Interior Design Marketing Strategy – Business Strategies & Plan for Designers 2012

New Target Market
New Target Market (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

Interior design professionals, designers with shops, freelance designers, decorators and in-house interior design teams from international architecture practices all share the need to plan all aspects of their businesses. The larger the organisation, the more there is the tendency to do the planning ‘properly’. The larger the organisation, the higher the tendency to stick to plans where possible and the lower the ability to react quickly to unexpected opportunities.

A small design practice might have had several successful years and yet each year did not follow the plan that was set at the start of that year.

A large in-house design team’s manager might bemoan the amount of time s/he has to put aside to planning and budgeting each year.

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Focussing initially on marketing, a design graduate might shy away from a financial plan when starting out in business. Only then to realise that the financial plan is really only what the bank is interested in when it comes to taking out a startup loan.

A fledgling business-owner might spend many nights worrying over the financial forecasts of cashflow and sales as those are what pay the mortgage, the salaries and office rent.

So we all come at business planning from a different perspective and we probably all agree that some degree of planning is necessary. You might just be a bit confused about the difference between a marketing strategy/plan and a business strategy/plan – as many people use those terms to mean the same thing.

Essentially what we want to know is how to allocate the resources we have; people, money and time. And then how to measure, monitor and control that allocation.

But what brings you here is probably that you want to know how to allocate your resources SMARTLY. And how others in your industry do it. You might want to just find a plan that someone else has already done that you can follow and copy to save a bit of time.

Well I think I will have a series of textbooks to write to answer all of those questions! And many plans to collate and link to in order to get the right one for all the readers of this.

So before we go any further let me just point out that there are some links to other materials at the end of the article and that the remainder of the article will just touch on a few aspects of marketing and business plans.

Plans and strategies (and goals for that matter).

A business goal is EXACTLY what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. The business strategy is the method by which you want to achieve it. You might also have some longer term aspirational stuff set in missions, visions and values but I’ll leave that alone here.

So:

Goal: 10% growth in sales revenue this year at existing gross profit levels.

Strategy: By organic growth from existing customers.

This higher level stuff is important in the sense that it will determine what happens lower down in the organisation. For example the strategy I have just laid out might well require existing sales people to think of themselves as ACCOUNT MANAGERs and undergo the appropriate training rather than recruiting 10% more sales people. Or it might not! But you get the point hopefully.

So these goals and strategies will filter down to the various parts of your business. They will manifest themselves in various tactics when seen from the MD’s point of view. From within each department (if your business is large enough) your department head will be tasked to achieve these organisation tactics. It’s just that they will instead view them as their GOALS. So their departmental goals then require departmental strategies and tactics and so on, cascading down to the individual level.

THE MARKETING STRATEGY

What your marketing strategy needs to do is figure out all of this in terms of customers.

So one of the first things you will need to do is to work out who your target customers/markets are. You NEED to do this in terms of groups or types of customers. These groups are called MARKET SEGMENTS. You SEGMENT or divide up your entire market into distinct measurable groups. It’s important that these groups all behave in a similar fashion. This is because when you try to reach each segment you  will want to simplify the ways that you appropriately reach (market to) that segment.

For example:

Target markets: Buyers of new-build houses, buyers of house-to-flat conversions.

You are based in, say, Central London so you will need to narrow your market down by area, say Chelsea and Westminster and Islington or specific postcodes. Presumably also narrow it down by house value as well and so on.

To quantify your market segments you might then soon come to realise that you need to be looking at the website of your local council to look at planning approvals. Free information that will tell you exactly which building work will be started in 1-6 months time by postcode. It will probably also tell you the owner and architect/builder. Or you might decide to drive around your target postcodes and look at the building works already in progress. Usually the architect will have a board outside. Would you try to do show homes? (You might target varying sizes of construction company). Or you might try to tackle it further down the line at the estate agent level knowing that a buyer is going to spend money on interior design fairly immediately after buying a house, rather than in 6+ months time when construction starts? Of course the house buyer may well already have the interior designers/decorators sorted out at this stage or might simply be doing it themselves, it might be prudent to make contacts as early in the process as possible

And of course building firms and architects (and maybe estate agents) probably already have existing Interior Designer contacts or in-house capabilities. I never said this was going to be easy! But then again they may have been let down on the last project and could just be looking for your services.

But the point of all of this is to narrow your thinking down. Then to focus your efforts. The silly but obvious example is that if you had not chosen specific postcode target markets you could be driving around the whole of London for the next two months or spending many evenings trawling through London Borough Council websites. But of course if an ad-hoc opportunity comes your way you grasp it even if it is not in your target market (within reason).

Or you might have jumped straight in to building a web site saying what a great London Interior Designer you are and how good you are and where you were educated and so on. When the reality is that the people you are trying to reach might NEVER even look at the internet for an interior designer. Your target market might just use the internet to check you out after they have received a contact from you from some other (non-digital means.

So; for each target market you then need to think about the 4P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

4P is easy to remember but not necessarily helpful so here’s what they are to you:

  • Product – really the service(s) you offer to EACH target market (they could be different or tailored)
  • Price – you got that one! (Here’s something I wrote earlier)
  • Promotion – the marketing/promotional/PR type activity you will be be using. (Here’s something I wrote earlier).
  • Place – or Distribution – or how you get to your true, end client. what MIDDLE MAN you use. eg the architect or estate agent in the above example. This ‘PLACE’ might not be  so important if you are going direct to your customer.
The links below will show you more comprehensively how you can structure a business plan.
If you are not the detailed planning type then another approach is to use the SOSTT 4M mini-planning model. Let’s say you are thinking about how to revamp the marketing you do from your shop or from your web site. You’ve got an idea of something you’d like to try. Normally you’d just go ahead and do it and perhaps not think through all the implications. Is that you? Then if so here, perhaps, is a quick way to checklistise what you are going to do
SOSTT +4m
  1. S – SITAUATION: What is the current state of play. The problems, opportunities, worries. What are you good at in this particular area?
  2. O – OBJECTIVES: Exactly what do you want to achieve? Use a SMART goal (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-delimited). eg increase my awareness in a certain targetmarket by 5% by the end of the year, measured by XXX.
  3. S – STRATEGY: How are you going to achieve this? eg By increasing my online presence in social media
  4. T – TACTICS: How are you going to achieve this in a bit more detail?  focus on Twitter Restauranters and LinkedIn Restaurant Groups
  5. M – MANPOWER: Who exactly is going to do all the various activities. eg My partner
  6. M – MONEY: What will it cost. Probably very little in terms of cash.
  7. M – MINUTES: How long will it take? 2 days set up and then 2 hours every Sunday night.
  8. M _ MONITOR: How are you going to check how this is all working? You might have a special new web page that is the same as your homepage but called index2.htm. All your twitter activity and LinkedIn activity might point only to this new web page. That way you can track EXACTLY the hits you get from your new activity to see if it is working.
So that’s it. For a marketing plan for a small business, those are the things I would make sure you have covered before devoting a week to a fully detailed plan. If indeed you get that far!
There are links below to more related and detailed stuff.
Here are some of the posts I previously wrote or you can find them all in one go by <clicking here>
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An Interior Designer Gets Lots of Web Visitors But Few Leads / Enquiries

This Is Not the Target Market
Image via Wikipedia

I talked to a friend a couple of weeks back and she bemoaned the fact that her Design Practice had spent quite a bit of time and money on creating and growing their web site but not much was coming from it in terms of genuine leads and sales in the very particular niche market that she was targeting much of her efforts towards.

So I quizzed her a bit more:

1. Was she creating engaging, frequently updated content for her target market? She said yes. I read her blog and had to agree.

2. Was she using the right keywords? She thought so. And although I’m not an expert in her particular target market I tended to agree.

3. Then she raised the point that Mr Google thought her PAGERANK was quite high. That was strange and surely not part of the problem?

4. We then looked through her Google AdWords campaign. And that too seemed broadly OK.

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5. There were quite a few backlinks from other sites to hers, so that wasn’t the problem either.

So what’s the problem? Other than she wasn’t getting any money back from the investment? And, er, that’s pretty important!

To cut a long story and quite a bit of research short, here’s what we thought the problem was (if you want to know what pagerank is there are links at the end of the article).

Well, although her pagerank was OK it wasn’t actually that relevant.

One problem with pagerank is that it just BROADLY shows how often your site is visited/how important your site is/how trusted yoru site is. It does NOT show you how often YOUR target customers visit your site…and that is the stat you really want.

So what was happening was that quite a lot of people were visiting the site from all the good links and good search engine positioning that she had paid for. A few of them read some of the stuff on her blog BUT VERY FEW went on to the next steps for converting them into customers. And that was because they weren’t interested in her services because her services were not RELEVANT to them…they just WERE NOT POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.

So you could have the most visited website with the best page impressions, page views, clicks and all the rest of it. BUT THAT IS NO GOOD IF THE WRONG PEOPLE ARE VISITING YOUR SITE ! They won’t buy.

Her market was such a small market and relatively technically unsophisticated so, perhaps, blogs and search engines were not the best way to get to them.

Similarly, and a bit simplistically, if she had a pagerank of 8/10 (which would be excellent) it would not mean that she was excellent at targeting her customers…just excellent and targeting the whole population.

And the problem was compounded because the 3rd party, who was commissioned to get clicks and a higher pagerank and higher search engine positioning and all the rest of it, did just as they were asked. They weren’t asked to get leads! And didn’t!

Now it was not a total waste of time of course. Because pagerank IS IMPORTANT for google to give your site weighting when google produces search results.

And really the picture was not as bleak as I painted as she did experience an increase in leads for other services she was offering. Although they were more mass market services with lower levels of profit.

So what did she do?

A: Cut back a bit on 3rd party SEO services, focussing the remainder of the budget on the markets that had been successfully reached. With the marketing budget that she saved, she is now looking again at how best divert funds to more traditionally target the profitable niche market she originally set out to make money from.

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Interior Designers – An Update On using Facebook, LinkedIn WordPress blogs and Twitter

heather buckley Follow me on Twitter I have a ...

Interior Designers have been moving much of their sales and marketing into the digital world over the last few years. Maybe this was because of great looking Apple products or maybe just because as new, young designers come into larger business they bring in with them the gadget trends of youth. Or maybe because all this digital e-stuff actually can work and can work quite cost effectively if done right.

I’ve written a few articles on this general subject over the years (I’ll reference some of them at the end of this post. However things have moved on in the real world and some of what I’ve PREVIOUSLY written has been superceded or improved.

1. Blogs, Twitter, Web sites, LinkedIn and Facebook – linking them

It’s still mostly true that you will use your web site as your show case for your business. Your blog will be a part of your website and, unless you sell products that require an up-to-date online catalogue, it is your blog that will contain the information that CAN AND SHOULD be regularly updated. (That will boost your google position). Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook come in as networks you are building. All good stuff.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

The problem used to come in  how you would simultaneously update all these networks without having to manually re-submit the information. That would obviously be time consuming as would installing and keeping working additional pieces of software that glued all the bits of your marketing together.

Well now it is relatively straightforward to have your wordpress blog update your twitter account, your LinkedIn presence and your facebook business page. Similarly twitter can also update your facebook page automatically. Lots of these automatic links now exist within the main software websites (wordpress, twitter, etc) so you only have to write new information (blog posts or tweets or on your wall) once and then the software you use automates the distribution of that information across lots of different web site and online communities. Sorted, no mystery any more.

2. Vanity URLs on Facebook

This area used to be horrendously complicated and thankfully facebook have now simplified how to create a venity URL. What I mean by this is how do you create and use www.facebook.com/kothea …or of course you would have your business name at the end of that.

Essentially you can now just create a PAGE and give it a name (eg KOTHEA in our case) straight away. Gone are the ridiculous but well intentioned rules about having a certain number of fans.

3. Building networks with Facebook

You probably already know that once you have created you PAGE in facebook then you can use facebook as if YOU are the ‘page’. Rather than the person you really are. So rather than having your facebook activities in the name of ‘Joan Smith’ you make comments as if they are coming instead from your business ‘Smith Interior Design’.

google are also trying to “do a facebook”. This is their Google plus network. You can ignore that for the time being.When was the last time you or your kids used it?

Much better for your branding. Remember to be nice ad say sensible things and don’t get carried away!

4. Gadgets

Especially in the Interior Design and Architecture industry lots of people use Apple iphones and ipads. Of course your clients may well also use these devices but perhaps are also quite likely to use other ‘tablet’ devices and other smart phones like Blackberries.

Like you, your clients lead hectic lives. They are on the go and people are increasingly looking for  information on the move. So all the electronic marketing you do needs also to work on these devices so your potential clients can read it and find it.

This is not so hard to achieve. Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn will automatically do it. WordPress blogs will do it if you check a box in one of the admin features. It might be harder for your web site to do it properly so have a word with your web page designers.

You can use something like http://marketing.grader.com/ to tell you for free some of the more technical things (like working with mobile/cell phones)

Here are some of the posts I previously wrote or you can find them all in one go by <clicking here>

1. How to get links to your web site 

2. Interior Designers: Why does no-one visit your web site 

3. Interior Design Marketing Strategies 

4. Effective Ad Writing For Interior Designers on Facebook

5. Five Crucial Bits For Your Facebook Business Page

6. Seven Facebook Mistakes Interior Designers Make

Interior Designers: How to specify A Luxury Cashmere Throw For Your Client Projects

Luxury Cashmere Throw
Luxury Cashmere Throws

Luxury Cashmere Throws are often used by many designers to add that special finishing touch. The good ones look great and feel fantastic. As well as being aesthetically pleasing a throw can also be functional – keeps you warm!Bearing in mind how often your client will interact with (touch/use) such an item over time it is very important to specify your cashmere throws properly.

Of course you can buy them from very many places. But how do you get a really good one? I mean really good, the best?

We have put together a series of designers’ worksheets. Here is a link to the main one <click here>. The worksheet goes through some of the things you should be looking for when coming to a decision on what to specify.

When looking at specific designs you might then want to look at this worksheet. <Click here>.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

All the worksheets are listed here, <click here>.

Interior Designers: Why does no-one visit my web site?

Interior Designers can spend hundreds or thousands of pounds/dollars on websites. That CAN be a good investment or it can be a total waste of money.

Not just interior designers, but people from many industries bemoan the fact that no-one is visiting their web site. Then the next (incorrect) step in thinking goes that “well maybe I need to pay someone to get links to my site”… or something along those lines. And so it goes on, more money is spent on technology, on social media, on the web, on the net, on web 2.0 – whatever you want to call it. I’m sure you recognise the picture, perhaps from other designers you know that have these awesome looking websites…with no visitors!

This all-too-typical situation raises a whole raft of questions, points and observations. I’ll try to cover a few of them here.

1. Why on earth should I visit your web site?

I think you, the interior designer, really have to answer this question. Yes I’m sure your site looks great. Yes I’m sure it highlights your services and showcases your past projects (hopefully!). But let’s say I’m a potential customer, really, why Continue reading “Interior Designers: Why does no-one visit my web site?”

Designers: Interior Design Links – How To Get Them

If I get another email from some dodgy company in some foreign country offering to boost my reciprocal links I’ll, I’ll, I’ll….I’ll probably either cry or laugh. You get them too I know.

Here’s how smart Interior Designers get some links without paying or investing too much of their spare time. Oh yes and ways that will actually work for you rather than work AGAINST your website.

Q. Why do I want links?

A. So customers can find your web site

A. So google ranks your website HIGHER in your customers searches.

You need to understand that good links ARE important for your business even if you then choose to do nothing about it.

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First DO NOT DO THESE TWO:

1. 🙁  Spend a whole weekend of your time posting your web address on various message boards, forums or comments on blogs to do with interior design. This does not work. There is a technical reason why this does not work even though it seems like a good idea. Trust me DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME DOING THIS (Here’s the technical reason in case you don’t believe me: the html nofollow tag is automatically inserted on blogs/forums to hide it from Google)

2. 🙁 Pay someone to create lots of reciprocal links from sites they control. This works only in a very, very, very, very I MEAN VERY limited way. Don’t waste your money. If you know a little bit about reciprocal links then you will think I am a bit mad as surely all links to your site are good? No, sorry. I can explain why not in detail but it’s quite boring. OK here we are then…a link to your site must be from a good, relevant and genuine site. Google know about this faux strategy of linking and actively penalise against it!

Now you need to think about something.

Why would any potential CLIENT go to your web site? Let’s face it your site is probably pretty boring. It might have a few nice pictures and things saying how great you are. Everyone’s site is exactly the same as yours. So ask why google should want to go to your site. there may well be no good reason other than you would quite like it to because you might get more customers! but that’s talking about YOU and not YOUR CLIENT. And YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENT is the one that Google is trying to help.

So once again we return to the old adage: “Your site must contain genuinely unique and relevant content that is frequently updated”. Apologies for the previous paragraph if you already do this!

Think about it. Someone who is going to spend thousands of pounds on your services and associated products wants to see your work. So yes you have a portfolio but they also want to know how you work. They are probably interested in your opinions and keen to see what things you like. If they go back to check you out a few weeks later, when they are more keen to make a decision, they might want to see some of your even more recent work…not the same static website that actually you put up there 3 years ago and haven’t touched since.

So you need to write a blog as well as having your show piece web site. Then you will have new and hopefully interesting  stuff that people, who you neither know nor pay, will be keen to link to.

So start by linking your blog to interesting things (work related). Don’t ask for them to link back, you can but concentrate on writing good stuff. When anyone links to our web site/blog we are automatically notified by wordpress.com and we of course check these people out and may link back. If you want you can get some friends or associates to link back to your blog/web site but only do that about 5 or 10 times. If you do it too much Google at best ignores it at worst penalises you as it ‘thinks’ there is some form of trickery going on (which there is).

Write about your clients and potential clients (nice ones) and link to them if you are operating in the commercial sphere.

Add your site to industry directories

Add your site to google local businesses

Link to your Facebook business page and twitter. Generate contacts and links through your network there.

.edu and .gov links – When you have an intern be nice to them and make sure they link back to your site when they return to their studies.

Embedded links – when you write an article (like this one) and relevant links at the bottom. some of the related links should be to your own website/blog. Also embed links within the text to link to other relevant bits of your site like a picture, video or maybe to Wikipedia to explain a term. These type of links help google rank your writing more highly than it otherwise would be.

Comment on others web site and blogs. But do so genuinely and professionally. On  your comments have a very short 3 or 4 line bio of you which links back to your site. remember, above, I said that these links don’t work for Google but they will help people get to know about you a little bit. Don’t waste too much time on this though.

Issue press releases from time to time with links on. eg through PRWEB.com again with links.

Write articles on specific areas of design that you are expert in and get them and your links publicised eg through ezinearticles.com

Interior Designer? Did Your Web Site Just Pop Up In My Search?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGWQ-4lnwG0]Interior Designers increasingly understand the need to reach at least part of their target market through online search results.

With that in mind I have been looking through a few search terms that potential customers of interior designers might use. Unsurprisingly lots of interior designers popped up.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

But one thing that I noticed was that VERY few of you were making use of video.

I know it takes a long time to do these things to a reasonable degree of quality but I would suggest it is worth it.

The reason being that Kelly Hoppen popped up again and again. She is obviously a renowned interior designer of the first degree BUT she also appreciates the importance of PR to her new business generation activities. The internet is not much more than PR … just the digital kind.

Why did Kelly appear? Well google doesn’t favour her over you, that much is true. Google does not think that she is better than you. However Google DOES put more emphasis sometimes on non textual information eg pictures and videos. So her video (above) popped up. When you go and check it out, YOUTUBE takes you through lots more of her videos. Before I knew it I had spent 15 minutes looking at her work and hearing her views.

Now if you go to your web site designer and ask them to talk to your ISP and get the stats for YOUR web site, you will probably find that the average visitor spends MUCH less than one minute on your site.

Food for thought.

Interior Design Marketing Strategies

Silk Velvet Upholstery Fabric TextileInterior Design Marketing Strategies need to reflect the modern technological age as well as the creativity and organisation skills of the designer.

We have previously covered on this blog many aspects of the (click link here fro more info=>) business of interior design often focusing on sales and marketing issues. Mostly marketing on the internet using sites like Facebook but also covering sales issue for interior designers with retail spaces. The following articles give more…

Interior Designers: Facebook 5 Crucial Bits To Add To Your Fan Page

The good: Facebook is a great way for Interior Designers to target their chosen demographic markets.
The bad: Facebook is given little thought by many interior designers when considering how to market
The ugly: Facebook itself is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to organising your fan page just how you would like it. Whilst using it IS relatively intuitive to use, the act of making/building your fan page is a minefield of inconsistency and counter intuition on Facebook’s part – truly awful AND it is not going to improve anytime soon.

Let’s start. Facebook, by default, will not do all the bits that I would imagine you would probably want it to do. After you have created a basic page for the first time you will probably struggle to figure out how to make it just right. You may well get confused and frustrated, I know I did. Then you will figure out that actually it’s not possible to do what you want to do on a default Facebook Fan Page. You will need to use Facebook Applications to change various bits of the page. There are a plethora of these applications, I’ll tell you the ones you need to know to produce a reasonable stab at a first IMPROVEMENT over what you already have.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

OK here are the various key parts of the page that you will have to alter and work with (point number 1 you should already have done yourself). I list the parts of the screen first and then tell you afterwards what to do about each.

1. Get your business name and image added to the top left hand corner. Add you contact details and the like to the info tab.

2. Your vanity url eg KOTHEA’s is www.facebook.com/kothea. Here is a blog post I wrote earlier on this potentially tricky subject.

3. If you have read all our posts over the last year or so you will know that we keep saying GET A BLOG AND WRITE EVERY WEEK. I won’t dwell on the subject, you just need to do it for a plethora of reasons. However once you have a blog you will need to put it on Facebook as well as where you originally write it. you will need to use an application to avoid duplicating your effort. Like This.

4. Tabs. You will need to add new tabs containing the information about your organisation that you consider relevent. e.g. compare   this “traditional info” tab to this “additional info” tab . (Traditional vs. Additional). The frist one is from Pepsi and at first you might think what a poor show they have made of the tab. They have not. the problem is facebook. pepsi put the minimum amount of information on a page that Facebook says you have to have. Then, like KOTHEA, we put all the juicy bits onto another tab that we have control of. Far from perfect but that’s life.

5. Then you will want to customise the bits in the left hand side column. Again, www.facebook.com/kothea shows you some buttons we added on the left hand side to link to our twitter account, our real blog, our flickr feed and a final button to prompt an action to contact us via our real web page. You get the idea and can probably see scope to add many more buttons or actions or images that we have not considered.

How do I do those 5 things?:

1. You should have figured this bit out yourself. on your fan page just look for a mini “pencil” like image appearing near the bit you want to change. click it and change it. Get a nice big logo on there.

2. I refer again to this post <here>.

3. A Facebook application called SOCIAL RSS is used by about 500,000 people. This is how you get the RSS feed of your blog onto a new Facebook Tab. Just click the “Go To Application” button on the top left hand corner. It’s free and it works. There is also a slightly better/faster paid-for version, probably not worth the extra yet.

4. For an “extended info tab” you will need the aptly named EXTENDED INFO APPLICATION – click to go there. Again it is free. Here is KOTHEA’s example. The application works by creating a BLANK TAB, you then use the application to create all the fields (bits) on it. It is NOT straightforward to use. I would say 3/10 difficulty (with 10/10 being impossible). So persevere and you will get there.

5. To create new fields on the left hand side Facebook have kindly produced the Static FBML application. Click here to go to the page and add the application to your profile with the button in the top left hand corner. FBML is a bit like HTML. So if you do not know any html you will find this DIFFICULT (9/10). But if you already know HTML then Facebook and their application will only confuse you for a little while before you figure it out (3/10). I would imagine that with FBML you can give your Facebook fan page a similar look and feel to your web site – if you really want to do that.

 

Facebook & AdWords – Effective Ad Writing For Interior Designers

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great thing with Facebook and Google Adwords is that your space to write advertising copy is limited. It stops us waffling and makes us realise that every word is important. To get that elusive click you need to stand out and truthfully say what can be expected when the click is made.But let’s go back two steps.

Firstly, in the UK Google is THE dominant search engine. We, KOTHEA, advertise to interior designers and I run similar campaigns on Yahoo and Bing. I can tell you that 95% of the impressions and clicks come from Adwords. So if you are short on time just focus on Adwords. It is a similar scenario in the US but Google’s monopoly is not so great there and Yahoo is more prominant.

Secondly, advertising through Facebook and Adwords is different proposition. This is because the audience has arrived at your ad through a quite different thought process in each case. In Adwords you get put in front of people who type in the keywords you believe to be relevant to your product/service offering ie people who are actively looking at your keywords NOW eg they may have just typed “Find Interior Designer In London”.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

Whereas in Facebook the users’ profiles are analysed so you can choose their demographics or select by keywords in their profile that match your target market eg keywords “Yacht Owner” and age profile 20+. Your ad is then displayed to all 20+ year olds who own up to being – or who claim to be – yacht owners. The Facebook ads are displayed periodically (and repeatedly) and could be displayed when the recipient is organising a cinema date with friends – or it could be displayed when they are researching interiors products for their yacht, you just don’t know.

I appreciate that my description is a little negative towards Facebook but there are benefits and dis-benefits of each approach to audience selection. In some scenarios Facebook will be better for you. So you, the advertiser, must appreciate that when your ad is displayed the person seeing it on Facebook will probably be at VERY different point in their interior designer selection process than someone who sees your ad on Adwords.

So if the abovementioned Yacht Owner is typing in “Find Interior Designer In London” into Google then I suggest it is likely that he/she is VERY interested in your services as an interior designer NOW. However if your advert is displayed to them in Facebook there is no guarantee WHATSOEVER that the Yacht Owner is interested in having anything interior designed at this moment, or ever, BUT they might be.

So think about the AIDA model ie Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action. The AIDA model represents a potential customers interest in your service. Your initial contacts with customers create awareness of your interior design service. You then hope to move them through the ‘customer voyage’ by increasing their interaction with your organisation to a point of action when they decide to commission you. I would suggest that your Facebook ad is more geared towards ‘Awareness’ part of customer acquitision whereas your Adwords ad is more geared towards an impending purchase-related ‘Action’.

Furthermore it might be a generally reasonable assumption that Facebook “Yacht Owners” probably own yachts and you can refine that to indicate the owners possible levels of affluence (eg simplistically to: Superyacht Owner). However someone typing “Find Interior Designer In London” could be very affluent or not. They could be someone like me who works for a fabric house trying to prospect for customers or they could be a potential customer looking for a designer for a restaurant or hotel or villa or, well lots of reasons. What I am trying to say here is that lots of types (segments) of people using your keywords in google may NOT match your target audience even though they are typing in the ‘right’ words to the Google search engine. So you are faced with the difficulty of writing copy that attracts only the right people and does not cause expensive clicks from people who are never going to buy from you. You are also faced with the dilemma of how to tailor your one ad to many segments (hotel-villa-yacht-restaurant owners etc). Also the further dilemma of what keyword-ad combinations actually work.

There’s more to go into on this subject but I’ll distill the rest into some recommendations. So without further ado here is what I think you should do:

1. Facebook

  • Write an ad that is positional of your services. More of an ad to further your brand awareness rather than selling your services today.
  • Use graphics where possible.
  • Be truthful.

2. Adwords

  • Write LOTS of different ads and get Adwords to rotate them and for it to choose the best ones.
  • Use the keywords in the ads as keywords get highlighted in the ad.
  • Really, really think what your customers will be searching for. Ideally ask some existing customers so you know for sure.
  • Take Adwords suggestions for capitalisation. eg it suggests I use KotheA and neither KOTHEA nor kothea. This draws the eye to the ad by using mixed capitalisation.
  • Use graphics where possible.
  • Be truthful.

If you search through my blog there are other related posts on these subjects. Look at the category “The Business of Interior Design” or the tag “Sales & Marketing In Interior Design” – they may well also pull up related blogs by other people.

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