Sharing compelling content whether information, news, videos, or podcasts related to your mission and goals is a winning strategy for attracting and engaging current and potential customers, members, or donors. With a crowded marketplace and communication stream filled with organizations pitching and selling, positioning yourself as the place to find timely, concise, engaging stories and news on your niche helps you cut through the clutter.

a photo of fireworksA carefully thought out content strategy and plan is key to success including:

What are your ultimate goals and desired outcomes  (leads, sales, fundraising, building community, recruiting/retaining members, etc.)?

What kinds of content do you think which of your target audiences would find most interesting and useful? What are problems your customers or members have that your content can help them solve?

To Create or Curate? How will you combine creating vs. curating content to become the source people turn to for information? Most organizations will find a combination of culling useful news and information from external trusted sources with creating your own content a happy medium. A fruitful approach is focusing on developing content that isn’t easily found elsewhere and fits your niche and goals, while sharing other kinds of content you know other outside organizations are already doing a great job providing (rather than wasting resources creating information someone else does).

What content should be free and open to the public vs. members-only or fee-based? Associations and publishers have been wrestling with this question for some time. While the traditional approach was to lock most content behind the membership gate, today associations are taking a fresh look at what will be perceived as the highest member value and how to use what kind of public content to build a community and enhance their reputation as an authoritative information source. Each organization has to look carefully at these issues based on their industry, competitors, and specific situation.

How will you promote your free content to increase and engage your desired audiences? Developing and curating insightful content is a waste if people aren’t aware of it. Plan how you will promote your content through every vehicle possible and encourage your constituents to share it with their friends and colleagues to maximize your audience and build your reputation as the source for information in your niche.

Keep up with content marketing strategies and trends by following the experts. Some of my favorite content marketing experts are:

A superb example of a web site loaded with engaging, insightful, free content is Social Media Examiner, founded by Michael Stelzner, the ultimate content marketer and author of the book Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. Stelzner has used this approach to build an audience of more than 600,000 readers to draw on for his events and courses.
What do you think is most critical to having a successful content marketing strategy? Which experts do you turn to for content marketing ideas and information?


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