Whether you are a budding interior design firm or have an established brand, there is always room for expansion.
The real question here is, ‘What is next for your business?’
Is it working on establishing your brand image, or hiring more staff to take on greater workload, or perhaps diversifying the scope of future ventures!
Irrespective of the chosen path, marketing your business is a constant process and must go hand-in-hand with existing projects.
In this blog we share our insights on the nine proven ways on how to market your interior design business online.
1. Building Your Brand Identity
Start by befriending your audience. Instead of viewing them as a faceless, nameless crowd, develop an ideal client persona that you would like your brand to target.
Learn how to create The Ideal Client’s Buyer Persona in FOUR Simple Steps here.
In order to befriend the ideal client, you need to positively influence the way they see you. And in order for you to remain friends, you need to continue serving the same values and enrich their lives in some way.
With Visual Branding you can show your audience the type of friend that you want to be. Whether you want to share a casual friendship or keep things strictly professional depends on the nature of your business.
Needless to say, maintaining a certain degree of professionalism in your branding effort helps elevate the respect that your business commands. However, there is always room for creative liberty.
The key elements of visual branding that should be your primary focus are the logo, font, color palette, textures and images.
Your logo is the only visual depiction of your brand that stays with your audience long after they have left your website. Grab this opportunity to create something unique that stays in people’s memories for a long time to come. For example, iconic logos like Apple, Google and IBM are permanently etched in our memory.
Next up, fonts play a major role in shaping a brand’s personality. Take the following tagline for example.
THE BEST INTERIOR DESIGNERS IN TOWN
I do not know how to feel about an interior designer that uses this font to promote their business. The font is fine if your brand is humor-centric. But, despite what the caption wants me to believe, I would not trust this business with redesigning my house.
Bold colors and combinations shape a brand’s identity. Here is an interesting article on The Psychology of Color in Branding and Marketing. Sparing a few minutes to understand the impact of different colors on consumers should give you better insights into visual branding.
Like colors, patterns and textures also play an instrumental role in branding. Learn How to Boost Your Branding Using Patterns from this interesting piece by Gillian Tracey.
Finally, maintaining homogeneity across every advertising platform is a must. This applies to both online adverts and the print media. Everything from the color and font to the logo and texture must be uniform on all platforms promoting your brand, be it your website, social media accounts, business card or billboards!
This brings us to our first and the most important advertising platform.
2. The Website
Designing a proper silo opens up the right passages through which your website content communicates with search engine crawlers based on relevant topics. Proper internal linking coupled with a good site architecture lay the groundwork for getting your website ranked for your target keywords.
If you are interested in silos and want to learn more about Physical and Virtual Siloing, I suggest you read this informative blog by Bruce Clay.
Every website should have a winning combination of design and features that help people take note of the brand. Some of the important ingredients from this list are discussed below.
The purpose of your brand must send a clear strong message. Preferably upfront on the Home Page. It should tell people Who You Are, What You Do and For Whom You Do It.
Your content should be valuable to the readers, and optimized for search engines. Websites with images and videos fare better at engaging the audience. So, make it a point to include relevant images wherever possible.
Adding a Portfolio and Client List alongside Case Studies, Testimonials and Social Media Links help gain people’s trust. This is a must for every website.
Call to Action is important, as relevant links leading to your Contact Form or Appointment Calendar helps retain visitors.
Keep yourself accessible throughout the website by adding your contact information on the Page Header, Footer and the side column, if possible. Choose a theme for your website accordingly.
A successful website convinces visitors to leave their contact details. You could also leverage Call Tracking to record the number of people that approach you after visiting your website.
And finally, get yourself a responsive server, host and theme. A good SEO service should iron out all technical creases and provide measurable data as proof of progress periodically.
If you need help with SEO, schedule a free consultation with Searchmetry here.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Have you ever wondered how Google comes up with relevant answers to your questions every time you search for something on their database?
Search engines like Google are able to filter through the millions of pages on the internet and deliver relevant results instantly based on the keywords that you use.
As a business, you need to be aware of the exact keywords that people are using on the search engines, and implement them in your content if you want your website to be visible on the SERP. Afterall, every business wants a piece of the coveted first page of the Google SERP!
Apart from Keyword Optimization, Google also takes a website’s architecture into account.
Load Speed is an integral part of your website’s architecture. Pages that are slow to load will be marked poorly by Google. Brands need to be wary of every minute element holding the website together and make sure that they work in unison to create an optimum user experience.
Site errors also affect SEO negatively as they obstruct a smooth user experience. Google penalizes websites that crash regularly and it becomes increasingly difficult to be found on their SERP if the errors are not rectified immediately.
Running a site audit, checking for errors, correcting poorly done redirects, removing duplicate pages and amending similar mistakes are an integral part of SEO.
Off course Search Engine Optimization is incomplete without a mention of Mobile Optimization. A significant volume of searches nowadays is conducted from mobile devices, and Google has updated their requirements to include the same.
Google does not use a different algorithm to monitor how websites perform on the mobile platform. Brands are responsible for ensuring that their website loads well on mobile devices, is easy to access and navigate, and is devoid of irritating pop-ups or other pieces of text that might obstruct a seamless user experience.
Needless to say, SEO is a vital part of Interior Design Marketing. If you wish to learn more, here is the SEO Cheat Sheet for Getting Clients and Traffic Online.
4. Start a Blog
Corporate blogging is a marketing strategy that is used to draw more online attention to your brand.
The purpose of a business blog is quite similar to email marketing, direct mail or social media marketing, as it helps support the growth of your brand. If you are clueless about business blogging, you will find this to be an interesting read.
The content that you share on your website through your blogs or videos help humanize your brand, allowing clients to get to know you and eventually start trusting you.
Starting a business blog has its fair share of marketing benefits, three of which deserve a special mention.
Increase Traffic Inflow – A problem with search engines is their preferential treatment towards websites with updated content. However, once a brand’s website is setup, there is barely any scope for posting content regularly. You obviously cannot keep updating the About Us section every month!
This is where blogging saves the day. Every time you post a new blog, an additional page is indexed on your website, increasing your chances of showing up on the SERP, one blog at a time.
Blogging also helps you get noticed on the social media. Every time you post a new blog, you create an opportunity for people to share your brand on different social media platforms, increasing your reach.
Convert Traffic into Leads – By simply adding a Call to Action to every post, you create an opportunity for your audience to visit the other parts of your website. But not everyone who reads your blog will end up converting into a lead, and that is fine.
Helps Establish Authority – By answering questions that people commonly have about your area of expertise, you not just solve the problem of finding regular topics for your blog, but also establish yourself as an authoritative figure in the eyes of the people that you help.
Apart from answering questions and solving problems, you can also host Webinars, create Checklists and ‘How To’ tutorials through your business blogs.
If you want to start blogging for your business, here are 7 Tips for Creating a Conquering Small Business Blog.
5. Email List Building
Email list building is among the most coveted Interior Designer Marketing strategies as it is cheaper and less labor intensive than any other form of marketing.
The only catch here is fine tuning your audience base to target people that have previously shown interest in your services.
Email list building is different from cold emailing, as the former is an attempt at reaching out to potential customers who are aware of your brand. The purpose of sending out the emails is to remind them of your business and jog their memories.
You need to constantly update your email list and create valuable content for your readers to keep them in the loop, as interior designers are not hired overnight.
There are several ways in which you can grow your email list. Let us discuss a few that I have personally found to be quite useful.
Creating Lead Magnets to Draw in Subscribers – Lead magnets are irresistible pieces of content that you offer your audience for free. The catch is they need to share their email address with you to access it.
The best Lead Magnets address a specific problem that people might have, or attempts to find a valuable solution. The content might not be lengthy, but it needs to be useful. You can share Cheat Sheets, Checklists, Guides, Prompts, Tutorials, eBooks and even Comprehensive Resource Lists as part of your Lead Magnet.
Create Gated Content – Creating hidden content is an effective way to coax your audience into submitting leads. You can limit readers from accessing half the post unless they enter their email address. Gated content needs to be informative and well-written in order to be deemed valuable enough to divulge personal details in exchange for accessibility.
Insert Opt-In Forms and CTAs Wherever Possible – I cannot stress enough on the importance of a well-placed and engaging CTA. But, never underestimate the importance of an opt-in form. The key to lead generation is finding the right spots to place the elements. It might take you a while to generate results, but do not hesitate to experiment.
6. Social Media Marketing
With over two billion people around the world actively engaging on the social media, it is easy to see why Social Media Marketing is a critical part of Interior Design Advertising. We have listed out three major benefits here for your reference.
Get Valuable Business Inputs and Customer Insights – While industry stalwarts spend an average of two to three hours a day on LinkedIn, 500 million new Tweets, 95 million photos and 4.5 billion likes and comments are recorded every day on Instagram and Facebook alone!
Hidden in this mammoth pile of information lies data on industry trends and customer insights. You can process a majority of this data by tapping into the social media and use this information to make business decisions.
Promote Your Brand – Since your audience is mostly active on social networks, it makes more sense to reach out to them here. Social Media Marketing also helps your SEO, which in turn increases your brand’s visibility.
Reach Out to Industry Influencers – Every industry has its trendsetters. Reaching out to them, and promoting their content on your profile will help you get noticed in the online realm. Eventually, you will have your own batch of followers as long as you keep posting helpful content.
For the best results, choose three social media channels to begin with and focus on building your foothold. Once your posts start gaining traction with the audience you can add a fourth channel to your list and repeat the process.
7. Video Marketing
Videos are easy to digest and save our brain from the information overload induced from reading huge blocks of text at a stretch.
It is not too difficult to imagine why people watch over a billion hours of YouTube social videos every day. As a digital marketer, you need to utilize the optimum potential of this powerful marketing tool in your branding endeavor.
There are a few different video genres that can be exploited for marketing.
While Explainers can be used to educate the audience about your range of services, customer service activities and a plethora of similar applications.
Interview videos can help initiate conversation between sides, or showcase an influencer as the guest of honor.
You can also create a time-lapse of your designs, build a Client Reviews mashup or even a Design Tour if you like.
8. Paid Promotions
In order to survive, a business needs a steady influx of customers that buy into its perspective, purpose and ultimate its products or services.
Primarily there are two types of paid promotion techniques, Native Advertising and Search Engine Marketing.
Native Advertising is a simple technique used by brands to display informative content on credible third-party sites. By using Native Advertising, a brand can increase its reach beyond their owned media network and present itself in front of a new audience base. Content promoted through Native Ads is positioned as high-value, and is less subjective to being blocked.
Search Engine Marketing involves purchasing sponsored listings that appear on SERPs when people search for related content. SEM is effective since billions of people use search engines everyday to discover content and information on the internet. Content promoted through Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads fall under this category.
9. Referral Marketing
Referral Marketing is spreading the word about a brand’s products or services through their existing clientele. This process is cost effective and can be customized to reach out to a number of target demographics.
Customers, however, require some form of motivation to refer your business. Offering rewards as an incentive for referral works wonders in setting the ball rolling. The more rewards you offer, the higher your chances of earning quality referrals.
If you are wondering how to ask your clients for referral, this blog on How to Get Referrals From Your Existing Customers should be enlightening.
If you have reached this portion of the blog, you must be really interested in what we have to say!
As a token of our appreciation, here are a few Bonus Tips and Tricks to help you tread the extra mile.
Connecting with the right people on the social media can work wonders for your brand. Influencer Marketing is the practice of connecting with people who can form new relationships for you.
The primary components of an effective Influencer Marketing Strategy include:
- Identifying the subjects of influence that potential customers can relate to.
- Approach influencers who are a good fit for your brand and look for opportunities to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Focus on the statistics to identify which influencers work best for your brand.
- Repeat the process!
Get Your Client a Closing Gift
To the uninitiated, a closing gift might seem like a nice gesture, but only a marketer understands its true value: spreading happiness, creating loyalty and increasing referrals.
When marketing for interior designers, remember to connect with the homeowners through the gifts that you offer. If you are looking for ideas, here are 25 Brilliant Closing Gift Ideas for Homeowners.