Just about every organization is searching for ways to better reach or expand their target audiences. It’s why companies create Facebook pages, post photos and videos to Instagram, and invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars on Google AdWords campaigns. Everyone is trying to find one more customer, client, partner or member. But, what works best? And is “doing it” enough to actually make a difference?

 

Creating content that works for you

Developing content can often be a time-consuming task. Not everyone is a writer nor does everyone feel passionate enough about any particular topic to devote an hour or two of their time to jot it all down. We’ve recently discussed the benefits of creating content for brands and what to do next once the content is published, but let’s do a quick recap to get everyone up to speed:

  • All content should be directed to a specific audience with a specific goal in mind. In other words, don’t create content just to have content. The content must have a purpose!
  • Make the next step as clear as possible to readers. If your goal is to get website visitors to download a PDF, fill out a form, or read more content, tell them and make it as easy as possible.
  • Measure your content’s effectiveness on a regular basis. For some, this could mean once a week and for others, it could be once a month. Regardless, the best way to determine the effectiveness of your content is to look at the analytics. Is it working? Are people spending time on the page? What are they doing next? Find what works and replicate it.
  • Access is critical. Content should be easy to get to and easy to share because chances are, if Eileen in Omaha enjoyed your article she’ll share it with her connections on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, too.

 

Promote content directly to target audiences

Now that your organization is creating content on a regular or at least a semi-regular basis, you have to get it in front of your target audiences. Through some good old fashioned research, you can determine which communication platforms are used/checked by your target audiences most frequently.

Now, not every organization is the same and what works for one may not work for another. That’s why research that includes your current members, as well as past members and prospective members, will yield the best results. You know, the kinds of results you can hang your hat on as a marketer and feel confident that you’re spending time in the right areas.

Communication platforms can be as basic as a blog and grow into more engaging tools like social media, but don’t forget about some of these tried and true tactics, too!

  • Email marketing (nurturing campaigns, e-newsletters, and announcements)
  • Webinars and online forums for Q&A
  • In-person events (conferences and networking events)
  • Videos and photography
  • Infographics
  • Whitepapers and ebooks
  • Direct mail pieces
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Text messaging
  • Phone calls

 

Every brand has its own unique voice so the tactics you choose to communicate with audiences should fit with your organization’s tone and style. Can you imagine receiving marketing communications from Harley-Davidson via a webinar?

 

Encourage engagement to grow your audience

The key in all of this is to create engaging content your target audiences can react to and share with others. Through research, topics that are of the most interest to your target audiences should rise to the top. As your members discover content that resonates with them, they are more likely to react, click, comment, and share that content with their connections. And, thanks to Facebook and LinkedIn’s newsfeeds, we know all too well that in order for a majority of audiences to see an update, the organization must generate as much engagement as possible to improve the reach of the content.

It helps to let audiences, including internal ones, know when content has been published. Through social media, email, and other on-brand communication tools, you can not only drive awareness but also promote engagement. Ask questions, survey audiences, and even design contests to drive meaningful engagement that not only improves your relationship with existing members but also gains the interest of potential members and outsiders who may have even more connections to share your content with over time.

Ultimately, the more targeted content you produce and promote to your audiences, the better your results will be! As members and prospective members find value in the content you provide, they will be more likely to proactively consume and engage with your content. This could mean improved member retention and new member outreach through the same effort. Win-win!

 

Interested in learning more about creating content? Check out these tips on how to develop helpful content next!

Lauren Littlefield headshot

Written by Lauren Littlefield

“I love the people I work with at Willow, but I come to work to help our clients. I genuinely want to do great work for them.”