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

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


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

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

Are you listening to your superfans?

Are you making it easy for your Superfans to help you?

Are you making it easy for your Superfans to help you?

Are you listening to your superfans?

Jon Thomas at SocialMediaToday tackles a topic that I believe is critically important to associations and organizations: superfansl  (Or supermembers for associations.)

These are your passionate brand advocates, the people who spread the word about you, and who invest their own time (and sometimes money) to help you out. These customers have never gotten enough attention, but with social media, they are more important than ever. A few quick thoughts:

  • Do you know who your superfans are? Not just the top 5, but the top 10%? Are they coded in your database?
  • Do you thank them? Special benefits or a freebie now and then can help you build even tighter bonds with these key supporters.
  • Do you encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions with you? Sometimes your customers will spot problems long before you see them. Let them help you.
  • Do you make it easy for them to spread the word about initiatives you want promoted?

No? Why not? These people WANT to help you. Make it easy for them and you’ll reap the rewards. After almost 25 years of promoting associations and conferences, one of the first things we do when developing marketing plans is to identify these superfans. Instead of wasting time selling them on WHY, we enlist their help to tell other people why it’s time for them to get involved, join, or attend an event. It’s a powerful technique and too few groups are using it.

WHY it’s time to SuperCharge Your Google+ Page (and how to do it)

Are you paying enough attention to your organization or blog’s Google+ page? Do you have one? Have you upgraded your cover photo? Updated your story? For way too many groups, the answer is No — and that’s a mistake.  Why? Because your Google+ page is critical to your online marketing. The contents you highlight on G+ end up in prime real estate on your Google search page, giving you more control of your results page than anything else you can do!

Supercharge Your G+ page screenshot

For more, click through the slideshare our Lynn O’Connell prepared with @CarlyAThorne for Social Media SuperChargers. For even more social media training, support, and resources, join the brand new Social Media SuperChargers community — with the special introductory rate, you pay less than 50 cents a day for the the first two months. Plus, you’re joining a collaborative community of marketers, social media managers, business owners, speakers, and fan page managers committed to helping each other succeed on Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. Start by following the Social Media SuperChargers on Facebook here and here. Then follow on Google+ and check out the introductory membership offer here. It’s the perfect way to get the ideas, information, and motivation you need to SUPERCHARGE your pages. (People of all experience levels are welcomed, so perfect for your staff, too.) Lynn and Carly follow all the social media trends, tools, and techniques so that you can focus your time on getting RESULTS for your pages.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Super Charge your Google Plus Page” target=”_blank”>Super Charge your Google Plus Page</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Lynn O’Connell</a></strong> </div>

PLEASE SHARE, embed on your blog, tweet, or post to your favorite social networks.

 In just a few hours, this presentation hit the trifecta and hit hottest on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn on the Slideshare home page. (The Social Media SuperChargers may be a new group, but they know how to get results — they are three for three on getting their Slideshares into this premium space!)

Get More Retweets With These Simple Tips (Infographic)

Today’s featured infographic was created by @neilpatel of QuickSprout. Ever wondered why some people are constantly retweeted while your brilliant tweets are ignored. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Ask for a retweet by adding this phrase to your tweet: “Please Retweet”
  • Use between 71 and 101 characters to allow room for retweeting
  • Tweet between noon and 2:00 pm, especially on Friday
  • Include at least one hashtag, but not too many — other research says too many hashtags decreases retweets.
  • Include one URL
  • Tweet about Twitter

These are specific actionable steps you can take! Read the infographic to learn more about why these guidelines matter, then print them out and stick them on your computer.  The odds say ou’ll see your retweets go up!

The Art of Getting Retweets (Infographic) via @DanielSharkov

How to Evaluate and SUPERCHARGE Your Facebook Page

Today’s infographic comes from @ShortStackLab.

This handy checklist walks you through 12 things to evaluate on your Facebook page. The first six steps cover the basic page sections and highlight what you should include. The next six go into analytics, content, strategy and more. It’s a quick, thorough guide to guide your as you give your Facebook page a checkup. Why not do it now?

[NEW INFOGRAPHIC] How to Evaluate Your Facebook Page – SociallyStacked – What’s Up in the World of Social Media.

A SImple Checklist to Help You Evaluate Your Facebook Page

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. Follow her tweets @omdirect.

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