Lucrative Online Marketing Tips for Your Spa

tech_savvy[Image: Getty Images]In a sea of online content, turbocharge your web-based marketing to stand out as an expert.

With emails, social media posts and other clickable content constantly bombarding your customers, you may be wondering how to keep your marketing material from ending up in the digital trash bin. “In an age of promotionally promiscuous spa clients, endearing them to your brand is just as important as ensuring the quality of your services and experience,” says Valorie Reavis, founder of Linkup Marketing, a digital consulting agency focused on the hair and beauty industries. “Years ago blogs, newsletters and videos were ‘nice to haves’ that elevated a brand to prestige levels. Now, online content validates a client’s decision to give you their business.”

You’re already incredibly knowledgeable about skin care, health and wellness, but to elevate your content and rise above the internet’s noise, it’s crucial to establish yourself as an industry expert. Arming yourself with even one of the marketing tools in this story can help solidify your expertise: These concrete campaigns have the potential to increase your revenue and position your spa as a leader in a highly competitive industry.

Blog On!

Some helpful tips to begin your blogging journey: To truly establish yourself as an expert, short posts of 300 words or less won’t cut it—around 1,500 is considered ideal. When it comes to formatting, “listicles” are popular and easily digestible on a smartphone or tablet. Make it easy for readers to leave a comment, and keep mobile users in mind. Add photos for aesthetic appeal. Run a promotion to lure in readers. For example, try asking people to post a comment in exchange for a discount on their next service. Email clients blog posts and include a call to action, such as signing up for a free product sample. This will help your writing gain initial traffic.

Produce Videos of Value

Camera shy? It’s worth overcoming. Statistics prove that videos persuade customers to buy. According to Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, adding video to an email can yield a 200%-300% increase in click-through rates. In fact, 92% of mobile video consumers share the content they’re watching, meaning free marketing and a bankable return on investment for your spa. Although creating videos requires organizational and time management skills, the payback is priceless. Tiffany Amorosino, co-owner and CEO of Bella Santé Spa in Boston, wanted to produce a video explaining the spa’s SkinCeuticals Skin Scope machine. She completed a practice run and wrote out talking points prior to shooting, which made filming faster and more cost effective. They posted the video on their YouTube channel and social media pages. The result? “On Facebook, it was shared by dermatologists, other spas and cosmetic brands, including SkinCeuticals, which has more than 600,000 Likes,” reports Amorosino.

Invent Smart Social Media Challenges

Posting on Instagram is practically a no-brainer. (Check out our September issue’s Plugged In for tips and tricks.) In June 2016, the app reached 500 million monthly active users, a 20% increase in only 10 months. According to Pew Research Center, 59% of Instagrammers use the app daily. The marketing team at The Dragontree Spa, with locations in Portland and Boulder, Colorado, capitalizes on the popularity of this social site with innovative 21-day challenges called “The Rituals For Living Peace Movement.” Every day for three weeks, the team shares a habit that anyone can start practicing to reduce stress and tension; for instance, turning down the volume on your inner critic, or getting at least eight hours’ sleep a night. “The movement has been invaluable for extending our brand beyond our local business,” says marketing director Phil Ackley. “We’re able to build our contact list and bring in new clients and e-commerce customers who are very aligned with Dragontree’s mission and values.” Ackley does admit these curated challenges are resource intensive. The staff needs to write and sequence daily emails, source matching images, post on several social media sites and update multiple websites. They also reach out to business partners to provide prizes for participants. “But in the end, it’s absolutely worth it to us,” he reports.

Write Effective Email Newsletters

In a Pew internet survey, 9 out of 10 adults reported that they use the web to check their email more than to shop or peruse social media, making email newsletters a steadfast marketing method. If you aren’t already doing so, consider producing an email-based newsletter or campaign. In one swift Google search, you’ll discover a range of companies offering inexpensive newsletter services. Most are able to manage a subscription list and can help users ensure they’re following all the legal requirements and regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act.

Osmosis Day Spa & Sanctuary in Freestone, California, sends a lengthy newsletter once a month and a redacted version midmonth that highlights specials and events. Jennifer Klein, the spa’s marketing director, explains her process: “For a week leading up to the newsletter’s send date, I like to schedule about an hour a day to work on it. That gives me time to write a blog post and come up with a featured service, plus any associated product specials to complement it. I also send a rough draft to the management team for review.”

Despite the amount of effort required up front, Klein finds that the treatments and skin care showcased in their newsletters tend to sell really well that month. “When we highlight a massage or facial, we make sure to schedule extra staff to accommodate the influx of guests booking those appointments, and the same goes for featured retail items.”

Build Your Audience With Blogging

Blogging can catapult your spa’s website to the top of search rankings: By using search engine optimization and consistently adding more written content, your site will begin to generate more traffic and therefore outrank your competition. Originating material for posts may sound time consuming, but you don’t need to look far for ideas. Burke Williams Day Spas, which has nine California locations, blogs about current industry trends, seasonal beauty tips, health- and wellness-related news, and local events and services. “We work with wonderful writers, guest bloggers and our own internal expert staff to develop our blog’s content,” says Sandra Miller, vice president of marketing and communications. If you don’t have those resources, consider asking your staff to alternate writing about their interests or expertise. “Blogs add value to your existing customers,” says Reavis. “This demonstrates your dedication to excellence, education and industry awareness.”

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