I am super excited to kick-start our interview series with creative entrepreneur Sarah Akwisombe. Sarah is an award-winning blogger, interior stylist, founder of No Bull Blog School and more recently the winner of EKBB influencer awards for best video content. With video content and Instagram Stories becoming more and more important for brands to communicate their message, I spoke with Sarah on how interiors companies can use these successfully to advance their business. Enjoy the interview!

First of all, huge congrats for winning the EKBB influencer awards for best video content! We understand that your Instagram Stories played a big role, do you think people prefer to consume and engage with genuine and unedited video content nowadays?

I think edited / produced video content will always have a place, undeniably. The unedited off the cuff stuff that you see on stories and snapchat is starting to replace the traditional vlog though, I think those are dying out.

How can interiors businesses take advantage of Instagram Stories to enhance their brand?

It’s about adding more storytelling to your brand. Behind the scenes of you working on it, getting a product ready, choosing a supplier, having a meeting etc. Also getting to know the real people behind a brand is what gives it more emotional meaning. I would much rather shop from a little independent where I like the owner and can see the hard work she puts into making her business great than some high street retailer. Tell people about you and the people who work for your company. Why are you doing it all?

We found that interiors companies don’t really know where to start when creating content for Stories and are sometimes worried that this doesn’t look polished or on brand, how can they overcome this?

Arrgh this whole idea of looking polished drives me crazy! There is so much worry about ‘coming across professional’ but they don’t realise that whilst doing that they are losing out to the brands who show authenticity and SOUL. Talk to people like they know them. Don’t undermine their audience or talk down to them. If you look at most successful brands or advertising campaigns over the last few years the ones that are successful are tapping into what we all need to see, realness.

Normally we advise interiors businesses to be consistent with their social media activity and to post on Instagram at least once a day to maximise results. Do you think this applies to Instagram Stories too? How often should they post on here?

I think if you can post something once a day, then great! But it’s about quality so there’s no point in putting up something dull just to fill a void.

Fashion and lifestyle brands are often ahead when it comes to Instagram marketing, which accounts and Stories do you recommend to follow for inspiration?

Well, something funny just happened. Nothing came to mind instantly, so I took a look at Instagram to see which brands I follow but it turns out I follow a lot more people / influencers than brands. And the brands I do follow can be quite dull. So that’s something to pay attention to. People follow people, not brands. It shows why influencer marketing is such a big deal.

According to Hubspot, companies must create video content if they want to broaden their reach and connect with audiences across platforms. What do you think is the best video content that interiors businesses can create to achieve this?

I guess it’s about knowing your audience and the type of questions they ask. If I was working for a sofa company for instance, then I would imagine that they might get a lot of people ask about what different sofa cushions feel like, the fabrics available, ‘will it fit through my front door?’ type questions. So answer those. Make people’s lives easier or day a bit brighter. Be useful. And if you can be both useful AND entertaining, then you’re on to a winner.

Take a look at 20 Video Content Ideas by Hubspot

We know that you have been busy with different projects this year, what are you working on right now and what do you have in store for us next year?

I’m currently writing an Instagram course as part of my online business, the No Bull Blog School. It’s going to focus on building engagement and a loyal community around you and your business rather than just getting followers. I’m also collaborating with loads of great brands, doing a lot more filming work, loads of travel. So much fun!

Huge thanks to Sarah for this interview!

If you are looking for help to grow your interiors and design brand using social media and video marketing, send us an email on hello@contrasto.co.uk or feel free to call us on 020 3633 1433.

David Del Greco