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October 30, 2013

Putting the "Fun" in "Fundamental"

October 30, 2013

Fitness isn’t something that happens overnight – it’s a product of hard work, developing healthy habits, and regular evaluation of what works, as well as what doesn’t. Our client, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certification, is an industry and national leader in the certification of health and fitness professionals – as well as a place for scientists, academics, and clinicians to share the latest research and development in the field of sports medicine.

So – where does social media and content marketing play into this world of spandex, barbells, and carefully calibrated fitness studies? As the idea of Western healthcare shifts from reactive to proactive, the emphasis shifts towards maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle – a position ACSM-certified health professionals are perfectly placed to serve people at all levels of health.

People utilize social media and web content for a huge variety of fitness needs, from accountability (are you exercising as much as your friends?), to tips and guides, to health surveys, and more. Accountability and motivation is particularly fascinating – browsing Instagram or Pinterest for fitness-related search terms brings up a bevy of inspirational quotes, stat-backed photos, gym selfies, and more.

How could we marry the fun, inspirational side of fitness with a historic, research-strong brand AND reach an audience full of potential personal trainers (the largest ACSM certification)?

We decided to focus on ACSM’s biggest news story this year, the 7-Minute Workout (also known as High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT) featured in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal – which was then covered by almost all major media outlets, from the NY Times, to Dr. Oz, to various iTunes apps. In order to incorporate the motivational, social, and accountability aspects, we brainstormed what people waste time on instead of working out.

These humorous, off-center items could then be used to introduce the complete concept of the 7-Minute Workout, by giving brief instructions on timing, and a complete list of the specific exercises. In an extra nod to ACSM’s rigorous research process, we also included a bit.ly link to the original HIIT workout study. (Beware! That’s heavy reading!)

The resulting infographic was tweaked to appeal to not just personal trainers, but to fitness-focused individuals, regardless of certification. We hoped to increase the reach of brand recognition of ACSM, and create interest around potential health fitness certifications.

Click to see the full infographic!

Because a large infographic, full of information, doesn’t translate to all social media platforms, we also produced “mini-infographics” that repurposed pieces of the content (in particular, the humorous/inspirational content) and design in smaller, square images. These were designed to fit within Pinterest and Instagram, both part of ACSM’s larger social strategy. This gave us nine pieces of content to share instead of one, which makes it easier for our content to spread across the web, and inspire exercise – a crucial number considering the daily need for content. Just more than a week past the first publication, we’ve already seen well over a hundred engagements and shares.


There’s only one other question: what will you give up out of your daily routine in order to find time for fitness?

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