I reside in the Lehigh Valley, an area that is not on the cutting edge of the design industry. Kitchen upgrades here tend to lag behind the trend-setting markets like New York and Chicago. It is not uncommon to see somewhat dated choices for a new kitchen.
Frequently, when I speak of my fondness for steam ovens, my words are met with a confused look. People ask: “What’s a steam oven?”
I have become accustomed to this response, and recognize that the public has a lot to learn. People crave the latest trends, along with innovations that save valuable space and time. But don’t assume that the homeowners in your market have the same acumen as our industry community, because in reality, they can’t and often don’t.
Manufacturers and designers returning from the 2020 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) arrive home with a plethora of information ready to be shared with the public. KBIS boasts over 600 manufacturers that present a wealth of products to the kitchen and bath industry. Each year, the latest products are showcased at KBIS to an eager crowd of 100,000 people scouring over 400,000 net square feet of show floor space.
Those of you attending will return from the show with inspirational collaterals that can be utilized in a variety of ways to expand your brand awareness, capture the attention of your target audience and reinforce your presence as an expert in your field. The collaterals are generally in three forms:
- Photography of new items, color trends, finishes and styles
- Photography and samples of items designers may consider adding to their showroom
There are clever ways to utilize this information on social media platforms to expand your brand, and garner valuable information from your viewers. Choose the right platforms, and share your newfound knowledge with the world.
Videos captured at KBIS often include demonstrations like the operation of a no-touch faucet, a celebrity endorsement or cabinet featuring inside automation. When you find a product or event worth videotaping, it typically can be used in tandem with a blog post. Lengthy clips can be cut down into digestible segments, and distributed over time, if feasible.
Facebook is a desirable platform to showcase this medium. Facebook boasts a staggering two billion viewers. A cleverly crafted post with an inspiring item can gain a huge number of views. For example, the video “Loaded Scalloped Potato Dome” by Tasty boasts over 95,000,000 views. Here are a couple of points to remember when posting videos on Facebook.
- Be certain to have permission for any person or any products shown in the video.
- Tag the manufacturers or people shown in the video; they might like to share it to their Facebook page as well. This exposes it to an additional audience you may not reach otherwise.
- Remember most people watch videos with the sound muted. Be sure to add explanatory text if it is needed to clarify the video.
- Videos uploaded directly to Facebook have a greater reach than links to YouTube videos.
- Add a “Call to Action,” which can be a simple “See it in person at my showroom.”
YouTube is the perfect medium for hosting videos that link to your website or blog. It is the second largest search engine in the world, with Google leading the pack. With that in mind, if you follow some fundamental rules, you can get your video found in Google searches as well as YouTube searches.
- Take time to think of a great title for the video.
- Write a personalized description for the video. Don’t rush to get it posted without a description that is personalized in your own words.
- Video length is not sensitive on YouTube, so don’t worry if you feel it is too long.
- Always make the video sharable; check the appropriate box in settings to ensure people can copy a link and share on social media or their website.
Instagram IGTV is the new kid on the block for video sharing and a potential competitor to YouTube. IGTV is re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels. Be the first in your field displaying curated KBIS content on this platform. Learn more about it here: https://business.instagram.com.
- Mobile first: IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen.
- Simple and intuitive: It starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search or browse to get started, and it’s easy to multitask.
- Curated: IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram.
- Anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web.
Photographs can be shared everywhere. I highlighted Instagram below as it is the first choice for photography sharing. Smartphones today have so many editing capabilities, so be sure to take a moment to edit photos taken on the show floor.
Photography should be shared on Facebook as well. You can also turn your photographs into a video slideshow for YouTube.
Instagram is the ideal place for visually appealing photography. Instagram has over 120 million users in the U.S., and 60% of them are active daily. Instagram overall appeals to a younger audience and those who use the platform are 70% more likely to buy something online than followers of other platforms. If your business has an online store, Instagram is a huge opportunity to boost your sales.
- If you have multiple photos that are related, take advantage of their carousel option to group photos together in a single post.
- Be consistent with your branding on posts. The storyboard should have a cohesive feel when visitors scroll.
- Telling your story with conversational posts is a winner on this platform.
- Establish a hashtag for your brand and use it consistently in your posts.
- Search for hashtags relevant to your individual posts and KBIS 2020, and include them in your description or comments.
- Celebrity pictures are popular on Instagram. So if you have pictures of the celebrities often endorsing products at KBIS, be sure to include them!
Use your social media audience to help develop the products you carry. It helps to humanize your brand and develop a virtual relationship with your followers. Your social media audience can serve as a test group, and they will appreciate the interaction.
Seeking input from your audience can help you decide on new showroom display items. For example, if you are torn between two new cabinet styles for your showroom, ask your audience. Your social media audience can help assist in post-show decision-making, and this will also make for a popular post.
There are many new items with slight style deviations every year: new ice machines, gas ranges, faucets and countertops. When the styling is similar, the price might be the final factor in the decision a buyer makes when choosing one over the other. Asking your social media audience which item they would buy at retail can help gauge interest and develop a further understanding of what your consumers deem important.
By using traditional platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, you can stand apart by making your posts unique to YOU. By developing a presence on newer platforms like IGTV, you become an innovator in your field. Whatever platform you choose, sharing is caring, and the public will welcome your inspiration. ▪