How to Create and Effectively Use a Long-Range Spa Marketing Plan

When you set goals for your business, you tend to surround them with time increments for accomplishing them such as in a month, a quarter or a year.

We do this because it helps us stay organized and on track, and the same should go for our spa’s marketing plan.

Creating a long-range marketing plan for your spa is essentially creating a goal-setting plan, but it focuses uniquely on outlining and detailing all the strategies and tactics you’ll take to accomplish your marketing goals over time.

Before I dive into how creating a marketing plan benefits your business, how to get started creating one as well as how to use your plan for successful sales, I want to explain the concept of the “long-range marketing plan.”

So, in the corporate world, businesses plan their marketing in 18-month cycles and then work in quarters.

Now I know that may sound incredibly overwhelming, especially if you’re a spa owner or solo aesthetician and you’re wearing all the hats of a marketing department in addition to all of your other tasks and responsibilities.

But it’s this type of long-range planning that’s needed if you want to have successful results with your marketing efforts, and ultimately more sales.

How a Long-Range Plan Benefits Your Business

The reason this type of marketing plan works is that rather than operating from a place of urgency where you need to have your marketing materials done yesterday, you’ll instead have a bird's-eye view of what needs to happen over the course of a year.

You’re essentially making the switch from being reactive to being proactive.

And once you have that larger plan, you can then work in quarters so that all of your work is done in advance, you have plenty of time to build excitement for happenings at your spa, and you never have to worry about whether you’re missing out on time-sensitive promotions, such as popular holidays.

Speaking of holidays, that is one of the main considerations you’ll want to plan for when you begin to create your marketing plan, specifically the big gift-giving holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

Getting Started with Creating Your Spa Marketing Plan

So, let me preface this section by stating that I’m a very visual person, so the way that I create my 18-month plan is by taking a huge piece of paper, the teaching-at-the-front-of-the-room kind, and list out the next 18 months at the very top with space underneath.

Then I’ll write out the holidays that fall under each month, even if I don’t necessarily use the holidays for each of my promotions, but they’re helpful to have for reminders of seasonal promotions. 

For example, it’s common to see a lot of pumpkin factions in October or November, so having Halloween and Thanksgiving on your calendar helps with being aware.

Other things you might want to consider for your spa marketing plan include:

●      Special events in your local community that you intend to participate in this year or attend regularly or annually.

●      Promotions for fundraising efforts or charitable giveaways in your spa or community.

●      Gift card promotions for major and minor and national celebration holidays (like Bosses Day) and ongoing promotions for birthdays and anniversaries.

●      Monthly or bi-monthly service or product specials.

Once you’ve filled in your marketing calendar with all of the promotional ideas where you’re specifically asking for a sale, be sure to factor in additional content that purely provides value for your audience.

By creating a good mix of sales and value-based content for your website, email newsletter, and social media, you’ll be able to build your spa’s credibility, and you'll position yourself as a business that cares about their customers by providing useful tips and information that they can use between their spa appointments.

Once everything is written out on the calendar, and I visually have a good idea of what actions I want to take and marketing materials I want to create to move my goals forward, I transfer the information into a document that's broken into quarters.

Then, input the current quarter into your calendar and whatever task management software you’re using. I use Google calendar and Asana, respectively.

How To Use Your Plan to Successfully Meet Sales Goals

Now that you have a large calendar filled with your ideas, it’s time to start putting that calendar into action. And this is the part that truly matters because you can plan all you want, but if you don’t execute your plan, you’re not going to attain the results.

First, you’ll want to take a look at your calendar that you broke down into quarters and then map out your process to completion, specifically for that first quarter. Essentially, you're reverse engineering your steps.

For example, let’s say you have a new product spotlight promotion that you want to debut on the first of each month and since there are three months in a quarter, you have three product spotlights you need to create marketing materials for.

On the task list is to create all the images, then all the copy surrounding those images whether it be the copy for social media posts, a blog post, or a newsletter. Then, you need to schedule it all into your scheduling tools or content management systems.

Create deadlines for each one of these steps working backward from the dates you need them done by depending on the schedule you’re working on.

As I previously mentioned, many businesses in the corporate world work a quarter ahead, which gives you plenty of time to plan for upcoming promotions and events, however, you might find that you work better when you’re working only one or two months ahead.

There’s no right or wrong way to execute your marketing plan, but generally speaking, you’ll find that you at least need one month of lead time to stay on top of your spa's marketing plan adequately and not let things slide ‘til the last minute.

Personally, I like to create all the content I need to market my business for an entire quarter because I only have to create marketing content four times a year rather than every month, but try different methods and find the one that works best for you.

Whether you work a month or a quarter in advance, this ensures that when you’re looking at your marketing calendar, you’re not scrambling to hit “publish” or “send” the day you want your latest promotion to go live.

The flying-by-the-seat of your pants method may feel like it works as long as things get done, but it also leaves you more prone to making mistakes such as broken links, typos, and other snafus that can affect your business’ credibility.

Another trick that might help you alongside your marketing calendar is creating what’s traditionally called a “tickler file.”

A tickler file is a collection of date-labeled folders organized in a way that allows time-sensitive documents to be submitted according to the future date on which each document needs action. This method is ideal for planning promotions around holidays that you can always count on being in your promotions calendar.

And it helps with not having to reinvent the wheel year after year. Recycle some copy and images, no need to start 100% from scratch if something worked well last year. 

Of course, you can create a file like this using a paper system or an electronic one. This is just another option for ways to stay on top of items that need to be done a month to a quarter out for them to be set and ready-to-go well in advance of when they need to be live.

No matter how you choose to create and execute your spa marketing plan, you’ll notice that the toughest part of the work is upfront, so don’t get discouraged if the task seems like a mountain the size of Everest. Take it one step at a time.

The most important thing to understand is that you need to have a plan because if you want to have a thriving business, you have to start thinking like one.

How to Make Your Social Media Efforts Work for Your Spa

In this day and age, where word-of-mouth is spread primarily through screens and thumbs, using social media to promote your spa isn’t an option. 
If you want to connect with more prospective clients, maintain relationships with your current clientele, and continuously increase the exposure of your brand, you need to have a social media presence. 
But don’t take that to mean that you need to be on every platform.

Nope, when it comes to social media, you’re far better off working smarter and not harder, or in other words, strategically. 
Here’s where to start when creating a strategic social media plan to market your spa:

Narrow Down and Choose Your Platforms

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat…and those are just the main platforms; new ones are popping up every day. 
If you were to try to maintain a social media presence on all those platforms, you wouldn’t see the payoff or experience a successful return on your time investment because you’ll spread yourself too thin. 
Not to mention, you don’t need to be on all those platforms. Your ideal audience most likely only spends time on two to three of them. 
So, that means you need to do some research and find out the top two platforms your audience spends time on, then invest the majority of your online time and energy there. 

By focusing on those two leading platforms, you can maintain a consistent effort to grow your online community, drive traffic to your website, and convert those followers and web visitors into paying clients. 
Then you can move into a third or fourth platform once you’ve gotten a grasp on the first two, but no need to rush it. 

Create a System

One of the biggest missteps a business can make on social media is keeping up with their social media channels day-to-day, which usually leads to inconsistent posting frequency and mediocre content at best. 
When it comes to consistently creating and sharing quality content whether that be images, blog posts, videos, or a combination of those pieces, you need a system. And one of the best systems to follow is batching. 
Batching is when you dedicate a particular time to one task. So, for example, you might decide to batch your content creation so that you spend four hours once per month creating the content you need for your social media in the next month. 
Batching your content creation also requires having a mapped out plan of how many posts you need for each platform per week and what text and images you need so you know precisely how much material you need to create. 
Finally, one of the last pieces of your system is a scheduling tool, some to look into are Buffer, Hootsuite, or Edgar. 
Once you've batch created your content, you can then batch upload and schedule your posts so that once you set it, you can forget it! Well, not quite…

Engage, Engage, Engage 

While social media schedulers and automation is a beautiful thing for saving time in the day-to-day, having a system for creating and sharing content shouldn’t extend to engaging with your audience. 
Too many businesses follow the advice of batch creating and scheduling their content, but then they never check in to respond to comments or engage with other people in their audience. 
Remember, social media needs to be social. It’s about creating relationships, not just megaphoning your information out to the world hoping someone, and anyone will hear it and instantaneously buy from you. 

That’s not how it works, people need to build their relationship with you first, and they do that through engagement. 
Encourage engagement by asking questions in your posts, commenting on and liking other people’s posts, and staying on top of messaging people back promptly. 

Nowadays, your social media channels act as an extension of your customer service team, so you need to make sure that you’re thanking people for taking the time out of their day to connect with you and not letting what they have to say fall on deaf ears. 

The main thing to keep in mind as you set forth with your plan on social media is that growing your presence and cultivating your online community is a marathon, not a sprint. 
Your posts are not likely to go viral overnight, and you won’t gain hundreds of followers in a day or even a month, but by providing quality content on a consistent basis and participating in authentic engagement, your efforts will certainly pay off with time. 
Do you currently have a social media strategy in place? How often do you create content and check in on your audience for active engagement? 

If you don’t have a strategy in place, how do you plan to start creating one moving forward? Drop your answers in the comments! 

Until next time, keep making the world a more beautiful place inside and out!