If you have read our guide to creating a solid social media marketing strategy for Associations, you know that creating good content and posting consistently on the correct channels is of the utmost importance. However, many Associations fall into the sales trap, only creating content that is self-serving and promotional. Recent surveys and studies are showing that consumers are tired of being bombarded with sales content and are looking to social media, blog articles and emails to add value to their questions and problems.
Creating customer or member-centered content will generate more engagement, conversion, and an overall happier member. Increase the value-creating content with these simple steps:
1. Study Your Members
The starting point for creating any form of value-added content begins with getting to know your audience. Pull data on your current members including their interests, hobbies, curiosities, and reasons for joining your Association. If you do not have this data already, start by creating a survey to poll your members or look at the Google Analytics demographic information on those who are visiting your site.
Now you’ve got that data, start brainstorming ideas of how you can contribute to some of the interests or questions your audience is asking with your Associations’ expertise. Adding this kind of value, inserting your brand into these conversations, even if it doesn’t directly promote your services, will engage a wider audience and increase your chances for long-term brand awareness, trust, and conversion.
2. Catch Their Eye
Having a great topic alone won’t move the dial if no-one bothers to click on your content. Most social media platforms are highly visual and are increasingly shifting toward photos and videos. Slapping some text in one body paragraph in a blog will not be attractive without some quality design implementation. Use imagery and video to spruce up your content.
Consider creating a video series, podcast, a gallery to accompany your blog, info-graphics to display your information. Catching someone’s eye on social media is a barrier you have to cross to get people to click your link and digest the member-centered content you’re creating.
3. Don’t Be Too ‘Salesy’
This is the tricky part, the trap so many organizations fall into: don’t only create content that promotes yourself. An Adobe Consumer Email Survey that surveyed 1,007 white-collar workers stated that 40% of consumers say they want less promotional emails and more informational content. Bottom line, people wanted valuable content, not just to be sold to. Consumers are getting frustrated and inundated with content that doesn’t align with their interest or add value to their daily life, but is only purposed to make sales.
The solution to the sales centered content problem is applying the rule of thirds. You do not have to stop promoting your organization or products when producing content. It just can’t be the only thing you contribute.
In essence, the rule of thirds is separating your content into three buckets:
- Related Content– Reposting other content that is relevant to your Association and its’ member interests
- Original Content– Posting original curated content (promotional, educational, giveaways, etc.)
- Engagement– Interacting with other brands and with those engaging with your brand
Here’s a great resource to learn more about the rule of thirds.
SEO, or search engine optimization, has become a bit of a buzz-word but that doesn’t mean it can be forgotten. You don’t need a full-time SEO expert or be an expert yourself to optimize your content for the web. Find a keyword research tool (there are many free on the web) where you can find insights into what people are searching for. Use these insights as ideas for topics.”
User tip: Approach SEO with the “inverted pyramid.” This style of writing has long been used by journalists and bloggers and is especially important when writing for the web. The concept is to prioritize information within a written piece by including the essential facts first, followed by important details and lastly, background information. It is proven to increase comprehension online and improve engagement on a website. Search engines have caught on as well by boosting the position of web pages structured in this way.
Nothing can discredit a company like an error. Take time once all your content is curated to have a second set of eyes look at every word, picture, the caption to make sure everything is all set to go!
Implementing these six simple steps when creating content for your members or audience will not only add value to your members but will increase engagement and conversion rates for your organization. Follow along with us on social media or read our blog to stay up to date with the latest news, tips, and tricks of the group purchasing trade!