Going for a spa day or simply indulging in a massage is a pleasure that tends to be a treat for most, rather than a routine. This makes spa marketing unique. With the ongoing challenge of needing to continually seek out new clients, while also needing to be ultra crafty in the creation of promotions or offers that will encourage on-time visitors to come back as a repeat customer, spas need digital marketing more than most to manage the many obstacles of the industry.
Digital marketing allows you to manage every stage of how customers interact with you online. From finding you on the website, attracting new customers via ads, promoting to those who have followed you on social media and then continuing a relationship long after they have been in to visit again and again. Digital marketing benefits for spas include:
Putting Your Best Face Forward
When marketing online, you have an excellent opportunity to show off the best assets of your business. You can accentuate the setting and the services, adding heavenly images of people getting massages, pedicures, facials, or whatever else, as well as professionally snapped images of the venue.
Controlling Your Message
Developing a brand is an integral part of marketing as a whole, but online, this becomes an absolute essential. Your message, in addition to the look of your images online, is what will attract people to your business in person, not to mention what will attract them to your site via SEO.
Reaching a Wider Audience
Perhaps the best quality of digital marketing is that it allows businesses of any size to find target customers anywhere they want. With an idea of the customer personas that already enjoy the spa experience, venues can profile, identify, and market to other audiences that are likely to have similar preferences, thanks to advanced user targetting available on every platform
When establishing yourself online, no matter where, you need to set up Google Analytics which will allow you to track everything you do online, as well as how customers respond to it, what it costs, what works and who is interacting with you. The ability to track everything, allows you to learn about your customers; see where they are coming from, what caught their attention. You can gather the information that helps you improve your marketing for even better results.
Through customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, spas can capture lead information and nurture relationships from mild curiosity through to becoming a loyal customer. From an ad or post on social media, you can gather potential customer details and create careful communications that gradually lead them in to visit.
Digital Marketing for Spas - Five Steps to Succeed Online
Now that you understand the benefits, you're probably wondering where to start. There are so many facets of digital marketing that spas can utilise to start driving more business and building their brand, but there are a few basics that everyone should get right in the beginning.
#1 - Website Comes First
Your website is going to be the most important digital marketing tool your business will have. It should be the foundation of your digital marketing efforts, with all activities designed to draw people back to your website. Use beautiful imagery, clear brand message, and try to keep it looking elegant and uncluttered. Be sure to check that it is optimised for mobile; check it looks and feels nice to navigate on desktop, mobile and tablet.
You want to make sure that you set up your website to include information on who you are and what you do, a services page, booking features, contact page, opening hours, FAQ page, and anything else that your customers would need or want to know to book a service with you.
#2 - Local Listing
A local listing with Google My Business will help you to get found by any customers that do a local search. This could be via Google maps where someone is searching for a spa in their area, or through Google search where they are looking for a "spa on the Palm Dubai", "massage in Dubai Marina", etc.
When listing your spa on Google My Business, follow the same practice as you would with your website. Make sure all of the correct and relevant contact, booking and opening hours are listed and make sure that the business message is clear, and keywords are included so that you rank well when customers search.
#3 - SEO
SEO principles should be considered with every bit of content you put online. When setting up your website, think of SEO. Make sure the information is valuable. Make sure that keywords are used so that algorithms know what is on the page. Ensure URLs are also created to reflect what is on the page accurately. Include metadata descriptions that are keyword optimised and accurately describe the page content. Keep on top of loading speeds to ensure no pages are slowing down. Research what your customers are searching for to ensure you're giving them what they want.
These need to be considered for your website, your local listing on Google My Business, your social media content, your blog content, your email marketing content, your advertisements - everything. Tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner and Google Analytics can help.
#4 - Customer Relationship Management
Spas are all about pampering and treating one's self. So they are uniquely positioned to set up customer engagement strategies where they can keep in touch with past clients and tempt them with new deals to generate repeat business. CRMs like HubSpot are fantastic to collect customer information and set up automated campaigns to email periodically with deals tailored to the type of customer you're emailing.
CRMs not only help to nurture existing clients, but they can also be used to track prospective clients via marketing campaigns created to tempt them in for their first service. From the first contact to becoming a loyal customer, a good CRM is a lifesaver to manage these relationships.
# 5 - Social Media
Social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram for spas, is one place where you can really get close to your customers. There should be a strategy to create a mix of content, ranging from images and videos of services, through to promotions, tips, special occasion offers, or whatever other creative content would get your audience excited.
Images and videos should be of professional quality, features like Stories and Live should be used to show customers what they're missing - like massage oil being poured, towels getting laid out or one of the staff speaking about the unique services they offer. Behind all of the social posts, there needs to be a strategy to get people through the door. Entice them with an offer, or a limited edition promotion. Use your imagination; you don't have to be limited to holidays and events on the calendar - feel free to MYO.
Pitfalls to Avoid
There is a lot that can be done in digital marketing, and many spas often make the mistake of broadly touching on everything while sadly mastering nothing. While we strongly encourage that you look at what digital marketing tactics are out there and working for your competitors, we firmly suggest that you focus on the basics above first, get comfortable with them, learn how to master them, and then start playing with some other tricks. Some of the most common spa marketing mistakes include:
Over-Relying on Social Media
It is very common to see spas exclusively using social media while letting their website and all other online presences disappear or become stale. Social media is a great tool, but it is one of many. Giving up your other channels exclusively for social media will cause visitors to drop and brand image to tarnish.
Your website is the face of your brand. If you let the site become slow, buggy or generally unattractive, it's the equivalent of leaving garbage at the front door of your spa. It is going to deter people. Whether you use your website activity for digital marketing (which you should) or not, you should still ensure the website is looked at regularly to check that the information is up to date, content is still ranking well with SEO, and nothing is slowing it down that would disrupt the user experience.
One of the primary ways to fail at digital marketing is to have no brand consistency. Algorithms like clear messages, this helps them to deliver your brand to customers. But customers also like clear messages. Most customer will know what they want, and they will know what to search for. If you are too broad, you risk missing the people that you could serve but avoid you because they don't understand your focus.
Tips to End On
Digital marketing has evolved to a point where it is more engaging and creative than ever. Therefore, it should be fun. Customers expect more personal interactions with brands and service providers than they ever have before. Use this. Build relationships by bringing the character of your business and your staff into your digital marketing activities.
Get comfortable with your website, local, SEO, email, CRM and social media, track absolutely everything you do and enjoy the process of learning about your customers and how they respond to your digital marketing. Once you are comfortable with the basics and have accumulated immensely valuable information about your customers, it's time to let your hair down; get creative, think out of the box, play with different tactics and see what you can create that is uniquely suited to you and your customers.