So you want to take your interior design company to the next level but aren’t sure how to go about it? You’ve come to the right place.
Did you know that 93% of purchases start with an online search? What’s more, only 5% of people will look at results on Google page two. In other words, if your business shows up within the first page of results on Google when a potential client is looking for an interior decorator, there’s a good chance that next deal could be yours.
What’s that? But getting on Google Page one is really hard, you say?
Well yes, if you don’t do it right. You see, 71% of consumers trust companies that provide useful information without immediately trying to sell them something. Google, on the other hand, wants to show people the most relevant and useful result that will answer the query they initially searched for. You might have picked up on what we’re hinting at here, but to put it into plain English, if your interior design business has useful and educational content on its website, then Google will like you. This, in turn, is likely to send more traffic your way.
So how do you make sure your website contains the right kind of interior design content that potential clients are looking for? This is where content marketing comes in to play. We’ve gone ahead and put together our 101 on content marketing by answering the most common content marketing questions interior designers have.
Here’s our who, what, where and why of content marketing - we hope you find it helpful!
Looking for something specific?
What is content marketing?
Why is content marketing important for interior designers?
Who’s in charge of writing content for interior design?
How do you know what interior design content to create?
What else do I need to know before I start creating interior design content?
Where should I promote my content?
How to do interior design content marketing right
Statistics from The Content Marketing Institute’s ‘9 stats that will make you want to invest in content marketing’
Our partners at HubSpot define content marketing as the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing and publishing content to reach your target audience.
In essence, the content needs to be valuable, relevant and educational in order to attract, acquire or engage an audience. The goal is to break through the online noise and differentiate yourself from competitors by becoming a trusted source of information on the topic you are most knowledgeable on - interior design.
Content marketing is a way for interior designers to become their own publishers and position themselves in a way that they want their brand to be perceived online. Your target audience is out there doing their own research on interior designers, so you want to be the one giving them the information that they are looking for. To break it down, content marketing will help you:
1. Gain more brand awareness
Having brand awareness means that customers are able to recall or recognise a brand when they see it. By showing up in search results whenever your audience searches for interior design-related information, with time they will start to remember you as a key source that answers their questions over and over again.
2. Build your brand
This leads us to point two: by becoming a thought leader in your industry, your audience will start to develop a brand preference. In other words, they will automatically come back to your knowledge hub whenever they require more information on interior design. This, in turn, leads to more trust and brand loyalty.
3. Win more clients
Thirdly, and most importantly, it will help you generate more leads. By consistently creating content and publishing it on your interior design blog, you will improve your website’s SEO. As a result, you’ll show up higher on Google search results, which, in turn, will drive more traffic to your site.
Let’s say that an interior design enthusiast has developed a preference for your company because your articles have given him all the information that he was looking for. A natural next step for him would be to sign up to your email newsletter. And voila, there you have it - a lead that is keen to stay updated on the content you create. You can now nurture him accordingly by sending him useful recurring emails until he becomes a client down the line.
We love how Humphrey Munson, a specialist in designing kitchens, have used their blog posts to position their brand as an expert in all things beautiful living - from interior design to healthy eating and wellness.
Great question! Writing good content for interior design takes time, and requires the input from a number of content writers and other employees in your business. Put simply, your content writing team should consist of the following:
Head of Content Strategy: to create the content strategy, editorial calendar and brand voice. They are in charge of coordinating amongst team members, ensuring the look, feel and quality of the content is on point and vetting any freelancers you might want to work with.
Content Manager: to both create own content and copy edit the content of others.
Employee contributors: involved in both ideation and content creation. They are subject matter experts on whom you can rely on when creating niche content.
Designer: to make sure all content you create is on brand and looks good.
If you’re a smaller company or a one-(wo)man-band, you can still create content as long as you have the following skills in-house: excellent writing skills, project management skills, copyediting skills, social media skills and a good knowledge of using Adobe Photoshop.
Or, if you want to be on the safe side, you can work with an agency. We are specialists in both content creation and digital marketing for interior design firms. Have a look at our services to find out more.
Holding recurring content meetings with your staff is a great way to get everyone involved in ideation, outlining of content and creation of articles.
Another excellent question - this is a bit more complex to answer and requires us to take a step back. Before determining the type of content to create, you need to find out who you are creating it for, namely, your target audience.
Every business, regardless of industry, should revolve around solving the needs and wants of a number of buyer personas. According to our partners at HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer based on data, interviews and educated guesses. It outlines the lifestyle, habits, interests, needs and behaviours of your audience. If you need some help, we went into detail on how to put together a buyer persona in our recent blog on digital marketing strategy.
But what does a buyer persona have to do with determining what content you should create? Everything. You see, every persona goes through what we call a buyer journey. In an ideal world, your persona would see your services and become a client straight away without thinking. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works (we wish)!
In reality, each persona goes through a specific process (or journey) before he or she decides to become a customer. This process usually consists of three stages:
Awareness: your persona realises they have a problem or need
Consideration: your persona defines the problem and researches solutions
Decision: the persona purchases a solution
Regardless of what stage your target audience is currently in, you want to make sure that your interior design website shows up at the top of Google for all of them. In order to do that, you’ll want to match the content you create to each stage of the buyer journey. An example could be educational blog articles at the awareness stage, in-depth white papers for consideration and a case study to help them make a decision.
Have a look at the content suggestions for each stage from our partner HubSpot:
But that’s not all! Now you know the type of content to create, but what about the topic? Again, this ties in to who your target audience is, and what they are searching for. This could be anything from the latest interior design trends to Pantone’s colour of the year or how to style a marble dining room table.
The key thing here is to write content that your audience actually wants to read. There’s no worse feeling than pouring your heart and soul into a blog article, only to find it gets 10 visitors per month because no one is searching for that particular topic.
So how do you know what your target audience wants to read? Three words: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Doing keyword research will help you determine what specific phrases people are searching for, which will, in turn, feed your content strategy (more on this later).
As with anything, if you’re not sure on how to do SEO properly, it’s better to get someone involved that does. Working with an SEO specialist or a digital marketing agency will save you a lot of disappointment!
You may want to get started on your content creation journey right away but hold your horses just a little longer. There are a few more things we need to go through first, namely:
Your content marketing strategyBefore you do any content creation, spend some time putting together a strategy for you and your team. This is a document that outlines a lot of what we covered before, including your target audience, their buyer journey and who’s in charge of what. It should also include your goals and targets (see next point), competitor research and promotional channels.
Think of it as a document covering everything anyone in your team needs to know about your content marketing.
Your content goalsBefore you do anything else, you should decide on your content goals, and what you want to achieve with content marketing. This takes us back to the points explained in why content marketing is important for interior designers.
Make sure that you have both qualitative and quantitative goals. Examples of qualitative goals are brand recognition, social media engagement and relationship building. Quantitative goals, on the other hand, are goals that have a number associated with them, such as social shares, downloads or leads. As an interior designer, you’ll want your goals to be a mix of creating awareness and bringing in leads.
You’ll also want to make sure you set realistic targets, or KPIs, for each goal - such as the number of downloads or leads you expect to get from your content. Then, track them on a monthly basis using different tools such as Google Analytics, social media platforms and your content management system.
Your content plan and editorial calendarAs part of your content marketing strategy, you’ll want to create both a content plan and an editorial calendar.
A content plan is, simply put, a plan to help you create the right type of content at the right stage of the buyer journey as outlined above. It will help you stay organised and make sure you’re putting out a good mix of content to reach people at each step of the journey.
An editorial (or content) calendar, on the other hand, is a document that aligns each piece of content with a date. From creation date to sign-off and publish date, a calendar will help you (and your team members) keep track of what content is being created when, and by whom.
Your style guideAlso part of your content marketing strategy, a style guide is a document that outlines how your interior design firm will come across online.
It will determine your tone of voice (how do you want your content to sound? Friendly, direct, honest, formal etc?), your brand language (the language in which your content is written such as simple, wordy or complex) and any other writing style you want your content writers to adhere to (such as specific grammar guidelines).
The idea behind this is that anyone creating content for you will be able to adapt to the same writing style. On another note, if you work with external designers, you’ll need to create a visual style guide as well.
Once you’ve created your content, you’ll want the right people to find it.
There’s nothing worse than spending days (or weeks) creating the perfect piece of content, only to find that it’s not driving as much traffic as you hoped. Creating great content is one thing, but promoting it on the right channels to the right people is a whole different story.
While there are an array of different digital marketing channels you can use to promote your content, there’s no right or wrong answer in terms of which channels to use. The most important channels are those that your audience use.
For interior design businesses, we find that their own website, their social channels and their email newsletters work best.
Publish on your website and blogYour website should be the main place to promote your content. Depending on what type of content you have created, you’ll want to utilise different parts of your site. If it’s an article, the natural place it will go is your blog.
If you’re promoting a downloadable e-book, make it gated and create a separate landing page for it so people can easily access it by filling out a form. Include the most important content on your homepage slider or add a call-to-action (CTA) in a prominent place so it can easily be found.
Remember: content on your website should be designed for conversion, so make sure that the page you add it to is easy to navigate, optimised for search engines, has visual images and includes internal links.
Post on your social media platforms
Your social media channels are another great place to promote your content. As an interior designer, we recommend using more visual channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.While sharing it organically is a good idea, it likely won’t be enough when promoting larger pieces of content, especially downloadable content. Don’t be afraid to put money behind your e-book post by creating a Facebook ad, for example.
Just make sure that you are sharing valuable content with strong, clear CTA’s, and sending your audience to an easy-to-use landing page. There’s nothing worse than spending money on a great ad only to find that your landing page isn’t converting because it’s not been set up correctly.
Never forget that social is a two-way street, though. Posting valuable content is important, but engaging with your audience is key. If you don’t interact with your followers, don’t expect them to be interested in your content!
Listen to what your social media followers have to say - you never know what creative content ideas you might come up with by simply engaging with your target audience online.
Utilise your email marketing channelSending interior design content to your email database increases its reach and is probably one of the best ways to get conversions.
Say you want to promote an e-book on the top interior design trends this year to people in your list that you want to convert into clients (also known as warm leads). Make sure you segment your database accordingly, and design your email to be engaging enough for the recipients to want to download the content. This includes brief, catchy copy with bullet points on the contents of the e-book, an image of the content asset itself and a strong, clear CTA button.
Pro tip: don’t skip subject line testing. You could create the best email out there, but if your subject line doesn’t entice people to open the email, it’ll be for nothing. The best way to find what works for your audience is by split testing different options to find out which one has the highest open rate.
For more information on email marketing, have a read of our top tips to get started with your B2B email marketing strategy.
If you're looking for some further guidance on developing your content marketing strategy for interior design, then download our ultimate guide to content marketing for interior designers now for free.
Congratulations, if you’ve reached this point it means you’ve successfully completed our crash course on content marketing for interior designers. Before you know it, you’ll start winning more projects for your interior design business.
But before you get started, we advise you to create a digital marketing strategy so you can strategically plan out how content marketing will help you achieve your goals. We put together a step-by-step guide on how to create a digital marketing strategy, and even have a downloadable digital marketing strategy template that you are free to use.
And if you’re looking for a little help along the way, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re a London based digital marketing agency, specialised in business growth in the property sector. We are a certified HubSpot and Google partner, meaning we live and breathe everything content marketing.
Our team of experts is more than happy to walk you through how we can help your interior design firm gain a competitive advantage, generate leads and acquire new customers with content marketing.