Digital marketing is subtle; those who win at the digital marketing game see it as a marathon and not a sprint. They are strategic, not desperate. They are cunning, not nervous. They are confident, not worried.
The needy guy or girl who is constantly texting, sending messages on Facebook, liking status updates, or stalking Instagram feeds is not someone most people want to date. They try too hard and that behavior is seen as a turn off! They have no sense of their own value and are looking to find some type of fulfillment in another person.
The confident man or woman has a strong sense of his or her own value and a strong sense of self. They know they have something special to offer. They are not trying to please everyone; they just know that there are people out there who will want the traits that they possess and are happy to meet, chat, and engage until the right fit just happens.
When it comes to digital strategy – skin care professionals want their business to be like the confident man or woman. Finding that level of confidence, however, requires that the professional is healthy in all aspects of business. A healthy man or woman is, in most cases, put together physically, mentally, and spiritually. Professionals should ensure their business presents itself in the very same “put together” way.
SET UP RIGHT FOR SUCCESS
Professionals need to be confident in order to succeed in the digital marketing game. They need to know what their brand is, what it looks like, and what it stands for. They need to make sure that their brand is set up properly.
Their brand also needs to fulfill some basic requirements online. They have to meet certain minimum requirements in order to play the digital game. The brand needs to be present online, where target clients are active and engaging.
Many spas and salons have a difficult time clarifying their brand. They struggle with creating a style guide that will dictate their brand’s look and feel. Brands are colors, fonts, shapes, and layouts. It is ideal for professionals to hire a branding specialist to help create their brand’s style guide so they have a rulebook for how to present their business online and in print.
Spas also struggle with how to use all of the available online outlets. Many professionals do not even know all of their options. It is ideal to find a digital media strategist to help the spa figure out where to present themselves and how to leverage each platform for optimal impact.
BRANDING STYLE GUIDE
There is a reason every single can of Coca-Cola is red and every can of Pepsi is blue. These cans are not just red and blue, they have a very specific color code and dye lot. Those companies know that consumers need to feel safe with a brand. Coke is the single most-recognized brand on the planet. Consumers know it and trust it. Trust is key, especially online. Who hasn’t heard of an online scam? Consumers need to instantly recognize the spa’s brand and feel safe with it, no matter where they see it.
A style guide should act as a Bible for everything that professional does for digital expression; it is where they start. The style guide will show professionals how to put together a logo and text for an advertisement. It will dictate colors for the overall look and help professionals print the business name online, in print, and for various graphics.
Many guides will include the spa’s logo for websites and social media presentation. Professionals can even have their guide include platform-specific images. Many branding experts can offer cover photographs for Facebook, as well as images that will work as their profile image across platforms.
Although everyone needs a website, the bar is now so high that everyone needs a website they are able to update and change as often as they would like. Professionals must have the ability to add new images, change text, and update their services.
The website is the hub for all digital media activity. Professionals cannot win at the digital media game unless they are set up perfectly. Any consumer that wants to engage with the professional should be able to do so from the professional’s website in one-to-two clicks from the homepage. Anything else will exponentially reduce their digital media effectiveness.
The website needs updated, relevant content that is presented perfectly. In order to have a trustworthy website, its content should be written by someone who has a strong writing skill set. Professionals also need beautiful photographs, including images of their facility and team. It is also recommended to have an introductory video on the website.
Today, businesses have an opportunity to educate and inform consumers. It used to be difficult and expensive to reach consumers. The ability to measure what worked and what did not work was also nearly impossible.
In the new millennium, professionals can turn to social media; they can select platforms that are used by their target consumer and begin to present their brand. Professionals get to tell their story, which is why they need a branding style guide, so they have a very structured story to tell. Professionals can present the brand with content that they create! It is their story on their terms. It is an opportunity for professionals to educate, entertain, and engage in their own voice.
Social media also offers one of the most effective, direct-to-consumer advertising opportunities. These platforms are rich with demographic and psychographic information on the users. Advertisements run on these platforms can be segmented to reach virtually any business target consumer. They are also able to provide incredibly detailed analytics of the advertisement campaign and can be budgeted on a daily advertisement spend.
YOU’RE SMART, SO SHOW OFF
The entire digital marketing circle of life is fed by content. If there is no content, there is no activity. It is the ongoing challenge of running digital media campaigns. Skin care owners and managers often ask what they should say on their websites and social media platforms. Professionals should remember that they have specialized education and years of experience, which puts them in the very special situation of having more knowledge about their industry than their customers. Professionals should create content that lives on their website, such as blog articles that are fun, informative, and seasonally appropriate. Create blog posts that focus on popular treatments, products, and ingredients; industry trends; or general skin care information. This content will be of interest to clients and can help attract new clients. Blog articles are available for the public to read and work as a valuable tool to increase the search engine optimization of the website. Professionals can also share their blogs on social media channels!
USE LINKS IN THE ARTICLES
Professionals should be sure to put links in their articles to other locations on their website. If they are referencing a product, they should link to where they sell that product on their website. If they are discussing a treatment, link to that treatment on the services page. Be sure to invite readers to call the spa or reach out via e-mail. Do not forget to include a link for them to send an e-mail.
GET OUT THERE AND MINGLE
The spa’s customized content is now ready to be shown off to the world. Professionals should make sure they are getting their blog articles to as many people as possible. They should keep in mind that if they are selling services, it is best to know the geographic range of clients. They should also ensure they are pushing their blog article to clients in that geographic target area. Once they have an established target area, it is time to come up with a strategy to share the article.
The power of social media is immense – the spa must be using some form of social media. Skin care professionals’ clients want to engage with them! Be sure to share blog posts on all of the spa’s social media platforms. It will enhance the skin care professional’s reputation as a leader in the industry, keep them at the top of the client’s mind, and enhance their overall brand.
The ability to share on social media is not just limited to the professional’s platforms; they can become members of other groups on many of the platforms, which allows them to share content. Sharing an informative blog article about a service, trend, or other amazing product ingredient is exactly the type of content that many groups welcome.
In most cases, spas have clients’ e-mail addresses. It is like shooting fish in a barrel when an informative e-mail is sent that features the website’s latest blog article. That is why it is vital to ensure that the blog articles are seasonally appropriate. The more relevant they are to the services the professional offers, the more interesting they will be to clients. Discussing products sold at the spa is a sure-fire way to ensure that professionals have strong open rates – clients want to know more about the goods and services they are purchasing.
This is also a great way to stay “top of mind” with clients. If a client has not booked at the spa for some time, they may be prompted to book an appointment for a treatment after reading an article that was written by one of the staff members on a featured treatment. The more professionals engage and educate their clients, the higher the likelihood that they will visit more frequently.
Local Web Forums
Many local professional organizations, networking organizations, chambers of commerce, and merchant’s associations have websites that offer discussion forums. These forums can be great opportunities to introduce the spa’s brand to many potential clients in the local community.
Local Networking Businesses
The beauty of using blog articles to enhance the brand’s reach is that they can be shared online anywhere by anyone. If professionals have other businesses in their local community with whom they network, it is a great idea to offer blog articles for them to share.
The skin care professional’s networking circle of business contacts needs content for their e-mail marketing and social media. Informative articles by local businesses are ideal content. Realtors love using content from local business as it enhances the reputation of the local community and makes homes more attractive to prospective buyers.
Professionals should make sure that they offer to share content from their local network also. It is great give and take if the spa can help enhance the reach and brand recognition of other local businesses.
Make It a Team Effort
Encourage staff members to share the spa’s blog articles on all of their social media platforms. When they share the spa’s blog content, the people in their network get to learn more about the spa’s services. In many cases, it helps to fill up their open appointments.
ASK THEM OUT
After skin care professionals do everything they can to push out their blog articles and have hundreds and even thousands of readers clicking on the articles, the professional should make sure they are turning those clicks into cash! A long list of potential clients is the fastest route to bringing cash into the business. It is vital that professionals have a lead-capture tool installed on the blog page.
Now it is time to start “asking them out.” Professionals should ask for a phone number or e-mail address as they need the contact information to move the dating process along. It is easier for professionals to set up a pop-up to capture e-mail information from any website visitor or blog reader. It is so important to have this technology on the website and have it seamlessly integrate with the spa’s e-mail marketing program so the e-mail is imported automatically into the professional’s contact list. It is a great idea to entice the reader with a special offer so they are more open to providing their information.
At this point, slow and steady wins the race. After professionals have a new prospect’s e-mail address, send them a few e-mail messages that introduce the professional and their business. Do not rush right in with a hardcore sales push. Be casual and confident and tell them about the spa, the services, the products, and the team.
Professionals should also share information about awards they may have won. Let them know of any special events that they have scheduled and be sure to showcase anything that is unique and different about the spa. The more they know, the more invested they will become. After professionals send a few informative e-mails, invite the client to come in and try the spa. At this point, it is a great idea to offer a special incentive to first-time guests.
CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
Create a monthly calendar of the blog articles that will be written for the website. This format makes it easy for professionals to plan blog posts based on season, holiday, specific skin care needs, product launches, spa service menu updates, or any new equipment purchases. The more structured the professional is with how they publish their blog articles, the more effective they will be in growing their businesses e-mail database.
CIRCLE OF LIFE
The digital marketing circle of life begins and ends on the website. It is vital that the website is functional and that the professional has control over adding content. Professionals must make sure that all areas of their online presence look exactly the same to instill trust in the online visitor. As professionals bring online visitors on the journey from social media to the e-mail sign up, it is extremely important that the spa’s branding and tone are consistent. Keep it cool, calm, and collected the entire time – pushing too hard for a quick sale will alienate many potential clients. It is a marathon, not a sprint! Enjoy the race.
Barry Eichner is the co-editor-in-chief of Lipgloss + Aftershave, a personal care and lifestyle review website offering fun and informative reviews. Eichner began his spa career in 2000, working as vice president for a chain of medical spas. He has been an industry consultant since 2011, specializing in digital media strategy and content creation. He writes for national spa trade publications, is a published editorial photographer, and a speaker at various spa industry tradeshows. Eichner is a graduate of Bloomsburg University. He loves art, photography, and cooking and is an avid fitness enthusiast and self-proclaimed coffee addict!