Last week during a business conference, I had the opportunity to interview a Google employee who works in the area of marketing – and what he shared with me underscored every organization’s need for content.
He was attending the event with another gentlemen who heads up a Google certified marketing agency and they were co-speakers of a general session. Before they took the stage, they agreed to an interview during which they shared some very interesting insights. And for your sake, I’ll simply refer to the two individuals as Google employee, and marketing expert.
People don’t want to be sold to – they want to come to their own conclusions and buying decisions
Based on Google’s research, buyers will have up to 27 touch points with your organization before they buy into or complete a purchase. You read that right – 27 touch points. This begs the question… is your association serving up the right content (and amount of) that will lead your target audience further down your conversion funnel? If you don’t have content on your digital properties that answers their objections or questions about your product or services, then you’re missing a big opportunity because according to the Google employee, the buying journey is no longer linear.
It will take 27 touch points before your prospect will complete a purchase.
Gone are the days when people see an advertisement, and then immediately contact a sales person to seek more information and guidance. These days, it’s the content that MUST do an effective job of guiding the buyer. Technology has made content so conveniently accessible that when your audience is ready to learn about your organization, researching online has become more comfortable than picking up the phone and speaking with a representative.
As a takeaway for the association professionals, here’s a list of video topics and formats you could be investing in right now to make sure your website can guide prospective members from the ‘research’ stage through to ‘intent to buy’:
About the organization - an overview video of why you exist
What makes our community special
Member benefits that cannot be experienced anywhere else
What members are saying about us / member testimonials
Educational content and learning (so prospective members sample the benefits of membership). This is really important as less than 15% of members attend conferences and see your best content. Exposing this type of content to existing and potential new members, raises the likelihood of engagement
Message from the President / vision statement (so prospective members understand the strategic goals of your association)
How to get involved / become a member
Navigating membership – getting the most from your membership now that you have joined
Sounds sensible, but our marketing department doesn’t have the budget to fund these videos
This is a very common objection, and with good reason. Many organizations simply have not realized how the marketing landscape has changed, and that’s why budgets for content development have not changed with the times. But according to the marketing expert I interviewed, this is a top-down decision that needs to happen soon for the all reasons stated above. And in his words, “content should NOT be assessed as an expense by solely the marketing department – content is now a cost of doing business.”
Content is now a cost of doing business.
In summary, recognize that times have changed. Many of your audience members will not buy or join your organization the moment they hear about you; but they will come back to research, learn more about you, and assess how you compare to your competitors. In each of these instances, your website should be prepared with online content that satisfies their inquiries.
At Association TV®, we’ve helped many associations develop content strategies that align with their organization’s business objectives. Click on the button below for a demo; we’d welcome the opportunity to help you.
One more thing. This rule applies to your sponsors, advertisers and members too! How can your organization help them with this same issue? We have some ideas we would love to share.
Randell Mauricio is Chief Operating Officer for WorkerBee.TV