A lot has been written about the benefits of content marketing for associations lately. But even if you understand how effective it is, that doesn’t mean you know how to launch a strategy. You might think you need a background in marketing or experience with online advertising before you begin. This isn’t the case. Content marketing doesn’t need to be difficult, especially for associations with existing content. There are, however, some preconceived roadblocks that prevent associations from getting started.
Here are three preconceived roadblocks that can prevent an association from starting an effective content marketing program.
Roadblock #1: Online marketing requires a lot of technical knowledge.
Reality: Online tools make it easier than ever to promote content online
Using the web to market your association can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. In practice, though, content marketing can start simply. If you know how to use social media tools like Facebook and LinkedIn, then you already know how to use some of the most powerful tools for promoting your content. If these were the only two tools you used to promote your materials, you’d still be able to reach a large percentage of your audience.
When you are ready to expand beyond your existing social media sites, there are free tools to help you. Content Management Systems like WordPress make it almost as easy to publish a blog post as it is to write a Word doc. Other tools are available to help you manage multiple social media accounts. And there are dozens of options for creating eye-catching images to give your online presence a professional look.
Roadblock #2: It’s complicated to put content on the web
Reality: Using a single site to store your content makes hosting materials easy
Technology has helped here, too. Just like it’s easier than ever to create blog posts and graphics, there are new options that de-mystify hosting content. New tools exist that make it possible to create an online library without having to customize your existing website. A “digital content library” is built specifically for PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and images. It also includes simple options for sharing materials on social media and allows your content to appear in search results.
Creating a single location for all your materials also reduces the complexities of managing content online. A single content library prevents you from having to post materials to each individual social media site, for example. This makes it is easier to keep track of your materials and saves time.
Another benefit of using a single content library is that when a visitor comes to look at one piece of content, they can quickly find related material, as well. A digital content library helps to show off the full value of the content you provide.
Roadblock #3: Creating new content requires time and topic-specific knowledge
Reality: Re-using existing content reduces the amount of work needed to create marketing materials
The best part of using content to market your association is that you can use the materials that you already have.
Most associations generate a ton of useful content that is often only used once. Content marketing gives that material a second life. When you use existing content for marketing, you don’t have to create material on a topic that you may not be an expert in. Instead, you create a short post on a blog or even a social media site that provides a link to that content. Your post allows visitors to find and read the existing content.
When it comes to creating content, associations are king.
Your association generates content that members of your industry are looking for. Your content marketing efforts help them find it. Luckily the tools exist to make these efforts easy and effective. Even if you don’t have a background in marketing, using your existing content can be a time-efficient way of promoting your association.
What roadblocks keep you from starting a content marketing strategy? Do you have any other tips for getting started that you can share with those in the association world? Let us know in the comments!