Content marketing: your key to association growth in 2014

OM Tip Create content in batchesAssociations have a tremendous advantage over just about everyone when it comes to content. While brands are scrambling to create content to fill the social media pipeline, most associations have a wealth of articles, research, and information just ready to be tapped. The challenge is picking WHICH information to publish (or republish) and motivating your members to share with their social networks.

5 Key Steps for Developing YOUR 2014 Association Content Marketing Strategy

1) Get all your stakeholders together. You need to get out of the “silos” and look at your information assets as a whole.

2) Create a content calendar for the year that blends editorial, social media, and key marketing events/campaigns. Which topics will you focus on when? What content do you already have that you can repurpose for a tweet or Facebook post?

3) How can your content help you soft-sell your products and events? For example, in the run-up to your conference, why not tweet testimonials from last year’s attendees? Or link to still-relevant articles this year’s speaker may have written a few years ago?

4) How can speakers, members, exhibitors, and staff provide a steady stream of new timely content? Time to brainstorm! Why not ask speakers and exhibitors to submit short tips pre-show and compile them into a Slideshare deck you can distribute to build interest in the event? Invite speakers to lead free webinars? Energize your online community by having speakers moderate online discussions or forums before the event? Encourage speakers and exhibitors to provide free informational ebooks, checklists, and whitepapers you can promote in tweets? By planning ahead, you can ask for engagement when speakers first apply and even negotiate it into the deal for your keynote speakers.

5) Can you highlight member content? How about asking members to upload photos — could be of them at a past event, this event, or holding a card saying why they value membership.  Take the time to follow your members online and encourage them to use specific hashtags when they have content they’d like you to consider retweeting or posting.

O’Connell Meier is celebrating 25 years of helping associations grow in 2014. Give Rich Meier a call today at 703-635-2893 to discuss how we can help you create your content marketing plan. (Need help managing and executing the plan? We can do that too!)

BONUS: 50 Content Marketing Predictions for 2014 from the Content Marketing Institute

Call Rich at 703-635-2893 to find out how O'Connell Meier can help you achieve your 2014 marketing goals. Or email him at rmeier at omdirect.com

Call Rich at 703-635-2893 to find out how O’Connell Meier can help you achieve your 2014 marketing goals. Or email him at rmeier at omdirect.com

Why Facebook’s new #hashtags matter to YOUR business

#Hashtags can be a huge gamechanger for Facebook marketing. WHY? #Hashtags are the only free Facebook tool designed to connect you with people looking for information about your topic.

Think about it. Right now, there are only three free ways people see your brand/fan page posts on Facebook:

1) They go directly to your page from a link on your site or because they search for you.
2) Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm puts your post in your fan’s feed. Two things to remember here: only fans will see these AND Facebook only shows your post to a small percentage of your fans — between 2%-17% of your fans, depending upon your page’s popularity.
3) You fans share your post with their friends AND Facebook shows that post to their friends. (Even people are “throttled” by Facebook, so while this is your best free option, it is still limited.) And, of course, there is no guarantee that friends of your fans share their interest in your business.

#Hashtags target your best prospects — people who are actively looking for information on your topic. They don’t have to be your fans or customers. They don’t have to search for you by name. Instead, they simply search or click on a hashtag and there you are.

#Hashtags will help surface content you posted months or years ago. Not immediately, as hashtags are new. Start adding hashtags now, though, and you’re poised to show up whenever someone is looking for your expertise… today, tomorrow, or next year.

#Hashtags let you join conversations right now. “Trending topics” on Twitter already allow you to see which hashtags people are talking about. As Facebook integrates  this feature into their search graph, the same thing will happen on Facebook. When your company or organization has a legitimate point to add to a news topic or trending hashtag, simply add the #hashtag to a relevant post and you increase your odds of the content being seen by the right people.  (You need to use this carefully — don’t pollute the stream by adding random popular hashtags to your post.)

You can’t expect hashtag search to take off overnight on Facebook. Still, position yourself for success by adding hashtags to all your posts, starting today.

Lynn O’Connell is the Creative Director of O’Connell Meier, a digital + direct marketing firm serving national trade and professional associations. Follow her tweets @omdirectLynn

How to Use Blogs & Google Hangouts to Build Your Audience – and Engage Your Customers

Wondering how to use blogs and Google hangouts effectively? Brian Hawkins of HotBlogTips talks with me (Lynn O’Connell) and Carly Alyssa Thorne. We got him to share his secrets… and had an interesting discussion about the ways blogs and hangouts allow “regular” people to share their expertise.

What’s this trend mean for organizations? Now that your members and customers have access to powerful communication channels, think about how to engage them on YOUR pages!

 

 

Lynn O'Connell is the Creative Director of O'Connell Meier, a digital + direct marketing firm serving national trade and professional associations. Follow her tweets @omdirect.

Lynn O’Connell is the Creative Director of O’Connell Meier, a digital + direct marketing firm serving national trade and professional associations and businesses of all sizes. Follow her tweets @omdirect.

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics

thirteen-reasonsEver wondered why infographics and visual data are taking over the internet? This amazing infographic from @neomammalian explains the science behind the popularity of infographics.

Great information, plus they have embedded clickable links so you can easily tweet the data.

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographic [HTML 5 Infographic].

Update your YouTube Channel to One Channel or They’ll Do It For You!

SuperCharge Your YouTube Channel coverYouTube is automatically switching everyone over to the new OneChannel format. (If you’ve visited your channel lately, you may have seen the countdown telling you how many days you have left.) Fortunately, the new format has many benefits that will help you with marketing, branding, and search!

My side project, Social Media SuperChargers did a video and slideshare to prepare members for this a while ago. We’re releasing to the public now so that you can all get ready!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since we first did these, YouTube increased the size of the cover photo to 2560 x 1440.

Here’s the SlideShare:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/lynnoconnell1/supercharge-your-you-tube-channel&#8221; title=”Supercharge YOUR You Tube Channel” target=”_blank”>Supercharge YOUR You Tube Channel</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/lynnoconnell1&#8243; target=”_blank”>Lynn O’Connell</a></strong> </div>

And the video, where we discuss more details:

Lynn O'Connell is the Creative Director of O'Connell Meier, a digital + direct marketing firm serving national trade and professional associations. Follow her tweets @omdirect.

Lynn O’Connell is the Creative Director of O’Connell Meier, a digital + direct + social marketing firm creating integrated marketing programs for businesses, nonprofits, and national trade and professional associations.

Follow her tweets @omdirect

See the latest digital, direct, and social media tips & infographics on pinterest

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Top 4 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013 [Infographic]

Top 4 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013 [Infographic] via @dotcominfoway

Today’s featured infographic takes a look at the trends shaping marketing this year through 2016. A few key points:

By 2015, more U.S. more users will access the net via mobile than desktop.
Yet only 42.8% of marketers plan to increase mobile marketing spend in 2013.

64% of mobile time is spent on apps.
48% of  users install new apps after tapping on ads from Facebook page.

The average B2B marketer uses 5 social media channels compared to 4 for B2C.
91% of B2B marketers are using content marketing

Infographics drive 25% increase in website traffic

78% of marketers use enewsletters
83% of marketers use LinkedIn, making it the most popular social media channel for content distribution

Does your marketing program factor in these key digital trends? If you need to reposition, call O’Connell Meier for strategic planning, digital + direct creative, and innovative social media programs. (Give Rich Meier a call at 703-635-2893.)

Top 4 Digital Marketing Trends for 2013 via DCI

Download your FREE 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report | Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Download FREE until May 30th — info-packed study based on responses from 3,000+ marketers. See which channels are most used now, what people are planning for next year, and which issues are top of mind. (Hint: measuring social media ROI is still a big pain point.) Quick read, well worth your time.

   2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report | Social Media Examiner.

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