Part 2 of 2 in the Series
In my last article, It’s Time for a Paradigm Shift in How You Market Your Spa, I broke down Michael Stelzner’s thought-leading educational session at ISPA. He is a social media expert and CEO/Founder of the Social Media Examiner, the leading online magazine and resource for the latest in social media.
One of the biggest paradigm shifts in thinking we must adhere to while marketing in 2012 is what Stelzner refers to as:
“The Elevation Principle”
(Great content + other people) – marketing messages = Growth
The Elevation Principle requires that you do not focus on yourself and your spa. Instead, shine the spotlight on others such as outside experts, successful peers and your client’s companies. Because when you lift people up, they lift you up and everyone can rise.
One of the very best ways to do this is to provide timely, quality, relevant content via a blog.
1. Create a blog and write posts regularly.A blog is a long-term marketing asset that will bring traffic and leads to your spa. It introduces you as a thought leader in your industry and allows you to earn people’s trust. Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors. And finally, B2C companies that blog get 88% more leads per month than those that don’t. (Source: Hubspot, www.hubspot.com)
2. Optimize your blog.Simply blogging won’t dramatically improve your marketing. Your blog must be filled with rich content that answers the questions your customers want to know about. In your blog post, naturally integrate SEO keywords (the words and phrases your potential clients would type into Google to find your spa). The more you blog, the more credible you become in the eyes of Google algorithms as well as your clients. But don’t get overwhelmed; blog posts need not be long or complicated. In fact, in our age of “information overload,” short and sweet nuggets of information (200 – 500 words) can be extremely valuable and digestible for your readers. Make sure to add categories and tags so information on your blog will be indexed easily.
3. Promote your blog. If you don’t promote your blog, no one will find it. This is where your Facebook fan page, Twitter, Google +, Yelp, Foursquare and Linked In accounts come into play. Each time you publish a blog post, make sure you share it via these social media marketing channels. Kindly ask your raving fans to share your content via their social media marketing channels to increase your sphere of influence. Just remember: each social media marketing tool has a unique language and way to share, so make sure you use each one accordingly.
4. Organize your blog.Organize blog post titles on a content calendar that spans the next 6 months. Don’t forget to consider holidays, spa specials and events and build posts around them. To generate ideas, take 20 minutes at your next staff meeting and brainstorm topics. Find out from your staff members what problems their customers are facing, and answer each question in the form of a blog post. Perhaps you might ask for volunteers from your staff to write blog posts. Who knows, you might have a few excellent writers on your team! This would be an added bonus because your customers hear from the massage therapists and estheticians themselves, positioning your spa and staff members as experts (as well as saves you time). Another blogging idea to mix in is a monthly staff “spotlight” so your readers get to know them on a more personal level.
5. Reap the rewards.Your spa is the answer to your client’s problems. Offer them a solution by generating timely, relevant, quality content on a regular basis to build loyalty and trust (two things that according to Stelzner people by default don’t have because of the onslaught of sales-related messages). When blogging, think about how you can help your clients before how they can help you, and watch your spa’s bottom line increase.
Additional note: Jennifer Bondurant of Spa Insight Solutions took this short video of Michael Stelzner after his talk at ISPA about how to encourage spa-goers to engage with your spa via Twitter: http://www.spainsightsolutions.com/2011/12/08/michael-stelzner-on-how-spas-can-get-started-with-social-media/