It’s a common question in the association world: Should you share your organization’s content or reserve it for members only? On one hand, you want people to see the great value your organization provides. But on the other hand, why would someone join your association if they can get that information for free?
Both points are valid, which is why we recommend doing a mix of both. It is important to create valuable, public content so that people will be attracted to your organization’s website. But at the same time, it’s also important to create valuable, private content so that your members are getting their money’s worth.
Sounds great, you might be thinking. But how do I choose what content to share and what content to keep private?
Well, here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Reserve your longer-form content for members only (But don’t forget to post teasers online!)
If your association has any longer-form content (i.e. white papers, eBooks, benchmarking reports, etc.), you probably spent a lot of time creating those. They’re FILLED with valuable information, and because of that, they should go to your members only. (After all, that’s likely a big part of why they’re paying membership dues.)
That said, just because you gate that content doesn’t mean you can’t still use it to attract potential members. Consider writing a few blog posts on the same topic as your white paper or eBook. Then at the bottom of those posts, make a note about how you have an in-depth white paper (or eBook) about that topic (along with a myriad of other resources) available to your members. Then link back to your member application page!
Tip #2: Share information that makes your organization unique
For the most part, nearly all associations share content. So when it comes to selecting content for your organization to share, we recommend choosing something unique. For example, let’s say you work for a public relations association. You’ve noticed that a lot of the other public relations associations out there have content regarding social media tips and tricks. So what if you do something different? What if you put together a piece titled, “10 Social Media Mistakes PR Practitioners Often Make?” Sure, you can still have something about tips and tricks on the backend (for your members’ eyes only), but having something different on the forefront will make your association stand out. And more importantly, it will encourage people to join your association over others.
At the end of the day, creating public and private content is all about recruitment and retention. And if you’re looking to improve both of those, content is a great way to do it.
Need help with your organization’s content strategy? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations below! It’s all about how to attract potential members to your organization’s website, convert those visitors into members, and get those members to stay!