Let’s start this off with an analogy (we know you love those).
A customer orders a pepperoni pizza. Instead of pepperoni, a Hawaiian pizza shows up at the door. The customer didn’t get what they wanted and now they’re disappointed. They might try the same place again and hope the mistake gets fixed, but if it doesn’t that restaurant will likely lose a customer.
In this analogy your association is the pizza place, the customer is your association member, and the pizzas are content (mmm, content).
In other words, it’s important for you to know what members expect and for you to deliver content that they find valuable and engaging. If you don’t, they’ll go and find it somewhere else.
How do I decide what to deliver?
Curating your content can be daunting but there is a simple way to help guide your strategy; what do you currently have and what do your members want?
Members joined your association for a reason, find that reason and use it to remind them of the value of their membership.
Association members are all at different stages of their careers and lives. As a result, they will expect different things from you.
For example, members just starting in your industry may be more interested in education, whether it’s general or specific. You can meet these needs by providing online learning via an LMS with accreditation or badging to help them familiarize themselves with best practices and further their careers.
Members who have been in the industry for a while may simply be looking to build connections or stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Providing them with networking opportunities, microlearning on new industry topics and regular industry updates will help meet these needs.
Whatever the experience level you need to find content that will engage all members, at all stages in their career.
Let’s make it easy:
What information do you have?
In most cases, associations are the link connecting members to resources via their content strategy. These resources could be speakers, industry experts, vendors, events, or industry trends.
You likely already plan events for your members. In the world of virtual events, you have a unique opportunity to take some content from your event and repurpose it in a new format (or, if you like, multiple formats). Do you have an industry thought-leader giving a keynote? Film it and turn it into a quick summary of the key points that could be made available to members who couldn’t go. Interview the expert for an article in a magazine or blog post. Ask if you can re-purpose their presentation into an infographic you can distribute to members. Or record full sessions and chop it up into smaller microlearning videos that can be promoted through social media, and member outreach; fuelling an engaging content strategy.
Your members look to you to provide them with industry expertise and quality content and education.
You just need to know what they’re interested in.
What are your members interested in?
There are two answers to this question.
The first requires your association to be data-driven. Look at the data you collect from your members via your website, event attendance and social media. Then analyze it to see how members are interacting with your content. You can track engagement and find out what members are most interested in. This is more easily done when the association is digitally connected as the data collected can fuel your content strategy and ultimately, drive meaningful member engagement.
For associations that aren’t able to manipulate their data yet, simply ask your members what they want to see. If you send out an annual request for feedback or membership renewal, take the time to ask them what content they might be looking for. Do they want more about a specific topic? Do they prefer a specific medium? Take the information, analyze it and let it guide your plan for the future.
Whichever method you use, make sure you create member-centric solutions and incorporate them into your plans for the future of your association.
If you need help figuring out what content you already have or how you can turn it into a successful content strategy, try filling out the Association TV playbook. It’ll guide you through creating a strategy that will engage your members while meeting your association’s needs.
Contact us today to learn how our team of experts can help you develop a lasting content strategy that meets the needs of your members and encourages real, measurable member engagement.
And check out our Association Insights series for expert advice on a variety of topics impacting your association today.