Personalized content is a great way for associations to attract new members and to engage/retain existing members. A 2016 Memberwise report, based on feedback from 357 association directors, stated membership engagement as their top challenge and focus area for 2016 and beyond. 75% of them find personalized content especially instrumental in acquiring members.
Associations have remarkable content resources that can be leveraged skillfully through creative marketing strategies. But, the burning question is how to create, distribute and promote personalized content without spending huge amounts or totally overhauling existing processes?
Inbound marketing is a proven-effective marketing approach that provides tangible value to prospects. Over time, this builds trust and attracts new leads who then turn into members, donors, sponsors and advocates as they engage with content that is helpful and relevant to their specific needs.
Inbound Marketing for Membership Recruitment
Inbound marketing follows a simple methodology that is proven to improve lead generation:
- Marketing to the Right People- Inbound marketing begins with a very deep dive into your target audiences through the development of robust buyer personas. This vital first step offers insight into the behavior patterns and motivations of your target audiences so that you can tailor content that addresses their pain points and fulfills their immediate needs or priorities.
- Marketing the Right Content- Once you have insight into the aspirations and needs of your target audiences, it’s time to create content that is aimed at educating or helping them. This content development process begins with analyzing and predicting the most popular keywords words that your target audiences are entering into Google or Bing to look for information. Then, content is created around these keywords in the hope of landing on the first page of the search engine results pages.
- Marketing at the Right Time- Once you know the right audiences and are equipped with the right content, you can determine the right email and social media posting sequences for nurturing prospects with content aligned to their movement along the buyers' journey from awareness to consideration to decision. Through inbound marketing platforms like HubSpot, automated emails can be sent according to workflows that are based on prospect interactions and include branching logic to direct which content is sent to him or her.
- Analyzing your Content’s Performance- Using online analytical tools, you can set quantitative goals to measure the success of each tactic. Subsequently, you will be able to boost or extend campaigns that are performing well and modify or discard those that are not.
For relationship-driven associations, an inbound marketing approach is ideal for helping to build and strengthen relationships with members. The icing on the cake is that an integrated inbound marketing strategy requires less labor and is more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods. Your association’s improved membership rate and lower marketing budget will surely spread more smiles in the boardroom!