With more people turning to social media and websites to find inspiration for new hair styles, salon owner Alex Iacobacci has made some big changes in how he approaches marketing. At Avanti, his Boston salon, he has abandoned the traditional "before and after" shot that so many salons use to promote their capabilities in favor of online video transformations which he showcases on the salon's Facebook page and website.
"Static images don't show the work and artistry that foes into the new look. And in the age of Photoshop, still images lose some of their power to impress," says Iacobacci. "I wanted to show all the interaction between the client and the stylists and the step by step from the consultation to the finished look. I also wanted to show the collaboration among the hair cutter, the colorist and the apprentice."
Now, he has shifted some of his marketing budget to engaging Boston videographer and photographer Daniel Mathieu to come to the salon monthly. Mathieu's role is to capture Avanti stylists in action and bring the work that happens in the salon to the digital world — in video format.
Mathieu is by now very familiar with the salon's team, ethos and routines — which helps him to create the most appropriate videos to showcase the team's work. It also helps the stylists to relax in front of the camera.
The Avanti team enlists a diverse array of clients to participate in the videos, from fashion-forward looks to styles everyone can achieve. Unlike static photos, the videos show a haircutter, a colorist and an assistant working together.
"We don't have a culture that focuses on an individual stylist. Instead we show a community of hairdressers working together to give the customers the best experience possible," adds Iacobacci.
The effort has paid off. Avanti has brought new clients and referrals through the door as a result of the videos, and clients stay on the Avanti website and Facebook page for a longer period of time. In fact, one of the salon's before and after videos generated more than two thousand views. For an example of Avanti's Before and After videos, go to the salon's Facebook page.
For salons considering this type of marketing vehicle, Iacobacci recommends budgeting carefully and focusing on a community of hairdressers working together vs. isolating one stylist.
"If you look on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, all the "before and after" pictures look the same," concludes Iacobacci. But when consumers watch our videos, they can see the whole process from start to finish — it's another great way to show that our work doesn't come in a box."