Essential Marketing for Florists

Social Media Campaign Shares Ideas, Puts Designers in the Spotlight

You ought to be in pictures — well, advertisements.

That’s the message Smithers-Oasis North America, a manufacturer of floral foam products, adhesives, decorative wire, bouquet holders, and other accessories, wants to send floral designers.

Since January 2016, the company has run a social media contest seeking prospective designs and florists to feature in its magazine ads.

Through Facebook, Smithers-Oasis created the “INSPIRE Floral Design Showcase,” where florists can submit extraordinary designs that could appear in gorgeous print ads for Floral Management, Florist’s Review, Flowers&, AIFD Focal Points, and Canadian Florist.

 

The INSPIRE Floral Design Showcase is broken into categories that include seasonal celebrations, holidays, and important life events such as prom, weddings, and funerals. Florists can post designs that incorporate Oasis floral products.

 

 

Along with exposure in the industry’s top print publications, the winners’ designs are recreated by a member of the Smithers-Oasis design team and broken into step-by-step instructions in the “ideas” section of the company’s website, where any designer who needs a jolt of inspiration can access them. Design Director Sharon McGukin, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, also discusses them in the Smithers-Oasis blog

Garrett Skupinski from St. Louis, Missouri won the prom design contest.

Marketing Programs/Communications Manager Kelly Mace said the campaign’s objective is, as the name implies, “to inspire.”

“It’s amazing seeing all the new ways florists use our products,” she said. “We’ve seen amazingly creative applications of some products that have been around a long time. For instance, we had one florist use our sculpting sheet to make a pave design with candles for Valentine’s Day. It was so striking and so different from the tall vases you typically see for the holiday.”

 

Additionally, Smithers-Oasis wanted to encourage its customers to teach one another and to take pride in their originality.

“I think it’s a real confidence booster,” Mace said. “For florists on the fence about testing for AIFD or state certifications, or entering design competitions, this can give them the nudge to go for it. We absolutely love to see winners share their ads and blog posts on Facebook and watch the compliments from their customers and peers pour in.”

an outtake from Garrett Skupinski’s photo shoot

In every ad, Smithers-Oasis tries to recreate the backroom look. “We want it to look like they’re in the act of creating the design. You can tell it’s not completely finished,” Mace said. “This is intentional to draw readers onto the website to see how the story ends.”

Smithers-Oasis has a panel of judges evaluate the photos. Although the company requests high-resolution entries, the caliber of photography does not dictate who wins, as he or she will have a professional shoot.

Garrett Skupinski’s completed ad

Want to be the next Oasis super star? Submit your designs at https://oasisfloralproducts.com/Ideas/2017-inspire-floral-design-showcase/.

 

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