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How to Manage Your Best Content More Strategically - 3/10/2015 -


How to Manage Your Best Content More Strategically

Successful content management means being intentional about its presentation. Here are some ideas from the recent AM&P Lunch & Learn on how to be more strategic in disseminating your best content.

By Marlene L. Hendrickson

Rick Pullen, has challenged his association colleagues to step up their story-telling efforts and to think more strategically about how they package, repurpose, and deliver their valuable niche content.

Pullen, editor in chief of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ Leader’s Edge magazine, was the opening speaker at AM&P’s February 24, 2015 Lunch & Learn in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The event, which drew a capacity crowd, focused on content management but covered much more than metadata, tags, personalization strategies, and DAMs (digital asset management systems) — terms that often can make publishing and media professionals gloss over.

"None of us caters to a general audience,” said Pullen. "That’s our strength. That’s why we all still have jobs.”

Speaking about what associations do best was an effective way to frame the content management conversation. The content associations are creating and disseminating already is the key to their indispensability, Pullen said, which leads to increased advertising sales, member engagement, web traffic, social media activity, and much more.

"Get your niche down to one,” he advised. "Get the story to the right person in your association…Think about how to dig down into your association’s content. Dig down into the different niches in your group. Make yourself indispensable.”

But most important, he said, is to realize that content management and delivery strategies are no good without better-than-good content.

Repackaging and Repurposing

Inherent in successfully managing content is being strategic about its presentation. Associations work hard to populate newsletters, magazines, journals, blogs — but the content in those publications shouldn’t end once it’s published. Good content management is supported by a solid dissemination strategy.

Pullen offered a strategy many associations, including his own, have successfully executed: repackaging content on a targeted subject and delivering it to specific members who have the greatest need for that content. His organization created a popular Management Series of articles, which is populated by content that has already been created for (or published in) Leader’s Edge magazine. The content not only appeals to current managers and executives, it also works to engage hopeful and future execs who will continue to be loyal consumers of the organization’s publications.

Positioned as "expertise to help your business grow,” the Management Series effectively repurposes content, reaches a core audience, engages members, enhances the member experience, and plants seeds for member retention and increased levels of member satisfaction.

Demystifying the Technology

Because a conversation about content management is not complete without tackling technology and online publishing strategies, presenter Michael Spinosa gave the Lunch & Learn audience a digestible overview of current trends, pitfalls, and tactical considerations.

Spinosa is CEO of Unleashed Technologies, a firm that specializes in web design, development, and management, and he challenged association media and publishing professionals to think differently about how they deliver content.

For example, "a magazine is no longer what it used to be,” he said, because the content can populate so many different avenues that reach targeted constituencies. But why wait until your magazine is done and published before pushing out content online, through social media, blogs, or other digital platforms? Spinosa advocates for having content cued up for digital dissemination at the start of each month, arguing that a magazine is typically the slowest way to push out content and may not be the best venue for doing so.

"Pretend you are the member,” Spinosa advised, and experience your content delivery and consumption through that lens. Such an exercise, however, should be backed by strategic surveys of your audience and analysis of data and analytics.

"Stay on top of your website. Using Google Analytics is worthless if you take no action on it,” said Spinosa. And hand-in-hand with interpreting and acting on the analytics is skillfully deploying a sound metadata strategy. Using metadata on your websites, strategically tagging content is the "underlying fiber for why you’ll have long-term success,” he added. These strategies ensure audiences can find and engage with your content and increase their engagement levels with your association.

And, to round all this up, many organizations have deployed digital management systems — or DAMs — which can be cloud-based and work to organize potentially millions of pieces of content, including images and articles. Such a system can help anchor an overall content management strategy.

But before your association leaps, take a good look at what it needs to best serve members. Ask the right questions. "Just because an app exists, doesn’t mean you need one,” Spinosa said.

Offering a preview of future trends, Spinosa briefly discussed an up-and-coming technology trend: website personalization. Put simply, this technology strategy allows an organization’s website to recreate itself and serve up content based on a visitor’s profile and preferences.

Talk about user experience.

Marlene L. Hendrickson is director of marketing for the American Staffing and a member of the AM&P Content Creation Committee. We sincerely thank Marlene for volunteering to cover this Lunch & Learn for our members who were unable to attend.


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