Interior designers and interior design companies use their expertise and creativity to create beautiful and eye appealing indoor spaces. When Done well, interior design is alchemy. It can instantly change a space, a mood – even a life. As Winston Churchill famously declared: “we shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
I had the privilege of interacting with different interior designers helping them with their digital marketing efforts. After a while, you get to see a pattern in the questions being asked, objectives being sought and challenges being face.
If you are an interior designer or an interior design company, this guide is for you. I will walk you through the simplified thought process that we follow at Digitopia.Marketing when working with clients like you.
Please note that this is not a 360 degrees comprehensive plan where I tackle every possible track, funnel, persona, and digital marketing component. It is not a turnkey solution where you can “copy paste it” and expect results. This guide is meant to serve as an insight onto the thought process to be followed, and how to weave things together to come up with a digital marketing plan that is suitable to your business, objectives and budget.
One of the things I do after getting acquainted with the business (and very importantly, the sales/conversion cycle), what they currently do, what they have done in the past, and what worked and did not work, is that I review the ICPs of the business with the client.
ICP stands for Ideal Customer Profile. Also known as Personas (my favorite term), or Avatars. The idea behind this is to have two to five profile that represent your different ideal customers. Components of a persona is:
Age, Gender, Employment, Location, habits, why interior design is important for them, internet behavior.
Ok, so let’s say you want more leads (who doesn’t 😊), we have two tracks we can go on. The first is the organic track and the second track is the Paid one.
The Organic track is best because it is a continuous flow of leads. It is almost free (in the long run). However it takes a lot of time and effort to get the organic flow going.
The paid track is quick, can be very targeted, but is expensive.
What we always recommend is to work on both simultaneously. In other words, we use the paid track to get the leads to come in until the organic track is strong enough. Ultimately the objective is to rely less on paid initiative and more on the organic flow of leads.
Please note that organic here does also takes encapsulates traffic from content (on social media, blog, etc).
You should have a funnel for each persona and track. This funnel will pass your potential clients through its 4 stages: Awareness, Consideration, Evaluation and Conversion/Purchase.
A funnel could be very complex or very simple depending on your business. A simple example of a funnel is that you drive traffic to a landing page on your website, you then capture the email address of the visitor and you start nurturing that lead via email marketing until they become a client.
Now that we have a simplified framework, lets put things together.
We are going to create a hypothetical ICP for the sake of this guide. Say Hello to Sandy, our persona for this example.
Sandy is in her mid to late 30s. Married with one or two kids. She works and she loves home décor/furniture stores. She watches and follows different shows and accounts that talk about interior design (including tips, and how to’s). She believes that refreshing one’s home whether with a small change or major re-do is good for her and her family. She engages a lot with content that share the same outlook on the importance of home décor and interior design on one’s health, energy, and mood.
One thing I like to always remind business owners and clients is that personas are always evolving and changing. And it is your job to fine-tune the personas you have as you become more informed about your clients.
Alright, now that Sandy is here, she has decided that she wants to redo the entire guest room. She does what most people do, goes to google and begins her journey. She begins with the search term “interior designer in dubai”. This is a broad search term that says that she is at the “Awareness” stage. In other words, Sandy is trying to figure out what is out there.
At this point, the search results come back with the top 10 organic search results along with the sponsored spots that usually come above and below the organic results.
Ranking in the top 10 of the organic search results for a broad term like the one we are using in this example takes a lot of time and effort. So, it is a good idea to compensate for this by paying for one of those sponsored spots.
When Sandy visits your website, she just entered the Top of your Funnel (ToF). With the right set up, you will be able to retarget (or remarket) her on social media and display platforms. You may have also captured her email and or phone number. Again, how you build your funnel depends on how much you know about your potential clients, analytics and testing.
What is important is that you communicate the values and beliefs that you share with her about interior design (described above in the ICP).
At this point Sandy might decide to follow you on Instagram, interact with some of your content and maybe drop you an email or a message to ask a few questions to see how responsive you are, what kind of answers you give her and so on. This is Sandy begins to move into the Consideration phase.
Here is where it gets tricky… You are not the only interior designer in town. Which means she is also assessing and doing the same thing with multiple companies (ie, asking questions, engaging, following, reading reviews, etc).
At this time, Sandy has a clue that she wants to work with one of three interior design companies in Dubai (and your interior design company is one of them). She is now reviewing your past work in greater detail, comparing prices, asks more questions to understand why you may be cheaper or more expensive than others, etc.
This is when things like customer generated content (testimonials, tagged videos on social media) can sway Sandy’s mind. Serving/sharing content like that can be very helpful.
At this point in time, Sandy is in the Evaluation stage. She is weighing her options and considering different factors that matter to her (ex. Budget, expertise, style, interpersonal comfort).
Once Sandy has made a decision, and hopefully it is you, she then reaches the Bottom of the Funnel (BoF), which is the Conversion/Purchase.
Keep in mind that there will be different personas with differences in their journey. A quick example of this is someone who chooses to being their search on Pintrest using “modern guest room ideas” as a search term, or searches for Interior Designers on IG. Always keep testing and optimizing different aspects of your digital marketing components and plans.
I have taken you through the thought process of how to plan and execute your digital market efforts in this simple digital marketing guide for interior designers and interior design companies. There is a lot more that we can discuss and deep dive in, however, hopefully now you are able to see how you can (and should) start putting things together to grow your business.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments, I will be more than happy to address them thoroughly.
Founder of Digitopia.Marketing – Your Digital Marketing Chaperon