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Inbound marketing might seem intimidating at first. After all, producing compelling content is no small feat. But the good news is that you can kick off your inbound marketing journey without creating new content from scratch. 

With inbound marketing, your content, branding, and search engine optimization work in harmony, attracting people who resonate with your association’s mission — and who might even become members. 

The key is to gather readers’ contact information, so you can later take steps to convert them into members. One way to do this: offer bite-sized content in exchange for qualified leads. 

Design a helpful one-pager

A one-pager is a classic marketing tool that your association almost certainly uses already. It’s also a great template for bite-sized content that can bring visitors directly to your association’s website.

For example, consider the American Booksellers Association’s web page on indie bookstore statistics. It’s concise, informative and easy to find through search engines or the website’s homepage. 

Because the page contains valuable statistics, it’s likely to earn citations from journalists, bloggers, and even politicians crafting legislation. This recognition can in turn attract even more attention to the American Booksellers Association, raising awareness of its role in the bookselling space — and winning qualified leads in the process.

If your association has collected a wealth of statistics over the years, consider compiling them into a helpful one-pager-style web page, then watch the web traffic roll in.

Create a downloadable resource

Downloadable content is a popular inbound marketing tactic, and for good reason. This tactic allows your association to offer a free PDF worksheet, whitepaper, ebook or similar resource in exchange for the reader’s contact information.

There are many ways to repurpose existing content into downloadable resources. Explore options such as:

  • Excerpting longer reports that are available exclusively for members
  • Compiling helpful one-pagers into a downloadable bundle
  • Offering worksheets or conversation-starters that your internal teams find valuable
  • Creating a guide that walks readers through a new process that aligns with your association’s core purpose

When creating a contact form for downloadable content, think about what information will help you get to know leads. Most organizations collect an email address, name and company name to better understand their inbound leads. 

Above all, make sure to reward readers with content that is genuinely helpful. No one enjoys handing over their personal information in exchange for content that ends up being lackluster.

Craft a limited run newsletter

If you really want to get creative, a limited run newsletter is a great option to explore. 

This type of bite-sized content allows readers to opt into a series of automated emails. Once you design the email series, you can “set it and forget it,” since your email marketing software will automatically trigger the series each time someone new enrolls. 

Limited run newsletters work best when you want to guide readers through learning a new skill or mastering the nuances of a specific topic. Instead of offering one in-depth piece of content, a series of newsletters will break it into smaller components that are easier to digest. 

Ideally, it will also reinforce your association’s brand and value in readers’ minds.

For example, the American Business Women’s Association could offer a five-email series on negotiation tactics. Or, the National Education Association could create a series that helps parents plan enriching activities for their children.

Like downloadable content, newsletters also allow you to gather leads’ contact information. As long as you offer valuable information and treat leads with respect, many won’t mind staying signed up for your regular newsletter or occasionally receiving messages from your marketing team. (Just be sure to comply with GDPR and other regulations.)

Though making the leap to inbound marketing might initially seem tricky, it’s very likely that your association already has excellent content that can be easily repurposed. Bite-sized content can help you grow your audience while working smarter, not harder. 

Heather Nolan
Post by Heather Nolan
September 23, 2020
Heather a skilled communicator with expertise in social media and marketing strategy, brand management and journalism. She uses storytelling and audience growth skills to help companies showcase their brand and expand their reach.