Content Marketing as a Key to Chapter Success
Building and sharing chapter content can be both a time consuming and stressful process. But it doesn’t have to be. The first step to successfully growing your chapter – and attendance at meetings – is understanding that content, no matter how it is disseminated to members and prospects, is an essential component of the member’s positive experience.
Here are two layers to content creation in an association chapter:
- Content directed at getting member prospects to join.
- Content directed at current members to improve meeting attendance.
The content can likely be interconnected, as what attracts a potential member may very well entice a current member to attend a meeting. Truthfully, there are no hard and fast rules with regard to content, so long as it meets the chapter’s defined goals. Content does fulfill a purpose though – often as a marketing tool aimed at growing or maintaining membership levels and increasing member participation overall.
For most association chapters, content creation serves three central purposes:
- Provide knowledge and educational information.
- Share and describe stories about member experience.
- Inform prospects and members about upcoming events.
Some of this information is interconnected and can be shared with members via the chapter website, email blasts, or the periodical newsletter. Some content may be member only and can be shared in special member only sections on the website or emails. Offering member-only content, such as educational materials, helps to increase the value of membership, by making it essential for buy-in to the chapter. Content geared toward prospects can and should refer to member only content, offering incentive for converting prospects to members.
And with content management software, such as StarChapter, sharing content is a simple as a click of a button. You can create an article within the software that links the newsletter and the blog section of your website – and the newsletter can be sent out via e-mail as well as archived on the website. You can also post an article on the blog without the cross-sharing. For instance, solo pieces, such as a welcome letter from the president, may have a place on the website but isn’t shared via e-mail or in the blog. On the website there may be an educational section aimed at building the knowledge base within the industry. This may or may not be referred to in other avenues for information distribution. Most importantly, you can control the settings for a post, email it or not, or set it to appear only for logged-in members or for all website visitors.
Content can also be used to enhance the community created by your chapter and its members. Through cross-disciplined content, you can expand the horizons of the chapter with regard to knowledge and career opportunities for members. For instance, non-marketing professionals may be interested in information presented by a marketing association chapter. They bring with them knowledge from their industry sector that may help to shape interpretations of marketing principals. In the same light, the marketing professionals can offer insight into how they can market within their industry better. It is a win-win situation for all members.
Content marketing is at the heart of what makes a chapter live and thrive. Sharing it expands the success of the chapter and its members – both within the chapter and on the job.
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