The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

4 Reasons Why Your Association Needs a Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, Jun 20, 2016

    

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The science is in: on an average, we are exposed to over 5,000 marketing messages per day.

Overwhelmed by sales pitches, offers, and ads, your members are trying to cut through the clutter of life by fast-forwarding TV shows, installing ad-blockers and subscribing to ad-free online platforms.

To stand out from the noise, you must create messages that your target audience wants to read.

The old marketing adage still stands true: “Teach, don’t sell.”

When you are engaging with prospective members by providing them helpful information instead of a sales pitch, they will listen. Your message will no longer be seen as an interruption, but as a relevant experience.

There’s a name for this useful trick, and you’ve probably heard about it before.

It’s called content marketing.

If you are like any other association professional with a myriad of tasks on your hand, you probably tend to push your content marketing aside for other tactics that take less time to show results.

“But, my association is very small, and I don’t have time to develop a content strategy. Why do I have to worry about it?” you might be thinking.

Your reasoning is understandable. You probably wear many creative hats and perform several different tasks every day. You’re in the business of making things happen. So, why should you waste your time and energy with content marketing?

The short answer is that an effective content strategy can be one of the most reliable paths to meet your association website conversion goals. People trust and value quality content. According to recent studies, 73% of people prefer to get information about an organization through content rather than through traditional advertising, and 68% of them spend time reading content from organizations they are interested in.

By producing killer content regularly, you can establish your association as a valuable resource for your members. More than that, publishing new content drives traffic to your association’s website, boosting its rankings in search results and gaining more visibility.

And, these are just a few of the benefits of content marketing. Below you can find four more reasons why you need to develop a content strategy for your association website today

1. Content Marketing Will Position You as a Trusted Expert

If there are 20 roof inspectors in town, but only one provides relevant information that educates the community about how to inspect your roof for signs of damage, that inspector will stand out as an expert. By making education a priority and creating content that adds value to your members’ lives, you can establish yourself as an expert in the industry. When you become a well-respected figure, prospective members don’t need to question or research your expertise. By helping your members, you will also earn a reputation for being authoritative.

2. It Improves SEO

Google has been saying for years that the highest ranking websites are those that deliver helpful information to users. But, quality isn’t the only factor that matters. Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness, E-A-T for short, is one of the most important factors Google uses to rank pages.

E-A-T refers to what people think of a web page’s overall value. In other words, you need to be able to show users why they should trust you. Is it because you are an expert in that area, you have relevant education or other skills that recommend you as a trustworthy source?

By developing an efficient content strategy, you can show both Google and prospective members that you are a trustworthy association.

3. Content Marketing Encourages Members to Take Action

When people need to take action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or spending money, they tend to procrastinate. That’s how the human brain is wired – it postpones actions that are considered stressful. However, when a member gets all the answers they needed to their question, or when they hear a story they can relate to, they find the motivation they need to take action. Creating content that helps members and guides them through your funnel can result in more renewals, for example.

4. It Will Boost Your Engagement Rate

Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing doesn’t focus on selling, but on building lasting relationships that can eventually help you reach your objectives.

People crave value-added content that solves their problems and educates them. By offering them helpful guidance and becoming a leader in your industry you can rest assured that your engagement rates will go through the roof.

In Closing

No matter how hard you work to create a stellar marketing strategy, it loses its impact if you don’t target the right people, at the right time, and with the right message. A content marketing strategy can help your association gain visibility, improve SEO, and target the right audience.  

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Topics: marketing, content strategy, association websites

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