David Mantey, Craft Marketing speaker for October 2021.

David Mantey, Industrial Media, uncovered how trade publications can improve business at AMA Madison’s Craft Marketing presentation on October 26th – the first in-person event at the Vintage since early February 2020!

In his presentation, David shared the value trade publications can bring to business’ marketing strategies and tips on how to successfully partner with trade publications for best results.

What is a Trade Publication?

David began by breaking down the role of trade publications, explaining that they provide quality content to curated, qualified audiences of professionals. This content can range from technical articles to information about new products, and can be in the form of print, video, podcasts, and other media.

What Value Can Trade Publications Offer Marketers?

Trade publications can offer you access to the highly interested, niche population that you want to see your product or service.

According to David, trade publications serve people who are hungry for information on how to do their jobs more efficiently. This is why trade publications have such remarkably engaged audiences that keep returning day after day for more content.

David argued that trade publications can even be more effective at helping you reach your audience than social media. This is because they can help you reach your audience when they are looking to purchase, whereas social media is less precise.

And since trade publications are deeply established, dating back to the 1800s, they also boast brand loyalty and recognition that can benefit your business by association.

6 Qualities to Look for in a Trade Publishing Partner:

As David warned, you’ll only waste time and money if you choose the wrong partner. He shared the following tips on how to zero in on your ideal trade publication partner:

1. Does the Partner Serve the Right Audience for You?

Identify your specific audience, in detail. David explained that audiences are extremely niche.  No matter how niche or obscure a product offering might be, there’s a trade publication out there that can serve it specifically.

2. Does the Partner Have a Consistent Print Footprint?

Print may be dead in some industries, but in the trade publication world, it’s still very relevant and valuable. David shared that you ideally want to secure a partnership with a publication that has a proven dedication to print. This presence indicates commitment. With a consistent print schedule, you know the publication isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Does the Partner Provide Guaranteed Results?

Before you decide to partner with a trade publication, you must confirm that they guarantee results. Additionally, David suggested that organizations agree on expectations with their partners before the campaign even begins.

4. Is the Partner Transparent with its Metrics?

Trade publications possess all the information needed to provide ROI and other insights. Ensure that the partner is fully transparent with these metrics, and your life will be a lot easier.

5. Does the Partner Have a Strong, Daily Digital Presence?

David emphasized that a partner’s proven, consistent engagement with its audience is an essential quality to look for. A reliable, quality partner should have a strong digital presence with daily content like daily newsletters.

6. Is the Partner Vendor Agnostic?

To effectively stand out and receive a fair showing, it’s important that your partner is vendor agnostic.

How to Partner With a Trade Publication


An effective way to reach your audience through trade publications is placing advertisements. Important considerations here include marketing qualified leads (MQL), Cost Per Lead (CPL), Cost Per Click (CPC), and Buy Impressions. David explained that while trade publications can help you add MQLs to your list, some nurturing is still necessary to make the lead a customer.


When you find a partner that’s right for you, David recommends building a relationship with their editor as soon as possible. Doing so can move your organization to the top of the priority list. However, there is a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. David shared the following do’s and don’ts to making a pitch:


  • Use LinkedIn or email
  • You want the pitch to be concise and effective, with ideally fewer than 500 words
  • Aim your pitch strategically at the readers in your precise audience
  • Use visual storytelling, including graphics and video content, when possible to catch the editor’s eye


  • Avoid sending finished articles that have already appeared on your site unless you’ve made changes to it
  • Don’t send articles that have already appeared on the sites of competitors of the partner, even if they’ve been tweaked

David’s Trade Publication Content Tips

To create content that produces results, David suggests the following:

Add Bonus Content

Assets always perform well. If you can, include a downloadable tool, like a brochure, a case study, an article, or other compelling pieces of content that will draw your audience in.

Visual Storytelling

Video content is the single most popular form of content every day, in David’s organization’s experience. Short 1-2.5 minute videos do very well, and can feature a new product, provide an overview of your service, or other topics. Talking heads-style presentations perform far better than powerpoint style, as well. You can even pair a high-quality video with a blog and a webinar.

Strategic Content

Don’t lose sight of the power behind your words. David explained that it can be easy for businesses to think their product simply sells itself, when in reality, words are everything. Even in a small amount of space, you can make a big difference with a little bit of care. Whether you’re creating visual or written content, make every sentence count when portraying your message, prioritizing active, exciting language. Finally, strong calls to action are imperative to get the results you want.

Your Partner Can Help

Be it video or written content, your partner can make it happen. If you’re feeling unsure or need some direction, publishers are happy to help and have the experience and skills to market for you effectively.

See You Online for November’s Craft Marketing

Craft Marketing invites you to its next live in-person event at the Vintage at 5:30 PM on November 30th, 2021, where Spencer X Smith of AmpliPhi will present “The 3 Buckets of Marketing KPIs – Identify These Before Your Next Strategic Planning.”

Register here for the in-person event.


Kara Martin, Content Writer at Naviant, specializes in written B2B content, from case studies to blogs. She transforms complex technical information into compelling, data-driven content.

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