Since I started working with associations 8 years ago, there have been a number of common challenges that I’ve observed. I often present these to prospects, clients, or at conferences and seem to always get head nods that indicate agreement. The point of this blog series is to point out that if you are also experiencing these, you’re not alone. Almost everyone sees themselves when they read or hear these observations.
In Part 1 I talked about the importance of understanding your audience, both members and non-members. The second thing I most often see associations struggle with is how they use their content.
Every association that we have conversations with has heaps of content. Associations are content factories. Most importantly, they provide the public with industry-leading content. An association’s intellectual property is a principal member benefit. As content strategists, we often see a lack of content strategy. Starting with identifying the best method to deliver content to a specific audience of a website.
You need to ask yourself, what content does our audience we need on our site that they can’t find elsewhere, where should the content go, and can people find it? What about monetizing your content, either indirectly or directly? We believe that content should lead to a product, not the other way around. You can demonstrate value with your content. Content is one of the best ways to recruit new members.
SOLUTION – Use the data
There can be an emotional attachment to old or out-of-date content, so let your analytics and data show you what is relevant to your users and focus on that. To take it a step further, you should develop products based on the content that you know users are engaging with. You can take the guesswork out of the equation, simply by using data available to you to inform content decisions.