Case Study: How a Maryland Spa Owner Tackles Online Marketing
Merchant: Green Revolution Skin Studio
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Platforms: Vistaprint Digital, Instagram, Booker, Facebook, Yelp, Constant Contact
Bottom Line: Price and ease-of-use are two of the biggest factors small business owners look at when deciding which digital marketing platforms to use.
Laura Correa has made a name for herself in the Washington, DC area with restorative facials and rejuvenating therapeutic treatments, but to be a successful solo entrepreneur, she’s had to bring more to the table than just the latest skin care treatments. In order to keep her skin spa afloat and compete against larger chains, Correa stays on top of the latest digital marketing trends and budgets her time to manage both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house operations.
“I spend at least two-to-four hours a week on online marketing, [primarily on] Instagram and email marketing campaigns,” she says. “The hardest part is making the time between clients to write good content.”
Correa juggles nearly a half dozen marketing platforms in her day-to-day operations at Green Revolution, posting inspiring images and quotes on Instagram and insider beauty secrets on Facebook, while putting together content for an email newsletter that goes out regularly to clients, tracking reviews that come in on Yelp, and managing online appointments made through Booker. She also designed her own website using tools from Vistaprint Digital.
“[Email marketing] is helpful, but only with re-bookings. I haven’t been using it as a tool to gain new clients yet. I mainly use it to reach existing clients about updates and specials,” she says. “I intend to work on that.”
Price was a consideration as Correa looked at whether she could design a business website on her own. She favored Vistaprint’s website creation tools because she had already worked with the company to create printed marketing materials, like brochures, business cards, and other promotional cards.
Regardless of the digital channel, Correa says it’s important that the platforms she uses offer a good quality of service and that the products themselves are user-friendly. Having a good price point doesn’t hurt either, given that she’s running a small business on a budget.
During the three years she’s been in business, Correa says some of the biggest surprises she’s had have involved advertising and marketing. Specifically, she’s been shocked to see how much business traffic comes from online searches, Yelp reviews, and social media postings.
“Being featured in a popular local blog will get you more traffic and reach your ideal clients as well,” she says. “Printed ads in magazines and promos not as effective and not worth the investment for small business, in my opinion.”
Reviews on Yelp and Google, in particular, have been a solid source of leads for Green Revolution.
“Reviews are gold for my business. Since I do offer a more personal service—organic facials—people want to know what other people are saying about you before they commit to booking,” she says.
Correa checks web analytics on a regular basis to see how people are finding her website, and for deeper insights into how clients are booking their appointments. She also keeps a close eye on which parts of her website get the most traffic before appointments are booked.
“I check analytics on Vista, Yelp, Google and Constant Contact to get all the data I need to know about traffic, clicks, and what is working what is not. It’s pretty awesome. I take time to check each site’s data every couple of months to gain more insight,” she says. “This also helps you determine where to put your time and energy when it comes to marketing.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.