In the home furnishing industry, a business without a disciplined and thorough marketing plan doesn’t stand much of a chance of surviving. Great furniture alone, it turns out, does not equal success. In this industry, a marketing strategy is critical for standing out in the crowd, whether you’re selling antique furniture or mid-century modern. Many who are looking to purchase furniture pieces consider the acquisition as an investment they’ll be looking to feature in their home for some time, and as a result, many businesses seek to capitalize on the weight of this decision making process.

With so many quality brands in the industry jockeying for a foothold, those that end up converting the most sales usually have a keen understanding of sales being akin to an investment for their customers. Converting sales in the furniture industry is virtually impossible without a marketing strategy. Consider this article a blueprint to the basics of building a marketing strategy for your furniture business. In it, we’ll highlight four key things that you must do to win business in a highly competitive industry. Together, we’ll explore how to gain a better understanding of your customers and potential customers, traditional and new marketing methods, the importance of having a solid website, and how to build your brand through connecting with customers and potential customers through social media.

Identifying your Target Audience
Most entrepreneurs and small business owners would be thrilled to sell their furniture to anyone willing to pay the sticker price, but the reality is that not everyone will love your furniture, and winning business will only be possible for a certain group of people. If you can identify who those people are – known as your target audience – the odds are that you’ll be able to bolster your sales as a result. Traditionally, there are two ways you can do this – both of which entail market research.

Customers, it’s important to remember, are people, and people often act similarly to some percentage of people who share characteristics or interests with them. Gaining an understanding of who your customers are is as simple as conducting surveys, either in-person or online. Demographic information such as age, race, gender, occupation, average income, and personal information such as hobbies and interests, can all help you identify trends among your customers.

This information will be useful in refining your marketing strategy and zooming in on the places your customers are likely to congregate, in addition to helping your tune your messaging to your target audience. If you’ve got the budget for it, a furniture consultant could be a reliable option to increase your overall marketing strategy, and specifically with gaining a better understanding of who your customers are. Outsourcing your market research to a furniture consultant will allow you to reallocate your time elsewhere and put your marketing strategy in the hands of an experienced professional

Hit the Marketing Channels
In our interconnected world, it might be tempting to focus all of your marketing energy solely online. Much of it should, of course (we’ll get to that in a minute), but you also should market your furniture business in as many places as possible. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster. Diversifying your marketing strategy across as many different channels as possible is essential. If you’re a local business, meeting your customers in their natural environment is always a great idea, and can lead to a lot more success than you’d think. These methods include billboards, newspaper and local radio advertisements, integrated advertisements on buses, benches, and everything in between, etc.

Though most of your budget should be saved for digital advertising, local advertising shouldn’t be overlooked. Using the demographic information you’ve uncovered through surveying your customers or bringing on a furniture consultant, integrating advertising through the digital landscape will be significantly easier. With a better understanding of their habits, such as the websites they frequent and the podcasts or radio shows they listen to, being able to meet your target audience in their natural environment will lead to more sales. More advanced strategies such as affiliate marketing – where you place ads for your product on websites your target audience frequents, and give those websites a commission for aiding in the generation of sales – has been shown to have dramatic success if implemented efficiently.

Invest in your Website
All roads lead back to your website. Think of it as a central hub for your business, the heart of where most of your transactions are likely to take place. There are dozens of different hosting sites to build and customize your website – both free versions and for small pricing packages – and taking the time necessary to improve it is an absolute necessity. The proof lies in what you feel anytime you visit a substandard website. What comes to mind when you visit a website with a clunky functionality, confusing layout, and unattractive color schemes and design? Unprofessionallity, for one, and it certainly also conveys a sense of sketchiness. Would you buy even the most beautiful antique furniture from a website like that? While you can also task the development of a beautiful website to an external team, any of the websites available for doing it on your own provide as many features and nuances as you could imagine. It might take some time, but your furniture website won’t survive without a beautiful website.

Up your Social Media Game
Lastly, there is no better way to market yourself and your business than on social media. Having a social media presence across multiple platforms gives you a way to build community and make connections with your customers in unparalleled ways. Maintaining an active presence on social media will help build brand recognition and also bonds between your furniture business and those whose business you hope to win and retain. Social media marketing is also free – unless you’re buying advertisements or influencers – and gives you a responsive and easy to use way to connect with your target audience. .