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Revitalize Your Association’s Content Strategy: 5 Key Features

Building up a brand new content strategy or taking your current strategy to the next level can seem like a big task. When you use these 5 features you’ll see a boost in member engagement in no time!

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Having a content plan for associations is a key way to get your members engaged without having to do much work at all. Content marketing can bring in a lot of benefits for those who practice it. 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. Additionally, it’s 62% cheaper, too.

When was the last time your association did an assessment on its content plan and made changes? Sure, pumping out content at a consistent rate is great, but when members stop viewing and downloading your content as much, it could lead back to a fundamental flaw in the content plan you have. The truth is, many associations can focus on the quantity of content being pushed out rather than the quality of the content plan they’ve created. And when it comes down to it, there may be a lot of key features, objectives, and details missing from your content strategy that can negatively affect your member engagement down the line.

You don’t want to miss out on the best features every content strategy should have. So, if your association is looking to turn the heat up on its content and bring in more engagement than ever, you have to check out our list of 5 key features that make up a great content strategy.

1. A purpose

If you want to have a generally successful content strategy, you first need to figure out what your overall goal is from publishing content. If you go into content planning without a purpose, you’ll struggle to find meaning and value in the work you produce - and members will notice. You don’t want to produce content that has no direction, and therefore no valuable information for members to absorb. Sit down with your association’s marketing team and have a meeting about your content plan’s purpose. If you’re new to content strategy, you can take this time to develop a purpose and goal that will overarch the rest of your moves from here on out. If you’re revamping a current content plan, this is your opportunity to rebrand the way you produce and publish content for members. By starting with a purpose, you’ll have a strong base for the rest of your strategy structure going forward.

2. A subscription process

Do your members have a way to get the latest updates on your content directly to their inbox the second it’s live on your website? They should. With an option to subscribe to your association’s content, members do not have any searching to do when they want to enjoy the latest content on your website. All members have to do is follow a simple subscribe process once, and they’re set for the entirety of their membership.

How should your subscription process work? Like most features on your association’s website, you want subscription to be a quick and easy function for members to complete. If you already have a newsletter for members to subscribe to, your content should work the same way.

Depending on the frequency you put content out, you can set a weekly, monthly, or quarterly email highlighting the new pieces of content you have to offer. Or, you can set up notifications for members to alert them when new content goes live- giving them a real-time experience that they’ll love.

3. A Suggestion box

You want your content to make your members happy, and what better way to keep them satisfied then to take in any suggestions about content that they may have? Let’s be honest, coming up with creative, original content ideas over and over again can drain your association’s marketing team over time. Writer’s block is real, it can happen to the best of us, and most of all it can negatively affect the kind of content you put out. By asking members what they’re looking for in terms of content, you’re not only able to provide them with content pieces that will make them happy, you’re also sourcing brand new ideas for you to keep the content coming for a while.

Reach out to members and ask them for open-ended answers on what kind of content they’d like to see from your association in the future. You can do this either via e-mail, phone call, social media poll, or just by leaving an open suggestion box somewhere on your association’s website.

4. Content marketing personas

So, you want to create a stockpile of amazing content to push to members. But do you have an idea of who you’re marketing that content to?

It’s always a great idea to come up with at least one or two marketing personas when creating content. Without having a general makeup of who your clients and consumers are, you could make mistakes and produce content that doesn’t mesh well with your members. Take the time to analyze the data you have on your member sin order to come up with a persona/profile that matches your “typical” member. Depending on how broad your association is, you may have multiple member personas (think about your membership - do the demographics differ? If so, it’s best to have multiple profiles in hand). Once you have your personas, you can then build your content database up using that information.

5. A call to action

Your content is a great source of information- and it’s also a great way to leverage other tasks out of your members. For many associations, content can be a great gateway into getting members down the path to engaging, participating, and even purchasing other things. The more content your members indulge in, the more their trust in your association builds up, and if you point them in the right direction they may just bite at whatever offer you market to them. A call to action is something you place within content that directs audiences to another offer. Y

our association can link fundraisers, donation links, events, paid content, and anything else it finds relevant in order to get more traction. Consider placing a call to action at the end of blog articles, within newsletters, throughout e-books, and anywhere else you see fit.

Don’t let the marketing opportunities stop at just the content itself. Build up a brand new content strategy or take your current strategy to the next level, by using these 5 features, and you’ll see a boost in member engagement in no time.