Attracting new members through content marketing is tricky business, but it doesn’t have to be. Oftentimes, groups that use this marketing style find themselves publishing articles that get little to no traction, or the engagement doesn’t end with the person taking that final step to become a member.
According to Nadya Khoja, chief growth officer for Venngage, this lack of conversions is due to the marketer’s lack of content promotion. Khoja told the audience at Digital Summit New York City that the solution some companies turn to is extensive marketing through Facebook or Google Ads, which can be expensive, especially for smaller groups, and doesn’t lead to the organic growth most marketers covet.
Instead, there are four things you need to focus on when trying to increase membership through content marketing. Khoja calls it the GRAP framework, which stands for goals, research, authority and promotion.
“The first part of the GRAP framework is goals, specifically how to establish different goals for various types of content that you’re creating,” she said.
Google serves as the most important driver of new visitors to your website, so your content marketing goals should be targeted towards the platform. The three Google-oriented goals Khoja emphasizes are higher domain authority, more traffic and more conversions.
Research + Authority
Domain authority is the ranking system Google uses for websites. The main ways to increase a website’s authority is by earning higher quality press, and through domain sites linking back to your content. That is why Venngage creates what they call viral and editorial content. Khoja gives the example of her article, “14 Visual Content Marketing Statistics that You Need to Know for 2019,” as the kind of post that Entrepreneur or Mashable, both high-ranking domain websites, would link to on their pages because of her expertise and research-based, data-driven approach in that story.
At the same time, a group implementing content marketing should also be posting what Venngage calls “actionable and how-to content” to drive up non-referral traffic to its website. To create this kind of content, it’s important to consider what the audience has mentioned they’re struggling with and then write researched articles to help them overcome those struggles. These articles can be loaded with quality, related keywords that help Google’s algorithm recommend the how-to article when people search for related topics.
Even then, Google still won’t rank a fledgling website that uses broad keywords like “leadership” highly. New websites should instead use more specific subcategories like “management skills” to increase their prevalence and carve out a unique authoritative niche.
The last element to success in content marketing is promotion. At most companies and organizations, people spend more time creating new content than promoting the content they’ve already created. In fact, Khoja’s analysis of works by other content marketers shows that only 500 out of 5,000 articles — just 10 percent — of the content on their website generates most of their traffic. The rule she gives her team at Venngage to solve this problem is if content takes a day to make, they should spend two to three days promoting it.
Ultimately, the goal of any good content marketer is ensuring the impactful, long-term growth of their association or company. By keeping association goals in mind, conducting proper market research, emphasizing the drive for authority and extensively promoting its content, your organization can increase online membership recruitment with its content marketing strategy.