Is advertising your hair & beauty salon in the local media a sound investment or is it a waste of valuable budget in these days of social media?

Not everyone is glued to social media or constantly browsing online, so traditional press adverts still have a place in your marketing plan. Just make sure your hair or beauty salon avoids these 5 advertising traps and gets the most bang for your buck.

Editorial Advertising

1. Get your salon advert seen by your target audience

DO: Advertising managers are persistent and persuasive people. We all get called with a tempting “special offer” or “last minute deal” that seems too good to miss. Before snapping their hand off, research a couple of back issues and ask, “Would my ideal salon client read this publication?” If you own a barbershop the local glossy magazine covering weddings, fashion and social events is perhaps not the best fit for your target audience.

DON’T: Let the publication decide where they are placing your advert. You’ll end up squeezed in between pages your ideal audience are less likely to read – a wedding hair advertisement in the Tax & Finance section. Instead, ask the advertising manager for the Features’ Schedule. This is a list of the planned features over the coming months. Now look for relevant hair and beauty topics and make it a condition of advertising that your advert is placed on these pages.

2. Get the most for your advertising spend

DO: Negotiate for free editorial when buying your advertising as it carries more weight in readers’ minds than a paid advert.

DON’T: Leave writing this editorial to the publisher. Help them by supplying full information, the message you want to communicate and high resolution imagery (if you have it). Always ask to see the final copy for approval before it goes to print.

DO: Ask if the publication can include an online banner advert on their website in the price. It costs them peanuts and spreads your marketing message to a wider audience.

3. Keep your salon advert simple


Browse through some national hair & beauty magazines to see what makes an advert striking, rather than bland or muddled.

Then try these design tips from Alice Kirby of Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing:

DO: Keep the design clean and airy with the focus on a punchy headline. No more than 9 words is ideal.

DON’T: Be tempted to cram in too much information. It makes your hair & beauty advertisement difficult to read and unappealing. Decide what one action you want the reader to take after seeing your advertisement, and communicate that clearly.

DO: Ask a colleague to proof read your advert copy before you submit it. Sloppy spelling, punctuation and grammar will reflect on your salon business. Write punchy copy. Bullet points are easier to read than long rambling paragraphs.

DON’T: Use a photo you found on Google images. You’re likely to be in breach of copyright and it will probably be low resolution. A low resolution image will blur your advert and look amateur. If in doubt, always ask the publication design department to check it for you. Invest in a library image - it’s a small expense compared to the cost of a botched advert.

DO: Add a Call To Action (CTA). Make it obvious what you want readers to do when they see your salon advert. Some ideas:

  • Call to book
  • Visit our website
  • Join now
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Enter here (our competition)

DON’T: Forget to include your business telephone number, email, website address and social media details. We have seen salon adverts with no contact details. It does happen.

4. Fail to grab your readers’ attention

Your readers are interested in... themselves.

DO: Have lashings of “What’s in it for me” in your advert.

DON’T: Put the focus on you and your hair and beauty business.

DO: Talk about benefits, not features. The features of your product or service are its attributes – the things that make it what it is.

5. Squeeze the most from your salon advertisement

DON’T: Overlook the pull of a deal in your advert. It doesn’t have to be a discount - you could offer added value with an upgrade to the service.

DO: Include a unique promotional code to be quoted on booking. You can then monitor the response and measure your Return On Investment (ROI).

DON’T: Neglect the offer terms and conditions. Wherever possible spell out the full terms on the advertisement itself. It looks honest and ethical and it’ll save you grief from disgruntled clients. If it’s a small advert and there really isn’t room, state, “*Terms and Conditions apply, see website” (and make sure they are live before the advert publication date).

DO: Ask all new clients how and where they discovered your salon or spa. They may have seen your advertisement some months ago and only now decided to give you a try. You need to know your advertising worked.

DON’T: Just have the advert in a local magazine. Run the same imagery and offer on your website and social channels for the duration of the advert. Keep reinforcing your marketing message in potential new clients’ minds.

So next time your local newspaper rings with an irresistible deal reach for these advertising tips and make every marketing penny count.