I’m answering a simple question for you in this blog. What’s the difference between marketing with Instagram versus marketing with an interior design blog?
Instagram is often seen as one of the most popular ways to showcase your services and products as an interior designer, designer maker or home decor brand. It’s visually appealing, easily accessible and has a large audience who focus on their interests and aspirations when choosing who to follow.
By comparison, blogging can now seem rather old school. It takes more time to create the perfect interior design blog post. However the impact of a great blog post can reach far beyond an Instagram post. I’m not saying there is neccessarily any less value in using instagram to market your business. However like everything in your business you need to evaluate your marketing channels carefully. To have a consistent strategy and use each one with intent is the key to success. With this in mind let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of blogging versus Instagram.
Marketing with an Interior Design Blog
Having a blog on your website is a great way to showcase more of your business to your existing and potential clients. It’s an opportunity for your clients to get behind the scenes and find out what really makes you tick. Every successful piece of content starts with one essential marketing tool – great photography. This is the same for Instagram as it is for blogging. This is especially true in the world of interiors where visual aesthetics count for everything.
Inspire and Inform your Audience
One benefit to an interiors blog is that as well as that one scroll stopping picture, you also have the opportunity to educate and inform your audience and provide them with valuable knowledge that positions you as an expert in your field. Without the limit of having to be concise in a short punchy caption, you can easily expand with your explanations and take the time to really inform your readers. Additionally you don’t have to gamble on the one image you think will make an impact. Your blog can include several photos, graphics and even video to help you get your point across.
But here is where the blog really comes into it’s own. Google loves fresh content. Having a blog on your website means there’s always a place for news and information around your business. This is especially important if your services or products don’t change that much from season to season. Ideally your blog should showcase your latest interior design projects or home decor products. However projects take time to complete and product offerings usually appear seasonally so what do you write about all year round? If you are looking for ideas then take a look at my 35 interior design blog post ideas.
The Power of Blogging and SEO
The power of a blog post over Instagram really is in the longevity of of the post and it’s SEO value. See the infographic below for a quick and easy comparison. A well written blog post will provide you with keywords which are searchable in Google boosting your visibility in search engine rankings.
Guest posting on another blog or working with a blogger to post about your business makes you even more visible. This is because it will link back to your website which is another good sign to Google. All of this happens for the lifetime of the blog post which can be indefinite. Focus on well produced relevant content and those searches will keep bringing people back to your site for years!
Marketing with Instagram
Now let’s talk about Instagram. Instagram is a great tool for marketing your business. It’s easy to use and hugely popular with design enthusiasts. Using Instagram can be a huge boost to your business if you’re consistent with your posting. Where as a blog post takes time to craft and then you leave it to do the work for you, Instagram is the exact opposite. It is what it says on the tin – instant. Posts are quick to create and can be very attractive however their effectiveness is just as quick too.
On a platform that claims to have 1 billion active monthly users, content churn is frequent, especially in a popular niche like interior design. Aside from those viral posts that top the hashtags and explore feed, the lifespan of an average post in the feed is around 1-2 days. After this is is most likely to be superseded with fresh content. This means you have to be consistent and post at least 3-4 times a week to stay visible, growing your audience so they can come to expect regular inspiration and information from you.
As captions are short and don’t allow for much information, video is a key tool to focus on here. Using stories is a great way to be present and give timely, behind the scenes insight into your business.
As much as the content is instant the best results come from Instagram when you build an engaged community around your account. This really does take time. Don’t just ‘Post and Pray’! Engage with your followers and the people you follow. Comment on their posts and reply to their comments on your posts to build a relationship. Connect through direct messaging and use every opportunity to link back to your website – in your bio, via direct messaging and through IGTV and stories if you can.
If you haven’t yet built your own following yet on Instagram consider partnering with an influencer to boost your reach. This works particularly well with home decor products. Bear in mind that if you choose an instagrammer that also has an effective blog, your campaign also benefits from all the plus points we mentioned in the blogging section earlier.
Blogging versus Instagram: A comparison
In summary both instagram and interior design blogs are tools that you need to harness to build your visibility online. An analogy to the physical world is to compare the two media to the difference between a product flyer and a product catalogue.
A flyer like an Instagram post is an attention grabbing small piece of media with essential information on it. You may save it in a folder (like you would on Instagram) if you find it shares really valuable information. However the likelihood is that you’re going to get another of these flyers tomorrow, and the day after and then the day after that for the foreseeable future. So unless this particular flyer has a call to action that suits you, you’re probably going to recycle it pretty quickly and look forward to the next one coming along.
Meanwhile when you receive the catalogue it is full of so much invaluable information – page after page. You simply have to find a place for it in your office filing. When you need detailed product information you’ll search through the catalogue (as you do on Google to find an article). There you’ll find all the information you need about the product or service you were searching for. You’ll then replace the catalogue keeping it for as long as the product information is valid. Similarly Google will return search results to blogs for as long as the content they share is popular and relevant.
Two very different media where each benefits the other. Use Instagram to do the attention grabbing but don’t forget to back this up with more in depth content on your website with your blog. If you’re thinking it’s about time you started that blog on your website I’m here to help. Download my 5 Essential Blogging Tips for Interior Designers. If you need advice making your interior design or home decor business visible online contact me to book a consultation. Don’t forget to keep up with my latest tips, news and events by following me on instagram @fiona.mostyn and make sure you sign up to my newsletter.