Marketing Articles

Marketing Trends in the Interior Design Industry

Marketing Trends in the Interior Design Industry

Marketing trends are sexy and enticing, but do they work?

It depends.

For example, in the last few years, designers have struggled to build their following on Instagram. Many want to become influencers. Here is a quick breakdown of types of influencers. Read more in our resource about becoming an interior design influencer.

  • Mega influencers have more than 1 million followers.
  • Macro influencers have between 100,000 to 1 million followers.
  • Micro-influencers have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
  • Nano influencers have between 1,000 to 10,000 followers.

Most interior designers are firmly positioned nano influencers and find it hard to get beyond 10,000 followers.

It’s true that the more followers you have, the more you appear to be successful to others. But does being a highly-followed designer get you actual clients?

That’s up to you and your other marketing efforts. Here is how to take advantage of marketing trends and have a business that is ready to sell new clients.

Keep It Simple at First

Let’s grant that you’re a talented designer. Your work is inspired and beautiful. That alone can attract clients when your portfolio is well-displayed on your professionally designed website, especially if you utilize good SEO (search engine optimization) practices.

However, nothing beats relationship marketing for interior designers. The dollar cost is low, but the time cost is high. However, people buy from people, so relationship marketing is the heart of that time-proven strategy.

The key to success in relationship marketing is creating an outstanding client experience so that your clients rave about you to others. Referrals are the most important piece of your marketing strategy. Focus on improving your client experience and you’ll soon find others tooting your horn for you.

One of my favorite books is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. If you want to better understand the principles of relationship marketing, be sure to read that book! (Want to see more of my favorite books? Check out my 2024 reading list, here.)

Once you’ve mastered this level of marketing, you can expand your platform.

Next, Build a Platform

A platform is multi-faceted. It is a series of online and offline tools and initiatives to build awareness and engagement for your brand. As your business matures, your platform must mature and grow, too.

A digital platform may include the following:

  • Website.
  • Networking.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your ranking on search engines.
  • Social media – Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  • Advertising – Google Ads, social media ads, etc.
  • Video and reels.
  • Content marketing – articles and blogging.
  • Newsletters.
  • Google reviews.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – a database for communication with your clients and prospects.

A traditional platform may include the following assets:

  • Relationship marketing.
  • Advertising in traditional magazines or circulars.
  • Public relations.
  • Speaking.
  • Publications.
  • Books.
  • Referrals.
  • Testimonials.

Digital Platform Tips

Having a social media presence is expected these days. Getting to the influencer level will take years of consistent effort, and lots of time or money (or both).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hot ticket these days. It can help you create social media posts, articles, newsletters, etc. The premium version of ChatGPT is $20 a month, so it’s very affordable and it is a great time-saver. All you have to do is type in a prompt and watch it do its magic. A prompt could be as simple as this, “Write five Instagram posts about the latest color trend.”

However, just be aware that other interior designers may also use ChatGPT, so be sure to edit and make sure that its output is adjusted to match your brand voice. Also be sure to check for accuracy and up-to-date information. Use it as a jumping-off point, not as the final product.

Reels and videos are excellent tools to boost your content in social media algorithms. Make sure you have a point of view and keep them short and engaging. Humor, inspiring ideas and creativity are highly rewarded.

Engagement is the key to growing your following. Be sure you or someone on your team are commenting on comments from your followers. Engagement is more important than the number of followers you have.

Why Be An Influencer?

Macro and mega influencers are able to get brands to hire them as paid ambassadors. At this level, you’re more visible which leads to many great opportunities.

Most people who reach this level are investing a lot of time or money in their brand expansion because it fits their long-term vision for their business. It requires a clear brand identity, an appealing personality, creativity, commitment and consistency.

What’s Your Goal?

Start with setting goals and defining your vision and brand. Start with the basics and then slowly add new assets to your platform.

Think about why you want to build your platform. What will it do for you? What are you willing to invest to become highly visible?

Just remember that you can’t do it all at once.

Select, focus and implement consistently.

And don’t forget to measure your results!

Contribute your experience to the survey and see your industry’s results this fall.

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