The Anatomy of Inspiration:



Content: The BELLY

Your content is the BELLY. It’s the day-to-day fuel. It’s where inspiration is nourished.

If you know anything about nutrition, you know that filling your belly with high-calorie, low-quality foods usually makes you feel lethargic, bloated, and generally rotten. By contrast, high-quality calories and good food makes you feel more energetic, more motivated, and generally better. Content is no different: it’s quality over quantity. Want inspired members? Don’t just dish out content for contents’ sake. Take a true content marketing approach. In other words, feed them good calories.

A Storytelling Diet

The way to truly nourish inspiration is through standout storytelling, both visually and verbally.

Stories come in all forms: the story of your association, the story of what happens at the conference, the story of lives changed.

This is what we did for the National Investment Center (NIC) to market their spring regional conference this year. We spent time interviewing members they selected—each of whom had a different story to tell about the conference. (Hint: get your members comfortable talking, and they will always say things 100 times better than you could ever say them yourself.) Using a content marketing approach, we turned those stories into inspiring articles and well-designed downloadable PDFs, with call-to-action web buttons.

A Growing Appetite

When your content is solid and engaging and starts with quality—and you have the right plan in place—you can turn the stories into anything: magazine articles, emails, direct mail pieces, social media posts, print posters, apps, infographics, and, of course, motion graphics.

In fact, we’re moving toward the belief that VIDEO is becoming the most important way to present content (we’ll be writing more about that soon). We’re going to start embedding motion graphic clips (some as short as 15 seconds) into every email. It goes back to strategy—and the idea that you need to communicate to members the way they want to be communicated to.

Over and over again, people consistently rank video as one of the top ways they like to view content.

When we talk about quality content, we’re not just talking about words. Words are huge. Words move people, no doubt. But in today’s highly visual marketplace, you absolutely cannot inspire in a sustainable way without the final piece.

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