The economy seems to be rebounding. While you might not hear a collective sigh of relief just yet, there are signs that employment is picking up steam and consumer confidence is inching up. Still as a small business owner you must make every dollar count.
Marketing is one area where you can stretch your dollars and still achieve your goals. Social media provides you with a free channel of communication direct to clients and prospects. But not everyone is on Facebook and Twitter and not all the time. You still want to employ some of the other on and offline marketing tools to keep your spa in front of the marketplace.
Here are six tips to help maximize your marketing budget:
Distribute a Newsletter
A newsletter is a good way to stay in front of clients and it costs little to produce. There are many email newsletter distribution companies online. Most let you distribute one newsletter for free to your mailing list. After that, you can pay per email as you go or sign up for a low monthly subscription fee.
In addition to social media, public relations won’t cost anything other than the time it takes someone to reach out to the local media. The business section of your newspaper is a good place to talk about expansion or new hires. If you have a specialty in a bodywork area, pitch a trend story to your paper and even broadcast media. For example, if you offer sports massage, pitch a story about benefits of massage for sports injuries. Offer your expert commentary for inclusion in the story.
Think about your business and client needs and you’d be surprised at the number of story ideas you can come up with. If you don’t feel confident contacting the media, hire a freelancer. There are many freelance PR professionals with a range of rates, many with special pricing for small business owners.
Think Modular about Materials
Create a customizable marketing piece with inserts so that you can assemble a piece based on your target audience. The packet would include standard information sheet about your spa with separate inserts about skin treatments, massage and even at-home products. You also can create a basic brochure layout that has one main section with space for sections specific to target audiences. When you go to print, the standard section will remain the same but new copy can be typeset and stripped in to meet the needs of your different clients.
Your needs for print materials may not be obsolete yet, but increasingly consumers are checking their tablets and smartphones for information. Make sure you website is optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
Find a complementary business and form a partnership for referrals as well as cross promotion. For example, partner with a hair salon to give out gift certificates to your spa when someone spends a certain amount of money and vice versa. Offer business card drawings for a free service at each venue – a free cut at the hair salon and a free neck massage at your spa. Also you can cross promote with a salon by showcasing your services at each other’s. Give out free neck messages at the hair salon; they can provide free consultations on color and cuts at your spa.
Prices changes. If market rates are lower today than they were when you originally negotiated your contract, ask for the lower rate.
Marketing takes time and some financial investment, but there are many options to explore to keep within your budget.