13 Ways to Create Great Inbound Content for Your Association

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

content marketing

Use Inbound Marketing as part of your content strategy to engage with and inform potential customers. 

By setting goals, getting your team involved, using inbound marketing, and creating a content strategy, you can increase viewership of your blog, website, and other content channels.  Here, we’ll show you more ways your organization can begin thinking about content, whether you’re about to launch a content strategy or want to increase engage members in a better way.

1. Know your goal 

The goal of inbound marketing is to get more people to join or engage with your organization.  Your content is an extension of your organization’s overall growth and engagement strategy.

2. Find engaging topics 

Your organization has a wealth of experience and value. We are big believers in proactively answering questions that folks have about organizations and members. This tactic is called “you ask, we answer.” There are so many questions folks have about who you are and what you do, and they are searching for those answers on the web. As an association, you and your members are the experts on a few specific topics and can own those answers and searches with a little bit of focused work.  
3. Care about keywords 

A keyword is simply the combination of words that people search for online. With over two trillion searches being done this year, ignoring the phrases people search for around your issue can be a huge missed opportunity. You need to do basic research on the keywords folks are looking for and the language your ideal consumer uses. Think of it this way: a keyword is the way people phrase your issue not the way you phrase it. Working those words into your content (and trying other search techniques) will help your inbound marketing efforts.
4. Get everyone to create content  

Most organizations have a lot of people creating a lot of different content across many different departments. There are likely people in membership, policy, communications and beyond who are writing about your organization in compelling ways. You should have one person in charge of overall content, so all of the great work that your team is doing isn’t lost or duplicated. That way, everyone else can focus on planning, curating and editing content. Check out our post on why everyone should create content here.
5. Social is not enough

We love social media. It’s an easy way to share content, and it can increase traffic. But it’s important to think beyond a single tweet. You need good content to get customers to click, and more content on your site to keep them there.
6. Conversions matter more than traffic

You can have an impressive amount of people visiting your site, but if those folks are not taking action or signing up, it is a waste of a lot of effort. Your goal for an organization is for folks to take action. So your content and website need to be focused around that. One way to encourage conversions is to think about calls to action that matter to you: Donate. Get involved. Sign up.
7. Think quantity and quality 

How often should we post is a harder answer than on the surface. There is a consistent argument around content marketing about quantity vs. quality. Should I have a great 2,000-word post or four 500-word posts?  

Our short answer is you need both quantity and quality. Consistency matters a ton. If you can consistently publish once or twice a week and do a big content offering once a quarter, do that. If you can do more than that great, but don’t start a blog and then stop six months later.  
8. Consider both reacting and evergreen content

Sometimes, it makes sense for you to create a piece of content that reacts to a specific event that’s occurring in real-time. Or you can write something that is just as relevant today as it will be six months from now. A mix of both is important because it drives different types of people. Some people are looking to solve problems, while others are looking to be entertained or informed on a current issue. Your content should answer all of these questions.

9. Have a content mix

Think beyond writing. Video, audio, and infographics all have their place mix up the type of content. The goal of trying different approaches (like quizzes, games, and paywalls) is to reach and engage folks. 

10. Plan out your content  

It’s important to have a calendar. Since inbound marketing is a cross-department effort, you need to have the content be coordinated across departments. Use a content program like Teamup or the HubSpot content calendar to keep track of posts.
Bonus tips:
Hold a blog-a-thon

I am a huge fan of the blog-a-thon. Get everyone around a white board and write 100 questions people would ask about your association. Then write out the answers, and you just created great content, fast. 
Create a video booth at events

Have trouble getting video?  A quiet room and a green screen is a way to capture good member video easily and quickly. 
Use a whiteboard program  

Whiteboard videos are easy to make and don’t take much time to create. Using a program like VideoScribe, you can take your best-written content and turn it into a video.

Want more? We delved deep into how inbound marketing can help nonprofits grow membership bases in our new EBook with HubSpot, Sign Me Up! A Guide to Growing and Engaging Your Membership Base

Originally posted on Hubspot's blog. Check it out here!