So Houzz Gave You An Award
‘Tis the season to get awards from Houzz. According to official estimates, Houzz has distributed one gazillion awards this year- and they are telling you that now is your time to plaster these awards all across your website, blog, newsletter, and social media channels.
They kindly shared with you how to help promote
them your award in the announcement email in the section entitled “How can you help promote your award?”
They sent to you a sample press release to use. And, they encouraged you to add
their advertising your award to your website promoting their site your fine work.
Following Houzz’s lead will undoubtedly support their marketing needs, but will it support yours?
Here is our professional assessment of how to handle the Houzz award situation in a way that enhances your brand and online visibility.
Best Practice on Leveraging Your Houzz Award
Ignore the press release they shared with you. To take this release and post it on your site is to give you “duplicate content”- something that Google frowns upon. Google wants to see unique content on your site, not copycat stuff.
If you want to write a press release to celebrate your award, take the time to craft it in your own words so that it supports your business, not theirs.
“Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World” is how THEIR press release begins. Does that sound like it is supportive of you? Notice the links in the press release going to them- they show you whom the press release is designed to serve.
If you want to write a press release, and it can be helpful if picked up locally, focus on your business, your accomplishments, and why you won the award. Include a quote in your words, not in the words of their Vice President of Marketing. Maybe even include a quote from a Houzz testimonial about your work. Then promote it through a press release site (try the free prlog.org or the paid prweb.com which tends to get more of their releases picked up by the media) and/or post it to your website, and send it to your local media directly. Don’t expect anyone to get excited that you are one of a gazillion designers to win a Houzz award, however there is always the slim possibility that an editor will fill space with the mention. There is a better chance that their online version will automatically pick-up on it because it came over the wire as local news.
“Place a best of houzz 2015 badge on your website” is what Houzz recommends. The issue, though, is that the badge is a link to Houzz. I’d recommend that if you want to place an image on your website announcing your award that you use an unlinked image- not their badge which links to them and props up their SEO/marketing. Or, link the image to your Houzz page but tag it is a no-follow link.
If you don’t understand the difference between using the image vs the badge, or a followed vs no-follow link, then bring this to your web designer or marketing company to set-up.
When you post something on your Facebook page keep in mind that few people actually see it. Facebook is no longer showing many company page posts. However, they tend to show posts that get more comments, especially when people comment “congrats” or “congratulations.” Facebook takes these words as indicators that the post is more interesting, timely, and relevant than the typical post. So, take advantage of this by posting the award on Facebook. Don’t, however, forget to post an image along with the award, as people tend to overlook posts that don’t have related images.
The ideal strategy for this would be to post a press release or blog post to your site that is rich in images on the projects you’ve done in 2014. Then you post the url of this page in your Facebook post. When the thumbnail auto-generates you’ll want to replace the default image by scrolling over it and clicking on “upload image.”
The image that you upload should have your most stunning image of the year along with a Best of Houzz badge image in the bottom right corner. Or, simply add a little trophy to the side of the image and say something like “2015 Award Winning Design.” This all needs to be done in graphic design software like Photoshop. If you don’t have it, try the free online version of Sumo Paint.
For example, one of my clients posted this image to their blog post on winning a Houzz award:
Notice that they added the “best of” awards to the main image in a tasteful way, that doesn’t diminish the look of the room.
Make sure that you have compelling copy in your post, as well as the title of the url and the description of it. Each Facebook post has three opportunities to write/modify the copy, and you should always do all three.
In this case I decided to post it on their behalf on one of our marketing firm’s Facebook channel Key Interior Designers. You’ll see that we wrote the post (“Congratulations to…”), the url/link title (“San Francisco Design Firm…”), and the link/url description (“Thanks to our amazing…”). We used a trackable, shortened url from Google Shortener and we deleted the url from the post text so that the image is clickable but it doesn’t clutter up our congratulations message. Oh, and of course we linked to their Facebook page in the post.
Finally, when you post it, make sure that your friends see it first (via private message, sharing, or emailing) so that you can get some quick “congrats” which will help more people see the image. And, you’ll want to promote the post locally to your target audience which cannot be done using Facebook’s “boost” function. Rather, you’ll need to go into their advertising manager called the Power Editor and run your promotion of this post in there, as it is there that you can push your news out to your target and not waste any money on people in the wrong demographics.
This screenshot shows you one of the many steps involved in using the Power Editor.
If you aren’t using the Power Editor for your Facebook promotions, if you are just “boosting” them, you are wasting money and opportunity. Boosting is guaranteed to show your post to the wrong people.
Repeat on Twitter (again- use a custom image), LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and anywhere else you have an account. Always keep the focus on your projects and successes.
To successfully execute this plan would take 2-3 hours and would include a writer, graphic designer, and someone familiar with social media advertising. The self-help approach would take twice as long and the results wouldn’t be nearly as strong.
If you don’t have a marketing team supporting your design team, you should strongly consider it. It’ll help to read this article on how interior designers can find the best marketing provider.