Content Marketing Considerations for Membership Organisations
Content marketing is the practice of reaching out to your audience through videos, blogs, white papers, infographics and other forms of content to stimulate brand engagement and loyalty. In this blog we explore content marketing, providing a few brief insights into an efficient and cost-effective method of boosting member acquisition and satisfaction.
At its best, content marketing can lead to brand advocates – people who subscribe so completely to your perspective that getting buy-in is easy. At its worst, poor quality content can prove a barrier to future custom. It’s for this reason that while we fully endorse the use of content marketing, we have to lead with the caveat that quality is crucial to any effort. Without high standards and editorial quality, content marketing can in fact do more harm than good. So, now the warning is out of the way, how do you do it?
What should you make?
As I’ve mentioned, content marketing can take many different forms, from extensive scientific white papers to short blog posts, even humorous image posts. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it, all have their purposes, but think about the most relevant form before starting work.
If it’s likely to be long-winded (and necessarily backed by research) a white paper is the way to go. A quick thought piece? Try an article or blog post. Want to put a lot of information into something easily digestible? How about a video or infographic? Image posts are a great way to be informal while prompting lots of engagement and sharing.
There’s no secret recipe for success, just think about what you want to say and the best way to say it should be easy to figure out.
How can you make it?
This is the easy part as, for the most part, you can do it yourself. Blog posts, image posts, even some videos, your in-house marketing team should have a good grip on that. Don’t have an in-house team? You can have a good crack at writing content yourself, but remember to get sign off before publishing… it’s a great way to add in quality assurance.
Want to add that little bit more polish? How about a third party? Weigh up the pros and cons, and if you think your content can pay for itself, employ an agency or freelancer to create your content. You’d be surprised what a difference a little gloss can make to share-ability – and going viral is the holy grail of content marketing.
Who are you talking to?
The audience should be at the heart of your content. You will be talking to your revenue generators, your subscribers, your members – so talk about the things that matter to them! Think about their pain points, trends in your industry, the elements of your service that could affect them positively and negatively, and then plan to engage with them about those things.
Keep your communications on the right level for your audience. If your members are kids, produce appropriate content. If you know they are intelligent professionals, don’t dumb it down. If they’re young people, keep it relevant… but avoid cheesy things like replacing “S”s with “Z”s – that’s just condescending. The point is to be aware of who you’re talking to, and produce content that is aware of it too.
How do you get it out there?
If there’s one thing Web 2.0 has taught us, it’s that people like two way conversations (well, that and cats). Make it as easy as possible for your members to join in the conversation by sending out content through social media channels, if you’re new to that whole thing, here’s a good place to start. But remember not to be too precious…
Welcome critiques (as long as they’re civil), thank retweets or shares, and respond to questions. Be polite and take the higher ground at all times, unless your brand is forgiving enough to allow you to be a little bit naughty on occasion. Most of all, make your tweets and posts inviting and shareable, it’s an art form but with a sharp eye and a little effort, you’ll see what’s working best.
What do you get out of it?
There are all sorts of benefits to content marketing. At its simplest, it gives your members another point of contact with your brand. You provide more evidence of your expertise and passion in your field. Your members also get the most out of their affiliation with your brand, gleaning even more value from your content, whether that’s just entertainment, insight or timely information delivery.
But there are also other benefits you might not have expected. Shared content gets more relevant eyes on your content and brand, and can also lead to more members. Aside from that, most content has a positive effect on search engine rankings and therefore relevant web traffic. It’s a win-win situation for membership-based organisations and their members!
Content marketing is just one way to provide added value to both members and potential members. At Infinite Rewards we provide another. We deliver a white label rewards platform that members can use as much as they like, hence our name. Providing offers from hundreds of Australian brands, Infinite Rewards is a great way to boost member acquisition and retention. Find out more about what we do here.