If You Build It, They Will Come: Inbound Marketing In Associations

Inbound marketing seems to be the catch phrase of 2014. What is it? Simply put, inbound marketing refers to relevant marketing that brings your prospects to you, in contrast to more traditional marketing methods, like cold calling, SPAM-like emails and interruptive ads.

There are many ways your association could develop an inbound marketing campaign. It could include writing blog articles on topics highly searched by your target audience. Maybe you are sitting on a lot of great content but you don’t know how to share it. Create whitepapers and require visitors to fill out a form with their contact information in order to download them. Now you have a strong list of people who have expressed interest in the resources you provided. Follow up with more information on how a membership to your association would be a good fit for them.

The Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE) uses HubSpot to facilitate our inbound marketing campaign. All blog posts, landing pages, emails and social media are published on this software platform, while it maintains important information about our contacts (email, job title, ISAE web pages they have visited, etc.).

ISAE uses this valuable information to share relevant content with our members and prospects via email marketing. Are you a CEO? We would send you a list of dates for CEO-specific events you may wish to attend. Maybe you are in charge of your association’s meetings. Then we might share online education, job openings and blog posts specific to meeting and event planning. Using HubSpot’s data, we are able to tailor the content to our audience through segmentation.

As a result, we see higher engagement: a membership professional shares our blog post via social media because she sees the relevancy of the topic and in return we see increased website traffic. A director of marketing attends Tech Talk and receives valuable tips he can take back and implement into his own organization. A prospect, who downloaded a whitepaper offering, attends a 5:05 free networking event to learn more about becoming an ISAE member.

Is your association looking into developing an inbound marketing campaign? Or currently using HubSpot? Share your challenges and successes!