While subscription can serve as your publication's lifeblood, attracting new subscribers serves as the sustenance…
Content marketing is a strategy that is quickly growing in popularity, but not just among businesses and search engines. The truth is that content marketing is becoming a very helpful tool that professional and trade associations can leverage to attract new members through the web. At the heart of things, content marketing is basically the act of delivering valuable, informative, and relevant content to prospective clients, customers, or association members without trying to push a product or service.
SEE ALSO: 4 Deadly Sins of Content Marketing
Think about it this way: instead of advertising what your company has to offer, you instead provide content that involves a topic surrounding what you have to offer. Within the content, you then mention your product or service and how it benefits the topic within the content. This allows you to show benefits and sell without selling. If you're unsure of how to get started with content marketing, here are 3 free tools to help:
Google Keyword Planner
Keywords are an integral part of search engine optimization (SEO), but they are also important in planning content for the future. Using Google's Keyword Planner tool, your association can not only see what types of keywords people are searching for right now in relation to your association, but you can also get an estimate as to what these same people will be searching for in the future. With this information, your association can then plan content, including blog posts, social media updates, videos, and more, in order to catch the attention of potential association members.
Word clouds are representative graphics of text. In most cases, a word cloud will display a set of words that are either inputted manually or extrapolated from a set of data with the most-used words appearing the largest in the column or cloud. Wordle is a free resource that creates word clouds based on user input. Using Wordle, you can enter data from your website's most-visited pages, search terms, comments, and so on, and Wordle will show you what people are talking about or searching for the most in order to find your website or social media properties. This then helps in crafting your content for marketing purposes.
Finally, you can take advantage of a free trial of Hootsuite, a tool that allows you to access a variety of social media resources for attracting and analyzing attention through Facebook, Twitter, and more. Using Hootsuite, you can schedule status updates, and combined with Wordle and Google Keyword Planner, you'll be all set to reach people who will already be searching for the terms you present within your association's content.
Hootsuite also allows for a variety of different analytics reports to be delivered, and you can also choose up to 10 team members to be involved with the free version. Admittedly, Hootsuite only offers a 30-days free trial, but you may find that, combined with the other free resources mentioned above, it will be worth a paid subscription in order to attract new members.