Associations 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