Membership Marketing & Technology

How To Start Content Marketing For Your Association or Chamber

Content marketing is certainly a hot topic among businesses looking to create greater awareness for their products and services, generate more leads and develop stronger relationships with their customers.

You might of heard of content marketing, but you're unsure what it means. It can certainly mean different things to different types of business.  For business associations and chambers of commerce, I'll offer this definition:

"Content marketing is a method of creating and sharing relevant and valuable information to attract and retain members, and to engage an audience of supporters and influencers for those members - with the goal of creating a stronger bottom line for the organization."

Some chambers of commerce and business associations are already using content marketing to help them:

  • Provide greater value to their members and improve member retention
  • Segment their communications to different types of members
  • Find prospective new members
  • Create awareness and gain support for issues important to their industry or community
  • Generate additional non-dues revenue

You may understand how important content marketing could be for your association or chamber of commerce, but you may be wondering where to start.  My suggestion:  Blogging

Blogging is a great way to start content marketing for chambers of commerce and associations because:

  • It is easy to get started - you can find several free or low-cost options to get you going.  There are certainly more advanced options, too, but if you're just starting, it can be very easy to get going. 
  • Blogging does not require any design skills - while eBooks, whitepapers, research documents, case studies and infographics are all great types of content (that should should create also), they usually need some level of graphic design to complete them.   To create create blog posts, you'll just need some text, insert some images and link to other information.  Basically, if you can type, you can blog.
  • You can easily integrate blogging into your social media efforts - it's easy to share your new posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so your followers can stay updated.  And, most blogs include sharing tools so your readers can easily share your content with their networks, expanding your organization's brand and reach.
  • When you start creating the other types of content listed above such as eBooks and infographics, they are easy to integrate into your blog and share them with your audience.
  • Your entire staff (and board and members as well) can contribute to your blog.  More content from more authors will helps your chamber or association create a greater base of content that can engage your target audience.  And, your blog will be indexed for more keywords to drive additional traffic to your site and more value to your members.

i know may seem hard to get your entire staff to blog.  But, I found this post by Ryan Crow of SocialFish today that outlines 6 ways to get your employees blogging.

  1. Define measurable goals
  2. Tell everyone "why"
  3. Turn blogging into an accountable, and easy-to-follow process
  4. Plan a meeting, get them talking
  5. Remind your coworkers that they are intelligent and talented
  6. Report back, highlight benefits

Be sure to read the complete post to find how you can get your staff blogging. 

And, if you need ideas for creating blog posts, check out these 25 blog ideas for associations.

How has your chamber of commerce or business association started using content marketing?  What have the results been so far?  Please let us know if the comments below.

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