Overcome 3 Content Marketing Roadblocks for Associations

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!

Biggest Mistake Associations Will Make in 2013: Postponing Mobile Strategy Development

The adoption rate of smartphones and tablets is not slowing down. In fact, nearly half of American adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners has doubled since summer of 2011, to 18% of American adults
(Pew Research).

Yet, even with the overwhelming evidence that smartphones and tablets are not going away, many associations are still hesitant to implement mobile event apps.

.Why Associations are Putting Off their Mobile Strategies

Some of the greatest challenges we hear associations facing, and why they are hesitant to move forward with mobile event apps for their annual meetings and conferences are as follows:

  • The introduction of wide-ranging technologies. It seems like there is a new technology developing every day, expanding the number of ways you can reach your members at your annual meetings. But how do you determine the best way to reach your unique membership base? Is it through social media websites like LinkedIn and Twitter? Should you develop a mobile event app? Or, maybe you should create an online content library for your members and attendees, which you can also use to attract new members? Moreover, which technology will still be relevant tomorrow?
  • Your membership base is as diverse as it has ever been before (and so is the generational gap). Generations X and Y are tech-savvy, have a short attention span and not only want, but expect information and content when they want it and how they want it. At your annual meeting, they want to be able to access all of your conference content via their smartphones and tablets. And since, undoubtedly, the Internet connectivity is going to be limited at your conference venue, offline access via a mobile app better be available. BUT, if you get rid of your printed conference proceedings and session handouts, you better believe you’re going to receive phone calls from your Baby Boomer members about how they don’t want to download your mobile app to get the annual meeting proceedings; they’d very much prefer them in print. (If only your association budget was endless, right?)

These challenges have left many association professionals at a standstill, sticking to the technologies they know and are comfortable with and ignoring the fact that advancing technologies like mobile are not going away.

Jump Start Your Association’s Mobile Strategy

It is time to stop postponing the inevitable, and start implementing your association’s mobile strategy. Start small by testing out a mobile app for your annual conference. If your members adapt well, you can consider a mobile app for your association later.

Need Help Getting Started?

Check Out Our Latest White Paper

Implementing a Mobile Event App: 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Mobile App For Your Conference
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Omnipress has helped associations deliver educational content to their members for over 25 years. We offer print, flash drive, online and mobile solutions. More importantly, we will help you find the right solution for your associations.
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