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Kick-Starting Your Association's Content Strategy

Often, when associations think about their digital and web strategies there is a glaring omission. Between conversations about event logistics, email campaign results, and blog views, the how and the when - marketing tactics and timing - can overshadow perhaps the most important question of all; the what, or for our purposes, the content.

Targeted, meaningful, and useful content is a cornerstone of the value proposition for Associations. Far too often we see robust, measurable, and flexible content strategies an afterthought in organizations' quest for growth. It is easy enough these days to find one million different tactics for increasing webinar registrations or traffic to your storefront, but not so much so for the right ways to ask if what you're providing is purposeful and actionable.

With all of us settling into our new normal, what better time than now to evaluate how you're using content to pierce through the noise online. We've outlined a few ideas to get you started here below.

Widen Your Lens

As one of our Senior Content Strategists most eloquently put it: "Content is not just a word on a page or the picture in a header. Content is the entire, cohesive fabric that makes the underlying technology of your website and its related distribution channels work." He's right. Content isn't just the latest blog post, paragraph on your website, or social media post, rather all of them as one. Viewing the content you deliver as a cohesive unit forces you to consider how you can deliver the same messages, themes and offers across all of your channels to increase your conversion opportunities. The thread from the first social post, through the webpage, to the landing page and the CTA opportunity should continue to deliver the same message each level closer to conversion.

Ask Why

Unfortunately, for a lot of small to medium sized organizations, the hustle of the day to day doesn’t allow adequate time for reflection and analysis of tactics and results. "We've always done it this way." is the anti-progress. If you spend painstaking hours putting together a resource for members that doesn't deliver like it used to, its time to stop and ask why. Before you create, pausing to ask "Why are we delivering this piece of content and is this a good benefit to our members?" is an easy way to start this practice and help yourself maintain your content standards within your content strategy. Remember, content marketing is not your strategy, rather a tactic.

Use Your Members

One of the benefits of working for a member or mission based organization is you have a captive audience from which you can continue to solicit feedback for guidance in your strategy. You want to deliver meaningful and useful content to your members. Your members expect meaningful and useful content among their member benefits. It is in everyone's best interest to work together to align those two things. Creating an open dialogue with your membership - whether it is email marketing surveys, a community platform, or virtual events with real-time interaction - helps you to hone in on the sweet spot of business needs and member wants. Defining what content lives in that sweet spot gives you the tools necessary to align across all of your digital properties.

While this isn’t something you can complete tomorrow, beginning steps toward your own organization’s content strategy is well worth the time. Getting your what in place helps you best deliver on your how and when.

Steven LaGow is on the Partnerships team as the Regional Partner Marketing Manager based out of Washington DC, specifically focused on the association and nonprofit markets. Having worked with these organizations for the last 5 years, he is committed to helping Associations and Nonprofits focus on their missions and providing their members and constituents the best possible web experience.

In his free time, he loves attending Washington Nationals games, watching Manchester United, and all kinds of live music. 

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