Use Association Content to Market Like a Rock Star

Published by Sara Olbrantz | Topics: Content Strategy, Online Publishing

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marketing association contentThe 6 Step Guide to Stellar Content Marketing

Whether your musical icon is Elvis, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles, I’m willing to bet your association wouldn’t mind obtaining that same rock star status to your members as they did to their fans.

How are some associations playing at sold out shows on the main stage while others are collecting dollars in guitar cases on the street?

Two words: Content marketing.

Here’s what the professionals are doing.

6 Steps to Marketing Content Like a Pro

  1. Own your instrument. Become the industry expert.
    Your association members look to you as the industry expert, so make sure you know your craft. Provide up-to-date content on all the key industry issues, educational trends, and potentially valuable products and services. If you don’t, your competition will.
  2. Get a solid band together. Develop a content strategy.
    Don’t just throw together some webinars and white papers just because it’s what the cool kids are doing. Make sure the content your association develops aligns with your value proposition. Developing a strong content strategy requires not only looking at what kind of content you should develop, but how to maximize delivery of the right content to the right people at the right time.
  3. Write your own music, and practice consistently. Develop unique content, and keep it coming!
    Don’t forget: Google does not like duplicated content, and neither do your members. Demonstrating your association’s rock star status means writing your own lyrics. Fortunately, your association, by nature, already has a plethora of content. Every year you produce valuable annual meeting proceedings, session recordings and educational publications that you can incorporate into your content strategy. The hard part of developing new content is complete. Now all you need is the right online publishing platform.
  4. Make a record. Publish your content in an online publishing platform.
    Once you’re developing content on a consistent basis, it’s time to go public to your members (and perhaps non-members). Today, the best place to market your association content is online in a branded, organized and searchable digital publishing platform. Throwing links to PDFs of your conference proceedings on your association’s website does not cut it in 2012. Upgrade to an online publishing platform to create an ongoing archive of content that Google and your members will recognize as part of your association’s brand. Your content is only as valuable as how it is delivered.
  5. Play at the right gigs. Know where to find your target audience.
    Are your members scanning tweets on Twitter? Or, are they participating in group discussions on LinkedIn? Wherever their hangout may be, that is where you should be sharing your educational content. When you hang out with your members, you’re sure to find new members.
  6. Stage Dive. Take risks with your content.
    While a solid strategy is crucial to content marketing, it’s ok to take risks and try new things. Have you tried developing a fun infographic yet? Try taking the data from your recent benchmarking survey, and share the graphs you would’ve placed in an excel spreadsheet and put them in an infographic instead. Visual content is hot right now. Your members will appreciate your innovation.

Increasing Membership Doesn’t Require a Mullet

You don’t need a guitar and an awesome hair-do to increase membership. All you need is the valuable content your association already produces and the right online publishing platform to show your members your true celebrity status.

Rock on!

Look for this article in the next issue of WSAE’s Vantage Point!

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About Sara Olbrantz

Sara has worked for Omnipress in the past as our Marketing Communications Coordinator. She has contributed a great amount to make our blog what it is today and has been published in association publications numerous times.

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