Content Strategies for Associations

Let's all recognize that content went online from print.  The days of magazines and newsletters has been dropping for years.

So what should you do?

You need to create a content curation strategy.

That's how inbound/content marketing was born.  Think SEO.

Marketing technology is the next level of the inbound/content marketing model.  You need to track what's going on out there so you can get these folks in your membership prospect funnel.

Outbound marketing, your traditional ways of reaching out to your prospective members and members, is still important as you upgrade your new marketing strategy.

They key is to do both!

Refer to the Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025 report that talks about how you need to find out what your members really need to know.

So as you curate content, you are playing the role as the filter.  The arbiter is the role you can dominate because you are the facilitators in your communities.  Remember, your members don't have time to wade through all the information.

You can also interpret the content and deliver it to your members.  Remember, we're in the business of solving problems for our members.

The information you curate should be balanced and varied.  It should not only be coming from you or your chamber but from other folks and chambers from around the country.

5 types of curation:

  • Aggregation - common, not useful, you're just giving them a list, top 10
  • Distillation - context and interpretation of the content (think infographics)
  • Elevation - trend spotting, you need the knowledge to spot the trends and tell the story and bring context to the information.  This topic is important.  Think reports and speeches.
  • Mashup - putting two or more pieces of content together to create something new that could be useful for your members.
  • Chronology - the idea that you create content that has a timeline.  Think the 50 or 100 year anniversary and you create a piece of content around successful programs, maybe based on a decade at a glance.

Three ways you can curate:

  • Algorithmic - Google (this is where gaming SEO comes in to play)
  • Social - Reddit (crowdsourcing - since it's based on voting it too can be gamed)
  • Expert - a person or small group (Master in media is a great source).  Experts can be on your staff, your members, vendors or others in your community.  Don't be afraid to use their expertise.  This responds to the balanced and objective views of content.

Concluding thoughts:

You want to be positioned as the thought leader/expert/deliverer of timely and accurate information.  You need to play the role of filtering through all the stuff that's out there and distill it down to bite size chucks that will help your members succeed in growing their businesses.