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4 Things Your Association’s Content Plan Could Be Missing

Marketing Audra Hopkins

Having content for your association is more valuable than solid gold.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but not by much. In fact, according to a recent study by Kapost, content marketing brings in three times the leads per dollar as opposed to paid search marketing.

Not only that, but content marketing generates well over three times the leads that outbound marketing produces. And it’s 62% cheaper, too.

So, maybe content is actually gold for your association. And having a content plan instilled into your marketing strategy can help you strike gold with your target audience.

If your association has a content plan in place in order to reach out to current and potential new members, it’s on the right track. But you need to make sure your content has everything it needs in order to reach and engage to its maximum potential.

Don’t let your association’s content plan come up missing when it comes to marketing and member engagement.

Let’s take a look at 4 things that every content plan should have in order to take your association’s marketing strategy to the next level. We’ll show you what your content plan could be missing, and how to fix it.

If you’re looking to enhance your content, here’s what you should look out for.


1. Less sales-based content

Your audiences don’t want to feel like every piece of content they receive from your association is a constant sales pitch.

It’s important that you provide audiences with content they can find value in. While a salesy piece of content is fine every once in a while, it shouldn’t become a habit for your association.

Many marketers make the mistake of creating content that seems aggressive with its sales pitch. A sales pitch can be put within content, but it needs to come off as a genuine offer to audiences. After all, your members value honesty and experience over sales pitch marketing.

Think about your buyer’s journey when creating content for audiences. What are you looking to pitch to them? How far along are they in getting to know your association?

If the audience you’re making content for is still in the newer phases of their buyer’s journey, you don’t want to hit them with a sales pitch. It can turn them off from the idea of becoming a member entirely.

Instead, save your salesy content for audiences further along in the process.

If they’re in the phase of making a decision, they might be better convinced to sign on board with a carefully places sales pitch. Something like a call-to-action at the end of your blog or a segue sentence to your product (sort of like our blog does!)

Make sure your content has information that your audiences are seeking and that they can use in their lives. If this information could relate to a product or service your association offers, it’s appropriate to include in your content.


2. More audience concentration

Pumping out content can seem like a sure fire way to get your association noticed and get those revenue rates up.

But if you don’t know your association’s audience, your content could fall flat.

The very first step your association should ever take before creating content is to sit down and figure out your buyer persona. It’s essential you know who you’re trying to reach and exactly what their life is like before you can pinpoint them with valuable content.

While broad, general content might seem like a good way to reach a larger amount of people, it’s not the best practice for your association.

Sure, you’ll be able to create content that more people can relate to and find valuable. However, many of these people will not be within your buyer persona and will not be looking for what your association is offering.

It’s actually a better plan to create content that is audience specific, appealing to a smaller, but targeted and refined.

Think quality over quantity for your content and base it off of the needs of your buyer personas. If you can directly identify what types of problems they might have, you can give them the answers in the form of effective content.

Try creating an outline for your buyer personas. This way, you’ll have something to refer back to when you start to create content for your marketing strategy.

If you’re having trouble defining your buyer’s, you can take advice from friendly competitors and business partners.


3. Less restriction

A blog post from your association is great. But a blog post, video, infographic, and webinar series is much, much better.

A common mistake that many associations make is restricting the forms of content they branch out on. While it might feel stable to stick to content you’re comfortable with, it can hurt your association to not try out new forms of content.

Neil Patel writes about this phenomenon in a blog post about content marketing mistakes to avoid. He states that companies should never stop their content roll out too early.

“We shouldn’t stop [with one image]. That’s not enough,” Neil states. “Just adding an image or two to your content is a mistake. Why? Because text and images alone aren’t engaging enough.

Force your association outside of its comfort zone when it comes to content.

This means trying out content you would have never thought would work. Video series, infographics on industry-related statistics, or any other form of content you can think of.

To get these forms of content out for your audiences, you might want to try repurposing your pre-existing content.

Have a great blog post? Funnel it into a fact-concentrated infographic. Have an e-book or other piece of long-form downloadable content? Create a short video on a piece of that information.

By restricting your content less, you can see more of a payout with your marketing strategy in the long run.


4. More promotion

When it comes to content, promotion is key. Without getting the word out about your association, you could miss out on an entire genre of target audience.

Many content creators can fall short when it comes to content marketing. In fact, it’s easily forgotten about.

However, with a sea of content to sift through on the internet, making yours stand out with promotion is vital.

No matter how exciting, interesting, or valuable your content is, it’s nothing without a solid promotional plan behind it. So, it’s up to your association to bring in more promotion into its content marketing strategy.

When coming up with a content promotion plan, consider the 80/20 Rule.

This rule basically states that out of the entire time it takes to finalize your content, 20% of that time should be spent on creation and the other 80% on promotion. That’s right- you should spend up to four times longer promoting your association’s content than creating it.

Promoting your content on social media is another great idea to consider adopting into your content plan.

With social media being one of the most powerful tools for content marketers anywhere, it’s vital for your association to use it as a promotional tool. With 48% of Americans claiming to have interacted with companies on at least one social platform, promoting on social media is a no brainer.


Don’t let your association’s content plan fall short in attracting and engaging audiences.

With these 4 tips in mind, you can make sure your content plan is foolproof, well thought out, and ready to bring in future success for your association.

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