When it comes to startups, particularly in the tech space, most of them have a very niche mission. Someone noticed a gap in the marketplace and came up with a way to fix it. In my experiences, this rings particularly true for B2B startups. In these cases, I always emphasize the importance of trade publications to my clients. You're not going to reach 100 million people with a hit in an industry trade, which is why I think so many people write them off.
What a trade outlet can give you that top-tier cannot is a highly engaged, curated audience that truly cares about your news. These are all readers in your industry, specifically seeking out information about what companies like yours are doing. They're not just browsing a popular website and happen to stumble upon a catchy headline. A placement in a trade publication means your news is more relevant to the majority of readers, and that's how you get more read-throughs and less meaningless clicks. It shouldn't always be about getting your messages in front of a lot of people, it should be about getting it in front of the right people.
Trade reporters are subject matter experts and often can produce a more insightful piece than someone who doesn't necessarily understand your business. These hits can move the needle in different ways than top-tier. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of a Forbes mention, but I think it's misdirected to not place value on smaller outlets who have readers more interested in your business.
It's always a breath of fresh air to work with a client who gets this. I have one account I’ve worked with for over a year that does, in fact, we spent our first 8 months focused solely on industry trades. We established excellent relationships with reporters in the space and got great, meaningful coverage that drove direct interest to their website and resulted in several inquiries from potential new clients.
Once we felt we'd conquered that sector, we shifted gears to focus on more mainstream media. Top-tier reporters do their due diligence when considering an interview, and they notice when you're established as an industry expert. Our steady drumbeat of trade coverage for our relatively unknown startup helped the CEO score an interview with the Wall Street Journal and allowed us to connect with a relevant Reuters reporter who asked to be looped in on all future news. This perfectly illustrates the short and long-term value of trade coverage.
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