Selling In Publications Is Easier Than You Think
The medium, not so long ago, for selling in publications was the printed format. A company that has a product or service will usually have at least one brochure that acts as a sales tool to inform the public and encourages them to buy that particular service or product.
Today you can create one great piece of content and distribute it through many media channels. While it may seem daunting the advantages for a business promoting this marketing material is huge. Selling in publications in different media will promote the company and keep your name in front of potential customers in whatever format they prefer. It also means you only need one great piece of content that is shown in may different ways on multiple platforms.
The benefits of appearing in publications that are from a third party (eg. magazine, trade journals and newspapers) are endless. Perhaps the greatest advantage being the general assumption by people that whatever is published must be the truth. If it’s out there, it must be for real. Based on this theory, your business will subconsciously be perceived as an industry leader, an expert in your field, and a very credible operation.
There are many types of publications both traditional and digital. Here we list the most commonly used by all businesses, large or small:
Newsletters are a common promotional tool and extremely diverse in getting your message across. Ranging from a simple A4 black and white photocopied sheet to a full colour multi page masterpiece to a themed and automated digital template. Time, intent and budget will greatly determine the format for your company newsletter.
One thing for certain is that they are a great vehicle to reaching your target audience with specific information, news, articles and topics of interest that appeal directly to them. They can also include competitions, ads from non-competing companies, case studies, comic strips and internal staff information to personalise your company message and build a closer relationship with existing customers and potential clients.
In addition to the printed newsletter, many businesses today are producing electronic newsletters in conjunction with their website. (Read Websites that Work for more detailed information). The benefits to this is that there are no structured time frame and you can produce them weekly, monthly or quarterly… whatever your budget allows. They are often used in lead generation systems as a way to educate, inform and entice potential new customers.
Putting together a good newsletter may be time consuming, but they are an extremely effective way to reach your existing and potential clients in an un-confronting and friendly manner.
Distribution ideas for your newsletter are also endless! Include them with your invoices, packing slips, press kits, sales proposals or leave them when you visit a client. Distribute them at trade shows, networking events, or send out as a direct mail campaign. After all, an informative newsletter that gives the potential customer an insight into your business, (not just a product brochure), may just be the deciding factor when choosing a new supplier.
2. MAGAZINE AND TRADE BOOKLETS:
Taking the time to write a feature article for a trade publication showcasing your company’s latest products can be a very lucrative marketing aid because not only do you gain free exposure, you are also perceived to be an industry leader. As mentioned previously, when information appears in print in the third person, it is perceived to the be truth.
To maximise the impact of appearing in print, colour copy the article and send it to all of your customers and prospects to keep them up to date with how well your business is going. Another benefit to this is that everyone loves to be associated with people who are succeeding!
3. ANNUAL OR PROGRESS REPORTS:
Although primarily used by large publicly held corporations (who by law have to issue their stockholders with an annual report) small business holders can issue progress report to clients, business prospects, management prospects, and even potential investors.
Particularly if your business has enjoyed a time of expansion and diversification, a slickly presented progress report will paint your business in a very progressive and professional light, and therefore just may edge out your competition altogether!
Writing a book may not appeal to everyone, but certainly for some industries it is an excellent promotional tool to be seen as an expert in your business field. There are many new resources for creating and distributing both print and digital formats and selling in publications. You can also consider hiring ghost writers and artists to take your content and do the heavy lifting. Other potential marketing uses of a good book are many.
For example, professional and motivational speakers publish books on topics such as networking, how to channel your inner strength, how to set up business etc. It adds strength to your level of expertise, keeps your name out in the market place and when given as a gift to prospective clients, is one of the most successful tools of self promotion there could be. You are perceived as an expert in your field and your professional advice and services are valued highly.
5. DIRECTORIES AND GUIDES:
It is beneficial to be included in guides such as a local trade directory, or an industry related guide. Many are free however industry specific directories usually incur a fee, and you should first determine if the cost to participate equals the exposure gained to your target audience. A little research can go a long way here.
The cost of creating and producing these varying publications is greatly affected by your budget, and you should always realistically consider what benefits you will receive from your initial outlay. Will your publication reach your target market? Will it gain you new business? Will it enhance your reputation and complement your company image? For it to be a successful promotional tool, both your personal investment and your financial outlay must be realised to make promoting your business through publications worthwhile.
As you can see selling in publications opens up many opportunities to distribute even just one well crafted communication. The media listed here are time tested, proven platforms you should be distributing through. Each of these can also splinter into many other opportunities that you can hopefully see. Review and analyse these in your market to find new opportunities to reach and engage with your audience. As always make sure your content is authentic to your publication efforts and that you either own the right or have rights to distribute or share this content before selling in publications.
What do you think? Are there any that I have missed or variations of these that have made a difference in your market?
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