he content you create keeps people coming back and helps build a solid relationship with your customers. “Generating content is now more important than ever,” says Kristine Shreve, director of marketing and outreach at Applique Getaway. “We've just come off a time when learning and connecting online was almost the only way to accomplish those goals."
"People are looking online to learn from their favorite decorators or connect with companies to buy from.”
- Kristine Shreve, director of marketing and outreach at Applique Getaway
Because this is such a visual industry, most decorators know they need to create content for their social media accounts, email lists and websites, but often don’t for one of these reasons:
- They’re not sure exactly how to create great content consistently
- Lack of time to develop it
- They don’t have a person on staff, who can dedicate themselves to it
We don’t want any of those reasons keeping you from generating more business, so we’ve got a list of content ideas for you to incorporate into your entire marketing arsenal of videos, podcasts and social media.
One of the fastest-growing content areas is the video format. Why? Here are some trends that speak to this shift:
- 85% of marketers say video is an effective way to get attention online.
- Viewers say they retain 95% of a message when they consume it via video.
- A whopping 94% of video marketers say video has helped increase their customers’ understanding of their product or service.
- More than 70% of viewers say YouTube makes them aware of new brands.
There’s no denying that video is uber-important when it comes to marketing. And there’s little reason not to create videos. Previously, it was impractical as video cameras and equipment were expensive.
But now, you can make a great video for free with your smartphone. Even better, video-editing software is a lot more affordable or even free in some cases. Premium and pro versions of software like Canva or FlexClip are affordable if you want to properly edit quality videos. If you’re looking for prime examples what you can do, check out these examples for some video inspiration.
Blow their mind
Videos can be as simple as just showing off cool effects you can create for customers like Rowboat Creative did here with UV reactive inks:
STAHLS' has a seemingly endless collection of how-to videos on its YouTube channel. One of their most watched videos is on "how to start a tshirt business from home," because it's such a highly searched topic. Think about how you can reach out to new customers with videos they'll be searching online for.
The Oklahoma Shirt Company created a video for IGTV showing viewers what their company was all about, and added some personality to it, by including a little humor too. This really helps viewers connect to the shop in a more personal way.
Record videos your customers want to watch
Figuring out what you should start taking videos of might be the hardest part about getting started. One approach you can take is thinking about what you get asked most by clients and then, answer those questions in video.
Creating a welcome video for new corporate accounts that help them learn how to easily place an order with your shop, is another angle you take. Educate about what kind of artwork prints best and why you can’t always fulfill a last-last-minute order. These FAQ-type videos educate your new customers, so they’ll know how to get the best bang for their branding buck working with you. The video below is a great example of how you can use video to help customers understand your shop's process.
If you wish customers knew more about the different types of decorating methods you provide, record a how-to video showing how you can screen print the same design five different ways. These are aspects of printing you know, but your customers have no clue about. While your clients don’t want to be decorating experts, they’ll be interested in what it takes to complete their order. And because of this, you’ll also transform into their authority figure for all things decorated apparel.
Practice makes perfect
“If you’re starting out, you’ll figure out what resonates with your audience,” says Alison Banholzer, owner of Wear Your Spirit Warehouse. “But if you don't start shooting videos, you’ll never learn.”
Shreve suggests building a “mini-set” with good lighting to showcase your work and brand. “While scripts might make you more comfortable, viewers won’t enjoy watching you read on camera,” she says. “Instead, make bulleted notes to ad lib from.” You can record video takes first and review any mannerisms (if you keep touching your hair) or vocal tics (a lot of “umms”).
Tip: Turn your video script into a blog, or vice versa. “The more juice you can get from one piece of content, the better,” Shreve says.
Don’t forget the power of testimonials
Asking your best customers to record testimonial videos can bring in lots of customers the same way positive reviews on Yelp help you. For instance, 79% of consumers have said they’ve watched video testimonials of a product or company they’re interested in. Plus, two-thirds of consumers say video testimonials make them more likely to purchase a product.
“During our sales process, we ask our customers if we can film, post and tag them on social media,” Banholzer says. “It’s great because 95% say yes, since it also provides them with content and a wider audience.”
Podcasts come in many different forms and are virtually unlimited in terms of content. Don’t believe us? Check out the Spotify or Apple Podcast lists and you’ll find some really unusual stuff (like Spycast for espionage lovers or The Infinite Monkey Cage for those who can’t get enough of weird science).
"Having your own show allows you to build a brand that’s about you. When you're the host and not the guest, you also have the ability to direct the conversation and talk about what appeals or seems important to you."
- Kristine Shreve, director of marketing and outreach at Applique Getaway
But it’s also unlimited in how often (or not) you record and which format you choose to create. A great example of this (again) is Ricoma’s YouTube channel where the team promotes videos as podcasts. Shreve also hosts her own video podcast interview series, Women + Business, where she interviews decorator women business owners and men who are allies.
“There’s power in podcasting for decorators,” Shreve says. “First, customers and colleagues like to see and get to know you, and appearing on a video format makes that happen. Having your own show allows you to build a brand that’s about you. When you're the host and not the guest, you also have the ability to direct the conversation and talk about what appeals or seems important to you. Once the show becomes more popular, you’ll develop loyal listeners who show up every week and help spread your ideas and passions to a wider audience.”
However, keep in mind that starting and maintaining a successful show is work. “You have to consistently appear every week, and choose and research topics and recruit guests,” Shreve says. “Doing a quality show is a commitment, but the rewards are worth the time.”
And just like videos, or video podcasts, you’ll find repurposing content from these two mediums to be easy. By taking the time to create one video or podcast, you can create a multitude of content for your website, newsletter, ads and social media.
Include audiograms in your podcast promo plan
Another part of the podcast trend is something new—audiograms. These are even easier to make than video podcasts while still providing a visual component to your content.
With an audiogram, you take a segment from your podcast and pair it with a single photograph that’s relevant to the discussion. For instance, if you’re introducing a new product to your collection, you could take a single picture of the shirt and pair it with an excerpt from your podcast where you describe the product or decoration features.
Research shows that audiograms outperform non-audiogram social media posts. On Twitter, the engagement rate for audiograms is eight times higher. On Facebook, these posts outperform their non-audio counterparts by as much as 83 percent.
Audiograms are perfect for social sharing
Audiograms stop people in mid-scroll to listen. Of course, they’ll only get to listen to a snippet of your podcast episode, which means they’ll need to click on the link you provided to catch the full episode. Once this happens, you’ve got yourself a potential podcast fan, so congrats!
Thankfully, audiograms are relatively easy to create. You don’t need to be a tech wizard. Two great tools that you can use to help you out with this include Wavve and Headliner.
While Facebook still reigns supreme with worldwide social media users, there are now even more ways for people to connect. The six most popular platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat. When you take the six top platforms, there are over 1 billion people active every month. From a marketing perspective, that means a lot of potential customers!
“So far, we’ve brought in more than $50,000 in revenue from contacts we’ve met on Clubhouse.”
- Alison Banholzer, owner of Wear Your Spirit Warehouse
Do you need to be on each one and be active? No. Not every social app is geared toward your specific audience. In addition, you need to determine which social apps you like and want to use. Once you attract your tribe of customers who want to buy what you’re selling, you need to consistently show up on the platform with engaging content.
Instagram + Pinterest are decorators’ dream social media platforms
If you’re wondering which platform to commit to, we’d highly recommend Instagram. It’s a favorite of decorators, as it’s very visual and allows you to sell right off your page. (Learn the many ways Instagram wants you to thrive on its app.)
With IGTV for longer-form video content, photos of orders you’re proud of on your page, and the ability to tag, you have a ton of ways to create original posts while also repurposing your content right on this one platform.
One thing decorators need to remember about Instagram is that it’s photo and hashtag driven. “Quality photos that interest people are a must,” Shreve says. “Don't post photo after photo of your decorated garments against a white background. Stage garments or hard goods in different settings, and get lifestyle shots to provide visual interest. Vary your hashtags so you reach different audiences.”
Tip: If you’re trying to connect to buyers on Instagram, set up a business account. “It's a simple step, but many decorators neglect it,” Shreve says.
Pinterest is another platform to check out, because it’s aspirational and people save items they want to buy in the future. “Decorators can create boards that show what they can do for certain events like bachelorette parties, weddings or baby showers, or with certain decoration techniques,” Shreve says. “You can showcase ideas or your work without having to do a lookbook or display wall.”
Take a look at Clubhouse
If you haven’t checked out social audio app Clubhouse where users communicate in audio chat rooms that accommodate groups of thousands of people, it’s time. The app hosts live conversations for users, with voice and listening capabilities.
“So far, we’ve brought in more than $50,000 in revenue from contacts we’ve met on Clubhouse,” Banholzer says. “The platform is now open to everyone and it’s going to start getting crowded. Be an early adopter, sit back and listen, and then develop your strategy for connecting.”
Banholzer recommends exploring the platform, and finding rooms where your target audience hangs out. “Connect with people and then drive them to your Instagram account, where you can show them your capabilities,” she says.