Last week, WebLink hosted a webinar for business associations and chambers of commerce titled, "6 Ways to Produce Content That Members Value."
As associations seek to maintain their relevance for their target audience, more and more organizations are turning to content marketing to create additional value for their members. While most associations understand they must deliver real benefits to their members to improve member retention and drive new members sales, many associations are unsure of how to create useful content that their members will value and share with others.
The webinar detailed ways associations can use their members, other websites and their own association management software to spark ideas for great content to produce for their members. Plus, the webinar provided 25 sample blog posts and other content ideas for associations to get started right away.
Here are some of the top questions from the webinar.
1. We don't have a blog. Do we need one to create great content?
The webinar also detailed key points that business associations should consider when developing a mobile strategy. These included reviewing data and surveying members to determine the best solutions for your association.
Here are some of the top questions from the webinar.- See more at: http://blog.weblinkinternational.com/blog/membership-marketing-and-technology/top-questions-about-mobile-strategies-for-associations#sthash.SolnVecX.dpuf
No, you do not have to have a blog for your association. (But I strongly suggest that you do!) If you can easily add new pages, articles and files such as PDFs to your website, you can accomplish much of what a blog would offer you. However, using a blog to create and distribute content for your association has several advantages. First, most blogs are very easy to use to add rich content and upload or embed content such as PDFs or videos. Blogs automatically create a chronological order for your content as well, helping your site visitors easily identify the newest content. And, search engines love blogs because they can be easily indexed to show that your organization is regularly updating the content on your website. This helps your site rank higher in search engines. Most blogs have built-in subscribing and social sharing tools, too, that let your members easily stay updated and share your great content.
If you don't have a blog, there are lots of great free or low cost solutions out there. I highly recommend that you use a blog for your content marketing efforts. For more ways you can use a blog, check out HubSpot's "12 Ways to Get More Out of Your Blog Without Actually Blogging."
2. How often should we be creating content?
Well, this certainly depends on your members, but if you're just starting out, try to create a new piece of content at least once a week. This can be a blog post, article or a new page on your website. Our webinar contains tons of great ideas for creating content. You should be able to have enough ideas for several months' worth of content. Remember to share your new content on your social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create an editorial calendar to schedule out content and keep your staff committed and on deadline. As you get more comfortable creating your own content, increase your production and move toward 3-5 new posts per week.
3. We have a small staff. Do I have to create everything from scratch?
No, you don't have to create everything yourself, but you do have to create at least some of it. In fact, one great way to create value for your members is to share content created by others. When posting on social media sites, try to use the 80/20 rule where you're posting 4 pieces of information about others or sharing their content for every 1 piece of content you create. You can also create new blog posts by linking to another piece of content and offering your association's perspective on that content in your post. Ultimately, though, the content you produce needs to be valuable to your members, otherwise they will start seeking information from the sources you share. Using the tips in our webinar, your association should be able create a content marketing plan that ensures your members find your content valuable.
4. You mentioned a presentation about using LinkedIn to grow your membership. Where can I get that?
In September, WebLink hosted another webinar title, "5 Steps to Growing Your Membership Using LinkedIn." You can find a recap of that webinar with a link to the presentation and a recording of the webinar here: 5 Steps to Growing Your Membership Using LinkedIn.
Plus, we recently released a free eBook for associations that was based on that webinar. You can download your copy of 4 Simple Steps to Growing Your Membership with LinkedIn here.
5. Can we get a copy of the presentation?
Yes, we've embedded a copy of our presentation below.
6. Will you offer a recording of today's webinar?
Sure, see the video below.
We'll be scheduling more webinars on how associations and chambers of commerce are using association management software, websites, social media and other technology to deliver value to their members and grow their business. Please let me know what topics you'd like covered.