If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that salon owners are a resilient and creative bunch. As we look forward to putting 2020 behind us and head into a new year, now is the perfect time to implement some new salon marketing strategies.
Prepare for the year ahead and get your salon ready to invite new customers through the doors with these tried and tested marketing techniques.
We’ve split them into four categories:
Navigate to the section most relevant to your business at this time and pick up some helpful new tips.
Marketing strategies are all about big-picture thinking. This is about going beyond 25% off promotions and thinking about how you’re going to attract new customers to your salon and keep things fresh. In this section of the guide, we’re looking at the long-term strategies you can put in place now to help boost your business in the future.
You should always have a way to promote your business that is completely under your control. Relying on social media for your web presence is risky, not least because there are more businesses on Facebook and Instagram than ever before. This means more competition.
By building your own website, you can take control of the platform and enjoy a steady stream of visitors who find your website through relevant searches. If you already have a website, make sure you update it and include recent prices and booking information. This can be done from just £3 a month.
Local people are searching for businesses just like yours every single day. By making sure you appear in search engine listings, you can grab the attention of new potential customers. This can be as simple as creating a Google My Business page and keeping it up-to-date.
You could also use something known as SEO, or search engine optimisation, to promote your salon website. This will help more people to discover your salon and services. This can be particularly helpful if you offer niche services that no one else offers.
Blogging is a great way to promote your website and your salon. When you own the publishing platform, you can use it to highlight your best work, shine a light on your talented staff, and share your latest promotions. It also gives you something to talk about on social media.
Blogging is also a great way to signal to search engines like Google that your website is regularly updated and relevant. You can learn more about blogging for SEO here.
In 2020, customers expect to be able to book an appointment at any time. By offering online booking, you can fill up last minute appointment spots and make your salon more accessible to customers.
Linking online booking with email marketing can also help to boost rebookings and reduce no-shows. Our salon software allows you to offer online booking through your own website or a dedicated app. And when you use your own booking system, you don’t have to pay a portion of your profits to third-party booking sites.
A strong brand helps you to stand out, no matter what platform your customers find you on. Strong branding is about more than just a logo, it’s about your company ethos and what makes you stand out.
By making sure your website, social media channels and all marketing communications look the same, you can make it easier for customers to connect with your brand. They’re be able to spot your posts and instantly recognise that they are from you.
There is no doubt that social media can transform a salon business, but you need to know how to use it correctly. It’s very easy to waste time on social media, falling into common productivity traps that make you feel like you’re doing work when you really aren’t.
The best way to approach social media marketing is with a strategy. By defining your goals, you can keep yourself accountable and on-track for success.
Social media is dominated by video content, so now is the time to refine your videography skills. You don’t need any fancy equipment to create high-quality videos. A tripod and ring light will help to create beautifully-lit videos that entice customers.
This can be an excellent way to showcase the skill of your salon staff and share your very best transformations. If you’re planning to offer a new service, this can be a great way to spread the word. Be aware that you could get attention from anywhere in the world from your salon videos, so don’t assume that lots of interaction will always translate to an increase in salon visits.
The problem many salon owners face when running a competition is that the value of the prize is worth more than the exposure from the competition. This is a common problem, and the easiest way to overcome this is to partner with local businesses to create a super competition.
Think about the other entrepreneurs in your local area who are trying to do the same thing you are doing: build a local following. By teaming up to create a competition with incredible prizes from local companies, you enjoy a boost in exposure while only doing a fraction of the work.
Paying to spread the word on social media is a smart way to get attention from your ideal target audience. A targeted campaign can cost next to nothing to set up and could put your business in front of local people looking for your services.
Facebook uses sophisticated tracking tools to see what people are searching for. If they’re looking for salons on Facebook and they live in your target area, you could put your advert in front of them for a very low cost.
Do you often let customers slip between the cracks because they’ve tried to book an appointment on Facebook messenger? Using a messenger bot you can send automated messages letting customers know the best way to reach you. This can prevent you from missing out on bookings or annoying your customers.
There’s a common phrase in marketing circles that you should sell the sizzle, not the sausage. This means you need to think like a customer and talk about the benefit, not the process.
So, you’re not selling a haircut, you’re selling increased confidence. And you’re not selling a full head of highlights, you’re selling the chance to make your ex jealous. Think about how you can include this in your social media marketing messages to create a bigger impact.
If your promotions lack focus and strategy, don’t worry, it’s easy to get things back on track. The most important thing to remember is that every promotion should offer some benefit to your business.
Offering a 10% discount to customers that are already booked in will simply eat into your profits. But a promotion that requires customers to sign up to your mailing list adds value. Think about how every promotion can deliver long-term value to your business.
A strong email marketing list will allow you to stay connected with your customer base and share promotions directly. Sharing them on social media allows anyone to claim them, but by growing your email marketing database, you can reward your most loyal customers.
Use professional salon software to collect email addresses in a safe and compliant way. Never fall victim to companies offering to sell you a database, as this would be against GDPR guidelines.
Every booking should have a mobile number attached to it so you can send scheduled text alerts. This could include an appointment reminder, a review reminder and a re-booking reminder. Once this information is in your system, you don’t have to worry about scheduling these messages; they will happen automatically.
Customers love a good loyalty scheme. If they have a choice between using up all of the 10% introductory discounts in the area, or sticking with one salon and building up to a great discount, it’s easy to guess which will be more popular.
When a customer finds a salon and a stylist they like, it won’t take much convincing to get them to keep coming back. Offering an automated loyalty scheme will allow you to grow your marketing lists while rewarding customers for coming back time and time again.
Planning your marketing events a year in advance isn’t that difficult once you sit down with a calendar. Plot the big events that happen every year that generate interest in your business and then create a promotion for each event. When you know what you have coming up, your marketing plans will feel a lot more natural and less rushed.
When customers are paying for their most recent haircut, they might not be thinking three months ahead. But they might be tempted to do so if there is an incentive for them to re-book on the spot. By offering a discount on their next booking – that is only available when they book within a certain time frame – you can turn on the repeat custom machine.
Don’t neglect your retail sales, as this can easily double the value of a salon visit. Customers should be reminded that shopping local is the responsible thing to do during these difficult times.
If you can’t have your salon at full capacity, make sure you’re making the most of the space with professional and enticing retail options. Offer all of the products you use and more to help customers achieve that salon-quality finish from home.
Gift baskets are particularly popular during the holiday season and can be made up to suit any budget. You could also create price band gift baskets that allow customers to pick and choose the products they love the most.
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Graduation will be popular times for these gifts, but remember that people have birthdays all year round, and salon gifts can be a great option for last-minute ideas.
If you want customers to purchase your retail offering, they need to know that they’ll get great results with your products at home. Once a customer has used a sample of a salon-quality shampoo, they’ll struggle to go back to Pantene or Tresemme, so salon samples are a great way to get people hooked.
Be selective with the samples and make customers feel like they are getting a real treat when they get the freebies.
All salon staff should be trained to talk about the products they are using. Customers love the smells, textures and finishes of professional quality products. If you think a shine spray is going to leave your customer’s hair looking incredible every single time, don’t be afraid to sing its praises.
The same goes for products that will keep hair looking healthy between cuts. It might feel like you’re cheating yourself out of business, but customers will appreciate the extra care and attention.
Customers might want advice between cuts, and this is where online consultations can come in handy. Offering bespoke advice on the best products to use for problem hair is an excellent way to promote your retail offering.
You could use Instagram stories to invite questions from your customers or go live on Facebook to find out what your customers want to know. Link them to your products to turn your social media activity into cash.
If customers know that you offer 10% off everything every payday, they’ll just wait for payday before ordering from you. To stop your reductions becoming predictable, create flash sales on individual items. This will add urgency and scarcity to your promotions and encourage your customers to act.
You could also replicate this across your salon offering. Flash sales are perfect for filling last-minute appointments or cancellations. They’re also great for clearing out surplus stock that is at risk of going out of date.