Influencer Marketing & Home Furnishings

A win/win for buyers and sellers

Opinion leaders have influenced business activity for centuries but only recently has it risen out of the shadows in the form of lucrative Influencer Marketing campaigns. Today, the power of one person sharing authentic on- or offline enthusiasm for products or services has disrupted home furnishings marketing; leveraging earned influence between design pros, luxury consumers, and brands.

Brands in all industries embraced Influencer Marketing across multiple platforms during 2020 at a rate of $10 billion. To put that in perspective, last year’s spending on Influencer Marketing was equivalent to 50% of Instagram’s total reported 2019 advertising revenue.

In the home furnishings world, most influencers (design professionals and design enthusiasts) remain unaware of the full value of their influence, leaving dollars, free product, and their own branded lines on the cutting room floor. Early on, celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake seemed like the most effective influencers to work with because they had large followings. Experience now proves Micro and Nano influencers with Instagram followings in the 1K-10K range are more influential than high profile celebrities when collaborating with brands in vertical niches (like home décor). They remain closer to their followers while appearing more authentic and knowledgeable about the home products and services they share content about. That leaves most design pros in the enviable position of having something of real value to offer home décor brands. It also gives those brands a giant well of opportunity and influencers to select from.

Even the most respected and venerable design print media are shifting their value propositions away from providing brands with channels to reach large audiences to identifying important and influential design pros by publishing their projects. These magazine companies are also starting to bring the right design pros together with interested brands via digital and live events. The real marketing work now happens between the design professional’s social content and their followers, collaborated on and planned out in advance in ways that benefit the brand while feeling highly authentic to the influencer’s followers.

Every year, at the Design Influencers Conference, influencers and brands initiate relationships by sharing their contact information and needs and abilities on sticky notes posted to a white board. At the forefront of print media’s changing value proposition, Esteem Media, which got its start with traditional magazines like New England Home, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Mountain Living, and others, is the producer of this conference.

Designers and home décor makers, sellers, and brands now openly collaborate in ways that result in authentically enthusiastic content where the brand, influencer, and the influencer’s followers all win. It’s a powerful formula since consumers seem to prefer taking recommendations from people they follow rather than a brand’s salesforce or marketing campaigns.

Two of the earliest high profile home décor Influencer Marketing initiatives continue twice each year at the Spring and Fall High Point Markets. The Style Spotters program, where selected influential design professionals identify products that catch their eye and share those selections on their social channels, remains highly beneficial to both the Spotters and the brands they choose to highlight. Also, the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour brings 10 design bloggers to every Market where they visit more than a dozen sponsoring showrooms, and create content they deem worthy of sharing with their followers. Though the pandemic forced us to suspend this highly successful program shortly after the 2020 team was recruited, we expect to have it back up and running just as soon as conditions allow.

Mostly though, Influencer Marketing in the home furnishings industry starts with face to face relationship building between design and brand professionals. At every High Point Market, exhibitors and showrooms remain eager to meet new design pros who can specify their products and, sometimes even more importantly, influence their online and offline friends to do the same. High Point Market was an early and dedicated supporter of influencer marketing, creating uniquely well thought out programs and sponsoring the Design Influencers Conference to activate influencers for mutual benefit and overall industry prosperity.

If you are a design professional who is interested in expanding into influencer marketing, finding the brands that inspire authentic enthusiasm in you is the hardest and most important task. High Point Market, with its vast array of exhibitors, is one of the best places to start your search.

About Esteem Media

We believe commerce can be maximized in luxury businesses by creating and sharing content that adds value to online and offline business networks. Esteem Media is home to leading national and local media brands in the luxury home design, fine wine, and content marketing education; focused on connecting professionals and consumers around their passions and businesses.