Associations are producing content, tons of it. Kudos, well done! The sheer volume is enviable by anyone in marketing, and it is not only quantity, it is quality. You have set the bar for tapping SMEs for continual delivery of great content.

So, are you wondering how many leads your content efforts – articles, blog posts, videos, social – should be generating? How many leads is reasonable for your membership department to expect?

The answer is the most annoying one in the world: it depends.

But here is a sure fire way to figure it out.

Every content asset should include a call-to-action (CTA).

The purpose of delivering content is to educate, inform or entertain your audience, but the reason you do it is to underscore your value. So, with each content piece you deliver, you should identify ‘what next?’ And many times the ‘what next’ will be made plain with a call to action as simple as ‘download the full results here’ or ‘learn more here’ or ‘reserve your place today.’ Sometimes your call to action is simply posing a question at the end of a blog post so that you can stimulate a dialog that will help you learn, generate more content or drive engagement. There are many types of CTAs, but every content piece should have one and the most successful ones are the plainest asks for an action.

A/B test your CTAs, then apply what works best to drive a better response with your current CTAs.

Above the fold? Red vs. blue? ‘Download Now’ vs. ‘Download Here.’ There are no proven rules that apply to everyone, so you need to test and test often. Once you are in a habit of A/B testing your CTAs, you’ll never go back because it is thrilling to see your change result in an immediate 30% higher rate of taking action. Yes, thrilling! Do the math: how many CTAs do you have? A lot. A lot x 30%= thrilling. See?

Identify the highest responses from the call-to-actions delivered in your content assets

It’s important to identify the pattern of action. Does your audience respond more to offers of data like surveys and reports? If that is the case, can you cull new offerings from your data bank to accompany blog posts or articles? In other words, can you provide more opportunities for your website visitors to provide you with their contact information?

Ensure that your content is effectively aligned with business goals.

Fundamental to content marketing is having content campaigns designed to support the business goals of the organization. Sure, your org might exist to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs, but that is the big theme. Within your community, you have audiences with differing interests and needs. Plus, your org has more immediate needs, like increasing student members or first-time attendees to an annual conference. Those goals are specific enough to target your segmented audience and drive interest and actions. And realistically, you can run multiple campaigns simultaneously, each with individual goals.

Track lead volume

In the past, your content resulted in your site visitors filling out forms for free content, and doing it again until they are showing a serious interest in your offerings. A/B test to optimize your CTAs, ensure all content is aligned with business goals and that every content piece has a CTA and then, you’ll know that you are producing the most leads with your content marketing. Look at the trend, are you increasing leads 10% a quarter? 15%?

So now you know what is a reasonable expectation: Your CTAs are tested and optimized, your goals are clear and all of your content assets have a clear call to action. You know how your leads are trending so you can set expectations with your membership department.

I am curious, how many leads are you getting with your content?



by Monica Bussolati

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