Associations are being brave enough to provide mountains of useful information to their members. If you are aren’t trying to go big with your content marketing, then you’re probably not feeling the pinch that associations are reporting in Association Laboratory’s Looking Forward 2014 findings. Information management is the issue of the day. But you won’t believe what the members’ concerns were.

Or maybe you would, it was information management too.

The mostly chief-staff-officer association respondents, reported that four out of the nine concerns are in information management. From managing member expectations to customizing content around by member segments. When it comes to the implications on association strategy, five of the eight leading association concerns are information management. The vast majority of association executives reported that their members are concerned about managing the volume of incoming information. Some kind of conundrum, isn’t it?

The needle’s in the red, people.

Doing things the way they have always have been done when it comes to creating and delivering content is not going to work. And by work I mean, you are not going to achieve what is possible or what you need to from your content marketing efforts.

When you look at that report, do you see yourself, your association? Are you hearing the alarms that you’re operating in the red?

What to do about it

Here is a fast-to-consume list of the big aha’s we see when the needle is in the red:

Lack of efficiency. Content hits are not being repurposed. Great info is getting buried in the serp’s because you let it sink down. Too much energy therefore is being expended in reinventing the wheel. If there was any one thing you could do to make a fast, cheap improvement I would say that it is in this area.

Lack of synergy. Duplicated content efforts and lack of awareness of content asset across departmental lines. Yeah, it the solos again and this time they are co$ting you big time.

Lack of accountability. Meaning content assets with no ROI. Gulp. If you don’t have specific, measurable goals for your content, then how do you measure that what you’re doing is working? And if your team can’t identify what’s working how can they do it again? And if they can’t prove their efficacy, then why have a team? There are firms out there who want you to eliminate your content team and have them take over. (We are not one of them.) I can tell you that, at first, they will do a better job. But, paying an outside vendor to develop a deep expertise in your niche is a short-sighted mistake. If you develop a proficiency in content marketing then you can create content marketing with measurable ROI, just like they can, and an accountability for your content-creation efforts.

Lack of technologies. Waaaay back in 2010 and 2011, there were technologies that helped you close the loop on your content marketing, to learn what is working what is not. These tools help make sure you have a high-conversion website and that you can fully measure the ROI of your content. And there are many, many free tools to help at every stage in your content marketing. (Come to our AM&P Lunch ‘n Learn in DC on March 20th: The Epic List of Content Marketing Tools.  If you can’t make it, we’ll be posting the info here too.)

By Monica Bussolati