Interior Design Marketing Strategies That Work & Don’t Work

Marketing for interior designers isn’t easy. It’s difficult to choose a marketing strategy that will help your design business grow. Each year seems like there’s a new way marketers are pitching that will grow your business exponentially. 

This makes it even harder to decide which one is best to grow your firm. In this post I’ll walk you through different interior design marketing strategies. Specifically when they can work and when they don’t really work.

marketing interior design

Strategy #1 Email Marketing

Email marketing still works, but it can also fail miserably. Below I’ll detail when it does and does not work.

When it Does Work

Email marketing works when you capture the emails of people who visit your website. Once you capture their email, send them content like this:

  • Design tips you find useful,
  • How-to design articles,
  • Recent design projects, or
  • What’s unique about your business.

When these are well thought out and consistent, you can turn someone who visited your site once into a client.

When it Does Not Work

Email marketing doesn’t work when you don’t have a list of emails to work from. You want to build a list of emails from people that visit your website. It’s never really a good idea to go buy a bunch of emails and start blasting their inbox. This is a bad idea for two reasons.

First, they didn’t ask to get your emails. Don’t be a spammer. Second, these people could literally be anyone. You want to do your email marketing to people that are interested in purchasing interior design services, not someone interested in golf.

In order to get more qualified emails, you need more traffic to your website. To get more traffic to your website, you need to write and post articles about topics your clients are constantly searching for on the web. A common way to do this is through SEO, or social media posting on platforms like Pinterst and Facebook.

If you already have built up a list of qualified emails and are sending them to clients, here’s a few reasons those emails might not be working:

  • Your emails are poorly written,
  • You don’t have compelling subject lines, or
  • You’re offering generic services to people in your locale just many other designers already are

In these emails, you need to be creative. You need to offer people insights and advice they are not getting elsewhere. You need to tell them why your services are better than all the other interior designers in your town. 

If you’re not doing these, why should they spend their hard earned money with you.

Strategy #2 Social Media Marketing

When it comes to social media marketing, there are many different platforms you can choose. Some of the most popular are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s when they do and do not work. 

When it Does Work

Social media marketing works when you can target a very specific group of users based on their location and interests. If you do this correctly, you can put yourself in front of people who have interest in interior design services.

When it Does Not Work

First and foremost, here is an article from Forbes detailing the experience of social media marketing from a group of interior designers. Now that you’ve read that, let’s jump back in.

Social media does not work when you aren’t effectively targeting a group of users with interest in your services. There are too many social media marketing companies who “market to the masses”.

When you market to the masses, you could be marketing to a 12 year old kid on his phone in bed, or even someone in another state. Yikes.

Marketing to the masses can bring a ton of “engagements”, “likes”, “follows” etc., but none of this matters if you aren’t signing up any new clients. At the end of the day,  would it be cool to get 2,000 followers on Instagram? Yep, that would be cool. Is it cool if those 2,000 new followers didn’t bring in any business. Nope. That’s not cool.

Strategy #3 Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC advertising is most often used on search engines like Google and Bing. Pay-Per-Click means every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google a specified amount of money. So, as soon as someone clicks your ad, you pay Google money.

When it Does Work

PPC is a great way to get fast exposure on search engines like Google and Bing. If you have a decent marketing budget these campaigns can be set up and tested quickly. With PPC you can target users who type in phrases like “interior designer near me”. 

When you are able to target phrases like these, you are targeting people who have high interest in interior design services. Some of them are even ready to buy now.

When it Does Not Work

PPC doesn’t work when you don’t have a healthy marketing budget, no tracking and you aren’t constantly testing what your campaign is targeting. PPC needs constant tweaks and changes. 

PPC also won’t work if you expect to pay the same price for your marketing each month. Since you are bidding on keywords users are typing in, those keywords will almost always fluctuate in price. These fluctuations increase or decrease, but in the long run they mostly increase. Just like good ol inflation.

Strategy #4 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I will say that I am biased towards SEO for two reasons. First, is because this is what Interior Initiatives specializes in. Second, it is a long-term investment you are making into your business.

With most of the strategies above, once you pull the plug on them, that’s it. All that work gets wiped off the internet, or buried deep in an inbox. You are essentially “leasing digital real estate”. 

With SEO, the pages you create for your website and the work you do for your Google My Business profile will always be there. They do not disappear from the internet forever.

Now after reading that you might be thinking I can invest a little bit of money into SEO and then I won’t ever have to invest in it again. This isn’t true. 

When you do SEO, you are working towards ranking your business in the organic search results and the “local map pack”. When you achieve rankings here, they can last, but if you have other competitors trying to do the same thing and you stop, they can take your spot. 

SEO is constant work just like any other marketing initiative, but when it works, it works really well. 

When it Does Work

SEO works when you are truly ready to make an investment into your business. Obtaining rankings on Google takes time. If you do not have time, I do not recommend SEO. Testing PPC or social media marketing might be a better strategy for you.

With SEO you can target users who have high interest in your services. The types of users you can target are people typing in these types of phrases “interior designer near me”, “interior designer denver”, “modern interior designer denver” and more. 

Outside of those phrases you can also target users typing in questions like this “How much does an interior designer cost?”.

With SEO you are able to target users typing in all sorts of phrases valuable to your business. Once your website targets these phrases and users it always will unless you change that.

When it Does Not Work

SEO does not work when you aren’t willing to give it enough time. SEO takes time because you are working to convince Google to put you on the first page. This takes time because Google doesn’t put whoever wants to be on the first page on the first page of Google.

All business owners would like to be the first result on Google for keywords they value, but that’s not how it works. 

Getting on the first page of Google is like a relationship. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, a great relationship will never form. If you are, SEO just might be the only type of marketing you ever do. 

Another time SEO does not work is when you don’t have the correct strategy in place, or you are using “spammy SEO tactics”. Both of these never work and the people offering them usually are the ones guaranteeing you #1 rankings for any keyword you desire. If you ever see a business offering this, it’s probably a scam.

Strategy #5 Public Relations (PR)

PR builds trust between your business and its customers. The more trust and brand recognition you have within your community, the more business you can get.

When it Does Work

PR works when your pitches are creative and have value. This is similar to email marketing, if your pitches are generic and have no value, why should they be run as stories?

PR doesn’t always have to be in the form of pitches though. You can also sponsor local organizations and give back to your community while also building brand awareness. The good thing about both of these approaches is you can incorporate them into your SEO strategy. 

If you would like to see examples of how this is done, I’d be more than happy to show you a few of mine. 

When it Does Not Work

Just like SEO, PR does not work when you do not have the time, or money to invest. PR can be extremely costly and if you aren’t in a large market it’s really not worth it. 

Having Trouble Getting New Clients?

If you’re having trouble getting new clients, check out my interior designer SEO services page! There’s plenty of tactics that you can start implementing yourself today. If you want my recommendation, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation!