Hit the Reset Button on Your Content Marketing Program

 

It’s September, which means the mad rush of a new school year has begun, filled with new beginnings, new learnings and new adventures. And not just for the kiddos. Did you know that Labor Day marks a time when many of us adults hit the mental reset button too? New York Magazine featured an article calling it “Second-Chance January”—a time to refocus on our previous personal and professional goals before the end of the year.

If this is true, then Labor Day is a tremendous gift for associations. As the leading source of knowledge, information and development opportunities for your industry, you provide the resources that your current and prospective members are “Googling” right about now. The question is… will they find you?

In a previous post, I observed that too many associations are wasting their most valuable resource—their content—simply because they don’t have a well-defined content marketing program to effectively share it with the world. The content exists in the form of conference educational sessions, continuing education courses, standards and other resources.  But it’s not necessarily repackaged in a way that directly answers some of the most common questions your constituents are asking.

The concept of content marketing is not new to associations by any means. But many of us still struggle to launch and sustain a measurable content marketing program that directly contributes to increased conference attendance, membership and retention.  It’s time to crack this nut once and for all because your competitors—any other free or for-profit resources—already have.

So, during this time of “resets,” and “fresh starts” I challenge you to take just one more step toward leveraging your association content to its fullest potential. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Try these ideas to improve your content marketing program:

  • Create a searchable and discoverable online “home” for all of your conference or other continuing education content, so that you have a destination for your content marketing efforts.
  • Develop a content calendar that re-purposes existing content into multiple topics and formats to lessen the burden on your marketing team.
  • “Gate” your most valuable content behind a simple sign up form to generate new member leads for your organization.
  • Test one or two new channels to expand your reach beyond your active “base” to new audiences.

Any one of these steps can help your association use content marketing to reach your organization’s goals. And with “Second-Chance January” creating a renewed interest in your members’ goals, now is the perfect time to take action!

 

ASAE 2017 and The Anniversary Effect

 

A few years ago I read an article on the topic of The Anniversary Effect, which is defined as a unique set of feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience. Oftentimes, we experience these emotions without realizing why…until we get a good look at the calendar.

Last Year At This Time…

As we head into August, I will freely admit that The Anniversary Effect is in full swing. While all of us here have been gearing up for the ASAE Annual Meeting, I have been filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement, anticipation and even nostalgia.  Just recently I realized why. It was at ASAE Annual one year ago that we unveiled CATALYST®, our newest abstract and speaker management system.

It is truly amazing to see how much can happen in a year. CATALYST has been extremely well-received by association professionals in search of a more logical way to manage their submission and review process. And while the feedback to date has been tremendous, we are always looking to keep that feedback loop going, using real-time insights we learn from meeting planners to continue its evolution and development. We have already released five series of updates over the course of the past year, and version 2.0 will be on its way soon!

Meanwhile, as part of an industry that is ever-changing, we have increased our staff and expanded our skills and knowledge so that we can continue to help associations turn their educational content into a valuable resource for their members.

Fast Forward to ASAE 2017

With so much going on and so much to talk about, it’s only fitting that we’ll have a bigger presence than ever at ASAE, so that we have space to connect with each of you one-on-one. Bob, Matt, Tracy and Janel will be on hand in booth 119 to listen to your challenges and share ideas on how to leverage your educational content for your conferences and training programs.  Are you trying to find the right mix of print and digital formats for your attendees or learners? Need ideas on how to increase the visibility of your programs? Looking for a simpler solution to collect, produce and distribute content to attendees and learners? You don’t have to figure it out on your own. Between the four of them, they have worked with thousands of associations, and can share their learnings with you.

Now that I think about it, I may be just as excited about what has happened, as I am about what’s still to come here at Omnipress.

For those of you attending ASAE, we wish you safe travels, and look forward to seeing you there!

Finding Much to be Thankful for This Year

Thank you to all of our customers

First off, I would like to thank all of our customers. We know the trust you put in us throughout the year and we take that responsibility seriously. Whether we are helping you collect conference materials more efficiently, create a publication for your members or deliver training materials to your learners, we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your team.

Thank you to the CATALYST beta testers

A special thank you to the customers that volunteered to beta test CATALYST with us. You provided some great feedback! Having your insight into how event professionals use the system in real-world scenarios was an important step in the development process. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see the system that we spent so much time designing actually be put to use. We very much look forward to sharing CATALYST with more customers as their collection sites open next year.

Thank you to our employees

Thanks to your hard work, we continue to hit the goals we’ve set for ourselves, and continue to exceed the expectations of our customers. I truly enjoy sharing the positive feedback with you that we receive from our customer survey. (And customers, if you’d like to share your “Thanks” with an employee, please continue to take part in our post-job follow-up survey.) It’s clear that our customers appreciate all the effort you put in to make sure Omnipress stays true to its mission. This truly is a special team and you are what makes Omnipress the place I look forward to coming every day.

40th Anniversary

There is even more to be thankful for this year than usual. November 25th (the day after Thanksgiving) marks the 40th anniversary of Omnipress. That’s the day owner Bob Felland opened the doors to his campus copy shop for business. I have worked here for nearly half of those years and marvel at how the technology and tools have changed over time. But one thing that hasn’t changed in all that time is the outstanding company culture and the focus on doing right by our customers. That trait was on display on day one and it will continue to be a central part of Omnipress for the next 40 years, as well.

Leading a company with a philosophy of doing right by customers, and the employees to make that happen… Now that truly is something to be thankful for!

Sneak Preview: The New Omnipress.com Will Soon Open in a Browser Near You!

Have you heard? Omnipress has a new website in development that will go live tomorrow! You can read more about it in OmniPresence, CEO Tracy Gundert’s monthly column. She covered the structure (divided by market—events, training, and publications) and introduced the product pages, the resource page, and the meet our team page.

But did you know that you’re never more than four clicks from the information you need? The pages on the new Omnipress.com are longer, containing the details you seek about our products without spending too much time clicking into deeper levels of the site.

The new Omnipress.com still includes components to the website that you’ve come to rely on, including live chat, resources like whitepapers and demos, and pages devoted to products like mobile event apps and conference printing.

For extra bells and whistles, check out the Mobile Event Apps page, which shows the features of our mobile app in a slider, complete with a demo you can use in the browser or download to your smartphone.

We also think you’ll love the binding and tab options gallery, which can be found on any page about printing. You’ll see examples of binding (perfect, plastic coil, saddle stitch, and more) with books from real Omnipress clients.

The Our Work page, located under Resources, shows even more examples of Omnipress’ work. Like other areas of the site, Our Work is divided into market-specific pages for events, training, and publications. Once you’re on the right page, you’ll see several examples of different associations and other organizations that have used Omnipress for their educational content delivery. You can even filter the results by the product you want, such as collection or print or case study, so you can read an in-depth account of the company’s work with us. Maybe your “before” story is relatable, and you would like to see the “after” story play out in a similar way. If that’s the “case” (get it?), you know who to contact.

We look forward to seeing you on the new site tomorrow. Stay tuned to the blog to learn how you can interact with the site and become eligible to win an iPod Touch!