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Emerging Strategies for Creating and Managing Content


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How to connect content strategy to organizational strategy and goals
How to effectively staff cross-functional teams
How publishing user-focused content can translate to membership value
Two of the principal researchers for the ASAE Foundation's “Association Content Strategies in a Changing World” study shared findings from the first phase of their research.

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Emerging Strategies for Creating and Managing Content

  1. 1. Emerging Strategies for Creating and Managing Content Association Content Strategies for a Changing World ASAE Foundation Research #AMPAnnual18 Dina Lewis, CAE & Hilary Marsh
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda ● Connect content strategy to organizational strategy and goals ● Effectively staff cross-functional teams ● Publish user-focused content to create membership value Share findings from the first phase of ASAE Foundation Study
  3. 3. ● Publications ● Newsletters ● Self-study guides ● Clinical guidelines ● Conference sessions ● Webinars ● Research reports ● Events ● Books ● Press releases ● News articles Associations produce so much content! Photo byLacie SlezakonUnsplash
  4. 4. and we have so many channels to fill! Icons: Nucleo
  5. 5. By bgEuwDxel93-Pg at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain, Content is the way our work is manifested in the world
  6. 6. Content is how we deliver our strategic goals ISAE Strategic Plan
  7. 7. Our content is our value Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash
  8. 8. And we succeed when we publish it so it resonates with members
  9. 9. Content strategy is the answer Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash
  10. 10. Content Strategy Defined The planning and judgment for the creation, publication, dissemination, and governance of useful, usable, effective content across departments and functional areas.
  11. 11. Three faces
  12. 12. Multiple parts ● A strategic statement tying content to business goals ● Guidelines and policies: Who, what, when, where, why, and how of publishing content ● Defining people, roles, and processes
  13. 13. Content creator-SME partnership: 1. Have a common understanding what key audiences want, and how their content helps deliver that. 2. Have a common understanding of the organization’s goals and priorities, and how their content contributes to them. 3. Create and share content in a consistent, effective way.
  14. 14. Principles ● The organization creates content that its audiences want ● The organization creates content that helps it meet its goals ● Content has success metrics and is measured against those ● Content that is no longer relevant is no longer available
  15. 15. Old thinking Staff department Content Audience Staff department Content Audience Staff department Content Audience Staff department Content Audience
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Consequences ● Difficult to prioritize ● Diluted impact ● Content not findable ● More calls to help desk ● More time away from work ● Frustration
  18. 18. Organization: Programs, offerings Audience Content Audience Audience Audience New thinking
  19. 19. Why Quantify Association Content Strategy? 2016 Operating Ratio Report Periodicals/Publications • 8.82% revenue/8.11% expense Educational Programming • 9.96% revenue/8.17% expense Decision to Join Current association members ranked dissemination of knowledge or content among four of the top five most important association functions Competition
  20. 20. Project Goals • Identify associations that are developing and implementing content strategies • Articulate the positive impact of a strategic approach to content • Analyze challenges to content creation and dissemination • Explore how these associations pursue content creation and management, including how they staff and allocate resources to their efforts
  21. 21. Research Summary: Environmental Scan Reviewed 68 articles, reports, and conference presentations from 2010 to 2017 ● Found a focus on definition, specific tactics, and case studies ● Myth-busting conceptions and confusion
  22. 22. Research Summary: Profile Survey • ASAE member survey to 4,730 people – 11.4% response rate • Anonymous survey to individuals, online communities, and social media • 613 total respondents
  23. 23. Research Summary: Profile Survey Content Strategy Adoption Key Beginner: 1 to 6 tactics Intermediate: 7 to 13 tactics Advanced: 14 to 17 tactics
  24. 24. Research Summary: Interviews • Randomly selected 15 interviewees based on size, scope, maturity, type • Identified patterns in successes and challenges • Primary challenge: people, not process
  25. 25. “People buying in to the philosophy of leading with strategy—that’s the value-add to your organization...” Connecting content strategy to organizational goals
  26. 26. Download the electronic version of this at How do you compare?
  27. 27. Cross-functional teams for the win!
  28. 28. Cross-functional teams for the win!
  29. 29. “When content strategy starts with buy-in, it gets prioritized, appropriate resources are allocated, and the effort gets spread throughout the organization.” Cross-functional teams for the win! ● Staffing often seen as a more of a challenge than budget ● Involve all content creators and socialize content strategy efforts
  30. 30. “Always put your member first. Your board isn’t first. Your staff isn’t first. Your member needs are first.” “Communicate, communicate, communicate. Up, not just down. Not one-way. You must listen. You must recognize the issues [your members] are facing. Don’t assume you understand. Or say, “This is what you get.” User-focused Content → Member Value ● Value of personas ● Collect and analyze data regularly
  31. 31. Highlights and What’s Next
  32. 32. Content strategy is not limited to any type, size, or scope of association
  33. 33. Applies to content specifically for marketing purposes and to drive action A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing…content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience... Content Marketing Strategy Applies to all content an association produces: programs, services, events, standards, publications, etc. Highlight: Content strategy does not mean the same thing to everyone Planning and judgement for the creation, publication, dissemination, and governance of useful, usable, effective content across departments and functional areas Content Strategy
  34. 34. Highlight: Good things are happening in association content strategy
  35. 35. Participate (and stay tuned)! Take the Content Strategy Practice Survey: Now through September 2018 ● Content strategy adoption ● Content strategy stories ● Potential tools and products
  36. 36. #AMPAnnual18 Thank You! Dina Lewis, CAE Distilled Logic, LLC @dinalew Hilary Marsh Content Company, Inc. @hilarymarsh