Do you have a strong digital marketing strategy? I compiled a list of my top, proven digital marketing strategies that you can start to implement and see rock solid results in no time!
Last week I talked about the importance of social media, but don’t think that because you have a rich, social media presence that it means a website is not important or relevant to your consumer. Social media is great way to engage with people that like, follow, and engage with you on these channels. But what about the people that are searching for your products and or services that do not know you? How will they find you?
People are still searching for local services through search engines like Google, so if you are not here, or have a strong website, it’s as though you don’t exist to the audience that is unaware. Therefore, a website is still a necessary component to an online marketing strategy. Your website becomes important for search, but also to display key products and services, your unique proposition, to display your core values and mission, as well as to have an online e-commerce and scheduling opportunity.
If you don’t have a website yet, you’re not alone! Many salons and independent stylists don’t either, but are realizing that they should. Hopefully by the end of this article, you will be convinced that you need a website too.
Beauty Industry Website Must Haves
Top Pages: About, Our Services, Gallery, Scheduling, and Contact
- Adding a page for any press coverage, news, media, etc. is a great bonus to feature.
- Your portfolio galleries should be segmented, so your audience can filter out what they truly want to see.
Here are some ideas: Bridal, Before/After, Senior Portraits, Cut/Color, Fashion Shots, Family & Children (make sure to get written permission before posting any photos of under 18 year old clients)
MOST IMPORTANTLY, your website must be mobile/tablet responsive! The majority of your clients will be searching for services and products on their phones, so make it user-friendly.
- Update your website once a month with new photos, features or tweaks to your bio, which will keep your site fresh, relevant, and SEO friendly.
- Online Video has become more popular, as well. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, than a video is worth a million. From a quick featured video on your home page, to tutorials embedded from a YouTube Channel, video content has become an important digital marketing component.
- Have you considered online scheduling and reservations? Today’s consumer is more focused on convenience than ever. Make it easy for them to book appointments online. Access to a calendar and/or availability is extremely useful.
- Lastly, use your website to drive more revenue. Offer products for sale through an ecommerce enabled shopping cart. There are also affiliate sites, where your customers and clients can purchase products via a 3rd party vendor through your website, and you can earn a percentage of that sale for the referral. You should also sell gift certificates or gift cards online.
People don’t search to search, they search to FIND! When consumers are searching, they are researching products and services. However, when they are searching a local service, they are a motivated buyer, which means there is a higher chance for customer/client acquisition. In order to be a top choice for your prospective client, you must show up in search. Whether you appear in the organic listing, paid advertisements, or the listings, it is vitally important to have a strong search strategy in place.
Search engine optimization is the process of having your website rank higher, organically, in search engines like Google. When people type in “nail salon, Boston, MA” you want to show up! It’s not good enough that you appear in results when searching for your business name. It is important to rank for key services you provide in the geography you service, and not all websites come with a SEO strategy.
Paid advertising on search engines like Google is called Search Engine Marketing and is a great way to get good positioning on search engine results. When someone searches for “day spa” in your area, you can pay Google to list you and pay for them to click on your ad. Qualified leads driven to your website based on the audience searching for a product or service you can provide!
You can also appear in the listings section of search engines or on review sites across the Internet. Why is this important? At least 70% of potential clients search for online reviews before trying out a new salon!
But one of the concerns then becomes, what if I have negative reviews? What can I do? First, determine what the real concern is or was. Don’t react immediately, however, determine some responses that disarm the review, and offer a considerate reply. In some cases, a negative review that has been handled positively by a business owner will win over more clients than an actual positive review. However, you can also boost positive reviews and your online reputation by asking your satisfied clients to post a review on your site, on google, or any of the other listing or review sites they’d like.
Improving your online reputation is also important in your overall marketing strategy. After all, word of mouth advertising is the #1 form of marketing you depend on!
Now that I covered websites, what about other marketing stratagies? These are at the top of my list!
Staying in touch with your clients other than social media is important too. Long form content is making a comeback, and email marketing must be part of your marketing strategy. Ask yourself how many times a day that you check your email?
- Statistics say that only 20% of your clients know all the services you offer. Therefore, email is a great way to showcase all the services your salon offers. It also offers upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
- Send thank you e-mails. Set up your salon software to send out a thank you e-mail at the end of the day or the end of the week, or even immediately following a client’s visit to the salon.
- Event based e-mails. Is it someone’s birthday? Maybe an anniversary? Use your salon software to send a specialized ‘happy’ e-mail.
- Send appointment confirmations. Sending a confirmation to your client as a reminder can avoid several missed appointments.
- Last minute appointments. Is your schedule not completely full for some AM spots? Fill in the gaps by sending out e-mails for discounted appointments.
- Timed reminders. Is your client due back in to book their next color treatment after 5 weeks? Send them a reminder. What about clients who haven’t been in to your salons in 3 months? Send them a ‘we miss you’ incentive.
Set up your salon software send clients a text message with your daily or weekly promotion. This is underrated and can be really effective. Just collect the client’s phone number with their permission and send a special offer. If your salon software doesn’t offer text messaging, there are other services that you can check into.
Develop a loyalty program. You can give clients points purchasing retail, or even for trying out a new service or referring another guest. The points can be converted to cash. It’ll keep the clients coming back!
Do you want an easy way to get some feedback? Send out all your guests you had for the day or the week a survey request to see how your salon is doing and if they have any ideas for improvements. Clients love to give their opinion and it can be very helpful to hear their perspective. You can use tools like Survey Monkey which is very user friendly.
71% of skin care customers have reportedly used daily deal websites, like Groupon or Living Social, and I get asked all of the time if they are a worthwhile investment.
While these sites may ask you to discount your services more than you’re comfortable with. Groupon, which was once one of the hottest startups in the world, was an online to offline commerce company: connecting online offers to consumers for offline purchasing. But Groupon’s model could not deliver enough value for participating businesses, causing them to lose money and break ties with Groupon. Only about 1% of Groupon users become regular customers.
I now what you are thinking-It’s easily the most effective way to get hundreds or even thousands of people through the door of a salon with one day’s advertising. The problem is that the cost of sale doesn’t really add up for the salon owner. Generally a salon would only need to convert about 10% of Groupon buyers into regular clients for it to make financial sense but statistics show only seeing conversion rates of about 1%. Think about that for a second. A salon with three staff sells a thousand deals and only ten of these come back again and pay normal prices. That’s over a thousand man hours (at least two months) of loss-making treatments to gain seven new clients.
In a blog posted by Jon Carder, CEO of Empyr, an Online to Offline Commerce network with over $40 million in funding, titled “The Formula to Create a Trillion Dollar Industry”, Carder explained, “Daily deal sites frequently used a 50% off offer. That motivated online consumers by the truckload but wasn’t sustainable for the offline businesses. The offer has to walk a fine line of motivational for consumers and sustainable for businesses. Daily deals were like a “steroid” pumping up businesses fast but then leaving them with a small number of returning customers. What actually works is an “exercise program”, like a 10-20% offer that won’t drive in as many consumers but will ensure the business has a sustainable marketing source.”
SHOP Local Program
SHOP Local–is an online loyalty reward program that gives online shoppers an opportunity to find services in their local area and earn a cashback incentive for using the business’s services. The business simply pays a small percentage to ShopLocal after the transaction. No set-up fee and the “pay for performance” model enables businesses to work within their profit margin and budget their marketing dollars efficiently.
SHOP Local is your simple solution! You can save out of pocket marketing and advertising expenses by partnering with SHOP Local. Business who join the SHOP Local program are connected to millions of customers who are motivated to make purchases at participating businesses.
No risk marketing = no upfront costs or monthly fees! There’s no software to install, no training for employees – just more customers and revenue. The tracking of purchases is handled for you, while you simply enjoy the perks of an established customer loyalty program. SHOP Local will help you build loyalty and grow your business locally with ease.
It would be false to say that 100% of your success will depend on your digital marketing and social media strategies. And while they are important, nothing is better than delivering a great product or service with quality customer engagement. Being genuinely interested in your clients, building a strong relationship will be the most important thing you can do as a beauty professional! You want your clients feeling better about themselves in your presence. Let them relax, enjoy their service, and provide them the best environment to be their best self.
If you are looking to attract, engage, and communicate effectively and efficiently using a strong digital marketing strategy to build up and interact with your clientele, so that you can provide that quality service, increase revenue, decrease expenses, and streamline business practices, we invite you to a free consultation to determine your needs and propose solutions best-suited for you.
Email me at leigh@LEIGHRAEDER.com to learn more about anything mentioned in this article and how I may be able to help your beauty business!