National vs. Trade Press – What’s Best for B2B?

When B2B companies ask whether to pursue national press or industry trade publications, we always ask the same thing: What’s your goal?

Often, the answer is lead generation and establishing thought leadership in their industry. The problem? They’re focusing on the wrong media.

Of course, it’s valuable to secure coverage in national print, online and broadcast outlets. But, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and more are often shiny objects that won’t accomplish these objectives.

There are a few reasons why B2B businesses should prioritize trade media over national press:

Targets Your Audience

Let’s use information technology companies as an example. Their goal is to build sales interest and credibility with the technology decision makers at the businesses that they’re targeting. TechRepublic would be the perfect venue to do so, as the trade publication reaches a global audience of IT business leadership. Their target audience includes chief information and experience officers.

Yes, the Wall Street Journal reaches the business community. But the paper won’t reach a specific audience like this.

Friendly to Bylines

We’ve all heard the phrase, “content is king”. This is especially true with industry publications that have smaller newsrooms and are looking for ways to boost their online visibility while reporting on longer-lead stories. Executive articles, otherwise known as bylines, is one form of content that fulfills this goal and provides value to an organization.

These articles are typically 600-800 words and provide executives with a forum to showcase their expertise on a variety of industry topics like, “How will X industry change in five years” or more specific issues like “How can X industry improve their cybersecurity efforts”. These pieces need to be well-researched and not overly promotional in order to resonate with an editorial team and yield success.

Helps to Engage Customers

It’s so important to leverage your trade media placements when connecting with customers. Include links to coverage in your monthly newsletters or in your follow up emails to prospects. Applying to speak at an industry event? Be sure to attach your best trade media placements to your application. Will you have a booth at the event? Load your media coverage onto flash drives and distribute those drives to everyone that stops by to learn more about your organization.

Customers will always appreciate seeing that an independent, third-party source has vetted and values your company.

We are by no means saying to neglect national press. It would be foolish to do so. But, we strongly believe that obtaining trade media coverage should be the goal, if you want to develop new customers and grow relationships with your existing buyers.