Corey Post, President of Agile Leverage, led a webinar for The Association Executives of North Carolina and The Texas Society of Association Executives regarding ways to build membership through content marketing. Some areas covered were:
- Methods for developing your association’s content marketing strategy
- Creating powerful audience segments
- Formatting and packaging your content for maximum engagement
- Leveraging and optimizing delivery channels
- Monitoring and tracking your results
Content marketing is powerful because it can help develop an understanding of your prospects’ unique needs, establish trust with members and prospects by providing value, create your unique voice, build your brand and an audience of loyal followers, deliver value to your readers, and can ultimately be measured. Getting Started With Effective Content Understanding and planning is the first of several steps in creating effective content. Knowing your audience is crucial: you need to understand their needs and their pain points, as well as what messages will resonate with them in terms of both the content itself and the voice that this content is presented in. In order to understand your customers, use data such as surveys, demographic information, and web analytics. Additionally, you must work toward optimizing and integrating content across the different social media platforms you will be using to create a consistent message for your audience. Using an editorial calendar can help you plan how and when you will release content effectively. Developing Your Content Ideation, creation, your team, and success metrics are other important factors in the process of content marketing.
- Ideation essentially creates value by determining content that people will want to go through by using such platforms as Quora.com, Google Suggest, and Google Analytics.
- Creation is the step where you must ask yourself what subjects matter and what topics are important to your members that will provide them with value.
- Your team and resources are key in helping you write, edit, shoot, or design your content, and you must determine who will be part of this team and how much you can afford to invest in video equipment, designers, software, and more. Often, it is useful to use existing resources such as interns, members, volunteers, industry connections, and existing staff to help you.
- Success metrics such as pageviews, downloads, member counts, likes, retweets, links, and unique visits provide measurable results. People need to know about your content, and distributing content via emails, newsletters, blog posts, well-crafted press releases, and social media can help accomplish this.
Understanding Your Content and Audience The final step in the process is analyzing the data, specifically through Google Analytics. This free platform allows you to understand your site visitors and their behaviors, discover “popular” content, uncover “unpopular” content, find pockets of social activity, determine traffic sources, isolate site performance issues. You can also consider localized content after looking at all of the results by looking for geographic patterns and preparing content based on specific regional and city interests. Further, this data will help you determine if your content is useful: if you only have a small percentage of return visits, you might want to consider a change in content strategy. You can also determine issues with viewing your content on specific browsers, as poor performance will often correlate with a high bounce rate from your site if its appearance is poor on a specific browser. Don’t be afraid to use experiments to test content and design variations. Choose your metrics, publish your content, and collect and analyze the data to see what works best for your audience. Content marketing is a very useful tool that can help you gain the membership you need to expand your business.