Using content to acquire newmembers (and do other fun stuff) BRIAN F. O’LEARY TOOLS OF CHANGE – CHICAGO APRIL 9, 2012
Six core ideas Repackage great content Include content in recruiting efforts Distribute copies in “public place” locations Sell institutional subscriptions Give content away Remember the leave-behind
One core lesson: understand your targets Not aware Aware LapsedMember, Subscriber, Purchaser, Loyal Consumer
Repackage great content Capitalize on or create a niche Rebrand a professional series (e.g “member toolkit”) Target a group (e.g., “young professionals”) and show how your content works for them “Just in time” content: a chapter or a compilation from several other publications Cross-over compilations: content taken from books, magazines, newsletters, blogs and more Adapt print content for webinars and other media It’s okay to charge for this (or at least put a price on it) Sources: James Heib, Marble Institute of America; Magellan research
Tools of the trade Print-on-demand and short-run vendors like Author Solutions, Lulu, Smashwords and CreateSpace (Amazon) SharedBook’s “Blog2Print” option PressBooks, a WordPress-based tool that supports output to PDF, EPUB and HTML Apple’s iBooks platform, competing with Kindle Direct for paid sales The Daisy Consortium (accessibility)
Make content part of your recruiting offer Make “best of” or “special issue” offers that borrow from member-benefit content Ask yourself: “What do we know/do that no one else knows/does?” Show prospective members (buyers) how your content meets their expressed and latent needs Differentiate platforms (magazines for thought leadership; blogs for perspective and debate, etc.) “Tools of the trade” can be used here, too
Use “public place” locations Relevance varies; know your niche Use response vehicles (cards, source & QR codes) Track results (it’s a data-driven business) Single-copy sales (cautiously!) Example: American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Sources: Folio:, James Heib, Scott Oser, Magellan research
Sell institutional subscriptions Journals, annuals, special reports Some publications Works well if you have vetted content Content can sell at a (much) higher price Helps to validate your credentials Sources: Scott Oser, Magellan research
Give content away (smartly!) First: know the companies or individuals you want to recruit Offer samples whenever you exhibit at or attend relevant conferences and trade shows Court industry influencers: government leaders, key decision makers Evaluate lower-cost, digital-only options
Some digital-only options Apple’s iBooks Author platform (iPad only) Google Currents (format for mobile) Kindle Publishing for Periodicals Adobe Digital Publishing (tablet only) Inkling (cross-platform, cloud-based) WordPress (and PressBooks) Multiple HTML5 frameworks The Atavist, Byliner (longer-form, for-sale products) Source: Magellan research
Remember the leave-behind! Editors, writers and contributors often speak outside of your association Give them copies of the publications in which their work appeared Encourage them to give it away, mail or e-mail it to their contacts and colleagues (make it easy to do so) Partner with organizations that need your content and can introduce it to non-members
New rules of thumb for recruiting with content Not “outbound”; think “surround” Targets resist “campaigns”; try “experiences” and “relationships” Increasingly “segments” are too broad. Develop offers that resonate with “individuals” Think about selling relevant books or compilations published by others (look bigger, more helpful) Source: Forrester Research, 2010
Six core ideas Repackage great content Include content in membership recruiting efforts Distribute copies in “public place” locations Sell institutional subscriptions Give content away Remember the leave-behind
Additional resources Association Media & Publishing Scott Oser, Clay Shirky, James Kane ASAE’s membership section O’Reilly Media’s Radar blog (books, new media) Magellan’s blog (associations, magazines, books) A mini-bibliography: http://bit.ly/HlBuNY
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