These days, household budgets are tighter than ever. That means workers and families have less disposable income to spend on entertainment and relaxation activities. As a result, the battle for these scarce recreational spending dollars is fierce and ongoing.
This economic climate presents a major challenge for owners of spa businesses. So spa owners are closely examining their marketing approaches and looking for creative ways to attract more customers. Here are a half dozen creative small business marketing ideas for spas to help them reach out to consumers and increase their client base:
- "Event-based" promotions. Every spa has Mother's Day specials or holiday gift card initiatives. But innovative small business marketers like spa owners can create their own event promotions. Like "Mother and Daughter" outings with discounted massages, "Happy Hour Face and Feet" packages that bundle facials and foot scrubs, or "Girls' Day Out" discounts for groups. These are ideal for "slow" time periods or low-traffic months during the year.
- Loyalty cards and referral programs. The concept is not new, but the execution can be tweaked with a little ingenuity to make it an effective spa and small business marketing strategy. Instead of getting the tenth massage free, why not designate redemption levels (three massage visits for a free mani/pedi, five for a facial, etc.) that cater to a wider range of services? Or host "referral drives" which provide double discounts for new customer referrals during a specific time period?
- Social media offers. Millennials are all over social media, but older patrons are checking these sites, too. You can foster loyalty by periodically offering 20% Facebook coupons, "This Weekend Only" bundle discounts on Twitter, or even Pinterest contests for a free day spa package to a randomly-drawn winner. If your customers follow you on social media, you're more likely to retain and grow their business with creative social media promotions for your spa.
- Video. Images of your soothing spa services and treatments can whet the appetite of current and potential customers alike. Incorporating these videos on your website and other advertising channels will appeal to the senses of the stressed-out consumer who would benefit from a little "me time." Plus, video and other multimedia marketing is more likely to catch the attention of millennials, and offer a lot of value as a small business marketing strategy.
- Blogs. An entertaining and informative blog can not only bond with your loyal customers, but it can also boost your online reputation and search engine rankings — which will help pull in new clients who are searching online for a spa experience. In addition to promoting your services, write blog entries that explain how to use your products, embrace current trends and relate them to your business, and relate behind-the scenes stories about your employees and your community outreach efforts. Blogs are a cheap and creative method to market your spa as a small business.
- Mobile apps. Today, it's not enough to have a great website. You have to have a mobile version of your site as well. A simple reformatting of your current site is a good start, but you'll benefit even more from strong functionality. So if your mobile site lets people view pricing, book appointments, write reviews, and link to social media, it's more likely to have an effect on your bottom line.
It's vital that you find ways to set your spa business apart from your competitors while touting the advantages of spa services over other forms of entertainment and leisure. Creative small business marketing ideas will help you accomplish those goals while driving the growth and success of your business.
Chris Martin is a freelance writer about topics ranging from online reputation management to entrepreneurism to business marketing solutions.