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The Golden Connection: How to Create Content that Connects

‍Let’s take the knowledge we know about content marketing, the struggle of engaging members, and associations as a whole and create a strategy you can use to create a “golden connection” with your audience.

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For any association content, is the key to unlocking a ton of member engagement opportunities. After all, it’s the low-cost solution to your marketing problems. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than any traditional marketing method while also generating around 3x more leads. More marketing power for less money? Talk about a serious score.

But a problem is arising with many associations across the board. While organizations are pumping out consistent content, it just isn’t seeming to connect with members and audiences across the board. Recently, Associations Now covered this content marketing phenomenon in an study-based article. Within this article, studies showed that even though associations are hitting their members with steady content, it isn’t always resonating. The 2018 survey covered reports that associations are reaching out in forms of content around an average of 30.7 times per month.

However, even with the constant outreach, 68% of associations claim to struggle with getting through to their audience. And that’s even with the variety of media channels associations use to reach out (social media, digital communication, print, video, etc.). It’s apparent that creating a constant stream of content for your members isn’t enough. There needs to be a connection made in order to get your audience to engage with your association. But how is this done?

Let’s take the knowledge we know about content marketing, the struggle of engaging members, and associations as a whole and create a strategy you can use to create a “golden connection” with your audience.


With the increase of communication with your members, it seems like there are an unlimited amount of opportunities to connect and find a way to engage. But what if that was actually the opposite? If your members are receiving an influx of messages from your association, they’re naturally going to sift through the communication to find something relevant and relatable, meaning many of your messages will get lost in the content void.

This is why you need to make sure every message you send out holds relevancy. According to the survey covered by Associations Now, 84% of respondents say that they fear whether or not their content holds relevancy. And while this is a rational fear to have, it’s something that can be easily qualmed with a bit of self-reflection. When creating content for your association, there should always be a focus on solving a problem for a target audience. Questions about your membership should always be taken into consideration: What struggles do they face? Are they looking for answers to those struggles? How can you provide them help? In fact, only one fifth of respondents believe that they have a grasp on what their audience wants.

When it comes to relevancy, this is a major red flag. There needs to be an understanding of what your members are looking for in a good piece of content. Only connect to your members through relevant content. It saves your association the time of creating content that doesn’t resonate, and it guarantees more engagement on your content piece.

Source of content

Another key finding from this survey has to do with the popularity of media channels. Different from 2017 results, this year’s survey found that video, print, and digital media were being viewed and consumed less frequently than before. Instead, taking their place was social media content. This can result in worry for associations, but it doesn’t have to. With this type of knowledge in your possession, you can now work your content around the  media trends of 2018. Consider sharing your content with members on your association’s social media platforms.

Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other of the many platforms available to you, the constant engagement offered on social media will get your association the results it’s looking for. Analytic tracking can also help you in terms of sharing content. Getting ahold of engagement analytics of each of your association’s social media channels will help to put a focus on what platforms work best to reach your members. For example, if you get higher engagement on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, it might be best to ditch your efforts on Twitter or anywhere else. Honing in on the source of content sharing that performs best can give you an insight on how to share relevant content best with members. It can also show what sources of content are working, and what might need to be tailored- or altogether tossed.


Another major problem that associations face when attempting to create audience-friendly content is lack of resources. Resources can come in many different shapes and sizes. Whether it’s time, budget, staff size, or any other factor that goes into content creation, all of these variables come together to affect the content you put out. And with a lack of resources, both your content and your audience engagement can suffer. In times where resources are thin, it’s important to own up to your losses and evaluate exactly where your association can perform better and save time.

For example, maybe the way you present content to your members is affecting the way they engage. 60% of survey participants claim to believe a customizable offering to segmented member groups could help bring more engagement in the long run. If this is the case for your association, work with your staff to create an audience segmentation system that works for your content presentation. Another aspect that can get affected by lack of resources is content promotion. With a lack of budget and time, your content promotion strategy might fall behind and even get forgotten about. However, it’s content promotion that drives some of the most audience engagement for your association. 40% of associations that responded to the survey feel they can up their promotion game. But what can they do to make it happen?

Even with a low marketing budget, you can make sure your content is reaching audiences and even increase engagement. By using free or low-cost promotional tools like social media, you can be sure to reach members where they are and get your content promotion on the right track.

A summary

While it’s not all bad news for associations and their content, there are some major disconnects that need to be monitored and changed in order to create more engagement in the long run. Always make sure the content you produce is relevant and has a purpose that audiences can get behind. Furthermore, create sources of content that resonate well with consumers and on platforms they actually care about. And as a final note, work around any lack of resources you may b e facing and find ways your association can improve its content strategy.

Although low resources can be a frustration, they don’t have to stop you from making a golden content connection. If you’re looking for more content marketing tips for your association, you can download the guide below.