In these quiet, peaceful days of January whilst almost all of my clients are closed, I like to look back over the year gone and assess what worked and what didn't.
What marketing campaigns and tools worked best for the salons, skin clinics, barbers and fitness businesses we partner with and ran ads for......
Then as always I like to take my learnings and pass it on to more business owners who find such advice useful.
Here's 4 important things we learned.
1. Social wins...but it was close
In terms of producing new clients for our partners, Facebook & Instagram wins over Google.....but only just.
When we ran campaigns in which we tested an offer on both platforms; Facebook and Instagram outperformed Google for most of our partners.
BUT! Google actually produced significantly better results for some.
The best thing you can do is split test the same offer on both Google and Social, then after 4 - 8 weeks gauge the results.
If you're unsure how to track the results to know where your bookings are coming from: the bottom half of this blog post titled “The Best Ways To Win Salon Clients During A Pandemic” will help.
Even if you’re reading this in the future and we’re well over Covid (thank f***)….the methods still apply.
2. It’s all about the offer, baby
Several of our partners last year started with an offer of £10 - £20 off a new client's first visit..... then later down the line trialled 50% off their first visit, in an attempt to increase new bookings.
The change in results every time were instant and significant.
How significant? Between two to four times more new bookings.
Now that's not to say small incentives don't work.
Several of our partners think in terms quality and not quantity. A smaller amount of new clients each week who pay more hits the spot for them.
But most of the businesses we work with tend to want LOTS of new bookings, particularly in these challenging times.
So decide which basket you're in and be bold.
If it's the latter, go straight in with half price of first visit for max attention and bookings.
And if you don’t want to go down the discounting road: how about giving a small, cost-free extra service for free… and market the hell out of the word FREE.
3. Boosting Facebook posts vs creating ads
Sorry if you love a good boost, but the clear winner for us was creating actual ads in the Facebook Ads Manager.
You can create far more visually attention-demanding ads in Ads Manager.
We are particularly fond of Facebook's Slideshow Video function.
Simply upload 4 of your best images and your logo and Facebook will do the rest.
That or a carousel of images will kick any boosted post firmly in the the a**e.
4. Don't waste money with Brand Awareness ads on Google
If you wish to advertise purely to get your brand in front of people and "plant the seed": you're going to get much better results advertising on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube over Google.
Google search network ads are words only with a limited amount of text. Google banner ads use images but it's limited what you can create and use even less text.
By contrast with Social you can use more attention-grabbing visuals and long copy ad descriptions to impress your potential customers.
With no offer to advertise and sell your click, your Google search ad offers little more than the organic searches that appear on the same page text only.
You'll get clicks....but less enquiries than an eye-popping Facebook or Instagram ad or killer YouTube video can produce.
Plus on an equal budget; Facebook advertising gets you in front of far more people than Google search.
It may be disruptive....but so dam cheap and better suited to Brand Awareness and getting you name out there.
I cannot in good faith write about Brand Awareness ads without stating the following however:
Once again the canyon in between Brand Awareness ads and Direct Response ads were re-affirmed for us in 2020.
Unless you create a show-stopping video or image AND you’re already a highly acclaimed business in your town: you’re going to get significantly less new clients and potentially waste your money, when you advertise just your name and services with no offer in place.
The exception to this is if you boast a treatment or service that is exclusive to you, that none of your competitors also provide.
Even some of the most acclaimed, award-winning salon names we worked with in ’20 were wasting a tonne of cash on Brand Awareness ads.
Advertising an offer that allows you to collect people’s data, then emailing and text messaging them with interesting content and further offers, until they either book or opt-out….
That will always see better results.
5. Lots of new clients are slipping through your fingers without....
.....an email auto-flow or SMS campaign.
This one's a bit techy, but if you are advertising an offer on digital; you're going to get much better results sending your ad clicks to a landing page, where they provide name, email and number in exchange for an eVoucher emailed to them, or code via text message.
This way you can then send each potential new client emails and/or text message booking reminders thereafter.
The result is more bookings from your advertising. Happy days.
To learn how to create an automatic, cost-free flow of emails, so all you have to do is add each email address you collect and it will automatically email them several times of the next 4 – 8 weeks, download my free eBook The 6 Steps To Flood Your Salon With Profitable New Clients Using Google Ads.
Step 4 in the eBook with show you a simple, FREE process to create an email auto-flow using MailerLite.
So there we go, that's 5 pretty important things our figures have told us, hope they help.
At the time of posting this, we look set for anther few weeks of lockdown here in sunny ol’ England. If you’re getting stuck in to education and growth (hope so): be sure to read that eBook, plus throughout Jan we're digging out some of our most popular growth videos of 2020 and posting on Facebook.
Jump on our page and check them out, hopefully you'll find some value in them also :)
......Like moths to a flame....