Is Trade Publication Advertising Dead? Six Steps to Breath New Life Into Your Print Media Marketing!

Is advertising in an industry trade publication or magazine, a waste of marketing dollars? Should B2B marketing strategy totally abandon print media in the future? The answer is a Big Fat No! Industry and niche market print trade publication marketing can be a huge opportunity to capture new prospects by utilizing the internet and harnessing the power of social media marketing.

The opportunity and challenge is changing how you “the advertiser” utilize trade magazine advertising to drive traffic and capture leads, not just promote yourself or create brand recognition.

Lets face it. The days of using a trade magazine to show off your company or new product to your market or industry is over, but the vehicle to attract new contacts, prospects and customers is not dead.

Look, we all know that newspapers, magazines and trade publications are getting thinner and thinner as advertisers turn away from them to invest their dwindling marketing dollars into other advertising mediums during these tough economic competitive times that many companies face. Where some see this as the end of print media and time to join the masses and jump ship, I see the glass more than half full and it as a great opportunity to stand out and create new untapped ideas to generate velocity for my marketing efforts.

To me a thinner trade magazine means that there is a better chance of my ad being found and noticed by my target customer and if I leverage this opportunity effectively it can open up new opportunities to create prospects for my sales team to capitalize on.

1. Identify Your Target
I am not talking about a target industry or a target market. I am talking about a target prospect that your marketing is going to be directed at, in an effort to capture them. You have to narrow your focus and target your efforts, to be effective. Being all things to all people will not work.

As part of my research I grabbed and flipped through any trade publications, market specific magazines and specialty niche magazine I could get my hands on. What jumped out at me was most major ads promoted a company, a brand or a specific product, but few went after the target prospect directly. You need to identify “who is my target prospect”? It is only then that a targeted PrintEnet Marketing Campaign will be successful

2. Select the Right Trade Magazines
This seems so simple, but it is a classic mistake by so many advertisers. People advertise in publications that they read, is relevant to their business and that their competition advertise in, which is not necessarily the ones that their target prospects and customers read.

Now that you have identified you target, just do the research. A quick call to any good advertising sales executive will give you all the demographics you are going to need to identify which trade publications are going to give you the best chance to reach out to and capture your target.

3. Your Ad Must Be a “Call To Action”
If you place an advertisement in a trade publication of niche magazine and your call to action is “for more information call 1-800-FAT-CHANCE”, then you are wasting your advertising dollars on print media. To make matters worse, if some one does actually call, how many sales executives are sitting at their desk waiting for those calls? Because if they do call, it will a momentary and spontaneous response to the ad. The reality in most cases is that the caller is either going to get a recording to leave their name and number or talk to someone in a call center. Neither will create real velocity and most will end right their, with nothing to show for, but a lost opportunity.

Your goal must be to design an ad that is going to direct and motivate your target to follow up by going to a simple (keyword rich) web address that will give your target free knowledge and information that will bring them value. Remember, you are targeting a specific prospect, so know what they want, need and offer it to them in a powerful way to generate an emotional response to action. You are asking them to take action, so the motivation has to be meaningful and targeted.

4. The “Squeeze Page”
Just as useless as suggesting that a target call a number for more information, is to give them your corporate website to learn more. More than 90% of static corporate or product specific website homepages are no more than a glorified yellow pages ad. That is like going fishing by tying bait to your line, forgetting to ad a hook and hoping they will just jump into your boat. Your sales team is going to starve!

You are not sending them to the homepage of your corporate website, white paper or marketing literature of the information you have enticed them with. You are sending them to a custom “squeeze page” developed to compliment your print ad that will:

Have s similar look and theme to your print ad to maintain theme continuity
Be half the size of a normal page (length), keeping key information above the fold.
Use video and images to enhance the page.
Highlight the value that your products, services and company bring to your target.
Include a registration form to capture your targets contact information to send them the important knowledge offered in your print ad.
Usually add an additional gift, chance to win something or additional enticement to motivate them to register.
Keep it concise, keep it targeted and offer limited options. One way in and no way out.

Your squeeze page analytics will easily enable you to quantify the success of your print media ad. Taking the guess work out when evaluating the effectiveness of a specific ad or campaign.

You can also test different squeeze pages to see which ones work best. Tracking results and testing different pages is a key element of internet marketing and should never to overlooked.

5. The Double Opt-In Connection
The key is that once you capture your target’s contact information and other strategic information in the registration form, you need to get their verified permission to communicate with them. This is called getting them to “double opt-in”. That is done though an online email automation tool that can be easily set up and will immediately email the address they give you to verify that it is a real email address and certify that they want the information requested and give you permission to communicate with them in the future. This is critical s it protects your marketing efforts from anti-spam laws and if written properly establishes credibility with your prospect.

Once they respond to the email they will be immediately linked to the information promised as well as an automated email or newsletter campaign that they will begin to receive. The key here is to be current and consistent with your message, but not a pest so that they hit the unsubscribe button. Daily emails are overkill and sure death to your campaign. I normally work with clients to schedule a campaign to match the product, prospect and buying cycle.

Now that you have established communication, you have a viable prospect to forward to your sales team.

The beauty of this whole marketing effort is that it is completely automated and easily duplicated to keep your investment in time and money to a minimum.

6. Begin Cultivating Your New Captured Prospect
You have now just combined the visual appeal of print media to a targeted market with the power of internet “Social Media” marketing to capture contact, establish a prospect and hopefully create a customer.

Combining media marketing resources (print, radio, television, podcasts, blogs, etc) with this strategy can enhance the effectiveness of any campaign and the power of social media marketing enables you to not only capture, but effectively communicate with and cultivate your target prospect to ultimately “Create A Customer”.

Bill Sifflard

With over thirty years experience as an entrepreneur, an executive, an author and as a internet marketing and business consultant, Bill Sifflard has a long history of experience and success establishing start-ups and bringing innovation and efficiency to small business and new expanding markets. As a premiere Social Marketing Innovator, Bill is changing how small business markets themselves using the internet and Social Media Marketing.

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