With the Australian beauty market continuously expanding, salons must differentiate themselves from the competition. In this article, we explore seven effective marketing strategies to attract new clients.
In Australia, the number of new businesses is growing unprecedentedly. In fact, there were 2.3 million actively trading firms in the country last year, representing an increase of approximately 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
The industry will remain competitive in the future, highlighting the importance for salons to develop highly effective marketing strategies that target specific groups and establish solid client bases. However, most salons can only allocate three to seven per cent of their annual sales for marketing and promotion activities, which may need to be increased to implement all planned promotional strategies. Therefore, salons must maximize the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and expenses, such as public liability insurance, through efficient solutions.
Here are seven top marketing strategies to employ in a highly competitive market to bring on board new customers:
- Enhance your online visibility
Salons still need to be online must establish an online presence as soon as possible. Similarly, salons with a weak digital presence should focus on improving it to increase exposure and brand recognition.
Marketing efforts should focus on building brand awareness to attract customers rather than solely increasing immediate revenue.
Salon owners have various options to enhance their online visibility and reach their target consumers. These include having their own salon website, maintaining active social media profiles, publishing guest posts on niche websites related to the industry, listing in directories, and leveraging beauty booking platforms. Public relations for small businesses can also be an excellent approach to informing potential customers about relevant news and updates.
Recognizing that a robust internet presence can help salon owners meet the evolving needs of their existing clients is crucial, as 70% of today’s clients prefer to book beauty appointments online.
Implementing digital technologies within the salon’s operations is a potential avenue worth exploring, as it can significantly enhance efficiency. Additionally, online solutions can further streamline salon operations alongside booking services.
- Offer rewards
When selecting the most effective marketing strategies to attract new customers, it is crucial to consider the competitive environment, which is expected to become even more intense in the future.
In this context, brand loyalty becomes a key concern, as customers have the potential to switch salons for various reasons or even without any specific cause. Customers generally prefer familiarity, which is advantageous for businesses with an established customer base but poses a challenge in terms of customer acquisition. So, what can entice customers to try a new salon?
Incentives. When presented with a discount or special offer, 80% of clients feel motivated to try a new business. Therefore, incorporating incentives into marketing campaigns is essential.
Implementing rewards programs is an excellent starting point, as they provide incentives, foster long-term relationships, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
3.Develop an SEO strategy
Any effective marketing plan relies on search engine optimization (SEO), as it enables new clients to easily find the salon that best suits their needs by matching their search queries with the services provided.
Salons can enhance their search engine ranking, particularly on platforms like Google, by incorporating relevant keywords and phrases into their website content. This is crucial to keep in mind, as most users do not venture beyond the first page of search results.
For small businesses, the best approach to SEO is to select and utilize targeted keywords carefully. Tools like Google Ads can be valuable for keyword research, as they reveal the terms and phrases that potential customers are searching for. However, it is important to note that SEO is an ongoing process, and keywords should be updated to reflect seasonal variations, especially in the beauty industry, where seasonal events such as weddings and holiday parties can significantly impact customer demand.
These keywords should be integrated into regular blog posts, guest articles, and other content development strategies naturally and organically.
- Understand your target audience
It goes without saying that no matter how much effort a salon owner puts into their marketing strategy, it will fall short of its goals if it fails to reach the intended target audience. Therefore, all salon owners must clearly understand their target audience. While existing clients can provide some valuable insights into the demographic using their services, it is equally important to consider market trends.
Once salon owners have a solid grasp of their target audience, they can begin to determine where to focus their marketing efforts. Social media usage, for instance, shows evident gender disparities, with significantly more female users than male users on platforms like Pinterest.
However, it’s not only about who and where but also about what. Understanding the type of content and services that are statistically more likely to attract customers within a specific target market is crucial. For instance, if a salon determines that its target market is women aged 36 and above, it may consider expanding its offerings to include children’s services and parties, assuming this demographic includes children.
- Engage with influencers
Influencer marketing can be an incredibly effective strategy for salon owners looking to attract new audiences and reach new demographics, as 83 per cent of clients claim to be influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations. Influencer marketing gives businesses access to a pre-established customer base and connects them with influential figures their followers trust. In fact, Australia is developing influencer marketing guidelines to standardize practices and procedures due to its significant role in many marketing efforts.
While influencer marketing can benefit various industries, it holds particular potential in the beauty industry.
This is because peer reviews play a significant role in the success of the beauty sector. The outcome of beauty services heavily relies on the practitioner’s qualifications, experience, skill, and vision, making a “thumbs up” from a peer a powerful motivator. This is in contrast to product-based companies where there is no defined standard.
Reaching out to influencers may pose some challenges, but with a well-researched and strategic outreach plan, finding influencers who can expand your brand’s reach and help you grow your audience becomes easier.
To ensure the effectiveness of influencer marketing initiatives, tracking direct referrals and traffic from influencers, measuring return on investment, and evaluating their impact on the business is crucial.
- Prioritise local marketing
While keywords and SEO have been mentioned earlier, local SEO is an additional crucial component for brick-and-mortar businesses like beauty salons.
Local marketing becomes especially important for businesses that rely on foot traffic, such as hairdressers, as it helps target potential customers in the area. A valuable resource for this is Google My Business, which ranks highly in discovery searches. Potential customers may conduct a discovery search, such as “Melbourne nail salon,” to find local options.
- Give priority to visuals.
Using visuals in marketing is crucial for two reasons. Firstly, people are inherently visual learners, with approximately 65 per cent believed to retain information more effectively when presented visually.
Secondly, the beauty industry relies heavily on visual aesthetics, which revolves around the final appearance of designs or styles. Therefore, incorporating images should be a key component of salon marketing plans.
Given the fierce competition in Australia’s beauty market, salons must ensure their target audience is aware of their existence by generating awareness, enhancing online visibility, and building brand recognition to develop a loyal clientele.