Written by Hoozu CEO, Natalie Giddings.
It has certainly been a wild and exciting ride of late, but something seriously stopped me in my tracks not long ago. Something that has actually affected me on quite a personal level: An Aussie magazine I’ve loved for years, finally announced its final, printed edition.
Real Living was a source of approachable, inexpensive, interior inspiration, and I purchased every edition religiously for 10+ years (intermittently even before that). Real Living has driven much of the look and feel of the house I call home – it has genuinely impacted my life for over a decade. For it to be ending its physical publication truly feels like the end of an era.
If I am to be totally honest, I actually feel a little guilty for the part we have potentially played in Real Living’s retirement. We frequently work on home and interior content in our influencer programs. Seeing the immense impact these digital talent can have within the home space, and as reading customers begin engaging more so online, brands have been cutting their print marketing spend to direct more towards Influencer and Social.
Physical, static magazines which are relatively aspirational with their surface-level, beautiful imagery simply cannot compete with the dynamism of home-influencers. These creators provide persistent, engaging, approachable and inspirational content that really show their followers how-to recreate at home. Not to mention the trending, in-real-time nature of social media – allowing them to connect with their audiences in ways physical magazines have never been able to, due to strict scheduling.
Somewhat ironically, Real Living’s final edition featured one-such content creator; Jaharn Quinn of @smorhome. We work with Jaharn regularly on home and interior campaigns, and she truly is a star. Her DIY content hits reach numbers magazines like Real Living can only dream of. For example, late last year she posted a DIY Christmas Tree project in partnership with Ryobi – the content hit a total reach of 20.1million across Instagram and TikTok. Engagement didn’t drop as a result either, as her average Engagement Rate sits at 6%. These numbers were likely achieved due to three factors: an out-of-the-box, trendy idea; the popularity of DIY in a recession; and Jaharn’s fantastic ability to show her audience how-to recreate the Christmas tree at home.
There is a sense that Real Living have accepted today’s change in content-consumption and, by featuring Jaharn in their final magazine, are essentially passing on the baton to this newer wave of media.
It is worth noting that inspiration imagery still absolutely has its place – though that too is online, and should be combined with dynamic video to an extent. We can see this in the continued popularity of Pinterest. Real Living has not met its demise, rather it has morphed with the times, becoming Homes To Love – an online publication and social media account.
So, whilst Real Living has passed on its blessing to our new media industry, and whilst I have such a love, excitement and passion for the influencer space, I do feel melancholic around this end of an era. I will miss the physical feel and weight of the magazines in my hands each month. But hey, I’ll have my stash of copies from the past 10+ years to reread whenever that craving comes up! Printed mags are the ancestors of our content creators today, and for the influence they have had, we should always be grateful.
If you’re keen to explore how this newer wave of media can seriously impact your brand growth, get in touch with us today.