Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Managing your content to enhance the value of your association

As you may recall from my earlier post (Become a Hero to Your Association Members: 5 Ways Content Management Can Add Value to your Association’s Members  ), content marketing & management represent a growing strategy for association executives. Steve Rosenbaum recently posted the question” Will Associations Become Filters for Digital Overload? My main thought is: Why is this a question? I see it as a necessity!

Managing Content to Create Value for Your Members was the focus of Tuesday’s meeting of the St. Louis Society of Association Executives (SLSAE).

After my overview of Content Marketing and Management for Associations and Nonprofits, SLSAE attendees divided into work teams and developed ideas and tactics on managing content with the goal of creating member value.
Here are the un-edited notes from the flip charts …

Flipping Your Publications
  • Printed letter changed to 2x a week e-letter; content industry info not association info 
  • Took magazine from 4x to 7x a year; searchable with keywords archived 
  • Social share buttons on content 
  • Using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter; adding Pinterest; listen online 
  • YouTube channel; eblasts with videos 
  • Facebook Fan Page 
  • Online training 
  • Eblasts on hot topics 
  • Printed pieces for key issues: training, annual meeting 
  • Targeted info packages to membership segments 
  • Tool kits on topic areas 
  • Textbooks on Kindle and audio files 
  • Consider learning styles and schedules of members 
Using Content Periodic Table
  • Assess and plan your communications strategy and goals 
  • Likely to differ by association/members 
  • New elements for the chart: 
  • – MP = member provided content 
  • – TP = trade/professional publications 
Using 1-7-30-4-2-1 Calendar
1 = Invited Facebook group conversation
            Find/like/fan someone
            Tweet a quote from a thought leader

7 = Curated newsletter of hot topics from a
            member’s point of view

30 = Event updates and teasers

4 = Council/board governance gatherings
            articles from Industry publications

2 = Golf outings, Home shows, Networking events

1 = Conventions, awards events

Developing Your Content Plan
  • Use the tools together or separately 
  • LinkedIn groups: have approval process (pros & cons) 
  • When using all tools, say something different on the same topic; different call to action (example: using a Twitter hashtag on a Facebook post signals it is on Twitter too) 
  • To increase open rates, consider various learning styles of your membership 
  • Provide key headline (summary) first; then the rest of the story 
  • Websites: member vs non-member access 
  • Use teasers 
  • Add members social contacts to site 
  • Keep sensitive info behind member only (pros & cons) 
  • If social media channels too active, you may have less interest in website 
Mining Conferences for Content
  • Break content into smaller chunks 
  • Interview conference speakers and share in post conference distribution 
  • Repurpose content to market future programs 
  • Get onsite casual videos of attendees 
  • Engage members/attendees to write content on sessions & experience 
  • Reserve front-row space for bloggers 
  • Capture member testimonials (photo of individual and words written on white board) 
Content Ideas
• Try to drive content in different ways
– Text
– Phone
– Snail mail
– Email
– Social media
• Have someone capture and evaluate content daily
• Simplify, don’t overload, messages

Ideas from Suppliers



  • Associate members have opportunity to add value to Assn clients through network
  • Suppliers should look to their personal network for ways to engage industry contacts.
  • Engage clients by sharing best practices from industry
  • Organizational transparency can help promote not only your brand but also organizations core values and industry relevance. (e.g., St. Charles Convention Center send out notes and posts about ways in which they are making strides toward “being green”).
  • Share articles & ideas with clients, from industry – helpful tips, ideas, local resources, etc.
  • Opportunity to position yourself as a trusted advisor.
  • E.g., Modern Litho has a partner company/subsidiary which provides research.  He had an opportunity to increase his breadth of products and services and values with their client by recommending the partner – found unique opportunity by listening and responding to client’s needs.
  • Ways to communicate and share – case studies on site, blogs about new trends and best practices, tweets about ideas/local resources, personal notes and sending articles by USPS.
  • Marketing dept. should communicate with other dept., e.g., Sales and business development, to help identify trends and client needs, to help create messages. – (was amazed that ½ the people at our table had a marketing dept which didn’t communicate, share or seem to have direct expectations with the sales dept.)


So, what is your association doing to manage its content? What tools are you finding of value as your reach your members and prospects?

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