To give you a picture of how much potential there is in the spa industry, U.S. spas alone brought in $17.5 billion in 2017. This isn’t factoring in all the other spas worldwide that bring tourists in on a yearly basis. If you find that your spa’s success doesn’t mirror this overall success, there are a lot of things that you may want to take a look at ranging from your services to your staff and of course, your marketing. Poor spa marketing can be especially frustrating, as even the best spa in the world won’t get a steady customer base if people don’t know it exists. Here are some of the common pitfalls spa-owners encounter in their marketing pursuits.
Over-reliance On Social Media
This may be a surprising concept to bring up, considering the value of social media to the hospitality industry. After all, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect places for you to show off the beauty of your space and quality of your service to your audience. All of these things do hold true, but what you need to understand is that you can’t stop there in terms of your digital advertising.
For one thing, while all demographics use social media, some weigh in heavier in terms of purchasing influence than others. All marketing plans should have a multi-pronged plan of attack. Social media can be a key part, but you may want to accompany it by email marketing, content marketing, outreach marketing, and other methods that can get more visitors.
Not Utilising In-House Marketing
In many cases, the main focus of a marketer is to try and grow the audience for a product or service, perhaps even to people who wouldn’t normally use it. There is some truth to this, but for hospitality marketing (spas included), you don’t want to neglect the people who are already using your service.
Remember that spas aren’t the type of business that people use every day, so you’ll want to find creative ways of getting people to visit more often. Things like a loyalty program or hosting special events at certain times of the year may make people who are already aware of your spa become repeat customers.
Don’t forget to turn your customers into brand evangelists. No form of advertising works quite like word of mouth, especially when it comes to the hospitality industry. In many cases, potential customers are going to be weighing your advertising’s claims with what people are saying in online interviews or in person. To make sure you have a good digital presence, encourage people to try and leave a positive review if you know they had a good experience at your spa. Social media sharing for contests and specials is another way to “double-dip” when it comes to existing customers.
When it comes to creating a spa website, remember that you’re more reliant than ever on using this to get visitors. Not only are potential customers going to look up your site and what other web presence you have before making an appointment, but they may actually be booking through the site for their appointment or at least looking to see what options you offer. In addition, a website is the central point of any digital marketing funnel. For example, say that you put out an email offer and it catches on. Your email will likely be directing people to the website to redeem your offer. So, even if you have other marketing measures in place, a bad website can end up derailing your efforts.
How do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? One major thing that a lot of inexperienced businesspeople don’t understand is how important it is to have a site that loads quickly. Oversized image files and broken plugins not only make your site run slower but can also hurt your Google ranking. Another equally important point is having a solid organisation for your website. Within seconds of visiting the site, a customer should see clear demarcations as to where to learn more about your services, how to book an appointment, and where to contact staff if they have questions. Feature these calls to action prominently across the site.
Having An Undefined Brand
Ultimately, a spa, like any business, can’t be all things to all people. What you need to understand when putting together marketing materials is that these should all be built around a well-defined brand image. A brand is basically the manifestation of your business’s mission and how you present it to potential customers. For example, if a spa wants to advertise itself as the pinnacle of luxury, you want brand elements that reflect this, like a simple but elegant logo. Even the language in your marketing copy should keep to this basic theme.
Where businesses have trouble with this is by not having a mission or brand statement clearly defined when they first start with their business plan. So, before starting to invest in any spa marketing, it’s a good idea to do a self-inventory of what you want your spa to be to people. Are you trying to provide the upper level of service or be an accessible way for people to take care of themselves once in a while? Making these decisions now means more consistent advertising later.
Along with these, there are a few common trends in regards to where people are having trouble with effective spa marketing. In fact, many of these same issues start from the same root problems that other marketing initiatives do: having a fundamental misunderstanding of what the audience wants, as well as not being able to know when to adjust when something isn’t working. Both of these issues can be alleviated by bringing on a company with experience in marketing for spas, like Blue Beetle. We have the proper knowledge to know what traits and brand values drive conversions from spa-goers, and also have the means to take a diagnostic of your current efforts and figure out what you need to do to improve.