Content Marketing: It’s an Open Invitation
Content marketing is all the rage. If you are like most associations the initial reaction always is, what in the world is it?
You have TV ads, radio ads and regularly send direct mail – how much more engagement do your members need? Well, in case you are new to this party, the “information age” is more than upon us, and your members want a reason to RSVP.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
It is one of the biggest success stories in the media industry, according to the Content Marketing Association. In 2015, 86 percent of B2B marketers utilize content marketing. It now accounts for more than 20 percent of marketing budgets and is set to rise over the next 12 months.
All that said, the one-two punch of fantastic association content is its usefulness to members and ability to inspire action. According to CMI, a marketer’s main organizational goal for using content marketing is to improve brand awareness. This perfectly dovetails with association content through promoting useful thought-leadership articles and resources.
Associations balk at the idea of dedicating as much as 20 percent of their marketing spend to content marketing, especially considering limited budgets and small staff sizes. The old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” comes to mind.
But the reverse of that is, while it might not “be broke,” there really isn’t any reason why you wouldn’t want to try to make it run even better than before.
Just like any new business endeavor, money talks. And one small fact can pretty much change the name of this game if you are still leaning on the content marketing fence. According to Hubspot, brands relying on inbound marketing save over $14 dollars for every new customer acquired. Demand Metric states that content marketing costs approximately 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
Well, maybe non-dues revenue is already spewing out your ears, and you’re still not convinced.
Needing to drive more visitors to your site? Content marketing contributes to increasing website traffic and converting visitors. The State of Inbound report reveals that inbound marketing strategies double average website conversion from 6 to 12 percent. Fresh content also helps boost Google page rank and authority, elevating the status of association websites.
Not quite ready to add that plus 1 to your invite? Fortunately, this bar is stocked full of reasons to join in content marketing. Content marketing is the future, and there are cold hard facts to prove it.
Consumer opinion alone can support this argument. Fat Joe conducted a poll recently and the majority (61 percent) of consumers said they feel better about a company that delivers custom content. Not only do they feel comfortable – they even feel compelled enough to buy.
With a 24-hour news cycle, a Web presence is not enough. You need a reason to drive traffic to your website. Members look to associations to be the pioneers in their industry and as their source of information. If you aren’t pushing out fresh, relevant content regularly you are pushing away opportunities for fresh member engagement.
No matter how you decide to look at it – joining the content marketing party really isn’t a matter of if, but more of when. It really boils down to how fashionably late you prefer to be. Let’s just hope the food and drink don’t run out by the time you arrive.