As discussed in a previous post, trade publishers have the access to subscriber data and industry research to help build the fundamentals of a B2B advertising strategy. Typically, these publishers and their platforms — which include their printed publications and website, eNewsletters and conferences — are a top source for both the awareness and consideration phase of the buyer’s journey.

Analyze Data

Trade publication information should always be viewed in the context of the source you’re getting it from. A best practice is to request the same information from all trade sources and use that as a gauge to determine the better approach in reaching your specific target.

As with any ad campaign, a multiple touchpoint approach is most effective. Depending upon the number of publishers within your trade, it’s best to select two to three (budget allowing) as your starting point. Most budgets will not allow an advertiser to be everywhere. You can evaluate and select partners based on a few key data points:

  • How well they reach your target: Reader profiles will help in making this selection
  • Relevancy and quality of editorial: Read through a few sample issues and check the content-to-ad ratio
  • Digital savviness: Association pubs are often less likely to have a lot of digital opportunities

Evaluate Opportunities

Depending on your goals and your audience’s media consumption preferences (print, digital, face-to-face), evaluate the opportunities available from the publishers you selected and begin to allocate budget.

If utilizing a print publication, know that full-page ads are usually placed first and are located in the front of the book; smaller space ads tends to be placed in the back third of the book. Placement can be requested but most publishers will add a premium to the cost of the ad to guarantee the placement. A good rule-of-thumb is to request front third, right-hand side adjacent to relevant editorial, knowing the you may not get everything that you ask for.

As for publishers’ digital platforms, eNewsletter banner ads are generally better than website banner ads if your budget doesn’t allow for the campaign to have both. Website banner ads can be good for general awareness goals and are generally available at a lower price point. However, eNewsletters are requested by recipients so they are something they want to receive and are likely to engage with at least some of the time.

For eNewsletters, request the number of subscribers, opens and open rate and stats for ad positions or native content if available. eNewsletters are utilized to drive site traffic and can account for 30% or more of visits. If eNewsletter ads don’t fit into your budget, banner ads on “article” pages can be a good placement and typically offer a lower CPM.

Conference and meeting sponsorships can also have value if face-to-face contact is a priority for your sales cycle. To maximize sponsorship budgets, have a plan to engage attendees prior to, during and after the event in order to capture cool and hot leads.

And remember: successful sponsorship of events is more than having your logo on materials — having access to the attendees is the true value so you have an opportunity to develop leads and cultivate relationships.

Trade publishers work to keep your industry engaged and provide value to you as an advertiser and your customers as readers. Some industries will have more opportunities than others, but more than likely you will find multiple publishers with already-engaged audiences for you to leverage.

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