Content Marketing: Time Well Spent
Molly Marsh, AMR Director of Education and Engagement Design
I am sure this particular story is a familiar one for many associations! Content is developed for conferences, professional development programs, online resources, webinars, then when the event or initial announcement is done, it’s done! Associations generate a significant amount of valuable content to support their members and industry communities. Much of that information is developed, presented, then placed on a shelf – with fingers crossed that someone will come looking for it. This is where a good content marketing strategy can play in, but our client that could benefit most from this approach was struggling to overcome the perceived financial barrier.
Now, don’t get me wrong, content marketing does require an initial investment of time, but it doesn’t have to mean additional investment in tools, platforms or technology. The first step in developing the 2019 content strategy was an analysis of the association’s core audiences (members and non-members) as well as a review of existing platforms and offerings. We discovered that there was great content delivered in a monthly webinar series, but they were offered during the workday when many of the association’s healthcare provider member couldn’t join. As a result, the themes, topics and lessons from those were rarely shared beyond the small group convened for the webinar.
In addition, the organization relied heavily on revenue from and representation at in-person conferences, but feedback showed that few members were able to attend and therefore missing important points of connection to drive long term retention. Recognizing that platforms were already in place for live and recorded online learning, in-person events and content-driven blogs, we developed an integrated content approach to highlight key topic areas across the diversity of existing platforms.
Leveraging the content across different platforms and channels actually amplified time by expanding the reach of messages and information the organization already invested in. Following each of the early 2019 in-person events, we selected one highly rated presentation to offer again as an evening webinar, allowing those who could not attend the event to have access to critical content. As a result, 19% more members engaged with that content than would have, had it been presented only at the in-person conference. It also served as a tool to promote future in-person offerings to new, undecided audiences.
Also, we posted blog articles highlighting key takeaways from the monthly webinars – along with a link to the webinar recording. Usually, only somewhere between 15-20 participate in the live webinars; the first webinar highlight blog has 184 views to date! Not only that, the recordings of the webinars featured in the blogs were viewed – on average – three times as often as those not promoted. No matter what measure you use devoting just a few hours to content marketing strategy for this association expanded their audience and amplified their reach. That is time well spent.