If you are an association content curator, perhaps part of an editorial team, behold your power. You hold one of the hottest tools to drive retention: your content!

Like any tool, it matters how you use it.

Content curation is demanding on resources, so how do you keep your content working for you, not you working for it? How do you harness this tool to double down on results without doubling up the demand on your resources?

Content products must be aligned with your organizational short-term goals. Long-term goals are pretty vague in guiding you to identify new content topics, but short term goals spell it out.

Need your annual meetings to attract a higher percentage of your membership base, then identify the best segment to achieve that and create a content series for them that can be repackaged as a meeting session. Throughout the release of the series, be nimble and refine your content based on feedback, comments, or analytics.

That seems straightforward, but, there are two things standing in the way of many association editorial teams from being a content dynamo with measurable results. Here they are and ideas to address them:

1. Editorial departments have seen their resources trimmed in cost-savings measures throughout the past years.

 What to do about it:

Employ time-shifting: develop efficiencies in order to shift time to a place where you get more value from your efforts.

Use creativity as a disruptive tool to change your team or your process. Evolve.

Map your content early – at the genesis of the idea, not when the article is completed – to allow time for rich media products and resource allocation.

Measure your content. Analytics can prove the ROI of your content as well as your team. (Look for patterns: How many of your organization’s site visitors read your team’s content? How long do they spend on your content vs. the site in general. Are many of your site’s unique visitors coming from links your team has put out there? Is there a pattern that members who read more than three articles a month have a higher retention rate then those who don’t read any?)

2. Editorial departments remain siloed off from other content curators in their organization and, in too many instances, from accountability of the efficacy of their content.

What to do about it:

 Collaborate. All content curation teams must work together to inform and identify content topics and to fully leverage your content. This will reduce redundancies and can also magnify your resources. You might have to start the mindset change by offering to help other department’s teams with your content.

Develop a system of content governance. If you are going to help other teams with your content, then you need a way to search for topics, tags and content availability efficiently. A sidebar from a few months ago, might increase the clickthroughs of an eblast that alerts the close of the early-bird rate. But you’ll need to access the content map and availability of any content product first — folders of Word files are not content governance.

Measure your content. See above. Analytics are your friend. Just like marketing departments justify the ROI of their efforts, editorial content teams need to do the same. If you’re looking to protect your resources from being trimmed, analytics can help prove ROI.