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Association content strategy research part 1 - Marsh, Lewis, Hane

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Initial findings from the first study of content strategy adoption in associations. The study, funded by the ASAE Foundation, is being led by Hilary Marsh; Dina Lewis, CAE; and Carrie Hane. Key findings: some associations of all sizes and types are doing content strategy work; as a whole, the primary challenge is people, not resources or process; and content strategy is about much more than marketing. Part 2 is coming later in 2018.

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Association content strategy research part 1 - Marsh, Lewis, Hane

  1. 1. 5/23/18 1 Associa'on Content Strategies for a Changing World Dina Lewis, CAE & Hilary Marsh ●  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
  2. 2. 5/23/18 2 and we have so many channels to fill! Icons: Nucleo By bgEuwDxel93-Pg at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25498286 Content is the way our work is manifested in the world
  3. 3. 5/23/18 3 Content is how we deliver our strategic goals ISAE Strategic Plan Our content is our value Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash
  4. 4. 5/23/18 4 And we succeed when we publish content in a way that resonates with members Content strategy is the answer Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash
  5. 5. 5/23/18 5 Content Strategy Defined The planning and judgment for the creation, publication, dissemination, and governance of useful, usable content across departments and functional areas. 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
  6. 6. 5/23/18 6 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 Project Timeline Phase 1: September 2017 – March 2018 Environmental Scan Profile Survey Interviews Interim Report
  7. 7. 5/23/18 7 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 Research Summary: Profile Survey • Member survey to 4,730 people – 11.4% response rate • Anonymous survey to individuals, online communities, and social media • 613 total respondents
  8. 8. 5/23/18 8 Research Summary: Profile Survey Content Strategy Adoption Key Beginner: 1 to 6 tactics Intermediate: 7 to 13 tactics Advanced: 14 to 17 tactics Research Summary: Interviews • Randomly selected 15 interviewees based on size, scope, maturity, type • Identified patterns in successes and challenges • Primary challenge: people, not process
  9. 9. 5/23/18 9 “People buying in to the philosophy of leading with strategy—that’s the value-add to your organization...” Hypothesis: Content strategy is foundational and self-sustaining Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained ●  Content marketing is a tactic ●  Tactics ≠ Strategy ●  Organization-wide approach shows association’s value ●  Manage & govern for maximum effect ●  Content strategy can help associations increase revenue Hypothesis: Some associations define content strategy as content marketing Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained
  10. 10. 5/23/18 10 How do you compare? Download the electronic version of this at http://bit.ly/cs-assessment-tool-1 Hypothesis: Content strategy differs based on the department with responsibility Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained
  11. 11. 5/23/18 11 Hypothesis: There are not enough resources to do content strategically “When content strategy starts with buy-in, it gets prioritized, appropriate resources are allocated, and the effort gets spread throughout the organization.” Hypothesis: There are not enough resources to do content strategically Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained
  12. 12. 5/23/18 12 Hypothesis: Size matters—bigger associations are doing content strategy more than smaller ones “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.” Hypothesis: Size matters—bigger associations are doing content strategy more than smaller ones Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained
  13. 13. 5/23/18 13 ●  Half of interviewees: Content strategy takes off when the CEO/executive director changes ●  Rebranding/website redesign also an impetus Hypothesis: Change in leadership is an opportunity to catalyze content strategy Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained Hypothesis: Content strategy evolves out of an individual champion ●  Establish metrics to show value of content strategy to association management ●  Demonstrate success and build on it with allies ●  Recognize content strategy as a core association skillset Not Sustained Partially Sustained Sustained
  14. 14. 5/23/18 14 Highlights and What's Next Highlight: Content strategy is not limited to any type, size, or scope of association
  15. 15. 5/23/18 15 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 for the creation, publication, dissemination, and governance of useful, usable content across departments and functional areas Content Strategy Highlight 3: Good things are happening in association content strategy
  16. 16. 5/23/18 16 Stay Tuned! Now through September 2018 ●  Content strategy adoption ●  Content strategy stories ●  Potential tools and products Take the Content Strategy Practice Survey: http://bit.ly/fcspsurvey Thank You! Hilary Marsh Content Company, Inc. @hilarymarsh hilary@contentcompany.biz Dina Lewis, CAE Dis?lled Logic, LLC @dinalew dina@dis?lledlogic.net

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