Having a strong online presence is vital to a successful business in 2021, and that’s true for every industry – including hair and beauty. But with so many digital channels and options, it’s difficult to know where to start.
To ensure you don’t get left in the digital dust of your competitors, it’s important to have the basics of digital marketing covered.
In this article, we’ll cover the five essentials you need to have in order to have an online presence fit for 2021!
1. Have an up-to-date website
The importance of having a website cannot be emphasised enough. It provides you with a credible and professional image, ensures consumers have access to your business 24/7 and is the ultimate sales tool for informing clients about your services.
Hiring a web development agency should be your first option to save you time and ensure your website has everything you want and need and is set up correctly, but if you’re a DIY kind of person, there are plenty of great affordable and easy-to-use website builders you can build your own website with.
Make sure your website is mobile optimised
What does your website look like on a smartphone? Having a website that automatically changes format so it looks good on any type of device is called ‘responsive’ design and it’s critical to avoid losing potential clients, because approximately 50% of your website visitors will be using a smartphone or tablet, and this figure will only continue to increase over time.
Do you have these essential web pages?
Your website’s content should be to-the-point, on-brand and provide all the information a client needs in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to do business with you.
Essential web pages for salons, spas and clinics include:
- About us page: Introduce your team and business and set the tone for the type of experience the client can expect.
- Contact page: Include a contact form, contact details, opening hours and clear location details with directions.
- Services page: Include a detailed service list with price points on your website or online booking system.
2. Be Social Media Savvy
Social media continues to be a great free digital marketing channel for salons, spas and clinics. There’s a wide range of social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even LinkedIn that you can utilise for free in order to reach a wider audience, but Instagram and Facebook continue to be the most popular channels for the hair and beauty industry.
While more ‘touch points’ can mean increased opportunities for clients to discover your business or provide them with more ways to contact you, you need to have clear objectives behind choosing to use a particular platform in order to get the most value from your time and resources invested.
- Who’s your target audience?
- What type of content do you want to share?
- How much time will you need to invest?
- How will different channels work together?
Answering these questions and putting together a strategy will allow you to decipher exactly what type of social media promotion your business requires. From there it’s important that you maintain an organised calendar to ensure quality content and a mix of posts.
Social media can involve lots of trial and error – you’ll need to determine the best time to post, understand what content generates the highest engagement and find your ‘voice’.
Here are some tips for ensuring you’re being social media savvy:
- A study found that the sweet spot for posting is between five and ten times a week. So see what works for your business.
- Including a photo or video with your post is found to increase engagement.
- Experiment with varying lengths of copy with your posts, and different imagery and videos to keep it fresh and see what works best.
For more social media tips, check out these articles:
- 5 top social media tips for salons, spas and clinics
- How to build your salon, spa or clinic’s brand on social media
- Facebook: best practices for salons and spas
- 10 best Instagram tips for salons, spas and clinics
3. Claim your Google My Business listing
Google My Business is a free local business listing directory service offered by Google that enables your salon, spa or clinic to create (or claim) your business listing. Doing so means your business can show up at the top of Google search results and in Google maps when people search for similar businesses or services that you offer in your area.
Once you’ve verified your business with Google, you can add photos, a description, services and products, your website and booking links, respond to reviews and more. This will enable more potential clients to find your business online, completely free!
4. Offer online booking
Online booking allows your clients to book at any time of day, ensures flexibility for rescheduling appointments, and means you no longer need to worry if you miss a phone call or don’t answer an email quickly enough.
In fact, our data shows that 50% of online bookings are received outside normal business hours, which means it’s likely that about half of your clients prefer to book online in their own time. If you don’t enable them to do so, you could be missing out on bookings!
Here are some tips for promoting your online booking site:
- Add a ‘book now’ button to Facebook and the top half of your website promoting this function.
- Ask five people to find the book now button on your website. If it takes more than a couple of seconds the placement’s wrong, so try an alternative.
- Your voicemail message should mention that you have online booking available so if you miss a client’s call they know they can still make an appointment.
- Put signage on your front desk or window to let those passing by know they can book an appointment online.
Discover more tips for promoting your online booking site.
If you don’t offer online booking yet, find out the benefits of online booking for salons, spas and clinics, and how Kitomba Online Booking can help you to fill your appointment book and drive more revenue for your business.
Paid online advertising comes in many forms including Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Twitter advertising and so much more. It’s a great way to guide more traffic to your website and ultimately increase business.
As you would expect, it can become quite technical and time consuming, and you’ll need to factor it into your budget, but advertising online has the potential to drive more bookings and direct new clients to your business at low cost.
Facebook and Instagram Ads is the obvious starting point, but many salons, spas and clinics use Google Ads pay per click advertising (PPC) and see great results.
At the very least you should be retargeting people that visit your website with ads on Facebook and Instagram encouraging them to book an appointment with you. These types of ads can run continuously for a few dollars a day.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:
1. Choose your campaign objective
Choose the objective of your campaign, such as sending people to your website or online booking site, and create your ad copy and design around this, such as a special offer.
2. Choose your target audience
When choosing your audience for your campaign, you can choose the location, demographics, interests and behaviours of your ideal clients and your advertising platform will show your ads to people that fit that audience type.
3. Budget, ad creative and copy
Choose your daily budget, get your ads looking great with eye-catching creative, enticing ad copy and a powerful call-to-action or offer that makes the viewer want to take action.
4. Launch, test, optimise
Once you’re running your ads you’ll need to keep an eye on them and optimise them over time. Test different versions to find the winners, and pause the ads that aren’t working. It’s an ongoing process to make online advertising work well for your business.
If you’d like to start advertising online, we recommend hiring an expert or digital marketing agency to help you with creating a strategy and setting up your accounts and ads correctly, as this can save you time and money in the long run.
However, hiring an expert comes at a cost, so if you’d like to learn how to do it yourself, read our step-by-step guide from a salon marketing expert on how to advertise your salon, spa or clinic online.
Are you covering these five digital marketing basics?
If not, there’s no better time than the present to bring your business’s online presence up to speed!
To help create your digital marketing plan, read 5 steps to digital marketing success for salons, spas and clinics, which you can use as a blueprint for marketing your business online using minimal time and budget.
- How to build your brand with Instagram
- The best marketing channels for salons, spas and clinics
- 5 reasons to advertise your salon online
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 30 November 2015 and has been completely updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.