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!

 

The Event Planner’s Guide to Testing Your Abstract Management System

 

Planning an event where you will have speakers is no easy task. Even just thinking about the hundreds of “hidden” tasks that need to be completed may cause your pulse to quicken. Luckily, you’ve had a tremendous response to your call for papers, and submissions from potential speakers are coming in from around the country (or around the globe!). Now with the success of your event hanging in the balance, you start to review the submissions, only to realize their presentation didn’t upload correctly! You will need to contact each submitter individually and ask them to re-submit. Looks like your list of tasks just got a lot longer…

The Importance of Testing Your Abstract Management System

Nothing is more frustrating to a submitter (or those volunteering their time to review submissions) than having to deal with technical issues. A poorly set up submission process can deter great speakers, and incomplete or garbled information can be a headache for association staff to fix later. By thoroughly testing your abstract management system before you open up your call for papers, you can minimize any of these complications.

Advice to “test your site” may sound obvious, but do you know the specific things you should be looking for during your test? Follow the steps in this whitepaper before your abstract management system goes live to ensure a smooth launch. A checklist is included at the end of the document to help you organize and conduct a thorough collection site review.

Download Our New Whitepaper

Event planners have a multitude of tasks to manage as they prepare for their event. If your event prep includes accepting submissions from potential speakers, testing your abstract management system needs to be on your to-do list. Make the testing process efficient (and painless!) by following the recommendations included in the whitepaper, “The Event Planner’s Guide to Testing an Abstract Management System.”