How would your company fare in a survey of customers in the market for home furnishings? Would your brand be at the top of their mind? Digital marketing often gets neglected by businesses more focused on getting foot traffic inside stores. But it’s the best way of keeping your brand fresh in the minds of consumers who spend a lot of time on the internet.
Keeping Your Brand Fresh
What do we mean by the phrase “top of mind”? In essence, it’s about keeping your brand fresh. That goes back to the question asked we asked at the beginning. It’s what pops into the heads of consumers when they start thinking about a product or service they need. Starbucks is the first name people think of when they want a cup of coffee. The names Apple or Samsung comes to mind for those needing a new smartphone.
You don’t need to be a huge brand like them to become the “top of mind” company of choice for furniture shoppers in your area. Giving customers a great experience and building loyalty can put you ahead of any other brand located near you. But you can’t do that if customers don’t know you exist.
Many home furnishing companies avoid dealing with online shopping due to confusion around the process. You may not feel you have the scale and resources to compete with big online retailers like Amazon, Wayfair, and IKEA. You’ve likely neglected your website and social media pages in the belief that traditional marketing needed to have the bigger focus.
Increasing your digital marketing efforts offers the opportunity to drive more foot traffic to your store. It’s also a great way of keeping your brand fresh in the minds of current and new customers. Use these five “Top Of Mind” strategies to improve your online brand performance and pull in more business.
Get Your Brand Recognized
You don’t have to completely abandon all traditional marketing. Some great ways to keep your company fresh in the of local customers involve focusing on different community initiatives. You can do this by:
- Sponsoring a local sports team
- Organizing food drives throughout the year
- Getting involved with local charities
- Adopting a highway near your community
Encourage your employees to get involved and make sure your presence is felt at these events in order to increase personal contact. Create items like bumper stickers and pens to hand out as a way of keeping your brand fresh in the minds of event attendees.
New Ways to Attract Brand Followers
- Hold monthly contests offering your products as prizes
- Create loyalty programs to encourage repeat business
- Offer up discounts and coupons when customers recommend your business to others Using Local SEO to promote your store
- Hosting a ladies night inside your store with a theme like discussing interior design principles or style trends
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) directs free traffic to your websites and social media outlets. You do this by embedding your blog posts and other content with certain words or phrases called keywords in order to match what people typically enter into search engines. That way people looking for the type of products and services you offer can locate you by doing a web search using those same terms.
Local SEO helps customers near you find your business. Someone living in Austin, TX can look up “furniture store Austin” and see your result instead of a national company. Using local SEO techniques can put results for your business ahead of larger businesses in major search engines.
You should take advantage of every available opportunity in order to increase your business’s online visibility. Google offers free business listings through its Google My Business (GMB) program to businesses making physical contact with customers during outlined business hours. Use these types of openings as a way of keeping your brand fresh.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Customers tend to form a bond with companies they feel reflect their own values through a storytelling approach. How much have you made available about your business’s background? Are you interested in conservation issues? Did you start your business to make some sort of social impact? Be transparent with your customers about the inner workings of your company.
Make it easy for customers to answer these questions when they research you online. Try to go beyond just telling them what products or services you offer. Get into your reasons for founding your business, what you hope to accomplish, and why what you do is important.
Don’t limit yourself to the “About” page on your website. Listen to feedback from your social media channels. What are your customers talking about with each other? Where are their different pain points when dealing with your company?
Use your stories as a way to speak directly to them and address any issues they have. Try using a few of these tactics to make things more personal.
- Create videos with owners and employees
- Discuss different initiatives your company promotes
- Promote ways you’ve managed to impact the community positively
- Acknowledge responses to different initiatives by your client base
- Post blogs updating visitors on the latest accomplishments by your business or community involvement
It helps to offer up the flavor of where you live in your online offerings. Give visitors a sense of where you’re from as a way to connect to you even more and builds the type of brand loyalty that keeps them coming back. This type of investment by customers goes a long way towards keeping your brand fresh in their minds.
How to Become An Educational Resource
You can do more for your customers than push different promotions on them. Help them gain more in-depth knowledge around what your business deals in. Provide blogs and digital resources giving customers more information about the different products in your store.
Educational blog suggestions:
- Picking the right sofa for your living room space
- Matching wood tones to your current flooring Comparisons of different dining room table types in time for the holidays
- Finding the right computer desk for your home office space
- The best recliners for your living room
Apply your efforts to more than just your own website. Try pushing your videos onto platforms like YouTube. That a great way to get your business in front of the eyes of those interested in the services you offer. Visit places like Quora and become an expert reference for visitors looking for answers you have extensive knowledge of. Sharing your knowledge with customers helps you stand out from competitors and gives them an extra sense of security. They’ll be more likely to turn to you for when it’s time to make some type of purchase.
Improve Social Media And Email Marketing
Social media offers a prime opportunity to reach out to audiences interested in home decor. Effective social media marketing involves more than spending money on ads across every platform. It’s about setting a tone for your audience and encouraging positive feedback.
Examples of using social media platforms effectively:
- Facebook – Focus more on telling stories and providing in-depth details. You might make a video at a tradeshow with a vendor and explore different product lines you’re thinking of bringing to your store. Solicit feedback from viewers on which collections they liked the most during a Facebook Live video broadcast from the tradeshow.
- Instagram – Here you’re trying to elicit specific reactions from users based primarily on imagery. Show off different vignettes of items currently stocked in your showroom and add a link in the description for them to click and see more info on your website.. Prompt your customers to put up images of items they purchased from your store on their own Instagram feed and tag them with your store hashtag.
- Twitter – Brevity is the key here. You’ll need to condense your message down to 280 characters. Your tweets need to catch the reader’s attention in a sea of other messages. Hashtags help get customers engaged and make it easier to track the performance of different campaigns.
Other tips for effective email marketing:
- Make the messages read as personalized and not like a form letter
- Keep things relevant and focused on specific objectives
- Give people the information they signed up for and nothing more
- Allow recipients to opt out with ease
Email marketing provides a great opportunity to recycle resources you’ve already created like blog content or videos you made for social media. It’s a great way to reinforce your company’s brand and keep audiences aware of what’s going on with your company.
Close each message prompting users to take some type of action. It could be making a purchase or downloading one of your e-books. Make your point clear without devolving into too much of a sales pitch.
Offer Customers An Interactive Online Experience
Customers visit your website because they’re looking for something specific. You should make it easy to find what they’re looking for and give them a reason to look around for other things.
Ways to improve your website:
- Add eye-catching images
- Keep content up-to-date
- Create targeted landing pages for products
- Make it easy to navigate
Try offering visitors something beyond static text and pretty pictures when trying to engage them. Why not utilize the power of AI by adding Live Chat to your site? Use this as a way to answer basic questions for visitors and increase the amount of time spent on your website.
Give your clients the most immersive experience possible. Add videos demonstrating how you might arrange different pieces of furniture around a home. Or let customers do it themselves using different interactive tools. Imagine your customers being able to drape fabric over different frames, revel in different wood finishes, or even customize the arm, back, and leg shape on pieces of furniture they’ve found on your website? This interactive product visualization then inspires customers to visit your physical stores to make their purchase!
Give customers an opportunity to tell you how they feel about your business by prompting them to leave reviews directly on the website or ask them to visit your social media pages. You can create contact cards containing all this information and pass out in your physical stores. Use this type of engagement as a promotional opportunity by offering coupons or free products in exchange for feedback.
Make sure your website adjusts to smaller screen sizes in order to reach the largest audience. Most people consume 65% of their internet content on their phones or other mobile devices. Don’t lose out on repeat visitors by failing to make your site mobile-friendly. It’s worth the upgrade investment to make old websites adaptable to the current digital reality.
Get Help From An Expert
Online platforms and digital marketing offer you the chance to stay “top of mind” with customers by showcasing your business in a more personal light and helping you build stronger connections with those customers. Take advantage of every opportunity to provide shoppers with ways to learn everything possible about your products lines and how to fit them into their living spaces.
With engaging interactive experiences, you can have them browsing on mobile devices for the merchandise like they’re in your brick and mortar showroom. Be sure to encourage feedback and use it to make your business better by improving the overall customer service experience. These efforts go a long way towards keeping your company “top of mind” the next time clients are in the market for furniture and home goods.
Effectively managing these efforts can be challenging for most business owners. That’s where a company like MicroD can help. We have 25 years of experience helping businesses in the home furnishing industry find new ways to innovate retailers online presence. MicroD takes charge of every aspect of your digital marketing campaigns to provide a seamless brand experience for shoppers. Get a demo from an online professional.