When readers — your prospective customers — see an article of yours published in a respected trade publication, they automatically attribute to your business many of the qualities that make that publication a trusted resource. Credibility, expertise, authority. Readers associate those characteristics with your company. They see you as an important industry player with a meaningful and valuable perspective.
The benefits of getting an article placed in a great trade pub are numerous, and often obvious. What’s not so obvious, however, is how to go about getting that placement. We’ve helped a wide variety of businesses to get their stories placed. The following tips and techniques — our secrets to article placement — can help you get the attention that your business and products deserve.
Secret No. 1: Know the Rules
Trade publications typically accept unpaid content (as opposed to a paid “advertorial”) that can help readers to solve specific problems or overcome key challenges. Any article that comes across as a sales pitch will likely be dismissed out of hand. Magazines and their editors tend to be very clear about their requirements, and they may even offer a series of guidelines to help you craft and submit an acceptable piece.
Secret No. 2: Be Prepared to Be Patient
Few if any trade publications will guarantee when your contributed article will run. (Agreeing to run an article is a far cry from guaranteeing placement in a particular issue!) Publication can be delayed for any number of reasons ranging from subject matter to number of articles in the queue to a shortage of internal editorial resources. If you really feel your company needs exposure at a particular time or in association with a specific topic, you might want to consider investing in selective advertising.
Secret No. 3: Offer Exclusivity
Most trade publications will expect you to provide an article — or even a story — that has never been published. Not in other publications, and not on your corporate website. Exclusivity is a key selling point. If you have a compelling story to tell or interesting perspective to share, think first about offering it to a trade pub. Down the road, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of the contributed article than you would have from a press release or blog post on the same subject. Ask the editor what your limitations will be in terms of repurposing the story for your website or as sales collateral.
Secret No. 4: Educate and Inform
If your prospective customers want information on the products and services you offer, they should be able to find all that on your website. Your customers know this, and trade publications know this. An article written for the trade press therefore must go beyond the technical specifications of specific products within your portfolio. It could give the reader new insights into new technologies and techniques — explain them, their target applications, and their potential to transform workflows or even the industry as a whole. Alternatively, your article could address new business models and provide an informed perspective on where the industry is going. In any case, you must educate and inform.
Secret No. 5: Provide Awesome Images
No story will be considered for a feature if it isn’t accompanied by great images. Even smaller articles should be submitted along with complementary and engaging visuals. Talk with the magazine editor about requirements and preferences. In come cases, the publication’s design team will take an existing technical diagram or graphic and recreate it with a look and feel that conforms to the magazine’s visual style. In rare instances, the magazine might send a photographer to capture images of an install or facility. More often, however, it will be up to you to submit professional-quality images that will capture the reader’s attention and draw them into the story.
You can download the full article: How to Get Your Article Placed In The Best Trade Magazines here