Your company may already be taking advantage of the opportunities offered in the print and digital pages of the trade press. If you are using this vehicle to drive your company’s sales and growth, you are building your company’s thought-leader position along with its image as a problem-solver and innovator.
Although B2B marketing communications have become increasingly focused on digital communication such as social media and blogs, your company can reach tens of thousands of readers through the trade press, which is much more than most companies can reach through digital communications alone.
All trade press editorial is, after all, content. Here is how you can make it work harder for your B2B marketing program.
First, Think Strategically
We previously talked about the importance of editorial calendars for assembling your B2B trade press strategy.
Based on what you see coming up for the year in the trade press, determine which editorial topics will support and align with your marketing efforts. Coming out with a new product? Entering into a different market? Picking up on a trend? Determine how the year’s features will give you an opportunity to talk about these issues.
Target those trade press magazines that support these activities. Set off three to four months before publication and go after as many magazines as your time resource allows.
B2B Articles As Flagship Content
You have limited opportunities to build awareness among your prospects and, fortunately, the advent of digital provides additional capabilities to do so. Nevertheless, use the themes in your trade press articles as part of your overall digital editorial calendar.
Bear in mind, the beauty of digital is that your course for the year is not set in stone; you have the option of posting or tweeting should a hot issue arise. But whenever possible, you can play off the flagship content to maximize the awareness of your audience when it comes to your target topic.
Feed the Platforms
Once an article appears online, launch the link on social media to build out the audience even further. If possible, schedule multiple tweets on Twitter given the short shelf life on this platform. Appearing in print carries some weight in the minds of many, and appearing in the trade press can enhance your expertise when you go on social media.
To get more miles out of these 800 plus word articles, the content could be serialized on your blog. Recalibrate the tone of the article to be more conversational on social media and work in personalized stories about how your company has dealt with the featured topic.
The article can also go beyond print. Develop it into a series of podcasts and translate the article’s content into an infographic. Think of producing a YouTube video around the topic.
Certainly if you are producing a company newsletter for your prospects and current customers, feature the article once it is hot off the press. Be sure to feature this content in the employee newsletter. Your employees may find it informative, and it also builds a sense of pride and loyalty in your company.
Hit the Field
In the age-old search for linkage between sales and marketing, trade press articles can be great resources in the sales tool kit. These pieces make very effective door openers (“Did you see our article last month on motion control in Plant Engineering…”) and can serve as leave-behinds after a call or can help make the case on the follow-up email.
Mix It Up
Thanks to the scope of great choices that technology now offers to reach our markets, there are more ways than ever to deliver content. Though B2B circulation has fallen off in the past few years, trade magazines still provide access to a very large audience that most companies cannot reach through their own social media platforms.
Given the extent of this reach and the regard that existing audiences have for the magazines they read, your trade press articles can provide a solid foundation for everything else you do in social media.
Posted by Keith Schmitz
Keith Schmitz has a long-time career involved with getting his clients written up in scores of trade publications. Along with developing insightful content, Keith has walked acres of plant floors and job sites in pursuit of interesting client stories. For ideas on how to position your company in the trade press, he can be reached by clicking @krpr_inc.