Salon Marketing Strategy & Techniques
Running a beauty salon is not an easy task. From dealing with hairstylists to keeping the customers satisfied and coming back, it all takes a lot of energy. But I think most salon owners agree that the hardest task is to actually bring in customers. In fact, none of the tasks above would exist without customers.
So how do you manage to bring in as many customers as necessary for keeping the business up and running? How do you manage to bring in more customers to actually make a profit?
If finding customers is a concern for your beauty salon, keep on reading to learn some useful, effective yet affordable techniques for hair salon marketing.
Why does marketing for hair salons matter?
This question might be too simple, but many salon owners actually do ask that. They wonder about the importance of salon marketing and whether they should do it at all. “Can’t I just wait for customers to come in once they see the sigh?” they ask us. Well, to be honest, that sign is also a salon marketing tool. So one way or another, you’re gonna need a sort of marketing.
Now the main question is “why should I take hair salon marketing seriously?”.
Well just to name a few reasons:
Increasing brand awareness
Attracting new customers
Retaining old customers
Get a positive ROI or Return on Investment
Make a profit
Expanding your business
Attracting well-known and professional stylists and staff
Of course, there could be other reasons as well, but these are basically the most important ones. To make it clearer, let’s picture something together:
Have you ever seen one of those salons that have been running for many years but is just as small as the first day? These salons usually have 2 or 3 staff (or even less!) who have stayed there for at least 10 years. They are not usually up-to-date, they are cheap, but not affordable and they have old and out-of-date equipment and places. They are basically so depressing that you wonder why they don’t close down. Well, that’s exactly what’s going to happen to you if you don’t take salon marketing seriously. Of course, other factors matter as well, like your budget, your staff & … But let’s face it, you can’t progress unless you have new customers coming in.
How to set a salon marketing strategy?
Many small business owners refuse to write down their marketing strategy. Based on our experience, it’s usually because they are overwhelmed by the word “strategy”. They immediately think of something very complicated that must only be done by experts and therefore is really pricey but let us set the record straight. A marketing strategy doesn’t have to be that complex. The important thing is to simply write down your main goals, objectives and the ways to reach them. If you’re new to this, just follow these steps:
a. Identify your main goal
If you don’t have a goal for your salon marketing plans, you’ll just end up wasting your budget on scattered activities without any purpose. So spend a few days and think about your main marketing goal. It could be increasing your customer base by 30% or creating brand awareness or increasing returning visitors a certain amount or … And don’t forget, as the business owner, you’re the best person to determine this goal.
b. Identify your target audience
After you set your goal, you must specify who you’ll want to market for that goal. This could be based on your salon’s location (like residents of a certain neighborhood) or customers looking for specific services (such as nail services or haircuts).
c. Determine your budget
Ok we know this is a hard one. It’s almost always impossible for small businesses to know their exact budget. They mostly ask us to give them a budget and then they can see if they have enough money for that.
But we insist that you think about this for a bit, just for yourself. And write it down on your marketing strategy as an approximate number. We promise it helps a lot in future steps.
d. Choose your marketing tools
Now it’s time to choose the best tools and channels. Knowing your audience and budget helps a lot for this step. Your tools and channels could be offline your printed media (magazines, flyers & …) or online ones (such ad Google Ads, your social media & …).
e. Build your digital marketing plan
An important part of your marketing strategy must be digital marketing. Never underestimate the power of digital presence as it will cost lower and bring in many customers. Build your digital identity for this part, for instance your website, your social media accounts & …
f. Organize your marketing calendar
Don’t forget the element of time. After you know the “why”, “who” and “how”, it’s time for the “when”. It’s best to organize a marketing calendar for your business and give a deadline to all the objectives that will help you achieve your main goal.
g. Measure and analyze your marketing efforts
Always measure your marketing actions. Analyzing the data you get after each marketing campaign, can help you decide whether to continue that campaign or to drop it. This results in spending your marketing budget reasonably.
36 amazing tips for hair salon marketing
Now that you know how to document your salon marketing strategy, it’s time to learn some tips & tricks. These tips are actually actions that could help you achieve your objectives and goals. Of course not all of them are suitable for everyone, as each salon’s marketing strategy is unique, but you could use some of them in your strategy and calendar.
1. Get Local!
All right. First things first! We all know that most of the hair salon’s clients are local. So probably the best and first step you can do is introduce your salon to the local community. This could be by having an opening or having flyers put up in other local shops, just get local, which brings on to our second point!
2. Increase street visibility
We are digital marketing lovers, but there are just some traditional marketing methods that are still damn effective and even we can’t deny it. One of them is street signs. These especially work for hair salons.
Get your salon a beautiful and elegant sign. Also if your salon can’t easily be seen from outside, try to use other signs that point out to your salon and increase your visibility.
3. Do local SEO
Optimize your website for appearing in top local searches. This way when someone is searching for a hair salon near you, your website will show up, driving valuable organic traffic to your website.
4. Style your Instagram
Instagram is arguably the best social media platform for the beauty industry. Not only gives you the possibility of promoting your work visually through images and videos, but it also gives you the chance to communicate with potential clients and current ones.
If you don’t already have an Instagram account, create one. Don’t forget to make it a business one. Business Instagram accounts give you super useful insights. Start posting on Instagram. You can post images of your work, boomerang videos, and stories of your salon’s environment. If you’ve just created your page, it’s better to post almost every day for the first month.
Also, don’t forget to use related hashtags to direct related traffic to your page. For instance, if your salon is based in Dubai Marina, don’t just use #Dubaihairsalon. Use #DubaiMarinaSalons as well.
5. Get on review websites
Satisfied customer reviews could be the most powerful salon marketing tool without exaggeration.
Get yourself registered on famous review websites such as Yelp, Trust Pilot, and ReviewAE(for UAE), or simply claim your business if somebody’s been already talking about you.
Manage your reviews and encourage happy customers to leave reviews there. Also don’t just react to positive reviews. Take negative reviews seriously, get in touch with them and try to fix whatever caused them pain.
Trust us, good reviews on these websites will bring you customers like crazy.
6. Get Online appointments
Every time something delays people to move forward in their customer journey, some of them actually change their minds and leave the path that leads to you. Ok, that sounds too philosophical! Let us put it this way:
There is a certain path that people go to actually become your client. For instance, they find you through Google Ads or review websites, they visit your website or business page, they check out your work, and decide to book an appointment with you. Now if you can actually facilitate some online booking that allows them to do it right then and there, they are more likely to do it. But if you don’t have an online booking system, they decide to call you “later” when they get off the internet and sadly Many of them forget to.
So try to implement an online reservation system on your website. You can ask your website designer to do it or also use a third-party reservation system that could be integrated with your site.
7. Set Loyalty programs
Invested clients are extremely valuable for your beauty business. In fact, it is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.
Create a program for them to get lower prices or discounts when they come in repeatedly or when they refer new clients to you. You can hand out loyalty cards to them or just keep their records in your system. But we suggest you go with the physical card, it gives a better feeling to clients.
8. Event discounts and promotions
Nothing gets people in the mood for a haircut than discounts. They might not even need one, but they come in when they see offers.
Give out seasonal or promotional discounts like valentines day or Eid promotions. People will love it. You can tell your clients and new ones about it on Instagram or Facebook or by putting up flyers.
9. Send out newsletters
If you have a website you can ask visitors to drop their email address to receive regular newsletters. You can even ask clients to write their email on the newsletter list in the salon reception.
Send out an attractive newsletter that is full of valuable beauty information like making home face masks or how to take care of their new hair color or just news about beauty trends.
But be careful not to over-send the newsletter. People don’t like to be stuffed with content.
If your content is engaging and nice, the recipients will end up coming in again and they may also share the newsletter with their friends and family, spreading your name on it.
10. Partner up with other businesses
You can create some word of mouth and social media stir by parenting with other businesses. For instance, you can partner up with hair color brands or makeup brands to create content and amazing services. These other businesses don’t have to be big brands. They can be local services that are also in search of new clients.
11. Create training courses and workshops
Ok, this one doesn’t directly bring in clients, but it could cause quite a social stir. Also, you can find new staff and clients by expanding your network and meeting new people.
You can even charge for these courses which is another way of income, but if you’re a new face, you might wanna start with free workshops to gain some trust and build up credibility.
Also don’t forget that you can hold many courses online these days via Google Meet, Skype, or Microsoft team. This saves you more time and cost.
12. Build a stunning online portfolio
The world is getting more online than ever. Many people spend a lot of their day browsing over the internet and searching for their needed products or services. So it only makes sense to build an online portfolio for your salon.
You can get a hair salon website design and include all your work (images and videos) on that website. The more attractive and easy-to-navigate this website is, the more likely it becomes for people to visit you.
You can also do online booking on this website.
13. Run social media ads
After you build a presentable social media account for yourself. You can run social media ads for it. You can use these ads to notify people of your promotions or just invite them to follow you.
Social media ads can be run on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter and they are very affordable for small businesses if they are managed correctly. There are many digital marketing agencies that can set up, launch, and run ad campaigns on social media with your desired budget.
14. Believe in Google Ads
Google Ads is the perfect match for small businesses. They are targeted, they are affordable, they are measurable and you only pay for them when somebody clicks on them.
By running a Google Ads search campaign, your salon’s website will show up for all related search queries of possible prospects.
For instance, somebody is searching for “best hair salon in Dubai” or “brides makeup packages”… boom, there you are: with a nice ad copy and a nice website, ready to sweep them off their feet.
15. Also Local ads
As you run extended Google Ads, don’t forget about local Google Ads. These ads are practically the same, but they only show your ads to people who are searching close by to your salon and therefore are more likely to convert and actually call you.
16. Try Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has been a trend for the past 2 or 3 years. Most people who are on social media follow a couple of influencers, especially beauty influencers. Hell, I know men who follow them, their content is actually their guilty pleasure.
Find some local influencers to promote your service. Just keep a couple of things in mind: look for influencers who are beginners and are more affordable, these are called micro-influencers. Also don’t just look at the followers number when choosing them, instead opt for an influencer with high engagement with their followers.
17. Showcase your best beauty products
Beauty customers care about the products that are used on them, whether it’s quality nail polish or famous hair color brands.
Showcase the well-known and high-quality products you use on your customers. And show them that they’re not just there as décor, but rather actually used in the work. If your clientele sees quality products in your salon, they will surely spread the word.
18. Get up on lightboxes
Ok, we know that some forms of marketing such as billboards are really pricey for small hair salons, but there are always alternatives.
Lightboxes are more affordable marketing tools that can be used to advertise your salon anywhere you want.
19. Create an Insta friendly space
People take pictures of literally every routine thing they do to post on Instagram, they post images of their food, their car wheel, their house view, the sky, and … IF … they are attractive for social media.
Dedicate a special space in your salon to selfies or images for Instagram. This could entice people to take images and post them on social media mentioning your location and brand.
20. Ask other colleagues to link to your website
If you have a website, you can do a partnership like the one we mentioned, but this time online. For instance, your local barbershop could link to your website as a beauty salon. Or your local cosmetic shop could link to your website as a place that uses their beauty products.
Of course, this favor should be retired by you. And this way all partners benefit without spending any money.
Also keep in mind that such links will definitely affect your SEO and Google rank by telling Google that your website is worthy of linking.
21. Business cards at hand
Design and publish some creative and beautiful business cards and always keep them at hand. You can ask your current customers to pass them onto their acquaintances or you can do so yourself at meetings or parties.
22. Host charity events
Responsibility is a must for all society members and a great way to be responsible towards your society is by doing charity. Social responsibility will also show people that you actually care and do something to solve issues. This creates a positive and trustworthy brand image for them.
Throw charity events that are also related to your business, this way you get some valuable advertising and you do something nice.
23. Network in local events
Participate in local and social events. As a business owner, the image you project in these events and the people you meet could have a big effect on your business.
Not only can they provide valuable partnership or business opportunities, but they could also become your actual customers.
24. Follow trends
This is not direct marketing for hair salons, but it has amazing effects.
Try to keep yourself updated with the beauty trends. Participate in international and national workshops and earn new certificates.
People would pick up to date and trendy stylists over old and out of date ones anytime.
25. Print and distribute Creative flyers
Flyers might be old news, but creativity never gets old. Design and print out some attractive and creative flyers. You can distribute them in the neighborhood or other local shops. You can find eye catching templates for flyers online
26. Do dome SMS marketing
There are tons of good SMS marketing platforms and for good money. You can get on one and use SMS marketing as a way to retain your existing customers.
You can send out SMS to remind them of their appointments or send them after-care directions or send out offers and promotions to them. This helps keep you in their mind.
27. Register in online directories
Find some credible online directories for your city and register your business on them. You can even add your website link to it.
Most online business directories have free packages as well as premium ones. You can start out with the free ones and upgrade if it’s working for you.
28. One word: Blogging!
Blogging is one of those marketing techniques that never get old. Many people go online to read about the beauty industry. Show your expertise by blogging about the hottest topics. Blogging also helps with SEO and content marketing.
29. Do Guest blogging
While you take the time to blog, try to publish some of that content on related websites as a guest writer. This helps raise brand awareness for you and also helps your website’s SEO if you link to your own website from that article.
30. Have an Online shop
You can create an eCommerce website or an online shop to sell some of the beauty products you have. This way people will come to you for the products and also the work.
31. Don’t forget Staff marketing!
Your staff and personnel could amazingly help you with marketing for hair salons. You can show your appreciation to them every time they bring in a new customer. This could intrigue them to spread the word more and more.
32. Experiences Experiences!
This is also one of those salon marketing techniques that are really not directly a technique but we swear on it. Give your customers the BEST EXPERIENCE possible. From products to the service they need, to customer care to communication.
People who’ve had a good experience with you will just end up coming in and also bringing in new people.
If you keep giving people good experiences, it might also turn them into brand evangelists. Brand evangelists are kind of like your defenders. They will believe in you and defend you even when you’re not there yourself.
33. Give addon services
Put some optional services on the menu. For instance, a foot massage while getting a manicure or special vitamin supplements while getting hair dyed. These add ons could be really appealing both for attracting customers and making some extra profit.
34. Have Express services
Adding express services to your salon can help market those with busy schedules, like business people going on meetings or busy moms who’ve just gotten out of the house for a few hours to get a haircut and a manicure.
35. Give away freebies
Everybody loves freebies. You can keep yourself in clients’ minds by giving out some exciting freebies.
The more practical the freebie is, the more the customer will think of you as they use it. For instance, giving out a cute nail polisher doesn’t seem big, but it can do wonders. They will think of you every time they use that polisher.
36. Get on coupon websites
There are many websites that sell coupons and discounts like Groupon. Getting on them can be a great way to start marketing for hair salons.
Hair salon promotion ideas could be countless, especially if you combine digital marketing within. If you are a hair salon looking into marketing, we suggest you don’t delay it further. You can contact us for free consultations on salon digital marketing as well.