Trade Journals: Are People Still Reading Them?

As an entrepreneur who wrote the book on whatever you’re an expert in, you understand that it takes more than just writing the book and placing it on your website to make people buy it. There’s more to this book marketing thing, which leads me to this post.

I received an email the other week from an author client asking if trade journals were still being read and if they are a worthwhile media outlet to present story ideas.

My response was, “Absolutely, you should be leveraging trade journals.” Here’s why:

1.      Yes, trade journals are still being read. If they weren’t they would be discontinued, which many have. However, those that are in business and thriving have adapted to the ever-changing media landscape. These magazines aren’t just developing articles for the hardcopy magazine (out of business). The same content is being used for the online version, its blog, emails, video content, social media, etc.

These publications must remain relevant to survive. The good ones have and are continuing to adjust and serve their subscribers by providing content in multiple ways.

2.      The readers are very targeted. For example, when I did work for Masterlock’s automotive business promoting its towing products, part of the strategy was to provide articles and content to boating and hunting magazines and journals. Why? Because we knew the people reading these publications were likely towing a boat or trailer of some kind.

We provided the content, the publication published it on its various platforms.

3.      They are looking for great content, your content and your expertise. Reach out to them and ask how you can be helpful and provide content. The fact that you wrote a book on the subject brings a ton of credibility.

I recently reached out to a trade journal editor on behalf of a client (who, by the way, is not an author). By the end of a half-hour conversation I had secured an ongoing monthly column for its blog and hardcopy magazine.

It went something like this: “My client is interested in providing article content to you and your readers for your September issue, are you interested and how can we help?” His immediate response was, “We’re always looking for great content from experts. What do you have in mind?” And the conversation continued from there.

(Listen to this trade journal editor discuss why content that educates, sells, while content that sells, doesn’t)

“But isn’t that old-school marketing?” I was once challenged by a not-so-ideal potential client. Yes, if all you want is to see your name in print and pat yourself on the back.

Getting your content in these trade journals does a few things: 1) It positions you as an expert in your industry, 2) raises awareness about you and your company, and 3) provides you with credible third-party placements that are fuel to your ongoing social media and marketing efforts.

How can you go about presenting story ideas and increasing your chances of securing media opportunities with trade journals so you have this fuel?

Start by downloading the publication’s media kit. This can be found within the advertising section of its website.

Look for two main sections: 1) Demographics and 2) editorial calendar. The former will provide insight on its typical reader and either confirm or disprove the ideal audience or future customer you are trying to reach. The later will inform you about what topics the publication plans to cover and when it plans to cover them throughout the year.

With confirmation on the audience and knowledge about a topic the journal plans to cover, you’re able to have a meaningful conversation. And, of course, having the book only helps.

Just be ready when they say, “Yes, what do you have in mind?”

Is getting placements in trade journals part of your book marketing communications and PR strategy? If so, why are you, and how are you having success providing your expert content?

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