Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 Reasons E-books Should be in Your Association’s Marketing Toolbox

The Periodic Table of Content.  From Orbit Media.
Julien Smith’s post on “The Six Shifts of a Kindle Dominated Marketplace” got me to thinking about how this might apply to associations and other nonprofit organizations.

Let me disclose my philosophical bias upfront:

  • Most associations are in the content (information) business. And, face significant challenges from competing content providers (other associations, for profit companies, publishers and even members).
Why do I say this? Think about all the “content” key to your member value proposition:
  • annual conference(s)
  • newsletters
  • magazines and/or journals
  • books, annual reports
  • webinars, blogs, eblasts
  • advocacy
  • speeches
  • social media (Facebook Fan pages, LinkedIn groups, Twitter lists, etc.)
  • and more
As I’ve written before, managing this content has become a central part of many organizations. Corporations, for example, are discovering the power of content for their marketing programs ... building the organization as a thought leader appears to build sales more than traditional advertising.

Content drives connections, engages members and potential members and enhances the association’s reputation.

  1. Ebooks – the free ones – build your audience (prospects).
  2. Ebooks expand your association’s thought leadership position.
  3. Ebooks provide added value to membership.
  4. Ebooks provide scholarly recognition.
  5. Ebooks positions association on important topics within the industry/profession. 
  •  We used to call this position papers. Now, you can publish them as ebooks.
After drafting this blog, I discovered a copy of a great post called Content Chemistry: the Periodic Table of Content.

The author (Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media) describes ebooks this way:
Eb (eBook)
Similar to the Book but shorter. Similar to the White Paper, but less formal and text-heavy. eBooks typically feature more design elements (charts and images) and can be created easily using presentation software such as Powerpoint or Keynote.
  • Convert White Papers into eBooks.
  • Combine articles with a similar theme into an eBook.
This periodic table is a “keeper” as you look at developing/refining your association and/or nonprofit content management plans.

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