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Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Content Marketing

Content marketing has become increasingly important in helping associations stand out. Here are some starting points and expert tips in the field.

Content marketing is an important part of any association’s hard work.

It’s also something that can be done poorly or not managed properly over time, leading to lots of headaches or middling results. With that in mind, here’s a dive into the ASAECenter.org and Associations Now archives on the content marketing front:

Better, Not More: The New Rules of Content Marketing. This piece makes the case for building higher-quality content—but less of it—citing statistics about how, despite many organizations producing more than a dozen pieces per month, many readers engage with only a handful of them. “The more we send, the more we create, the less individual things people can consume,” said Content Company founder Hilary Marsh. “It’s sort of like the Marie Kondo approach to content. So when there’s too much, you can’t even absorb what’s there. You can’t take it in. You can’t remember it, and certainly you can’t use it.”

Digital Revenue Opportunities for a Mobile Content World. This piece, based on ASAE Research Foundation data, notes that the trend of print-based content was on the way out, in favor of a digital or hybrid content distribution approach—as well as the fact that solving for digital remains a challenge. “As content goes digital, advertising is also undergoing a shift, and many organizations are still figuring out their publishing business model,” the piece stated. “In 2018, only 45.1 percent of respondents said their publishing program as a whole was profitable after expenses.”

Short or Long? What a Content Marketing Expert Says About Word Count. This piece picks the brain of Kim Moutsos, vice president of editorial for the Content Marketing Institute, who tackles the question of short versus long by suggesting that if length is your focus, you might be asking the wrong question. “The point is not that you should say, ‘this needs to be shorter’ or ‘it needs to be long,’” Moutsos said. “It needs to be compelling. And if you make it compelling, then just make it the length that it needs to be to help someone to do whatever it is you want them to do.”

Tips for Conducting a Content Audit. Mike Steckel, the director of user experience at Mighty Citizen, breaks down the ins and outs of a strong content audit process, going into technical detail on the steps necessary. “A content audit is an accounting and analysis of content,” he wrote. “The purpose is to understand where your content is and what it is doing. The audit helps you evaluate how your content is performing so you can tweak it, prioritize it, or get rid of it.”

The Most Annoying Content Marketing Tactic. This piece, a takedown of the concept of “link building,” discusses why simply emailing someone asking for a link or a guest post isn’t going to win you friends—and what your organization should do instead. “Here’s the not-so-secret strategy that SEO experts will tell you: You have to put the work in,” the piece states. “It’s not a matter of simply offering a resource in the general vicinity of what a website or blog needs; it needs to actually be an exact match. But that means waiting for a match to actually show itself.”

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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