8 Creative Marketing Campaigns for Your Salon
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing and promoting a salon was quite challenging with all the competition.
With many countries and locations now allowing brick-and-mortar stores to reopen—including salons— it is useful to rethink your salon plan to attract your clients in the post-pandemic world.
There are various creative marketing campaigns and channels you can use to market your salon to previous clients as well as new ones: print media like brochures and posters, videos, email marketing, SEO, and social media marketing, among others.
However, while being creative and trying new ideas can definitely be profitable, it’s also crucial to choose the right marketing tactics and campaigns to maximize your investment and generate the best possible results.
In this guide, you will discuss 8 creative marketing campaign ideas for your salon and how to implement them for success. However, let us begin by discussing the basics of salon marketing.
Salon Marketing: The Basics
When promoting your salon, you have to remember that you are marketing services instead of products. Yes, you might sell products like shampoo or pomade, but that’s not the primary purpose of the business, right?
Services are inherently intangible: clients can’t directly see or touch a service, so it can be more difficult to show value and proof to your audience.
So, in-salon marketing, the objective is to build and establish trust: you convince your potential clients that your service is valuable and suitable for them, while at the same time you maintain relationships with existing clients. Since the quality of service is not measurable and can vary between clients, this is why you must be creative when promoting the salon.
With that being said, how can you establish credibility as a salon to convince potential and existing clients about your quality? There are five pillars you should take into consideration:
Having a strong branding and visual appearance is a must for a salon business. Remember that since you don’t sell physical products, you are essentially selling the salon itself, so it has to always look at its best.
Branding is obviously a deep subject, and you might want to check this guide by Squarespace on salon branding. However, here are some key principles to consider:
- All the visual branding elements of your salon (logo, brand colors, etc.) should always be consistent wherever they appear. From your website to social media posts to brochures and posters.
- Design your logo based on your target audience’s preference. Think about how you want your target clients to perceive your business. Analyze your target clients’ demographics data (age, location, etc. and Analyze their behaviors: interests, shopping habits, etc.
- Decide on a color scheme based on the same thing, make sure your color scheme can express your brand’s message.
- All your creative marketing campaigns should align with your brand identity, have a core concept of what your brand wants to express.
2. Strong Website
In this digital age, it’s very important to have a professional website as your salon’s digital storefront.
Yes, you might have social media profiles with enough followers, but they are not a replacement for a well-designed and functional website.
When a potential client stumbles upon your salon (i.e. from a Google search or even when they pass your physical store), they will check your website.
With platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and even WordPress, it’s now fairly easy and affordable to create a professional-looking website that can help you in several different ways:
- Establish credibility. People perceive businesses with professional-looking and functional websites as legitimate.
- A well-designed and optimized website can help in attracting more clients through SEO.
- Great branding platform. You can include your logo, brand colors, and other branding elements on your website.
- A centralized hub for your content and information about your salon: prices, discounts, available services, your best specialists, and so on.
- You can provide online booking functionality on your website by integrating appointment scheduling software like Bookeo. Using an online salon booking system is the best way for potential clients to schedule an appointment rather than the traditional phone-based booking.
3. Google Maps Listing
Nowadays, one of the primary ways people learn about local businesses, including salons, is via Google search, for example by searching with queries like “salons near me”, “hair salon in (city name)”, and similar ones.
The thing is, for these queries, Google pulls results from Google Maps and they’ll appear above the standard results. So, to make sure you are available to as many target audiences as possible on these queries, you have to make sure your listing appears on the top Google Map results. In short, local SEO or Google Maps SEO.
While it might seem complicated at first glance, you can actually perform Google Maps SEO in just four core steps:
- Claim and verify your Google My Business listing
- Optimize your listing. Focus on providing complete and accurate information. You can optimize for keywords but include the keywords naturally. Include well-taken and optimized photos and videos of your salon and/or your work.
- Build local citations by listing your salon on online directories for salons and for your location/city.
- Get more (positive) reviews from your existing customers, especially on your Google Maps listing, but also on other relevant sites and platforms.
Do these consistently, and you’ll slowly climb the Google Maps ranking.
4. Social Media
This one is fairly obvious. Social media is where your potential clients are nowadays, so it would only make sense to promote your salon on these social networks.
The question is, how?
There are basically three different options when promoting your business on social media:
- Organic: building your own followers and engaging your audience. This is the most affordable (even free) approach, but it will take some time before you’ll get the desired results.
- Paid: as you know, all major social media platforms offer the paid advertising options in various forms. They are great options if you want to generate quick results, but can be very expensive if you aren’t careful.
- Influencer marketing: partnering with relevant influencers in the social media platform so they’ll promote your salon to their followers.
The key here is to diversify your campaigns between the three options, which is generally about finding the balance between cost and time.
5. Email Marketing
Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing.
Even with all the newer technologies and platforms, email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels available and is especially powerful for nurturing existing clients to keep them coming back to your salon.
You can, for example, send a personalized email to remind a client that it’s probably time for another haircut a few months after their previous visit. Personalization and automation are the secrets to successful email marketing, and there are various email automation tools that can help you in this aspect.
Also, make sure not to solely focus on promotional and sale emails, or else they’ll go directly to spam or the “promotions” tab. Send useful content like stories, tips, staff images, and so on to keep clients engaged.
Creative Marketing Campaign Ideas for Your Salon
Are the basic marketing foundations discussed above still not enough? Here are some creative marketing ideas you can use to promote your salon:
1. Build partnerships with local businesses
Today is the age of collaboration, not competition.
Build valuable, win-win relationships with local businesses for cross-promotional campaigns. For example, you can partner with a restaurant nearby for a “get a free meal for a haircut” promotion and vice versa.
This type of promotion campaign can be especially effective in attracting new clients, but you can also use it to engage previous clients for another visit.
2. Special offers and discounts
The age-old tactic of offering limited-time offers and discounts can definitely work, but it’s important to do it right, and timing here is key.
You can, for example, offer discounts during the first visit, or to balance out the time slot when the traffic is low.
An important consideration for this type of promotion is to pique a sense of urgency, for example by attaching a limited time to your offers.
3. Creative social media content
Use high-quality, well-taken photos and videos to showcase the quality of your salon’s service.
For example, with your client’s permission, post a video about a client’s makeover transformation on your social media posts. You can also post behind-the-scenes videos so your clients can watch how your stylists work. This type of content is perfect for Instagram Stories and YouTube Shorts and can be extremely effective in generating brand awareness.
Play along with the current trends and buzz when designing your content. For example, if a new Wonder Woman movie is screening, then you can makeover a client to imitate Gal Gadot’s latest hairstyle.
4. Referral marketing
The idea behind referral marketing is to imitate word-of-mouth marketing and create artificial advocacy.
The ultimate goal of any marketing is to convert happy, satisfied customers into advocates that will recommend your business to their friends, peers, and family members. In a referral marketing campaign, you offer incentives in the form of commissions so existing clients (or even those who haven’t used your service) will do the same: promoting your salon to their friends and followers.
Referral marketing for salons doesn’t really have to be very complex. You can, for example, offer 20% group discounts for clients that bring their friends or family members.
5. Customer loyalty program
It’s crucial to remember that marketing your salon isn’t solely about attracting new clients, but managing the retention of existing clients so they keep returning is also important, and in fact, can be more cost-effective than acquiring new clients.
One way to manage retention is to create an attractive customer loyalty program. Again, it doesn’t have to be too creative and you don’t need to overthink this. Simply offering them a free haircut or a hair spa session after 4 different transactions can be attractive enough.
6. Build local relationships
Yes, all the digital efforts are obviously important but don’t forget about locally marketing your salon. Engaging your local community and building relationships with other businesses in the area is also crucial for your success.
Consider joining local trade shows and expos, they can be great opportunities for building new partnerships and meeting new potential clients.
Also, join a local social cause. Not only it’ll feel good to give back to your community, it can also help in generating more awareness and interest for your salon.
7. Be creative with seasonal promotions
Seasonal promotions and offers can be very effective for salon businesses.
Valentine’s Day, for example, is a typically busy day for salons since a lot of people would like to look their best before the romantic dinner for the day. Same with Christmas and family gatherings. Also, students might need new haircuts after a holiday season.
Be creative in designing your promotions around these seasonal dates, and you can leverage these to attract both existing customers and new customers in the area.
There are also many other ways to further leverage this type of promotion. For example, during the wedding session, you can partner up with local wedding organizers and create an attractive offer.
8. Influencer marketing for salons
As with many other industries and businesses, influencer marketing, when done right, can be a very effective way to attract more clients and generate more appointments for your salon.
The secret is to find the right beauty influencer that will align well with your brand. You want to look for those who have a genuine following and the followers are in your target market. Also, make sure to work with someone who consistently posts high-quality photos. Again, you are a visual business by nature, so you’d want your salon to look at its best to establish your credibility and value.
Above, you have shared eight creative marketing campaigns you can use to promote your salon business, and also five core marketing foundations you should first establish for your salon.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t need to do everything at once. You can start little by little, monitor your progress, make adjustments, and add new campaigns when needed.