Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the Florida Society of Association Executives’ (FSAE) 2016 Education Expo, and even more exciting - speak! I spoke about inbound marketing for associations - what it is and how to get started.
I love this topic because I believe associations are SO equipped (perhaps more so than other companies) to practice the inbound marketing methodology. See, associations already have the expertise that people are actively looking for, so they can use that expertise to attract people and convert them into members.
Is your association practicing the inbound marketing methodology? If not, I highly encourage you to do so.
Not sure where to begin? Here are five steps to creating an inbound marketing strategy for your association:
1. Create member personas
Inbound marketing all starts with creating member personas. What are member personas, you ask? Well, they’re semi-fictional representations of your ideal members based on market research and real data about your existing members. They represent the goals, challenges, and pain points of your different member types. More importantly, member personas are the key to inbound marketing success. If you know what your personas are trying to achieve, you can create content to help them reach their goals. (More tips on how to create member personas here.)
Once you have your personas built out, you’ll then want to attract them to your organization’s website. The best way to do this is by creating compelling content. To make the most of your time, start by creating one big content piece, such as a white paper or an eBook. Then, use that content piece to create several smaller pieces, such as a series of blog posts, videos, or infographics.
Once you’ve attracted people to your organization’s website, you’ll then want to convert them into leads, or potential members. To do this, you’ll need to gather their contact information, or email addresses at the very least.
How do you get people to willingly give up their contact information? Leverage those big content pieces! (The white papers, the eBooks, etc.) If they’re valuable enough, people won’t mind giving you their contact info.
Ok, you’ve attracted people to your organization’s website and converted them into leads. Now you just have to get them to join your organization. How do you do that? Email marketing!
Since you now have those people’s contact information, you can send them a few follow-up emails with even more compelling content. A series of well-crafted emails with useful and relevant content can be just enough to get them to join.
It’s important to note that inbound marketing doesn’t (or shouldn’t) stop once someone joins your organization. You need to continue to delight them over time. To do that, you’ll want to continue providing them with valuable content - white papers, blog posts, infographics, videos. You know, all of that good stuff.
Now this is just an overview of how the inbound marketing process works. For a more in-depth view, along with best practices for each stage, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations below! (Note: It’s FREE!)