Growing your business on a budget can be tough. With the right marketing strategies however, you can ensure that your business thrives amongst a sea of competition. Effective marketing strategies differ between businesses, but they all have one thing in common: they’ll make the most of your resources to get you fast, measurable results.
Marketing strategies for salons should take into account the following 5 areas:
- Brand Consistency
- Social Media
- Customer Marketing
- Word of Mouth
For new, upcoming, or experienced salon owners, employing the right marketing strategies is essential. Let’s begin.
1: Brand Consistency
It’s near impossible for salons to succeed from walk-in business alone. Potential clients need to know where you are, and why they should come to you. Building a reputable and recognisable brand is key to developing successful marketing strategies for your salon.
Online & offline
It’s no longer optional to have a website for your salon, and moreover, an online presence. Keep this in mind while you read on: a powerful salon brand online works the same as offline. You need a straightforward, continuous look, message, and feel. Upon seeing any of your marketing material, everyone should know what you do, and what you stand for.
Consistency is key
A potential client browsing your salon website, clicking through to your social media, and even walking through your doors, should find that it looks and feels the same. Everything you use to communicate to your clients should have the same vibe: emails, social media posts, sms messages, salon signage, and even the way you talk on the phone. This is key to developing a memorable brand, and one that clients enjoy interacting with.
Build a brand for your clients
Salons are all about image and when they’re seeking out your services, so are your clients. Use this customer avatar guide to find out what your perfect client looks like, and build an image that will appeal to that customer. You want clients you really click with, who appreciate your services, are happy to spend money and who will spread the good word to friends.
A website effectively allows you to be open 24/7 for both new and existing clients. A successful website will inspire visitors to book an appointment.
Sell the Client Experience
No matter the size of your salon or the services you offer, what you are providing to clients is an experience. Your services may be the same as the ones available down the road, but the experience is unique. This is what you’re selling, and this is what you’re promoting on your website. A salon website must feature high-quality images of both your location (inside and out) and your services. Remember to appeal to your target market: display a more creative style for younger demographics, and the opportunity to relax and relieve stress for older professionals.
Check out our blog for more tips on building a website for your business.
When your customers are looking at your website late at night on their smartphone, they have no tolerance for a display that requires pinch and zoom just to read what services you offer. Once someone leaves your website without making a purchase decision, there’s little chance of them coming back. Good website development ensures your website suits whatever device your customer is viewing it on.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Acronyms can be intimidating, but SEO isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It simply means making your website as user-friendly as possible. That means making sure the content on your website matches what people may be typing into Google, and ensuring your website loads quickly and is easy to use.
You can read more about SEO here.
3: Social Media
Whether we like it or not, people are glued to their phones and there are screens everywhere. If you don’t rep your business in social media, you’re not only missing the conversation people are already having about your business, you’re missing the chance to win new clients.
Keep it professional
Think of social media as a shop front for your business. It gives you the opportunity to put your business forward in the best light possible, and it shows potential clients an enticing snapshot of what you have to offer. Too often however, salons create brilliantly professional profiles, and then ruin them by posting trashy new headlines, gossip, and poor imagery. You should keep things light hearted on social media, but it’s important to approach it in a business-like manner.
Starting a social account and leaving it to grow cobwebs doesn’t do your brand any good. If you don’t care enough to post frequently, why should anyone care to follow you? Social media is fast-paced and the content is only relevant from one day to the next. Does this sound like too much effort? The good news is that if you’re organised (by using a social media post planner), posting frequently doesn’t have to take a lot of time and energy.
Create Content for Clients
Getting your social content sorted may seem tricky, but there are only 3 key ideas you need:
- As with branding, it’s important to know your perfect client.
- Learn the 5 kinds of social content that attract your perfect client.
- Organise your content so it’s easy to post regularly.
Find out more about social media marketing strategies here.
4: Customer Marketing
It’s easy to get caught up in marketing to new clients, but often you’ll take your existing clients for granted. Big mistake! Who better to convince to purchase your services than those who have already been convinced before? A huge part of running a successful salon is repeat business. Online booking systems allow you to capture clients contact information, so here’s how to put it to good use.
Email marketing isn’t dead! Keeping in contact with clients through email newsletters is a great opportunity to share those bits of your business, that they might miss out on simply because they’re not in your business every day. They’ll love being kept in the loop and you’ll benefit from the trust you build.
You can have the best services and products, but if you’re not communicating this value to potential customers, your hard work will have little reward. SMS marketing allows you to have two way conversations with your customers through a device that they have on them all the time.
Learn how to run an effective SMS marketing campaign here.
Everyone loves getting a good deal. A loyalty system is one great way to keep clients coming back. Use the aforementioned email/sms marketing strategies to send existing clients special offers and you’ll be guaranteed an influx of regulars.
5: Word of Mouth
Businesses thrive on referrals and word of mouth, especially smaller businesses who have clients that are likely to know others in need of their services. It is imperative that you give your clients an incredible experience so that you hardly need to ask them to refer people, they’ll want to.
Co-marketing is a partnership between at least two businesses or brands with the objective to share one another’s resources, and customer base. Hotels near your salon might be keen to refer your services if their guests ask about good salons or spas nearby. The hotel does it’s job by helping their guests find what they need, and you can benefit from a new client. Successful co-marketing campaigns generate “win-win-win” situations that offer value not only to the partnering businesses, but also to your clients.
It’s not unusual for people to go to a salon or spa together. That’s the idea behind the popular ‘bring a friend’ promotion where a client gets a certain percentage off their service if they bring a friend. You can also run a referral promotion where a client gets, say 10% off for every friend who comes to the salon and mentions the client’s name.
Word of mouth doesn’t always mean offline. Good online reviews are a must for any business advertising online. 97% of customers read online reviews when researching a business. If they can’t find reviews of you, you might be knocking your salon out of the running.
Opening yourself and your business up for online reviews might sound nerve-wracking. Giving people a forum to express themselves means that everyone gets to have a say. No business can please every single customer; so yes, you will end up seeing some negative reviews along with the positive.
But even negative reviews come with a silver lining – a chance to handle them in a way that reflects well on your business and customer service. No need to shy away from any potential ‘bad’ press.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave reviews. It’s probably not the best idea to ask when they’re in the store, but it’s a perfect way to utilise follow-up messages.
There are lots of marketing strategies that can transform the way your salon gets business. If you’re just getting started with marketing, you can scale your efforts to include these types of promotion once you feel comfortable with the basics. Start with one or two campaigns, and expand your marketing strategies from there.
“Marketing Strategies for Salons & Spas” is part of Timely’s series of business guides written to help salon and spa owners run their businesses. If you found it helpful, why not share it with your colleagues!