Are you struggling to get enough new interior design clients to keep your agency busy? Here are some of the marketing essentials you need to use in 2017 to keep your lead flow consistent and profitable.
Interior design firms live on reputation. Few businesses create a final product that so assuredly speaks for itself. We touch, feel, see, and absorb the sense of a room, taking in the design like a work of art. These experiences are easy to share, either in a chat with a neighbor or sharing on social media.
All of this lends itself perfectly to marketing – when you can spread the word. Today there are so many marketing channels you might feel your voice fading more than amplifying.
Here are some tips that will help ensure your best work is getting discovered by people who will appreciate it – and who will hire you to emulate it for them.
Interior Design Marketing Tip #1: Develop an Effective Website
While there are many marketing channels today, it remains true that your website is ground zero. Most people who convert into clients will visit your website and use its content in their evaluation.
Today’s websites are simple, airy, and balanced between visual and text communication. The influence of mobile use now cuts across website design in general, with increased scrolling behavior and well-defined, evenly spaced sections of content.
Here is an example of an interior design website design on the UXI template:
Your website serves as a gallery of your work and an introduction to your services. It persuades people to act and gives them an easy way to reach out to you. It builds trust and highlights your experience and talents.
And it does all this equally well on a phone or desktop screen.
An important part of your website is the portfolio/gallery of work. Make sure to get professional images of your best work. This interior design website does a nice job by letting visitors browse by room:
If your website design is more than a few years old, look into updating it. Today, website templates are not expensive (in fact, we do your design for free when you market with us), so there is really no reason to let an out-of-date design drag your marketing down.
Important Idea: Use Infographics
Because of the visual nature of interior design, you can often get your idea across better with an infographic. These are also useful for sharing on social media:
Interior Design Marketing Tip #2: Market On Social Media
There was a time when sites like Facebook and Instagram were considered online novelties of little value for business marketing.
Times have changed.
Today, Facebook challenges Google for online traffic dominance. The advertising tools available are so robust you probably won’t be able to keep up with it all.
Social also favors visual content, which is perfect for interior designers. Instagram and Pinterest are naturals for interior design. This Denver interior designer does a nice job with Pinterest, categorizing different rooms and design styles into boards:
The huge advantage to using social media to display your gallery is that it makes all the content sharable. You can cross-market across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and get clients or other followers to share images with their networks. A great way to get brand exposure.
Important Idea: Get On Houzz
For home improvement verticals like interior design, Houzz is probably the most important social network you can engage on.
Houzz is a place you display your gallery, interact with people researching interior design ideas, collaborate professionally, and generate leads for your business. It’s virtually a micro-internet for home decor, design, and project work, with search features, advertising, and direct response conversion tactics.
Most established interior designers are on Houzz. Here are a few tips on marketing your interior design services.
Have an interactive profile. Houzz has discussion boards, polls, and forums you can participate in to share your expertise and expose your brand. In fact, people checking out your images can share them on Facebook or Pinterest, email them, or ask you a question directly (be responsive!).
Submit projects to be featured on Houzz. You can get articles and projects featured on Houzz which will give your brand major exposure.
Optimize your profile for search. Make sure you complete your profile with all types of design work you do and your location. On Houzz, you’ll get a lot of traffic and interaction from people outside your service area, but it all helps draw in people who are in your area.
Set-up social conversions. You can set-up click to calls and contact forms right on Houzz. You also have a link to your website. Take advantage of letting leads contact you directly through Houzz and be responsive to inquiries.
Partner up. You can link to, interact with, and leave reviews for partner businesses (furniture sales, niche designers, contractors) to help each other get more traffic and business. You can also connect with fellow designers who are not in your service area and share ideas.
Build up your review profile. Houzz is one of several places you’ll want to get happy clients to write you reviews. You’ll rank better in search and get more conversions with a lot of 5-star reviews.
Interior Design Marketing Idea #3: Social Media Advertising
For example, say you want to target this audience:
- Women ages 25-45
- Average income greater than 100k annually
- Shops at Ethan Allen
- Watches Candice Olsen on HGTV
- Visits Houzz.com
- Follows interior design boards on Pinterest
- Lives in the Cherry Creek area of Denver, CO.
You can target your ads to this level. In other words, you can target your ideal client in terms of demographics, buying behavior and interests to the point that you can make a strong assumption they’re in the market for an interior designer.
The only caveat is you need to run campaigns that get enough activity that the platform algorithms see your ads as relevant (which affects what you pay for them). For example, if you didn’t get enough traffic in Cherry Creek, you might expand the campaign to the greater Denver area.
Interior Design Marketing Idea #4: Use the Power of Video
Video is more important than ever with online marketing. Extend the appeal of your portfolio with videos, and create an introductory video that explains your approach to interior design.
Put your video on your website and optimize for searches on your YouTube channel.
Important Idea: Video “How To’s” on YouTube
Along with Houzz, many people will seek out ideas and inspiration for interior design on YouTube. This is a popular platform for “how to” type videos, and since it’s the second largest search engine in the world, a good place to get some exposure. For example, this video on small living room decorating ideas has nearly 150k views in less than a year:
These videos can be shared across social and put into blog posts to improve your SEO and drive traffic to your website.
Interior Design Marketing Tip #5: Manage Your Reputation
Today, it’s arguable that the most influential marketing content for your interior design firm isn’t even created by you.
It’s created by your clientele.
The online review, an honest assessment of your work by your clients, impacts hiring decisions as much as any ad creatives you can come up with.
We already mentioned that reviews are a major factor on Houzz. They also dominate content on Google Business local search:
There are two things you need to commit yourself to when it comes to online reputation:
- Realize that every aspect of each project you do will have lasting repercussions on your marketing and reputation. The best way to develop a great review profile is to delight your clients with your work. Realize that every time you cut corners, you risk getting low reviews that can hurt your marketing.
- Be proactive about getting positive reviews from happy clients. Note that often the people most motivated to leave reviews are displeased. Make an effort to get happy clients to leave comments.
Monitor comments made about your business on Top Rated Local, Yelp, and social media. Note that you can elect to allow reviews on Facebook if you choose; do so if you’re getting a lot of positive feedback.
Interior Design Marketing Tip #6: Master Search Marketing
While Houzz and other social media are great for getting brand exposure, note that one of the most high-intention actions when it comes to hiring an interior designer is still search.
Make sure you rank at the top of desktop and mobile searches by running tight pay-per-click advertising campaigns. You’ll want to target the most commonly used keywords searches around interior design and run the ads specifically in your target area. Create campaigns for specific types of design projects, and have them go to landing pages on your website with content that matches the ad.
Google My Business (shown above with reviews) is an organic search channel connected to Google Maps. Set this up using your keyword targets in your listed services and company description. Note that more positive reviews tend to help you rank.
Optimize your main website pages for prime keywords, then develop an SEO blogging strategy to help you rank for diverse, long-tail search queries. Often, these are in the form of a question, so the goal is to provide information and expose potential clients to your brand. Tie this into your YouTube videos, and embed them into the blogs for more traffic.
Important Idea: Retargeting
Retargeting is a type of paid advertisement that uses a snippet of code to track visitor behavior on your website, then serve up banner or search ads to them after they leave your website. This is a powerful tactic because web visitors rarely convert on a first visit, so your message stays with as they surf the web or go on Facebook, reminding them to act when the time is right.
Retargeting is also effective brand advertising. Often, the ads will reinforce your brand name enough that when someone is ready to hire an interior designer, they’ll search for you by name.
Interior Design Marketing Tip #7: Use Marketing Software
If you think pulling all these marketing tactics together sounds like a challenge, you’re correct. Today, it’s all but impossible to use separate vendors for different areas of your marketing and expect things to work together as a cohesive strategy. Likewise, all the different platforms each have their own analytics, making it hard to see how your work is coming together to achieve your goals.
Marketing 360® created our marketing software and services to help you meet these challenges. This is a multi-channel software platform that brings the disparate resources used for online marketing together so you can develop a strategy, plan execution, and track results.
Contact us today to get a tour or request a free website mockup. Online marketing can do a lot to help you grow your interior design business, but you need a clear strategy and solid execution to make it happen.