Double new clients framework - Paid ads
• Written by Colin Shove
Build a targeted lookalike audience from your Salon App database
Lookalike audiences are created by Facebook to attract an audience just like your existing clients. Facebook (and Instagram), hold enormous amounts of data on its users. A lookalike audience is a bit like a sophisticated marketing matchmaker.
Export a client list from your salon software and upload their names, email and mobile numbers to the facebook ads platform. The platform will then match any of those clients with a Facebook profile (nearly all of them) and find people just like them. You can then create ads that are only displayed to people who match your criteria and live within your area. Because you are promoting to a smaller, more niche audience it costs less.
There are six Facebook (and Instagram) ads formats and four are suited well to salon ads.
Awareness: The purpose of awareness ads is to extend reach (the number of people who see your ads), Brand awareness and video views. These will typically be the least expensive ads because they are geared towards the longer term benefit. You would probably run an awareness ad on an ongoing basis so that people meeting your criteria become familiar with your ads. Create artwork that reflects your salon how you would like others to see it. For example a salon specialising in Balayage would have several stylish photographs and a simple message along the lines of “Salon Name, the only option for Beautiful Balayage in Town Name”. Whenever a prospective client sees your ad they will start to associate you with being the Balayage expert in your area.
If you specialise in several areas create different ad campaigns for each as opposed to creating one ad for more than one thing. Less is more when you are creating social media ads.
Traffic: Traffic ads are designed to send people to a destination and clicks will cost a little more than an awareness ad. This includes link clicks, landing page views and can be used for messenger, Whats app and calls. People are more likely to engage with your traffic ad if they are aware of your salon first. They may be considering a Balayage treatment, see your traffic ad and go to your Balayage landing page, or download your 5 things you must know about Balayage report. Once someone has landed on your page, always use a call to action. Things like email collection or book consultation work well. If you opt for messenger or Whatsapp engagement ensure someone is available to respond. These interactions can be fleeting and you may only get one chance.
Engagement: This is where the rubber starts to hit the road. Now we want people to engage directly with us. Engagement will include likes and comments as well as calls and booking online. Facebook wants us to see this as a progression taking your future clients on a journey. They first become aware, they have a look at our site or reviews and then they contact us and book. At each stage the clicks get a little more expensive but because you have started with awareness, then traffic and engagement the volume is reducing with each time keeping your costs under control.
Leads: Lead ads are the jewel in the Facebook ads crown. These are the types of ads where clients will enter contact information and you can contact them. Be aware that a lead ad will be significantly more expensive than any other facebook ad type.
The challenge with all marketing is that as small business owners we are impatient. If you are anything like me you will expect to post an ad and get clients immediately. We, the public however, are more savvy than that now. We are used to being marketed to so need to be wooed a bit before committing to something. When we started our social media marketing I read advice similar to what I am including here but thought I would skip a few steps out and go straight to the lead ads. Despite listening to a marketing expert tell me it was a bit like asking someone to marry you on the first date I thought I would have a go anyway.
The lead ad worked, (Facebook knows their stuff!) and people completed the form in our ad. We got loads of leads so increased the budget and got loads more! I was feeling pretty clever by now and couldn’t see what all that awareness, traffic and engagement business was about.
The problem when we started connecting with our new haul of leads was they didn't really know who we were or what we did. So despite having lots of leads most were not ready to engage, let alone buy and we ended up spending a load of cash.
The moral of the story is, follow the plan. The process is built this way and neither you nor I will change it.