We don’t need to tell you it’s a chaotic world out there. If you feel bombarded with information, you’re not alone — social media feeds and email inboxes provide floods of data, 24/7.
And with that information comes the need to make sense of it all — even more importantly, to sort out what’s credible and what’s not reliable, and to mine value from mountains of online content.
The bottom line is: good content gives readers great value, and it tells stories that can help connect us to each other even while we were under mandatory stay-at-home orders.
Delivering timely and effective content is a powerful way to engage your target audiences. Here are six helpful tips:
1. Use Email To Share Content With Your Audiences
This may surprise you, but email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your membership base.
2. Keep Your Email List Current And Accurate
Even the best content does nothing if your customers and members don’t receive it. Establish ongoing list maintenance to remove duplicates, fix typos, update invalid addresses and delete emails with hard or soft bounces.
3. A Big Trend For Email In 2021 Is Personalization
Personalization is another key reason for keeping your mailing list up-to-date. A great first step is using software to add the recipient’s name to the subject line or in your salutation.
4. Give Them What They Want
You know your audience, so create content that meets their specific needs and grabs their interest. Unions might share profiles of new members; associations might update or educate members about issues they are passionate about; businesses might tell the stories behind their products or provide tips on how to get the best value from those products.
5. Make Sure Your Content Works On All Platforms
Create content that can be viewed on phones, tablets and desktops so readers can access it anytime, anywhere.
6. Plan Your Content Carefully
Here are some ideas for this step:
Create a Content Team, if possible, of three or four people who know your audience well. Unions and associations might invite volunteers from their memberships.
Set small, achievable publication goals for the next 12 months, such as issuing a newsletter or update every 60 days.
Hold a team brainstorming session for content ideas for the year ahead. Are there major milestones you’ll want to showcase, key topics to cover, or trends to explore? Can you update existing content or repurpose online content as an email?
Schedule one topic to focus on each month. Outline the stories you want to tell for each topic, and identify how best to tell them: as a blog post, a video, a testimonial, an infographic, an Instagram story, a newsletter story, or something else?
Determine which Content Team member will be responsible for each topic, and set a deadline of 30 to 45 days to complete all the content – even if it is content for later in the schedule.
Schedule regular meetings for your Content Team. Planning ahead and pre-scheduling ensures you always have fresh content — but also gives you flexibility to respond to unexpected events impacting your readers, such as COVID-19.
Creating content that engages, informs and entertains is a process that takes time, discipline and focus. But when you craft content that resonates with readers, it becomes a powerful tool for engaging your customers or members.
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