will be a key trend among fitness content creators and connected fitness providers, as the industry recognises its potential to unlock ultra-engaging experiences that boost retention.

Nowadays – more so than ever due to the pandemic – we seek connections with people digitally, via social media, apps and online platforms.

This means that making that leap to connect with virtual and online coaches isn’t as much of a stretch as it might once have been. But it’s still not quite the same as seeing a coach face-to-face.

That’s where storytelling comes in, as Tony Ali, country manager UK for Freemotion Fitness, explains: “Storytelling is what injects that ‘human’ element into coach-led digital content and what makes the whole experience feel more personal and authentic – going beyond just a workout.”

A number of leisure industries – theme parks, visitor attractions, and tourism in particular – are long-time experts at using storytelling to entice people to their destinations and attractions, with Disney being the prime example.

It’s now time for fitness operators to do the same.

Taking inspiration from these industries, and continuing Freemotion’s heritage of groundbreaking innovation, the new 22 SERIES, powered by iFit – the leading on-demand fitness streaming platform – has storytelling at its heart, offering a uniquely engaging, immersive and interactive user experience.

Rather than simply providing instructions, the on-screen iFit coaches – comprising 100+ hand-selected Olympic champions, celebrity trainers, physical therapists, professional cyclists, and location guides – are sharing interesting information about the workout locations and their history.

They’re also genuinely interacting with their environments, even going as far as saying "hello" to locals as they run, walk or cycle their routes.

This quality storytelling is further enhanced by the coaches sharing glimpses into their personal lives; in short, mimicking those true-to-life interactions that build deeper connections.

Ali continues: “At Freemotion, we’re leading the charge when it comes to storytelling and incorporating this into our content-driven fitness experiences to enhance the engagement, retention and lifetime value of members.

“The pandemic has caused us to reinvent ourselves and, with the 22 SERIES, we have imaginatively reinvented cardio experiences for the new fitness age.

“Just like a good book encourages you to read chapter after chapter, or a great Netflix documentary causes you to binge-watch the whole series, the immersive storytelling found within the content of the iFit-powered 22 SERIES is what encourages you to return to the gym time after time for the next stage of a workout or progression in a workout series.”

Storytelling may seem like something very subtle, but it will become a key consideration for operators in 2021 and beyond, as the industry continues to recognise that not all fitness content is equal.

If we’re to truly engage members, we need to go deeper than just ‘follow-me’ workouts; instead, elevating experiences through these personal, interactive touches.

To learn more about driving engagement through the storytelling power of the Freemotion 22 SERIES, click here.

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Company Details
Freemotion Fitness
Commercial fitness equipment including the REFLEX™ Treadmill, Incline Trainer, CoachBike™, Dual Cable Cross, and FUSION Team Training
4 Westgate Court, Silkwood Park, Osset, WF5 9TT
+44 (0)7719 55 4216
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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