Influencer Marketing for Interior Design Business
The rise in digital service offerings like e-design has occurred in parallel with a corresponding explosion in new digital marketing channels. Influencer marketing has recently become a preferred choice for many brands that want to reach lucrative, niche audiences of buyers who trust the opinion of an influencer and are likely to make a purchase due to a well-timed endorsement. In this article, we’ll break down what influencer marketing is and how interior designers can harness this trend to help grow their own businesses.
Read also – How To Start Your Interior Design Business?
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What are Interior Influencers?
While there is no strict definition, influencers are generally a personality that has amassed a reasonably sized audience due to their ability to curate or review products in a way that is entertaining, informative, insightful, and unique.
There are many reasons why influencers gain popularity, including their former celebrity status, notoriety within a specific industry, or their take on a specific trend or style that has become increasingly popular.
In the interior design industry, influencers are typically known for developing a particular style and making trustworthy recommendations about upcoming trends or hot products. Many interior influencers will also review specific products (sometimes given to them by the manufacturers) and give unbiased opinions on the product’s quality, value, and overall appeal.
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What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencers aren’t necessarily a new phenomenon, but the platforms they use have begun to explode in popularity. Additionally, the growth of agencies that represent influencers and help connect them with commercial partnerships has contributed to the overall growth of influencer marketing as an effective tactic.
Broadly speaking, influencer marketing is the strategy of using a built-in and highly engaged audience to reach buyers that might be interested in a certain company’s products or services. Because influencers have spent time earning the trust of their audience and developing a reputation for specific types of products and services, influencer marketing campaigns can have a strong return on investment vs. other forms of paid advertising.
Read also – Interior Design Sourcing and Procurement
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How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Interior influencers are required to constantly provide new content for their audiences. Accordingly, they might happen to feature the products or designs of a specific business simply because they like them and want to highlight why. This is a more organic form of influencer marketing that doesn’t rely on any kind of paid endorsement. While it’s common for influencers to highlight things they’re interested in just for the sake of creating new videos or posts, paid promotions are becoming the mainstay for those with larger audiences and more potential reach.
In a paid engagement, influencers are provided with specific products or services to review and information to highlight. This relationship helps influencers develop new content and ensure that the brand’s products are properly represented. If it sounds like a fine line between authenticity and selling out….that’s because it can be. Influencers with longevity on their platforms will protect their reputation by carefully selecting the companies with which they partner.
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How Do Designers Benefit from Influencer Marketing?
Influencers are beginning to become the new trendsetters and culture shapers. The more that influencers highlight specific products and styles to their audience, the more likely designers are to hear these preferences from their clients – particularly if you’re offering e-design services. It’s important to recognize that clients might come directly from a YouTube video to a Google search to your business.
There are some significant benefits for designers who harness the power of influencer marketing partnerships. Most obviously, influencers can offer a much larger platform for designers to reach a new audience if they choose to feature their projects or brand.
Influencers are also likely to have more platforms and a greater diversity of media types. One of the biggest benefits of creating content with influencers is that it has lasting value (depending on the type of content) that easily outlives paid ads or one-off campaigns. For example, an extensive review on a blog, video, or podcast will persist for years and continue to send people to your products and services well after it’s published, even contributing to your brand’s SEO priorities.
Finally, interior influencers are because they are raising awareness of and a desire for uniquely designed homes, offices, and other living spaces. As the saying goes: “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and increased awareness of design trends mean more potential clients hiring interior designers and e-design services.
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What is the Difference Between Interior Designers and Interior Influencers?
Someone who is strictly an interior designer focuses on delivering design services. Becoming requires a strict focus on developing a brand and continuously creating and publishing original content. Interior designers make money through interior design projects, and interior influencers typically make money through sponsorships, endorsements, affiliate links, ad revenue, and other types of partnerships. Interior influencers are more concerned with building a follower base than relationships with interior design clients.
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Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Influencer Marketing
Though it might sound counterintuitive at first, it’s important to understand that the size of an influencer’s audience is not a good reason to work with them. It is not about reaching the biggest audience possible. In fact, it might be exactly the opposite. A smaller audience that genuinely interacts with an influencer will likely produce better results. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Savvy marketers will evaluate the overall engagement of an audience before making a decision about using specific content creators. Many influencers pay to artificially inflate their number of followers and you can tell by the overall lack of engagement. A little bit of common sense goes a long way when analyzing the actual results an influencer is getting. For example, it doesn’t seem right that an influencer with 1+ million followers is only receiving a few hundred shares or interactions per post? Engagement is going to be a huge determining factor in the success of your influencer campaign. Sometimes called “micro-influencers,’ it’s not uncommon for successful interior design influencers to have 10K – 20K followers as opposed to those in the beauty industry who might have several million.
2. Influencers should have sustained audience growth and interaction, not a suspicious spike in activity from one or two viral events. Virality does not equal sales or valuable attention.
3. Look for an influencer who is reaching your target audience. You can determine the degree to which your interests and reach overlap by researching their audience demographics.
Read also – Pinterest Marketing for Interior Designers
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Why Instagram is the Most Successful Social Media Platform for Interior Design Influencer Marketing?
Influencers exist on nearly every digital platform and social media site, from live streaming T.V. to niche blogging communities. However, Instagram has held its position as the most successful platform for interior design influencer marketing because it is (similar to Pinterest) based entirely on creating, curating, and sharing image-based content.
The visual nature of Instagram’s platform makes it ideal for designers and influencers who are sharing their own projects, mood boards, aesthetically appealing products, renovations, and essentially any design-oriented media. While sites like Facebook, Tiktok, and LinkedIn can be helpful, Instagram is indisputably the dominant social media marketing platform where design audiences come to find inspiration and consume new content.
The more that influencers focus on using Instagram to reach and grow their audience, the more users will continue flocking to the site as a hub of interior design resources. From a technical perspective, Instagram is owned by Facebook which has made it easier to integrate marketing efforts between both platforms, including creating, scheduling and posting content.
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10 Tips to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Your Interior Design Business:
How can you use interior influencer marketing to your advantage? Below are 10 quick tips to help you benefit from partnering with interior influencers or applying similar tactics to your business.
1. Collaborate on a design project to raise your profile with an interior influencer’s audience. Interior influencers are typically known for their unique style or take on specific trends. If you can find an influencer with tastes and an audience that aligns with your ideal client profile, reach out and ask if they are willing to work with you on an upcoming project, even if it’s as simple as a room in your house. This style of collaboration will bring you more traffic and provide the influencer with new content for their channels.
2. Pay for or earn the attention of an influencer and ask them to mention one of your design projects or services. Most influencers rely on sponsorships, ad revenue, and affiliate marketing for their income. For a small fee, they might be willing to showcase one of your designs, highlight you as a sponsor of their program or otherwise recommend your services to their audience. Practically this could look like a sponsored post on Instagram or even a live-read advertisement on a YouTube video. While a mention of your brand could happen organically (i.e., unpaid), you’re much more likely to get promoted if you’re willing to pay a small amount.
3. Incorporate trending styles or products from interior influencers into your designs for clients. Show clients that you have a pulse on the latest trends from interior influencers by highlighting new products or concepts into your designs. If you have developed a client questionnaire, consider adding questions about their favorite interior influencers or what channels they follow for inspiration.
4. Follow influencers and determine which interior products or styles they’re reviewing, then make similar content to support your social media strategy and add your professional opinion as an interior designer. Just because an influencer is highlighting a piece of furniture doesn’t mean they can offer professional advice on how to tie it into the rest of the room. Merely mentioning the name of an influencer in your own content (e.g., videos, blog posts, emails, etc.) can help you reach a broader audience. If you’re mentioning or reviewing their content and ideas for informational purposes only, it can help you generate new material. If you’re attempting to sell your own services by leveraging an influencer’s ideas or content you may have to get express permission before using it in an unauthorized way. Be sure to always give credit to the original creator.
5. Develop a specific offer for an influencer’s audience. If you’re already advertising with or working with influencers, you might be trying to hone your approach and customize your tactics to be more effective. Creating a unique (e.g., one-of-a-kind) offer for a specific influencer’s followers is a smart way to show that audience how well you understand their tastes and preference. Additionally, it will make the influencer excited to mention your offer because they are adding value to their followers with this exclusive deal. Examples of helpful offers could be a free quiz to assess their interior style, a helpful guide for planning a renovation, or other content that helps you capture information from potential leads while adding value.
6. Improve performance tracking with a unique link or landing page. Get a clearer picture of exactly how effective your influencer marketing strategy is by developing custom links or landing pages. When looking at your analytics, you’ll be able to analyze traffic sources in detail. This will help you make better strategic decisions and budget allocations depending on the results. Make sure that the visitor’s destination matches their expectation based on the promotion their heard or saw from an influencer. Tailor the messaging, imagery, and call-to-action specifically for that audience.
7. Consider offering a promotional code for discounted services. Although it’s similar to the strategy of creating a unique offer, promotional codes are a simple way to get an immediate purchase in response to a limited-time price discount. It’s very common for influencers to offer their audience 20% services of a specific advertiser.
8. If you’re paying an influencer to read an advertisement for your brand, make sure it aligns to the demographics and interests of the audience. In some cases, it might be better to let the influencer create their own spin on your services or offers because they understand their followers and can avoid feelings of inauthenticity in a video or Instagram post.
9. Ask if you can feature their promotion on your own channels and repurpose the content. If you have partnered with an influencer to collaborate on content, request permission to use this content for your marketing purposes. Tagging an influencer (or being tagged) is an excellent way to reach a larger and brand new audience that may have never been exposed to your business.
10. Become an interior influencer yourself! While it does take time, focus, and energy to build a viable audience and begin earning revenue, successful interior influencers can expand their business in multiple ways. Selling products, affiliate marketing, and offering interior design services are just a few of the ways that interior influencers can create new income streams. If you want to pursue this path, consider reaching out to several influencers and asking for advice on getting started as they might be able to help you avoid key mistakes and shorten the learning curve.
Read also – 5 Ways that Interior Design Influences Your Mood
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5 Tips to Become an Interior Influencer:
1. Pick a design niche that doesn’t receive a lot of attention from the more popular influencers. For example, you could build an entire brand around reviewing and discussing wallpaper, lighting, seating, bathroom renovations, or another specific area that has a lot of interest but less attention from existing influencers or popular interior design channels.
2. Be consistent with content creation. Sporadic and infrequent content distribution will confuse and frustrate your audience. Stick with a schedule and make sure that you reliably post new content. Even if you feel that you’re lacking inspiration, it’s important to push through to keep the attention you’ve worked hard to earn.
3. Collaborate with other influencers. Seek partnerships with influencers that have followers but maybe aren’t as large as the most popular people in the industry. Smaller audiences tend to be highly engaged, and these influencers are likely more willing to respond favorably to your requests.
4. Use digital marketing tools to identify specific areas to discuss or review. Free or low-cost tools like Answer the Public, Google Trends and SEMRush can help you identify topics of interest that will garner organic traffic to your channels or blog. If you’re a blogger on a budget, simply look at the autofill topics recommended by Google, or the related questions at the top and bottom of search results. This will help you create a calendar of hot items to feature.
5. Be smart about promoting your other services and products, especially if you sell high-end products through an e-commerce site. Create separate social media channels that can link to your main services as an interior designer, but don’t promote the crossover too heavily or your audience might start to question your motives.
Read also – 10 Most Famous Interior Designers
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5 Best Popular Interior Design Influencers:
If you’re looking for some new interior influencers to follow, check out the list below of 5 popular and original influencers and browse their content for inspiration and cutting-edge ideas.
1. Mr. Kate
- It’s nearly impossible to conduct any search on YouTube or Instagram without running across this husband and wife duo that has spent years turning dreams into reality through small, remarkable interior design transformations.
- Follow: @mr.kate on Instagram or https://www.youtube.com/c/MrKate/featured on YouTube.
2. Lydia & Ali
- Another interior design couple, Lydia and Ali have gained an impressive following due to their refined “modern rustic” design sensibilities and home decor inspirations.
- Follow: @lydiamillenhome on Instagram or https://www.youtube.com/user/lydiamillen on YouTube.
3. Kate Watson-Smythe
- A classic and comfortable take on modern design has helped Kate develop a significant audience on numerous platforms as a journalist, blogger and design influencer. She has also branched into numerous other media formats, including publishing office tools like planners specifically designed for creative spirits.
- Follow: @mad_about_the_house on Instagram or https://www.madaboutthehouse.com/ for her official website.
4. Erin Vogelpohl
- Erin does a great job demonstrating how to make build your own home renovations into an influencer marketing empire. Her country-inspired interior decorating style has resonated with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, giving her a significant and highly engaged audience.
- Follow: @mytexashouse on Instagram or https://mytexashouse.com/ for her own website
5. Dear Lillie Studio
- Dear Lillie Studio does an excellent job of curating interior design mood boards for their audience and helping them access clean, classic concepts that could be easily achieved from some simple home renovations.
- Follow: @dearlillie on Instagram or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdke4OHwuE-9BuBlBaLJd3Q for YouTube
Follow Foyr Neo on Social Media
If you’re an interior designer looking to get plugged into a passionate, creative community, check out the Foyr Neo Instagram account. We love curating and sharing content from other interior designers, and especially those that are creating beautiful, inspirational, and photo-realistic renderings of their design projects. Foyr Neo’s sophisticated suite of tools was built with interior designers of all skill levels and capabilities in mind.