As much as we would like to grow our businesses overnight, short-term marketing methods offer only a temporary boost in revenue that comes at the cost of paying for that ad presence, giveaway, or promotion. Instead, guide growth with long-term marketing strategies that achieve long-term sustainability.
Long-term strategies include Social Media, Content/SEO Marketing, and Email Marketing. These marketing strategies can only be accomplished through consistent efforts of planning and implementation that can take anywhere from 6 months to one year to fully appreciate the accumulated effect.
“Over the past 10 years as owner of BeautyMark Marketing, I have had the pleasure to consult with hundreds of salon owners, business managers, and salon managers from across the country.
With this special BTS view into the industry, I see time and time again the top limitation to salon growth is not implementing long-term strategies.”
Too often digital marketing services are viewed as an immediate fix, rather than a brand-building investment. Many popular digital marketing endeavors require ongoing support to leverage the long-term strategic benefits and will simply not have an immediate or measurable ROI.
It is important that potential clients have realistic expectations and understand success is a gradual process achieved through accumulated traction of a combination of strategy, discovery, design, and tracking. This is why most marketing agencies request a minimum of 6-month commitment contracts (like we do).
… build brand awareness with new prospective clients
… build a social audience that can be leveraged for online campaigns, engagement, and social ads
… build client relationships
… feed clients to the top of your funnel to reconnect or retarget at a future date
… build an email list that can be leveraged in the future for re-engagement
… nurture leads and boost customer loyalty and trust
… increase client retention
… increase the ability to be found by more and more potential clients
… increase online visibility and rank higher on Google
LONG-TERM STRATEGY: Social Media Marketing
If your salon’s social media feed is full of hair images (or brows, or retail, etc, etc) you have a short-term social media strategy. Your clients don’t care about anyone else’s hair. I am saying this only because it is true! Regular people just don’t care as much about hair as you do. Period.
“A successful social media presence that attracts your ideal clients doesn’t happen from a bunch of hair photos. That is just a portfolio.”
To truly attract your dream clients you need to inspire them, educate them, entertain them, and tell your brand story. Give your audience a reason to follow you on social media. Give them a visual feed to look at, and give them a reason to read and engage with your posts. Give them something that makes them feel “that’s me” or that’s my tribe.
LONG-TERM STRATEGY: Email Marketing
Client retention is essential for salon growth. If you’re running a beauty business or salon, you’re running a relationship-focused business. To build on that relationship, you need to make sure your client stays interested in what your business is doing — even when they’re not sitting in the salon chair.
Despite the rise of social media, email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and boost customer loyalty. Email marketing gives us the opportunity to build customer relationships, grow trust, and facilitate sales.
Social media allows you to create content every day, but often, important messages get missed and only a fraction of your content is seen by your actual followers. When a newsletter lands in someone’s inbox, they’re almost guaranteed to see it. Sending an email has a personal touch, plus it has a great conversion rate.
This is a long-term play, and it’s essential to keep that in mind when planning your messages and voice. Post helpful, different tips in your emails that are relevant to your clients and align the visuals with your website to create brand recognition. To increase your open rate, offer different and engaging content, and then share similar visuals on your Instagram page to tie everything in.
“Delivering varied content helps ensure email subscribers find enough value to continue opening your newsletter and enjoy doing it.”
LONG-TERM STRATEGY: Content/SEO Marketing
Search engine optimization is a long-term process, so a long-term strategy is essential to increase Search Rankings as well as Local SEO Rankings. Google rankings don’t move overnight, so keeping an eye on the long term is important with SEO.
Blogging and Google My Business Posts (GMB) are aspects of content marketing that need to have a long-term strategy to truly see ROI (the ultimate ROI in this case being Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Content marketing creates evergreen content that continually serves a business, but it takes time to see results. It is estimated that it takes between 6 to 12 months to see results from both on-site content marketing (blogging) and off-site content marketing (GMB).
While that may seem like a long time to wait to see content marketing results, there is good news: When content marketing begins to produce results, the returns are long-lasting and compounding. Like a good investment, content marketing has to compound returns that add up over time and continue to add more and more value. As the number of blog post links grows, so will your website’s SEO power and the ability for your business to be found by more and more potential clients.
Blog posts are links that point back to your website and increase your website’s search rankings. Growing a blog “library of content” simultaneously boosts your website SEO. Content and links are two important factors in improving a site’s SEO. Through content marketing, you build both content and links that compound over time, giving your website higher and higher rankings.
You can see that continually publishing valuable content will have a profound long-term impact on your search engine rankings and audience engagement. The return on your investment in content marketing continues to grow over time.
“You can continue to see results even years after launching your campaigns, making content marketing a smart investment with lasting power and the possibility for returns much higher than with other promotional strategies.”
LONG-TERM STRATEGY: Add Pinterest to the Content Marketing Mix
Many salon and beauty businesses exclude Pinterest from their content marketing mix because it takes a lot of time and energy as well as months to see results. It is true, that Pinterest requires gradual growth and only works if implemented as a long-term marketing strategy, but the wins are well worth the wait!
If you’re starting from scratch, building boards and saving pins have to happen gradually and strategically so you don’t trip the spam filter. Pinterest takes time to index your pins properly. The algorithm has to figure out what your account, boards, and pins are all about and then categorize them under the right search terms. This helps it connect the right users to your content.
But what’s the ROI (return on investment) on Pinterest? Once pins are published, anyone can search for them, see them, save them, share them, and click on them for years. They start being distributed among Pinterest users, and more and more people start moving from Pinterest to your website – you now have a new funnel that you can grow organically.
For the clients we have started from scratch, we see consistent growth starting around month 3, with 6 months being the sweet spot for seasoning an account and seeing the results. This is another reason why BeautyMark likes to work only with 6-month contracts, it’s really easy to be discouraged after 2-3 months when it requires a lot of effort with little results. (If you started a Pinterest account and I just described you, hang tight and keep going).
As a small business, I can attest to the fact that blog posts shared on Pinterest 10 years ago still bring monthly traffic to the BeautyMark website. As a result of 10+ years of consistent blog post publishing and sharing to Pinterest, 60% of our inbound traffic is from Pinterest alone, with no ads. Crazy, right?
“If you are looking for immediate gratification, long-term strategies are not for you. Organic marketing takes time to establish on any platform. If you want organic marketing that continues to bring in new leads you must implement some long-term marketing strategies.”
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