How Apple Fitness+ Gained 70K Followers in Six Months

January 1, 2021

Key Takeaways

Content & Messaging — Consistent Branding: Since its launch in December 2020, Apple Fitness+ initiated a clear and concise rollout relying almost entirely on their instructors. In doing so they have been able to create a content roadmap that is consistent, enabling connections to be made between the platform and its output, the fitness classes. They have chosen soft greyscale grading on all their fitness instructors’ introduction and profile imagery. The marketing content maintains clear, bright and clean environments that are shared by instructors and accessed by subscribers on the platform. 

Instagram Tactic — Unified Launch: Apple Fitness+ has entirely relied on their instructors’ combined Instagram reach of 488K followers to propel and build the brand and their social media. This enabled them to gain 70K followers in about six months since first launching their instructor pool. They followed a clear timeline that focused on:

  • Instructor Content: Apple Fitness+ took a strong instructor-focused approach to uplifting and building their network. They started by building the platform with instructor introduction posts. On the same day, all 21 instructors shared the introduction photos of themselves on their personal Instagrams, tagging the Apple Fitness+ account. Together these posts generated over 44.8K engagements. 
  • Team Coordination: All instructors are aligned with their Instagram bios, tagging Apple Fitness+ and linking to their personal Fitness+ webpage. All their Instagram posts tag the Fitness+ accounts, tag other instructors and use the Apple Watch hashtag #CloseYourRings. Instructors were also aligned on posting timelines. Each started posting snapshots from their classes a few weeks before the platform launched.

Paid Channel Focus Allocation — Experience Preview: Apple Fitness+ focused their ad spend on mainly YouTube and Twitter, investing $237K in ads since December 2020. The Twitter ads focused on platform experience, directing traffic to the Apple Fitness+ landing page. The YouTube ads took an integrated approach into combining the functionality of the Apple Watch and Fitness+ program, leading viewers to Apple’s main landing page. 

Apple Fitness+ Timeline

Platform Rollout at a Glance

Apple Fitness+ Timeline

Apple assembled a very diverse group of 21 instructors, each specializing in core areas of fitness anywhere from cycling, treadmill, mindful cooldowns and more.

Apple Instructors

On September 15, 2020, Apple announced Fitness+. Instructors introduced their affiliation using the hashtag #CloseYourRings, together these posts generated over 44.8K engagements.

Close Your Rings
Kim Ngo | Josh | LaShawn | Ameritemusic | Sherica | Locoknight

All instructors followed a similar template for their Instagram bios following the launch. This includes imagery, Fitness+ affiliation tag and landing page alignment for their profile link. 

Instagram bios Template

On November 24, 2020, instructors began actively posting class videos, tagging @applefitnessplus and using the #CloseYourRings hashtag.

Class Videos
Click to view | Click to view

After the reveal, instructors started making Fitness+ the main focus of their Instagram accounts, seeing anywhere from 57%-99% saturation of class-related content in their feeds. 

Class-related Posts
Kim Ngo | Josh Crosby | Amir Ekbatani

Since September, each instructors’ Instagram following has grown by +65% on average. LaShaw Jones (dancer), Bakari Williams (dancer) and Sam Sanchez (runner) gained the most new followers.

Followers Increase
LaShaw Jones | Bakari Williams | Sam Sanchez

Apple Fitness+ instructors amplify each others’ personal brands by tagging and cross-promoting each other. Fans of specific instructors are then directly linked to other trainers on the platform.

Cross promotion

Apple launched its Instagram page with instructor introductions and class descriptions. No further information about the platform was provided until launch about three months later. 

Teaser on December 14

The Apple Fitness+ account grew to over 70K followers in six months. Apple does not cross promote their accounts, so there was no mention of the new account on either @apple nor @applemusic.

Apple Fitness+

Apple spent $237K on paid advertising to promote Fitness+ across Twitter and YouTube. The ad creatives feature instructors and referenced them as the “world's best trainers”.

Click to view

90% of the ad spend since December 2020 has gone into YouTube advertising. The creative features instructors but takes a stronger stance to demonstrate the Apple Watch and Fitness+ integration.

Click to view

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