How to create an effective salon marketing plan for 2021 to save time and boost revenue
2020 has been a challenging year for the salon industry. Covid-19 has led to losses that we could never think of! But the upcoming year 2021 doesn’t have to be that way, and it can happen only if you’re prepared well for it.
Spending some time and effort on creating your salon marketing plan for the year 2021 will help you increase profits, attract new customers, and boost retention. However, just getting on to it without sufficient back work might not get you the desired results.
Instead, look at the big picture first, and then dive into the details. And we’re here to guide you through it in a few simple steps.
Make your salon marketing plan for 2021 in 8 simple steps
Whether you own a mobile salon, a small beauty salon, or the salon with the favorite hairstylists in the neighborhood, a marketing plan is necessary and will only help you achieve your business goals faster and better.
Here are the steps to follow when creating a marketing plan for your salon business:
- Assess your 2020 numbers and performance
- Set realistic goals for your salon business
- Finalize your budget
- Revamp your website and social media in alignment with your goals
- Focus on retail
- Create an advertising plan for the year
- Foster customer loyalty and retention
- Make your 2021 marketing plan pandemic-proof
1. Assess your 2020 numbers and performance
Before deciding on what you want your salon business to look like in 2021, it’s crucial to look at how exactly 2020 went for your business. Figure out what worked well, what didn’t, and what would need a few tweaks to work well.
Track, analyze, and assess your salon metrics, and use your performance to lay the foundation for your business goals for the next year. Here are a few numbers you should be looking at:
- Average number of appointments per month
- Total revenue for the year and revenue by month
- Number of new clients gained over the year
- Total number of clients
- Number of followers on each social media platforms
- Number of website visitors
This exercise will give you an estimate of the health and current status of your business. Try to analyze these numbers and correlate them with your promotion efforts. For example, did you have the maximum number of bookings when you went all out with your marketing efforts? Did you increase engagement and followers on social media when you followed a certain strategy?
All these questions will help you come up with a marketing plan for your salon that is built on your learnings from the previous year.
2. Set realistic goals for your salon business
Now depending on the results of the first step and your business health, determine your salon goals. Your goals should be of two types:
- Short term goals: The goals you want to achieve over the next few months and then the whole year.
- Long-term goals: These require you to look at the bigger picture. The targets you want your salon to achieve over its lifetime. For example, you want your salon to be “the go-to beauty salon in the neighborhood” or “the upscale hair salon” or “the meetup nail salon for women”. This is what will give you the direction and fuel your marketing efforts.
Basically, you need to paint a picture of what you want your salon to look like ideally, and then reverse engineer to set your salon business goals. Think about what you want to achieve in the coming year – salon revenue, profits, the number of new clients, retention figures, social media followers, website traffic, etc. – keeping in mind your short and long-term targets. And then take a look at how you can go about achieving these goals.
Just keep one thing in mind – be realistic about setting goals! You do not want to end up feeling regretful at the end of 2021. So it’s better to start with baby steps and set achievable goals for your salon marketing strategy.
3. Finalize your budget
Consider the money spent on marketing as an investment, and not like an expense.
You might know exactly how much you spent on your promotion efforts in 2020. And now that you’ve set your goals, you know where you want to reach. So you should accordingly determine how much you need to increase your spending on marketing.
As a general rule, you should allot at least 5% of your gross revenue for your salon promotion efforts. However, if you want to accelerate your business growth, consider increasing your marketing budget to 10-12% of gross revenue.
Remember that the decision is yours, and only you are the right person to make this choice of setting a budget that’s realistic.
4. Revamp your website and social media in alignment with your goals
In this age of technology, your online presence is of utmost importance. And many business owners had to learn this the hard way during the pandemic.
Moreover, your salon website and social media can be very useful marketing tools. Putting in time and effort to update and revamp them is quite important. And doing this can help you attract and engage more traffic, and gain new customers. Not just that, it’ll also help you recapture the interest of your existing customers.
You can give your website a fresh look by changing color schemes, updating your content, adding new pictures of your work, testimonials from your happy customers, client pictures, etc.
Do similar things on your social media handles too – request them to tag you in their pictures post service, repost their pictures, post regularly to enhance engagement and reach, upload pictures from work, promote your offers, etc.
All the changes you make should be in alignment with your goals for the upcoming year. One more important thing to do on all your marketing channels to boost conversions is to add a booking call to action – your booking link or a Book Now button. Some salon appointment systems, like Appointy, let you add a Book Now button to your Instagram, Facebook, Google My Business pages, as well as your website.
5. Focus on retail
Retail is an additional revenue-generating segment and can have huge profit margins. You should spend more time and think more about your retail business.
Sense your customers’ pulse about your current retail products. Request feedback to understand what kind of products are their favorite and take a look at the last year’s retail sales to get more accurate results.
You can stock up on the most favorite products and try to boost their sales this year. There might be some products that you know are excellent but haven’t gained your customers’ interest. Try and sell such products at special discounts, package them with the most favorite products. And tell your customers about their benefits.
You can stand out from your competitors by even starting your own range of retail products if that’s not the case currently. The exclusivity can work wonders! Moreover, you know what your customers like and what they need. You can initially promote your products with special discounts, product bundles, or complementary with the expensive services.
6. Create an advertising plan for the year
Salon advertising can be quite effective if done right. While Google pay per click has been here for a while and equally effective, Facebook and Instagram ads are trending these days. And why not? They let you target a very specific section of your audience based on their gender, preferences, location, and more!
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so the ads you run on Facebook can also be displayed on Instagram! You can create Instagram only ads as well. Instagram will help you reach out to the younger crowd more effectively. You can create picture ads, carousel ads, videos, stories, etc.
For Google PPC ads, it is better to lead the visitors to a landing page to drive conversions. Request their name and email address/ phone number in exchange for an offer. In fact, advertisements can work best when they include an attractive deal for new customers.
It’s a good idea to include paid digital advertising for your salon in your 2021 marketing plan. Target Facebook and Google PPC ads for the very least.
7. Foster customer loyalty and retention
Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenues by a whopping 95%!
This alone is sufficient to understand why customer loyalty is significant for your salon business growth. Especially in the beauty industry, existing customers are the pillars of your business. Treating them right will not only help you maintain good relationships with your customers but even help you attract new ones. Additionally, it is about 6 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to maintain the existing customer base.
Creating loyalty programs at your salon can help you strengthen your customer relationships. These will help customers become more loyal and invested in your services. There can be multiple types of loyalty programs for you to offer:
- Points system: In this reward system customers will get more points for more spending, and then the collective points can be used for getting gifts. For example, on a collection of 200 points, you can give your customers a free haircut.
- Punch card: This is a great customer loyalty system for beginners. Hand a punch card to your customers that they should punch at each visit. When the card is complete, the customer gets a freebie product or a service!
- VIP Memberships: Customers who buy these memberships can get exclusive discounts that will benefit them over time.
All such programs are meant to ensure customers keep returning to your salon over and over again! Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
Step 1. Start simple: Something is better than nothing. Start with one of the above-mentioned programs, preferably punch cards for beginners.
Step 2. Go through your numbers: You don’t want discounts to be so small that your customers are unimpressed, neither do you want to offer discounts so huge they hurt your budget. You gotta find the sweet spot in between.
Step 3. Talk to your loyal customers: Understand what your customers would prefer. Would they like a membership program or a points system? Incorporate their feedback into your final decision.
Step 4. Time for action: Once you have decided your plan of action, it’s time to bring it into effect. If you use salon booking software like Appointy, implementing the rewards program can get easier.
Provide discounts or free products or services to keep customers returning over and over to your salon!
8. Make your 2021 marketing plan pandemic-proof
While the Coronavirus vaccine is likely to be available in the coming weeks, its distribution will take a while and the pandemic is not likely to end soon. Now that you’ve seen the conditions this year, it’s better to be prepared for the worst! Make your marketing plan for the next year such that you’re well prepared to generate revenues even during extreme circumstances, like another lockdown.
Here are a few measures to undertake in order to keep your salon marketing plan pandemic-proof:
- Promote pre-booking and online scheduling: Encourage your customers to book their appointments in advance. You can use a salon appointment system to make this job easier for you as well as your customers.
- Accept touchless payments: ‘Touch’ is the most controversial word, thanks to Covid. Online and touchless payment options via reliable gateways like Square, Stripe, PayPal, etc. are the best way to go.
- Display your social distancing, cleaning, and disinfection measures: Build your customers’ trust in your prevention measures by displaying your protocols in your salon, on your website, and on social media.
- Embrace virtual consultations: Reduce the physical footfall in your salon and enforce social distancing better by providing virtual consultations via popular and secure video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
- How-to videos with home beauty kits: In the worst-case scenario of a salon shutdown, be prepared to post DIY beauty for your customers and social followers along with beauty kits from your retail shelves.
A salon scheduling software can help you deal better with the pandemic situation and save considerable time otherwise too. Appointy’s salon booking software helps you take 24×7 online bookings, promote pre-bookings of sessions, set limits on the number of appointments, accept digital contactless payments, and provide virtual beauty consultations with its Zoom integration!
Make your plan work!
Creating a 2021 salon marketing plan for your business is not enough. You need to make it work in order to achieve business growth.
The best way to start this is to make your marketing plan in a calendar format. You could use something as simple as your favorite calendar app (iCal, Outlook calendar, or Google Calendar), or choose to work with an online appointment system.
Mark all the important dates and events like Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. to plan special promotions around them. Also remember to market around the events specific to your salon, such as your anniversary, or other special times of the year, like the school proms.
Lastly, don’t make a plan that gets you all worked up. Create a plan that’s achievable and realistic. And don’t forget to enjoy the whole process of getting closer to your dream salon!
Being a salon owner, you can get so busy making people look and feel their best that it can become difficult for you to make time for the promotion efforts. A salon marketing plan for 2021 will act as a compass and help you keep an eye on the bigger picture so that you don’t lose focus due to the daily grind!
We hope this guide helps you have a great year ahead. Do share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.
Wishing you a very happy new year and the best of luck for 2021!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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