Salon Marketing Ideas - The Guide for 2020

Today I wanted to discuss a topic that has been widely covered, but I’m not just going to regurgitate old tips, instead I want to infuse some of my own ideas and communicate it with a little Salon Saviour twist.

Marketing in any industry is an integral part of being a business owner. So in my post today, I hope to encourage you to implement these tried and tested methods for assured salon success.  Whether you own a hair salon, beauty salon or tanning salon, this guide should have some marketing ideas you can easily implement. 

I have scoured the net (so you don’t have to) to bring what I believe to be, a great source to help you promote your salon businesses and take it to the next level. I have referenced all my online sources and included them in here so you can go on to read in more depth if you wish.

These tips are broken down into sub-sections, allowing you to browse at your convenience or hone in on a specific category that interests or is applicable to you.

So whether you are just starting out and need a bit of guidance on marketing your new venture or are a veteran in the game and need a few fresh ideas to revive your business, I hope there is something for everyone here!

These online marketing strategies are available to just about anyone, anywhere with access to a computer, tablet or mobile.

How marketing can help your salon business

Trust is the real currency in marketing, without it your clients do not develop brand loyalty. Salons that aren’t trusted can crank out the best services going, but still never grow.

No customer loyalty = Failing salon, unfortunately.

So marketing your salon can dramatically help aid your business growth. This is because it builds awareness, generates leads, attracts new customers and makes your business stand out from the crowd.

It is no longer sufficient to ‘just be good at your job’, for your salon to be successful, you need to reach consumers in a way that inspires trust and establishes a long term relationship.

Without further ado let’s dig into the first in our list of marketing ideas…

Define your business brand

This is really the first step in your marketing strategy. You want to build a brand experience that will drive customer loyalty and differentiate yourself from other leading salons. Define what you stand for and the types of products and services your clients can learn expect from you.

Everything from your salon interior and exterior colour scheme, logo, business cards, website, and social media should all align with your branding to convey a specific message about your business to your clients. 

For a more in depth marketing plan to define your business click here.

Watch your competitors marketing

I’m going to go out on a whim here and assume you have all heard of the saying ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’? Well this analogy works in a business sense too, particularly digital marketing. I am not insinuating your competitors are enemies, but you get the gist. And a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone right?!

Keeping a close eye on what other brands in your sector are doing – websites, social media profiles, blogs paid ad campaigns, email marketing sends, PR coverage – can do more that just tell you what you are up against, it can actually help you formulate your own killer marketing strategy.

Take a look at Brand24 blog, where there is a cracking article on ‘5 reasons to watch your competitors online marketing’. Take note, as there are some compelling points to try out.

Another readable article is from Mannixmarketing.com which gives you suggestions on how to always be one step ahead of your competitors.

And finally, a brilliant blog Kissmetrics gives away some gold with ‘25 sneaky online tools and gadgets to help you spy on your competitors’. Listing the tools used, what they are for and how to implement them. Stating that many of the tools used can help you monitor your own web performance and can also help you gather data on your competition. Really good stuff so check it out!

Which leads me nicely on to my next point.

Measure all your marketing activity

As formerly mentioned in my paragraph above, it is not only important to measure your industry competitors to gage where you stand. But to measure your own marketing activities as well to become the best.

You have heard of the term ‘Return On Investment’ right? Well this is never been more applicable than in terms of online or offline marketing. As we are focusing on online marketing today, I will elaborate.

It is important to measure and test the written and visual content you place to ensure its success. Over at Hyped marketing, a blog about content marketing, they talk about the metrics to measure online marketing campaigns.

With Gems such as: ‘Website metrics to watch’, ‘Social media metrics ’ and ‘Email metrics’.

All necessary stuff when on the quest to run a successful salon. Check it out!

Add your business to Google My Business

Entice new customers to your salon with the help of Google listings. When people are searching for your salon, or businesses like yours, on Google search or maps for example – your salon should appear in the search listings. You can easily create and update your listing on Google My Business – so you can stand out from the crowd and bring new customers in.

Many salons have taken full advantage of this handy tool, so don’t over look this easy but important step. 

Take charge of what people see when they search for your salon, as well as managing how customers view your business online. To get started in one easy step today click here!

Learn about SEO

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is essentially how search engines grow your visibility in non-paid search (organic). This means it increases awareness of your site in search engines, drives traffic and improves where your salon comes up in a search (ranking). In other words gets you seen in the big online abyss.

Why does your website need it?

The bulk of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Social media and other types of traffic also play a part and can generate visits to your website too.

When people are looking for what you have to offer search engines provide targeted traffic to your website, the pathways if you like, that make this happen. You will miss out on an unbelievable amount of traffic if they cannot find or add content to your site. So swat up on your SEO skills to increase your online presence and grow your salon from within.

To read on, click here for the beginners guide to SEO. Which provides an in-depth tutorial on how search engines work and the fundamental strategies to make your website search engine -friendly.

Getting links back to your site help generate web traffic, which in turn should convert these eyes into customers!

You have got to earn them!

A link is how Google, in essence, recommends your website. The more links you receive the higher you rank in the search results.

The popularity of a website is a good indicator of the value placed on it, in Googles eyes. What constitutes popularity in an online sense? (Its not wearing Pink on Wednesdays I’m afraid guys!) It is backlinks from other sites pointing to yours from the search engines perspective – is a pretty weighty confidence vote in your favour.

Click here to find 14 easy places to build backlinks to your website.

Also the ‘Daily Egg’ blog have come up with 6 smart ways to get quality backlinks for SEO, check out the article here!

Track your salon on Google search results

Where does your salon appear in Google search results?

It is important to keep track of your Google search listing position. Not only are you vying for the number one spot here, you need to monitor your organic search. That way you are viewing what clients see, and can determine if you need to adjust your marketing tactics – for example paid search, to generate more site traffic.

Without rank tracking, as a salon owner, you simply cannot know what works and what doesn’t. Applying the same tactics to session work… we wouldn’t simply guess what colour to administer.

We carry out a proper consultation and from this conclude what action to take next. Take the guess work out of your Google listing, see where the inefficiencies are, and improve upon them.

For a great guide on measuring and tracking success online click here

Which leads me nicely onto my next point…

Add your salon to local directories

The purpose of creating local listings is to make your business visible online. Your chances of being found online are increased by every new listing you create. Many of the local businesses indexes share information, so the more places your business is listed the more visibility you have online.

By doing this you have also indirectly increased your chances of ranking well in local searches, because the indexes trust the accuracy of your business data.

Companies are connecting with new clients on a daily basis thanks to local business directories online. While the majority of people will head to a search engine, there’s still a lot of exposure that comes from being listed in local business directories.

Putting your salon business in a local directory is a great way to connect with clients who are searching for your services online.

For more information on how to find the best business directories check out this article from the balance. They have some great insider information, including submission tools and tips.

For more definitive information on how to add your website to local online directories, please see here!

Another helpful link, is this one right here. Which lists the top 20 places your business needs to be listed online, and what you need to include within your listing to get the best results.

Add or claim your salon on Bing places

Bing is a search engine owned and operated by tech giant, Microsoft. While not as popular as its counterpart, Google, it is still favourable to many – as Bing is often the default search engine for newer computers, tablets and mobile devices running Windows OS.

As a salon owner your business has a physical location, therefore it would be advantageous to list your business on this search engine too. It has enormous potential for raising your online visibility as well as giving you the ability to manage how your salon appears publicly. This is done by uploading content such as photos, your services and opening times etc.

By spreading your salon across multiple search engines and internet directories your outreach will be that much further.

They offer 3 options to start out depending on your situation, these are the categories under which you can list your business: Local or small businesses with a storefront, Chain businesses with multiple locations or Businesses offering services at customer locations.

Join the millions of businesses who have already added their businesses to Bing by clicking here.

Engage with your customers online

Technology today provides us with the opportunity for client interaction anytime and remotely. With this luxury available to us, we should look to take full advantage of this progressive trend.

Building trust is an integral part of being a salon owner and building your brand. So engaging with customers online as well as in person, of course, seems the subsequent step to take here.

Have a read of the article here to read 7 creative ways to engage with your customers online.

Engaging with customers online, assures them that their voice is heard and you really care for their comments and feedback. So many companies do not hold themselves accountable and make customers feel under valued and misrepresented.

Social media is a great way to engage with your customers online. Using social media platforms that are easily available to us, like Facebook and Instagram make it even easier to get the conversation started. 

Pride yourself on engaging with your customers and you will continue to strengthen your connection with them for long lasting relationships.

Invest in Facebook ads

Using targeted Facebook ads to create and run campaigns is an effective way to market your salon and get you noticed amongst the competition in your area.

How do Facebook ads work?

  1. Choose your marketing objective. This will help determine the goal you want to achieve.  This may be more traffic to your website, custom through the door or retail sales.
  2. Select your audience. Looking at the key demographic in your area to determine what will get you the most out of your efforts. Remember to always refer back to your branding here, if you are an environmentally friendly salon for example, you will want to tailor your Facebook ad to represent these customers specifically.
  3. Set your budget. This is the next step and decide the time period of when you want your ad to be shown to your chosen audience.
  4. Measure your ad. Once your ad is up and running, you can then track its performance and make adjustments according to the results. 

Read more about Facebook ads and how they can be beneficial to your salon growth over on Facebook.  

Check out our post ‘Social media tactics to grow your salon‘. Where I go in more depth about how using social media plays an important role in marketing your salon. 

Ask customers to leave reviews

This is a great tool to use and social proof for other potential clients. Ask and encourage satisfied customers to write a short review on their experience in your salon and the service received.

Not only will it help reinforce in their mind why they choose your salon but it costs you absolutely nothing!

Think about it this way – consumers trust recommendations from a third party, more often than a brand (that’s you) itself. Of course we are going to tell clients how amazing we are as a salon and why they should choose us, but someone impartial giving the same information becomes the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target customers.

It also enables you to gain access to all important feedback on their experience at your salon. Have a read of Lockhart Meyers post on ‘Why salon reviews are marketing dynamite & how to get them’. In this, Alice also attests to the best review websites that I mention here in my guide, to get your hair and beauty business noticed.

Send a salon email newsletter

As we all try to move paperless to help save the planet, it is important to think of other ways in which we can reach our clientele.

Sending an email newsletter to your client base is a great marketing opportunity and keeps you at the forefront of their memory. You could send this monthly or quarterly depending on what content you wish to include.  

Why not use this to update them about any new treatments that you are offering, deals you have coming up or new products that you are using within the salon. 

It is also a great way to introduce new staff, any accomplishments achieved by the team whether individually or as a salon or any changes that are being made that may affect the client, such as price increases or extended opening hours during busy periods throughout the year. 

Salon Saviour tip

Don't forget your branding here as well. You should include your salon logo and the colour scheme should tie in with your business branding to create a seamless salon image right across the board. 

Having clients sign up to your newsletter is another great way to collect client data because you can contact them in a less intrusive way with appointment reminders and ask them to review their salon experience. *Please note, due to GDPR guidelines you have to be fully transparent about what people are signing up to. If you do wish to send additional information using the email address provided, the client will have to opt in or be made aware first. 

Create a loyalty programme

An effective salon marketing idea can be to create a loyalty programme for your clients to enrol in. This could be something as simple as having a card that you stamp or initial each time the client comes in for their appointment. You will need to determine the number of appointments needed to give them the offer or gift at the end. 

This is used in many service industries and is a great marketing idea because it encourages clients to book ahead of time to get their stamps filled in and is also a USP for your salon. 

An example may be to have 10 boxes that need stamping after every cut or cut and blow dry appointment, after the 10th one the client receives a free blow dry.  

Salon Saviour tip

It is advisable to have a clause that the card can only be used by the person who it belongs to, to avoid it being passed around to friends and family, as this negates the loyalty aspect of the programme. An alternative to this would be to have a recommend a friend scheme where the client recommending your salon gets a discount or free service as a result of recommending your services. 

The free item would need to be something that isn’t too time consuming or come at a high cost to the salon, such as a colouring service. This is because you or your staff will effectively be working for free to carry out the reward. The pay off is that you are creating customer loyalty by performing the services to a high standard and encouraging the client to return to your business. 

Gift cards are another great marketing opportunity and are well worth offering as part of your retail spectrum. Read more in our post ‘Social media tactics to grow your salon.’ There is a section on promoting gift cards in your salon there. 

You could also offer a product loyalty programme just for use on your salon retail. It would be advisable to have a clause to say their free product must not exceed the cost of their previous purchases. You want to avoid people buying the cheapest products to get a freebie and choose the most expensive item you stock! 

Publish a case study

Case studies are a brilliant way of demonstrating what you do well, generating leads and building brand awareness.

How can a case study be a marketing tool for your salon?

A case study, that is a well written one, in a relevant publication can showcase your salon’s capabilities and encourage more customers to buy your products and services. It is essentially a real life success story about your business.

It should set out a specific problem in your niche and then show how your organisation has helped to solve it, before focusing on the benefits it has for your clients. It is a great way of demonstrating a ‘can do’ attitude and how you quickly respond to problems as they arise.

Salon Saviour tip

Quote a client on their experience. This helps make the benefits you are delivering much more authentic as it has come directly from a customer and is therefore automatically more credible.

Have a look here at a great case study template to help prompt you with your own. This website also houses some interesting insights and some food for thought.

Another engaging site for more information if you were interested in writing a case study for your own salon is this.

It has some actionable tips for creating your own, listing the components necessary for a successful one. Why not check it out!

Read online trade magazines

Reading or even subscribing to an online or physical paper copy of a trade magazine can give endless inspiration for your business.

Because they are frequently updated (usually monthly) they reflect today’s multi-faceted hair industry and appeal to the ever changing needs of salon owners.

Featuring up to-date information about industry topics and business boosting ideas usually from leading expert contributors.

Here are a few great examples to get you started:

The Salon Magazine

Salon Business

Salon Today 

Create unique content to market your salon

Creating content that is unique is a sure fire way of setting your salon apart from the crowd and being taken seriously as an authoritative figure.

Do you often get clients asking, ‘How do you do your hair like that?’ or ‘I wish I could do mine like that…you make it look so easy!’

On that note, why not create a ‘how to’ photo series or upload video tutorials on your website, or your salon blog to showcase your talents! Think bigger, and create a YouTube profile for your salon and make it a regular segment. You could develop a vlog and give the inside scoop on your salon or answer FAQ’s pitched by your clients? Become ‘Insta-famous’ and create your own profile uploading pictures and videos to encourage interest in your brand. The options are endless so let your imagination run wild!

Not only will it be good publicity for your skill set as a salon but it solves a problem in the process! You could even categorize by type or occasion; for example ‘festival ready hair’ or ‘special occasions’. 

I found this wonderful blog, a beautiful mess created by two sisters Elsie and Emma. It is a women’s lifestyle company and focuses on various areas of interest, such as home decor and recipes. But I was intrigued by their hair tutorials section.

They create charming photo series of hairstyles, capture stunning pictures for each stage with a brief but thorough description of how to do it. 

Easy right! Check out some of their work right herefor some inspiration. Like this colourful flower braid, or this no fuss fishtail tutorial. I could spend hours looking through these and have serious hair envy from the beautifully set out images!

Another great blog with some fab examples is Hair RomanceAgain, this displays lovely images detailing step by step guides and even has a ‘what you need’ section listing the supplies used to create the look. What more do YOU need to get going on your own projects?

So there you have it folks, create some ‘how to’ tutorials, add a caption with a brief description and upload.

My Final Thoughts…

Phew! There is a lot of information to digest through, so take your time going through this and if you take away only one thing from this guide remember… Rome wasn’t built in a day.

This is the first of a number of posts I am currently working on to build a larger guide to bring to you, to help with your salon success stories. So stay tuned, I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to what I hope to be, a definitive guide to salon marketing!