A quick overview of how to get more association members and boost conference attendance using inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is the methodology that more and more corporate marketing departments are deploying. When someone searches online, looking for an answer to their current challenge, you want to have the best-matched educational answer for them.

When they read your blog post, they have the opportunity to explore more by downloading a guide or whitepaper or checklist. They’ve exchanged their marketing contact information for the offer your association has developed. You can then develop a relationship with this prospective member over time, using e-mail, social media and additional content to nurture them to become a member.


Let’s explore the model for associations:

Searchers, looking for an answer, Google their query and land on an educational blog post authored by a member of your association. Or, they see a social media post by a colleague in their industry about your association’s education information and click on it. They become a visitor. You can entice them to convert, and by passing on their name, e-mail address and other contact information in exchange for a robust guide, whitepaper, checklist or other tool for them to use in their association, they’ve given you permission to keep in touch. Authored by your members, this guide should be a top-tier information resource that is designed to educate, not sell.

Once they’re part of your fold, you can nurture them to join your organization by sending out specific targeted e-mails that match the stage that they are in (whether it be awareness, consideration or ready to become a member.)

Members who are part of your organization already can be further nurtured to attend webinars, workshops and the organization’s annual conference through e-mail, social media and workflows designed to help members see the value of these opportunities to collaborate and learn with their peers.

Attendees who learn more and become part of the organization become brand evangelists, telling their colleagues about the experience, the benefits and the people that make your organization truly valuable. This in turn helps nurture more new prospects to visit your site, exchange their contact information and become part of the organization.

And it all starts with a blog post (or, two dozen!)

Inbound marketing works because people are always searching for answers to a problem of one sort or another. Matching your content to your audience’s problems is easy for many associations, who are in the business of educating and connecting members to each other. And since most associations occupy a niche area, becoming the content authority on their subject matter is also very easy. With a ready supply of industry experts as members, using inbound marketing to boost membership and attendance for associations is effective!

Associations can be content authorities in their area precisely because they have assembled a knowledge base of information through their membership that is unmatched. Using inbound marketing methodologies and tools to connect searchers to the organization is a powerful way to grow your association.

Download our Inbound Marketing for Associations overview, including a high-level outline of the top inbound marketing tactics your association should be doing.