How To Sell Interior Design to a Tech Savvy Audience

If you're advertising to baby boomers in home magazines, you should be specializing in age-in-place interior design. New clients in the generation x and generation y demographic are less apt to read "Boston Home" than they are to search online for an interior design blog. Gone are the days when  But as baby boomers age, interior designers are learning that the same strategies don’t work for the younger set. Automated marketing, content marketing and analytics software like Hatchbuck are giving interior designers the tools to compete with much larger firms for the awareness of younger audiences. 

Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
— HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014

Many Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers are cynical of media and would prefer to interact with service providers online. They communicate differently and according to Google will view a firm's online presence more than thirty times before making a buying decision. To win their business, you need to speak their language on their preferred platforms. Don't make the mistake of posting once a week on Facebook and calling it done. Thier parents and grandparents are on Facebook, making it much less appealing than it was just a few short years ago.

Join Social Media Sites That Matter

Sure, a Facebook page is fine, and Twitter is a good way to promote your blog, but Houzz and Pinterest are where younger prospects are going to see examples of your work. Visually driven social media sites with great photography are where interior deign images will be collected and shared.

Houzz is perhaps the most valuable social media platform for featuring your interior design services because prospective clients use it as a research tool for ideas and inspiration. Houzz is focused exclusively on residential home improvement. It is where tech-savvy consumers go to find and hire interior designers.

By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to a human.
— Gartner Research

Pinterest is an image-driven social media tool that allows people to share, collect and group photographs. There are ample boards featuring home improvement, architecture, and interior design images. Search for green building, mid-century modern home, minimalist house design and dream house and see what comes up.

Update Your Social Media Strategy

Social media as a business tool is daunting. It takes a tremendous number of posts to make it work. Having social profile is not enough to attract leads. You need to drive interested viewers back to your website using links - preferably to blog articles- and capture their contact information. 

Brand consistency and repetition are crucial. Post images frequently. Daily on Pinterest and weekly on Houzz.  Respond to questions, add your voice to discussions and be social. (It is social media after all)  Each interaction gets your name in front of potential buyers, increasing the odds that they will remember you when it’s time to build or renovate a home. Entertain, educate and excite but don’t come on strong with a sales pitch. You will certainly drive them away if you press to hard to early in the relationship.Commit to an hour a day or outsourcing the service to a marketing expert.

Build a Responsive Design - Lead Capture Website

Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80% over the last six months.
— Litmus

Brochure websites are dead and dying; tech-savvy consumers want more from you.  Include educational features that attract prospects and prompt them to submit contact information. Every interior design website should have the following:

Keyword-rich blog articles that draw in visitors from search engines. Tell readers what interior design services cost or highlight color trends for the coming year. Just don't regurgitate the same old stuff. If I want information on Pantone color of the year as an example, I'll go to Pantone's blog. They own page one in search results after all.  You should write blog articles weekly or more. We took one of our clients from 120 unique monthly visitors to their website to 22,000 in 36 months blogging twice weekly. Yes, we write their blogs.

Make certain you have guides that can be downloaded in exchange for contact information. Trade useful interior design information in exchange for an email address and you can then market to them in a more personal way with MailChimp or another email service provider.

Use call-to-action buttons that prompt towards a landing page with a signup form. Visitors want to know more about your services through downloadable content. Offering a free consultation works well. CTA buttons should be designed to explain the offer and big enough to be seen on a busy page. Buttons should include the words “click here.”

Fish where the fish are and use social media channels like Houzz and Pinterest, post great pictures of your work and you will find your sales increase over time.