Whether your content marketing goal is to grow your membership base or present your association as a trusted resource, if you’re not focused on your core audience, chances are you’ll fall short of reaching your goals. Every association must work to connect on a human level with its target demographic. Doing so increases its reach, boosts engagement, and increases membership.
Fortunately, many associations tend to be made up of engaged members, but that engagement shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s important to create content that offers something of real value while also speaking to members on a personal level. When you keep the focus of your content on people and their needs, you greatly increase your chances of maintaining your member base and revenues.
Make a Connection with Content Marketing
Content is a broad term that covers everything from blogs and videos to emails, infographics, social media, podcasts, landing pages, and webinars. Blogging, however, is the foundation of content marketing – everything else can be built upon or from the content you create for your blog. Simply put, it’s the quickest way to build a platform that engages your audience and brings the right attention to your association’s mission and goals.
There are four concepts to keep in mind as you create targeted content:
- Raise awareness by helping the audience understand what your association does and how it can help them.
- Accentuate features your association offers and put a spotlight on its available resources and services.
- Set your association apart by showcasing its expertise, knowledge, and benefits.
- Encourage membership by providing valuable information your audience “can’t live without.”
The late Steve Jobs believed it was possible to understand your targeted audience so well that you could tell them what they needed before they knew it themselves. In content marketing, it’s not enough, then, to write what you think your audience might be interested in. You need to learn who they are and then produce content that sparks a “that’s just what I needed!” response.
How to Connect with Your Target Audience
- Create a Blog: If you're new to blogging, learn the basics and set up your page as soon as possible. It's not as difficult as you may think!
- Blog More Often: Blogging is by far the fastest way to reach your audience. Websites that increase their blog post frequency to six to eight times per month almost double their leads. Why? Search engines need a lot of content to crawl and index. You want them to recognize your site as an information-filled resource.
- Blog About Popular Topics: Timely information is not only enjoyed by your readers, it helps establish your association as a go-to resource, and is often the content that gets shared via social media channels.
- Create Evergreen Blog Posts: Timely is important, but don’t forget about content with long-term relevance. All great content marketing includes relevant pieces that can be repurposed across multiple channels, offering value long after the original publish date.
- Share Blog Posts on Social Media: Using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest is one of the best ways to expand your reach. They are among the most valuable resources your association can have, as niche audiences are practically built in.
- Stay Connected: While you want to be seen as a thought leader, ask your audience for feedback on the content you’re providing to generate a meaningful conversation, develop a personal relationship, and open a channel for two-way communication.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for explaining how great content works to help your association connect with its target audience. Knowing who your audience is, understanding what they need, creating content that offers valuable solutions, and adapting to network and channel changes are all keys to a successful content marketing strategy.