As the last quarter of 2019 approaches, this is a perfect time to think ahead and start planning for 2020. Having a solid marketing plan each month will provide spa professionals and their teams with a blueprint to follow, so that they are more apt to reach the goals they have established for their business. This approach is proactive and will help establish focus, consistency, momentum, and, possibly, new opportunities. Here are some items to consider.
WHERE TO BEGIN?
With an understanding that establishing a monthly marketing plan is paramount, where can professionals begin? When working with new clients, there are many factors to consider. Initially, evaluate what is going on regionally, on a month-to-month basis. From weather to events, what makes the area where the spa is located unique? For example, connecting with other businesses is an excellent way to cross promote and enhance one another’s brands, while building community. If there are special festivals or events taking place, how can they position their business to out-of-town visitors, as well as locals?
Besides community goings-on, professionals should look to see what is happening within their business’ four walls. What treatments are they known for? Are their customers aware of these services? What product collections do they offer? Are they positioning them correctly? Is their retail area inspiring and interactive? Do they change their displays on a regular basis? Do their vendors provide monthly promotions? Do they set monthly sales goals? Is the whole team aware of these goals? How are they presently marketing and promoting their products and services? By asking these necessary questions, the professional will know where to begin and how to personalize monthly plans that work well for them.
THOUGHTS TO PAPER
Alright, after reviewing these questions, how do they resonate with the business? Constructing an outline that highlights a theme, community events, cross-promotions, complementary treatments and products, training needs, online and in-spa promotions, necessary marketing collateral, and sales goals is an excellent starting point. After establishing an outline, generate action items for every step. This transforms ideas into tasks that must be completed. Be detail-oriented and hold staff meetings to ensure everyone is reading from the same page. This process should be completed on a monthly basis. Ideally, map out every month of the upcoming year in September. Depending on the style of the business, a business may even want to begin this process in July.
PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
Part of the plan should include how to promote and get the word out to the masses. The spa’s website, social media, blog, and e-mail marketing are key areas to share the message. Just remember to be consistent with the application of promotions. If you cannot keep up with this task, then delegate to other staff members or outsource. Give this approach three to six months to see results. Just remember to be consistent!
The spa’s website should be point A for monthly promotions. A scrolling banner at the top of the landing (home) page is recommended, since it allows visitors to focus on multiple items at once. Connect each image to a full page where more information can be shared on each product, service, event, and so forth. Use high resolution photos that help tell a visual story for each promotion. Using the right images helps to grab people’s attention and encourages them to click-through and explore the website. Do not forget to include calls to action and have contact information clearly displayed and clickable. Make it as easy as possible for a potential or existing customer to contact the spa. Be sure that the spa’s website is mobile friendly and that all the links, especially social media, are working properly.
Social media is still the best platform to use to promote a business; however, you must be very creative with content. Video posts are highly recommended, since they help to give a page more exposure. The key to success is consistency. For example, live product reviews on #skincaresaturday could build viewership and page interaction. Continuing this theme on the spa’s other pages would be a good idea, as well. Professionals can be generous with hashtags to increase the number of visitors to their page. Do not forget to interact with your audience, especially when they like posts and leave comments. This dialogue could convert a visitor into a loyal client. Lastly, keep track of analytics, especially with paid advertising; these numbers are valuable and reveal which posts are driving traffic to your social media pages.
Establishing a blog can help a business on multiple levels. One benefit is that it can increase organic reach if rich and relevant content is consistently produced. It is a blank canvas that encourages expression of viewpoints through text, photos, video, podcasts, and more. Also, this is a prime opportunity to get staff involved and have them share their opinions on products, services, and wellness topics. This does not need to be labeled as a blog on a spa’s website – professionals can establish their own titles for this forum. For instance, “Spa Scoop” is a little catchy. With a marketing plan in place, professionals will have a set focus each month to come up with complementary topics for their blog. Also, when the blog is mapped out in advance, professionals can then reach out to contributors and have them provide content for this marketing layer. What is the plus? A new audience and additional exposure for the spa. Another benefit is that the spa may gain the attention of journalists and publications that are always in search of opinions and content for their articles and websites. The professional could also be asked to become a contributor to on an online broadcast or podcast – the possibilities are endless.
Businesses are realizing that social media has its limits, so many are returning to e-correspondence to keep in contact with their clients. Instead of just sending out promotions, it is important to share content that adds value to their lives. For example, May is National Meditation Month. This is a great opportunity to bullet-point how this practice can improve one’s overall health and well-being. After a generic overview on the topic, a spa could highlight two to three products that would enhance this experience. Rely on a customer relations management (CRM) system to establish lists based on the different products that clients purchase on a regular basis. National Vitamin C Day, which takes place every April, is a perfect day to send out a special promotion to clients who enjoy using products infused with this powerful antioxidant. On National Lipstick Day, a spa could coordinate a fabulous event and invite clients to bring a friend and discover their new collection of lip hues. Again, relying on a monthly marketing plan will provide guidance when it comes to creating content for this layer of communication.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but establishing monthly marketing plans will strengthen time management and provide the necessary structure to create a path that will help any spa reach its goals with as much accuracy as possible. The best part to this process is, having this type of system in place, professionals can update it every year to make it stronger and better. Do not delay! Start planning today and let 2020 be a year of true success!
Laura M. Cummins began Nine Dotz Consulting after helping quite a few small businesses upgrade and improve their marketing when social media first hit the scene back in 2008. Besides teaching people how to embrace and navigate this amazing tool, she also began to launch and manage websites for small business owners, since their time and resources are very limited. Due to her creative mindset and intuitive nature, Cummins has helped many businesses establish or strengthen their brand and overall approach to marketing. ninedotz.com