Are Magazine Ads a Good Investment for Home Builders?

Home Builder Magazine Print Ad

Have you ever wondered if magazine print ads are a good investment for your home building, remodeling, or interior design business? If magazine ads are part of your current marketing strategy, have been in the past, or are in your 2019 plans, then this blog is for you!

We get asked about the effectiveness of magazine ads a lot by our clients. Right now, we have a couple of home builder clients and one interior design client running print ads for the coming year. Each of these clients asked us if they should keep their same magazine print schedule, decrease it slightly, or get rid of it altogether.

This blog post will give you a glimpse into our typical conversations about ads, and our thoughts on print ad effectiveness in general.

First off, we tell our clients branding magazine print ads are like icing on the cake. They’ll only benefit your business if you have your other marketing bases covered first.

Let’s say you have your basic marketing items covered – a strong brand image, an updated website, basic social media, signage, customer touch points in place. Then and only then, do we think magazine ads are a smart idea.

The positive: magazine ads can enhance your overall brand by enhancing your credibility with the reader.

So, what questions should you ask yourself when deciding whether to invest your marketing dollars in print ads?

  1. Does your budget allow for ads? Do you have money to spend beyond the basics?

  2. Is there a magazine that reaches your target market and has the statistics to prove it?

  3. Do you have a powerful, standout brand image that will look good in print? To be effective, ads need to look professional and be a good representation of your brand. A poorly designed ad can negatively affect your business. Tip: don’t let the publication design the ad for you, hire an experienced graphic designer! Their designers are usually pretty junior and don't know your brand.

  4. Do you have co-op dollars that would help offset the cost?

  5. Have you gotten leads from past magazine ads?

  6. Does the print publication offer any special PR features for advertising with them?

  7. What’s the optimal number of print ads for your business? Do you get a price break for a specific amount that makes it more cost-effective?

Print Advertising for Home Builders

Use the checklist below if you plan to invest in print magazine ads:

  1. To be the most effective, keep your print ads local.

  2. Choose credible publications with a large reach and your target market.

  3. Negotiate with the sales representative: get the best placement possible (back inside cover, close to the front, etc.), ask for price breaks, and request any extra advertising opportunities they can include.

  4. Hire a professional graphic designer to create a print ad with a clear, simple message.

Client Magazine Ad Strategy Example #1

One of our clients has a strong presence in three local publications for the coming year. They run full-page ads with good placement. Together, we decided next year they should continue to be present, as stopping ads could signal a negative message to their potential clients. However, they will be cutting back slightly on the number of ads and investing more money in video. They will also continue to use their co-op dollars to offset the full cost.

Client Magazine Ad Strategy Example #2

Our second clients decided print ads are no longer effective enough for them. They’ve been running half-page ads in two local magazines. In the past, print has helped them grow, but their target market has changed slightly, and it isn’t anymore. Instead, they’re going to invest the saved funds into enhancing their website and search engine optimization.

We hope this blog has given you a few pieces of helpful information as you decide if magazine ads are a good investment for your company. Remember, we’re always here if you need additional help or assistance designing. Happy marketing planning!

StephanieG