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The Power Behind the Page Turner

There’s nothing quite like getting a fresh, crisp issue of your favorite magazine in the mail. Whether it’s for personal enjoyment or professional education, readers look forward to spending time flipping through the pages of carefully curated content.

Magazines have the ability to transport readers out of their homes or businesses and into stories, interviews and images of topics they are truly passionate about. Today, magazines are also good, mask-free company after a year of digital fatigue.

Here are a few reasons why magazines are resonating with retailers in the home improvement channel today. 


The Impact of Magazines on Retailers

To independent home improvement retailers, magazines fill a void that has been lacking for a full calendar year…new product discovery. 

In 2020, the majority of retailers in the home improvement channel saw tremendous sales growth as they met the needs of their local communities, but they missed out on in-person sales calls from vendors and live trade shows where they would traditionally scour the aisles for new products and trends that help them stay relevant.

Now these retailers are using that extra cash from 2020 sales to stock up on inventory, reevaluate their product mix and dip their toes into new niches and product offerings. And you better believe that trade magazines are one of the ways they gather new ideas.

Additionally, these readers are eager to connect with other retailers and hear about what’s working and not working in their businesses. Without in-person events like trade shows, conferences and roundtables, these conversations have shifted into Zoom calls or have been lost altogether. Trade magazines offer a sense of connection and community by sharing the stories of successful retailers who are managing their businesses across the country.


Does Print Advertising Translate into Sales?

While it’s a common conversation in strategy meetings, print advertising doesn’t deliver the immediate metrics that digital ads offer, but it does deliver valuable impressions to real audiences from a trusted source. In a recent readership study, we asked Hardware Retailing magazine subscribers a few questions about the impact of print advertising, and here are a few of the results from their responses.

  • 95% of readers said they read the ads.
  • 94% of readers said they saw a product advertised in the magazine that prompted them to seek more information.
  • 72% of readers said they added a product they first saw advertised in the magazine.

Source: Hardware Retailing Readership Survey—2020


Increasing Brand Awareness in Print

Depending on your specific marketing objectives, there are several ways to integrate magazine advertising into your strategy. With every issue loaded with content from cover to cover, the entire publication offers unique opportunities. Discover some of the options print advertising presents for building brand awareness below.

  • Belly Bands – These showstopping ads are literally a gateway between readers and their copy of the magazine. Belly bands wrap the entire magazine, forcing readers to interact with the ad before gaining entry to the issue.
  • Advertorials – These ads allow you to seamlessly share your story with the rest of the issue’s feature stories. Advertorials are sponsored stories that give advertisers the opportunity to tell a story or create an experience to engage with readers beyond a traditional ad format. Successful advertorials in trade publications often answer questions such as, how do we support the channel, how can we help you sell our product, why are we the leader in our category, who are customers that have had success with selling our product and more.
  • Premium Placement – Every magazine has popular sections, and it’s not always just the first few pages of each issue. Placing your ad in one of these areas can ensure maximum exposure to your brand. Talk to your sales rep to learn which sections of the magazine you’re interested in that are popular with readers.
  • Covers – Magazines place a premium on cover pages (back cover, inside front cover and inside back cover) because they have high visibility. Most publications use a heavier weight and a premium paper quality on these pages, which draws more attention and makes colors and content pop.

In conclusion, magazines remain a popular source of entertainment and education for readers. Trade magazines even more so because they serve as new product and idea generation for retailers who haven’t been able to gather new ideas through their usual avenues. If you are looking for ways to increase your brand reach or remind retailers why your products should be on their shelves, consider adding print advertising into your cross-platform marketing strategy.

Author avatar

Whitney Daulton

Whitney has spent more than a decade at NHPA, beginning as a graphic designer fresh out of college, then moved into art and creative direction before landing her current role as Executive Director of Marketing and Communications. She is passionate about building content and tools to help independent retailers succeed. She is instrumental in helping the association build strategies and brand awareness behind its products and services.

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