You’re looking for new members. We can say that with near certainty — because who isn’t? But more than ever, a simple growth strategy isn’t going to cut it. Opportunities to grow your membership are getting harder and harder.
Why the heightened degree of difficulty? Everyone wants free stuff. Free advice, free information, free anything.
It’s an unrealistic, but real byproduct of the Information Age. So if you’re planning a membership growth strategy shift, give potential members what they want: something free.
If you’re not familiar with content marketing, here’s a quick rundown:
- A long-term, affordable strategy
- Connects high-quality content and relevancy to your target audience
- Shows you care about everyone in your industry, not just members
Why include content marketing in your association’s growth strategy?
When folks in your association’s industry seek out free advice, you’re the one providing it. When they need answers, you have them.
Over time, they’ll keep coming back to your website. They’ll come to see why your association is so influential in the industry.
If all of this seems obvious, here’s how to separate your content marketing from the rest.
Develop a plan
This seems like a no-brainer. Well, apparently, it isn’t.
According to this infographic, only 38 percent of B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. And only 42 percent are “very committed” to content marketing.
With a plan in place, you can reach the member prospects you want, playing off keywords relevant to them.
Now, take it a step further.
Use the tools at your disposal
There are plenty of places to learn how to develop strong content. The kind of stuff that’s going to make people remember your association whenever they have industry questions.
What’s in the piece needs to be valuable. That’s the hard part.
With the right marketing integration into your association management software, coupled with your AMS’ powerful database functions, it’s easy to see which content is resonating with members or prospects.
Then, use that information to:
- Rule out unpopular pieces
- Recycle popular posts
- Separate what’s popular with members and what’s popular with prospects
86 percent of marketers use email for content marketing, so this is most likely where you should start when looking for your next idea.
If that doesn’t work, try simply asking members.
Hop onto your association’s community platform — if you have one. Ask your members what they want to know, what content they want to consume.
Their preferences are likely to match the tastes of future members.
Last, but not least, make sure you link your blog posts to your association’s other web parts. Your team page, event portal, latest news, etc. (If you’re with Protech, ask about easily customized templates for these pages.)
If it’s not linking anywhere else, or at least requiring a form be filled out to log member lead information into your AMS, your content marketing plan isn’t going to work.
Next steps to grow your membership
If you’re looking for new members and your association’s last blog post was published in 2012, you have some work to do. Do yourself a favor and write something. Right now.
But what if you’re already creating blogs, eBooks and white papers? Maybe your membership problem stems from your aging eCommerce portal or antique of an events page. Maybe your AMS platform has cost you so much to customize that you haven’t put any additional dollars toward things like your membership growth strategy.
If any of those are the case, request a demo with Protech Associates today to learn how your association can swiftly reach peak productivity.