You may have heard about content marketing, but maybe you’re even more familiar with terms like blogging. Or you’ve read an article on LinkedIn, or a video on YouTube, or a post on Facebook. These activities, from blogging to video creation are all part of content marketing and this type of marketing is essential to your association’s long term marketing effectiveness.
Other marketing strategies, from direct mail to cold calling (or even warm calling), are certainly useful, but content marketing has distinct advantages over these older approaches. Here are three reasons that content marketing deserves an immediate place in your overall communication’s strategy:
Education works Better than Sales
People don’t like to be sold to, and your members are no different. Instead, a healthy marketing and communications strategy will inform them about your association’s many benefits in a way that benefits their life. A great rule to keep in mind when creating content is to keep your member’s needs and goals at the forefront, then try to see how you can meet them there. For example, dental associations could help dentists with a video or article on how to handle reluctant or fearful patients.
Great for Search Engines, Means More Traffic
Google and search engines in general, LOVE blog, social, and video content. That means the more helpful content you create, the more search engine traffic you should receive. This is more than just blogging about your latest events, news, or press releases, this means creating helpful and relevant information for your members to consume and use. When you create a helpful explainer for an important piece of legislation, for example, you are both educating your members and funneling traffic back to your website, targeting potential members that are searching for similar subjects.
It’s What Your Members Want
Your members, and potential members, are looking for answers to their questions every day. In order to retain and attract members, you should anticipate their questions and have answers in the form of content. For example, a trade association might deal with business development and potential members could be searching for ways to get new business. This is a perfect opportunity for your association to create an explainer video about the best ways members of your association get new customers. You are not only giving them what they want but introducing yourself in the process.
Content in the form of words, video, or images will never be unnecessary but how you use them will evolve. Instagram, YouTube, and blogs are just the next evolution of content that your members, especially millennial members, are already looking to consume. If you want to stay competitive in the long term and continue to engage you members for years to come, you need a solid content marketing strategy.