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The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Association Marketing 2023 (Part 1): Marketing Channel Growth

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Personal note from Jared:

In this comprehensive 15,000+ word marketing guide, I have poured my expertise, insights, and experiences to address the critical challenges faced by nursing associations and their leadership.

I share the practical solutions that have driven success and remarkable results in the past nearly four years, including doubling (2x) digital engagement year over year, increasing non-member leads by 2.5x annually, growing a LinkedIn account from 0 to 90,000+ followers, and reducing technology expenses by $20,000 in the first year.

Building the next generation of nursing associations

Nursing associations are in an unprecedented time to create value and influence. There is national media attention on nurses, investor pockets supporting nurse-led companies, and new generations of nurse advocates who've been their own brands and communities. But a lack of sustainable marketing practices undermines nursing associations' ability to advocate and participate in policy, politics, media, and business.

As executive directors, CEO, and leaders, you often face a myriad of challenges that hinder your ability to provide new value propositions to your members:

  • Adequately representing members' interests to show their voices are heard and considered.

  • Providing relevant resources to fulfill nurses' potential and support their specific needs.

  • Engaging and communicating to connect with and value your members.

  • Advocating effectively to address crucial concerns.

  • Aligning with your members' professional goals to strengthen their elationships with your nursing association.

The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Association Marketing 2023 is designed to equip you and your nursing association with better processes and principles to effectively handle these challenges in innovative ways. Associations are like grassroots startups in many ways, so this guide focuses heavily on step-by-step frameworks to save time, tools and best practices to speed up your approach, and insider knowledge to support your strategies.

Due to the breadth and depth of The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Association Marketing 2023, I've broken it down into four parts:

  • (Part1) Marketing Channel Growth - congrats, you're here!

  • (Part 2) Marketing Operating Systems

  • (Part 3) Mission-Aligned Campaigns

  • (Part 4) Non-Dues Revenue Models

Leveraging marketing channel growth expands your reach and the impact of your nursing association. Below you'll find insights on identifying and utilizing various channels such as email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and event marketing. By adopting a strategic approach to channel growth, you can effectively engage with your target audience, attract new members, and build strong relationships within the nursing and healthcare communities. Also, pay attention to key tools attached in this section.

Developing efficient marketing operating systems optimizes your internal processes, streamlines workflows, and will create a culture that embraces digital tools and technologies. (Part 2) Marketing Operating Systems will help you implement robust operating systems, so you can enhance productivity and output, facilitate seamless and automated communications, and ensure efficient management of marketing initiatives. You'll be able to allocate resources effectively and focus on delivering exceptional value to your members.

Creating mission-aligned campaigns is a key aspect of an effective nursing association marketing strategy. (Part 3) Mission-Aligned Campaigns provides a step-by-step process for campaign planning, execution, and measurement, while emphasizing the need for core values and objectives. By aligning your marketing campaigns with your mission you can communicate your association's purpose, raise awareness about key issues in the nursing profession, build lists of engaged nurses, and target your audiences in meaningful ways.

Developing sustainable revenue models is critical for the long-term success and growth of nursing associations. (Part 4) Non-Dues Revenue Models explores various revenue generation strategies, such as products and services, advertising and sponsorships, events and ticketing, and affiliate marketing initiatives. This section emphasizes the importance of diversifying revenue streams to reduce dependence on membership dues and lessen impact by negative external market forces. By implementing effective revenue models, you can secure the necessary financial resources to support your programs, initiatives, and advocacy efforts long-term.

The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Association Marketing 2023 is meant to be a comprehensive roadmap to your association's marketing efforts. I empower you and your fellow leaders to implement sections of this guide, analyze your results, and share best practices with your colleagues.

Together we can build the next generation of nursing associations. Happy reading!


Tables of Contents

1. Marketing Channel Growth

  • Email Marketing

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Content Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Public Relations & Media

  • Event Marketing

  • Website Management & Optimization

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Marketing Automations

  • Market Research & Data Collection

  • Reporting & Analytics

  • Member Recruitment & Onboarding

  • Member Engagement & Retention

  • Continuing Education & Certification Promotion

  • Advocacy & Public Health Awareness Campaigns

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Initiatives

  • Community Outreach & Partnerships

  • Fundraising & Donor Engagement

  • Product & Services Sales

  • Event Registration & Ticketing

  • Advertising & Sponsorship

  • Affiliate & Partner Revenue Sharing


Marketing Channel Growth for Nursing Associations

In today's digital landscape, effective marketing strategies are crucial for the success of any organization. Each marketing channel plays a unique role in reaching and engaging target audiences, building brand awareness, and driving desired outcomes.

By understanding the fundamentals and best practices of your marketing channels, your organization can leverage them to effectively communicate with your audience, drive meaningful engagement, and achieve your association's objectives.

While there are nineteen total marketing channels you can choose from, I will focus on six channels that I've tried and tested for nursing associations:

  • Email Marketing

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Content Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Public Relations & Media

  • Event Marketing


Scoring System for Nursing Association Marketing Channel Growth

The following scoring system will be used to provide further insights into the capabilities and barriers of marketing channel growth. The scoring system uses a (1) through (5) rating system, where (1) is low and (5) is high.

Here are the scoring system criteria:

  • Reach: Evaluate the channel or system's ability to reach the target audience effectively and whether it aligns with the organization's target market and goals.

  • Engagement: Assess the level of engagement and interaction that the channel or system enables with the audience. This includes factors such as the ability to initiate conversations, respond to inquiries, and build relationships with customers.

  • Technical: Consider the availability of robust analytics and measurement capabilities to track and evaluate the performance of campaigns and efforts. This includes features like tracking website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, and customer behavior.

  • Cost: Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the channel or system. This involves assessing the expenses associated with implementing and maintaining the channel/system.

  • Scalability: Consider the compatibility and integration capabilities of the channel or system with existing marketing tools, systems, and workflows. Additionally, assess its scalability to accommodate future growth and expansion of marketing efforts.

  • Ease of Use: Assess the ease of use and implementation of the channel or system, considering factors such as user interface, setup process, training requirements, and support documentation.


Email Marketing

Reach: 3

Engagement: 3

Technical: 1

Cost: 3

Scalability: 2

Ease of Use: 5

A 2023 report generated by Hubspot, continues to support the integration of email marketing into your channel growth strategies.

A majority of marketers using email leverage mobile-friendly emails as part of their marketing strategy with subscriber segmentation ranked as the most effective email marketing campaign strategy.

33% of marketers send weekly emails and 26% send emails multiple times per month, and across the industry, email engagement has increased by 77% over the past 12 months.

After three years of campaign and program development, I averaged 3 emails per week with promotional spikes reaching 5+ emails per week.

Here are a few reasons why email marketing is a powerful communication and engagement tool for nursing associations:

  • Direct Communication: Email allows organizations to directly reach members' and non-members' inboxes, ensuring your messages receive attention and have a high chance of being read.

  • Personalization: Email marketing enables personalized communication, addressing members by their names and tailoring content based on their interests, preferences, and membership status.

  • Timely Updates: Organizations can use email to provide timely updates on events, news, resources, and important announcements to keep members informed and engaged.

  • Member Exclusivity: Email newsletters and campaigns can offer exclusive content, discounts, or early access to events, creating a sense of belonging and value for your members.

Expert tips for crafting emails that drive engagement and conversions

A well-crafted email has the power to capture the recipient's attention, evoke emotions, and drive them to take desired actions. It involves understanding the target audience, personalizing the message, and structuring the content in a concise and compelling way.

The ability to create engaging and persuasive email content can significantly impact open rates, click-through rates, and overall conversion rates, so following best practices is critical.

To create effective and compelling email campaigns, use the following steps:

1. Craft Compelling Content:
  • Understand Your Audience: Know your target audience and tailor your message to their needs, interests, and preferences. Personalize your emails by using the recipients' names and segmenting your email list based on demographics or behavior.

  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line: The subject line is the first thing recipients see, so make it compelling and intriguing. 64% of recipients decide to open or delete emails based on subject lines so use concise and enticing language that piques their curiosity and encourages them to open the email.

  • Start with a Strong Opening: The opening of your email should be captivating and grab the reader's attention. Use a compelling introduction or share a relevant and engaging story to hook them from the beginning.

  • Focus on Benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits or value your email provides to the recipient. Whether it's sharing valuable information, calling them to action, offering exclusive discounts, or solving a problem, emphasize how your email and its contents can benefit them.

2. Design Reusable Templates:
  • Keep it Concise and Scannable: People tend to skim through emails, so keep your content concise and easy to scan. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to digest.

  • Use Compelling Call-to-Action (CTA): Clearly state what action you want the recipient to take and make your CTA stand out. Use action-oriented language and create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate response.

  • Use Engaging Visuals: Incorporate relevant and eye-catching visuals, such as images, videos, or infographics, to make your emails visually appealing and enhance the overall message. Increase the speed at which you can do so by utilizing design tools and template libraries like Canva, Adobe Express, Design Wizard, etc.

  • Personalize and Humanize: Make your emails feel personal and human by using conversational language and addressing the recipient directly. Share stories, testimonials, or user-generated content to create a sense of authenticity and connection. Overly business and professional language can give off a 'stuffy' or unapproachable appearance.

3. A/B Test:
  • Test and Optimize: Regularly test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, CTAs, or email layouts, to optimize their performance. A/B testing allows you to compare different versions and determine what resonates best with your audience. While some Email Service Providers offer A/B testing as part of their services, minimum audience size and other best practices should be adopted. Instead, you can test different templates with the same audience and message over a period of months.

  • Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile devices. With the increasing use of smartphones, it's crucial to create responsive designs that provide a seamless experience across various screen sizes.

Simplify your email marketing with templates that convert

Different email templates allow you to cater to different types of recipients and their preferences. By using varied templates, you can personalize your messages and even your tone of voice based on the recipient's relationship with your organization, their interests, and their stage in the advocacy or member journey.

Advocacy Update Newsletter:
  • Header: Introduce the latest advocacy updates, press releases, or public statements.

  • Featured Content: Highlight the key messages or points of the update.

  • Testimonials: Include expert testimonials or members' stories related to the update.

  • Call-to-Action: Encourage readers to take an advocacy action or to educate themselves further.

  • Additional Resources: Provide links to helpful resources, tools, or documentation.

Use a professional but conversational voice to mirror how your members would talk. This messaging style makes the calls to action feel personal and lends to opportunities for dialogue.

Educational Newsletter:
  • Header: Introduce the educational theme or topic of your newsletter.

  • Valuable Content: Share educational articles, tips, or industry insights.

  • Visuals: Create relevant visuals, such as infographics or charts, to enhance understanding.

  • Recommended Resources: Recommend additional content such as books, podcasts, or online courses.

  • Call-to-Action: Invite readers to join your webinars, workshops, or access exclusive educational content.

If your educational newsletter includes Continuing Education hour credits, be sure to include this at the beginning of your email subjective or preview text. Furthermore, this is a great time to highlight members, influencers, and other leaders in their respective specialties, fields, and industries.

Member and Community Update Newsletter:
  • Header: Share updates and news about your nursing association, your members and about the nursing association industry as a whole.

  • Member Spotlights: Feature your members' accomplishments, stories, or contributions.

  • Events and Networking Opportunities: Promote your upcoming events, networking sessions, or webinars.

  • Call for Contributions: Encourage your members to contribute articles, opinions, or participate in surveys.

  • Call-to-Action: Invite readers to engage with the association's community platforms or join member-driven initiatives.

Repeatable designs are especially useful when including multiple images within a single email. Sections with multiple images being used for the same purpose, such as member profile photos, should appear to be the same size but you won't always receive the same size images from your members or colleagues. Save time by keeping a template designed for specific types of member and community updates. You can always modify it for custom needs after making standard content fit.

Holiday and Recognition Newsletter:
  • Header: Embrace your members' differences and highlight upcoming holidays recognizing specialties, races, and ethnicities, etc.

  • Special Content: Feature special stories, events, or limited-time offers.

  • Shareable Tips: Share useful tips, insights, or ideas.

  • Social Engagement: Encourage readers to share their experiences or participate in contests.

  • Give Thanks: Extend warm wishes and gratitude to the readers for their continued support.

Collaborate with other associations, community partners, and brands to expand the reach of your messaging. Simple co-branding and sending a few emails or posting on social media shouldn't require an agreement. If you need approval by your board of directors, create a process to more efficiently handle these types of requests.

Remember, creating templates is just a starting point, and you can customize them based on your nursing association's unique branding, content, and goals. Don't feel pressured to lock yourself into a design - I have made small design changes for the first 6 editions of a newsletter before landing on something that felt good and performed better.

Tracking email marketing performance for data-driven success

Measuring the success of email campaigns involves monitoring the following metrics:

  • Email Deliverability: Ensure that emails reach recipients' inboxes by maintaining good email deliverability. Monitor bounce rates, spam complaints, and email authentication. Maintain a clean and engaged email list to improve deliverability for members and non-members alike.

  • Open Rates: Track the percentage of recipients who open the email. A higher open rate indicates the effectiveness of subject lines, sender reputation, and the relevance of the email content.

  • Click-through Rates: Measure the percentage of recipients who click on links within the email. Higher click-through rates indicate engaged recipients, effective call-to-action elements, and the value of your offerings.

  • Conversion Rates: Monitor the percentage of recipients who take the desired action, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, or downloading a resource. Conversion rates help assess the effectiveness of email campaigns in driving member engagement and achieving goals.

By regularly monitoring these metrics, organizations can evaluate the success of their email marketing efforts, make data-driven improvements, and build stronger member relationships.

Discover email marketing tools and ESPs to boost deliverability and engagement

Email Service Providers (ESPs) are vital for achieving high deliverability and avoiding SPAM folders, while giving better tools such as automation, list management, and analytics. They provide the necessary infrastructure, tools, and expertise to optimize your email communication and maximize the impact of your marketing efforts.

The alternative is copying and pasting email addresses into your personal or business email, right? Not good, not efficient.

Here are some example ESPs:

  • Mailchimp: Mailchimp is a widely-used email marketing platform that offers features such as email template creation, audience segmentation, automation workflows, and detailed analytics. It has a user-friendly interface and is suitable for both small businesses and larger organizations.

  • Constant Contact: Constant Contact is an email marketing service that provides customizable email templates, list management, contact segmentation, and reporting. It also offers additional features like event registration and surveys to enhance your email marketing campaigns.

  • GetResponse: GetResponse is an email marketing and automation platform that offers features like responsive email design, automation workflows, landing page creation, and A/B testing. It also integrates with other marketing tools such as CRM systems and webinar platforms.

But to be honest, there are so many ESPs that some service providers niche down to provide specific use cases. Do some of your own research to see which ESP will be right for you.

And final note, pay attention to subscription level limitations on contacts or sending emails. These variable expenses can be costly when buying al-a-carte.

10 proven strategies to grow your email list

There are several effective ways to build an email list. Implementing more than one strategy will help you capture information in new ways and through other marketing channels.

Building consistency into growing your email lists is highly recommended - ESPs and CRM systems can help (more on this later).

Here are some strategies you can use:

  1. Opt-in Forms on Your Website: Place opt-in forms prominently on your website, such as in the header, body content, footer, or as pop-ups, to capture visitors' email addresses. Offer an incentive, such as a free e-book or exclusive content, to encourage sign-ups.

  2. Content Upgrades: Create valuable content, such as guides, templates, or checklists, and offer them as content upgrades in exchange for visitors' email addresses. This provides an additional incentive for people to join your email list.

  3. Lead Magnets: Develop compelling lead magnets, such as e-books, whitepapers, webinars, or exclusive reports, that provide valuable information or solutions to your target audience. Promote these lead magnets on your website and social media channels to attract subscribers.

  4. Webinars or Online Events: Host webinars or online events on topics relevant to your audience's interests. Require attendees to register with their email addresses to participate, allowing you to grow your email list while providing valuable content.

  5. Social Media Lead Generation: Leverage social media platforms to promote your lead magnets, webinars, or exclusive content. Use compelling calls-to-action and direct users to a landing page where they can provide their email addresses to access the content.

  6. Contests and Giveaways: Run contests or giveaways where participants are required to provide their email addresses to enter. Make sure the prize or incentive aligns with your target audience's interests to attract relevant subscribers.

  7. Partner Collaborations: Collaborate with influencers, complementary businesses, or industry experts to co-create valuable content or offer joint promotions. This allows you to tap into their audience and gain new subscribers.

  8. Offline Events: If you participate in trade shows, conferences, or local events, have a sign-up sheet or tablet available where people can provide their email addresses to receive updates, exclusive offers, or resources.

  9. Customer Referrals: Encourage your existing subscribers or customers to refer their friends, colleagues, or connections to join your email list. Offer incentives, such as discounts or rewards, for successful referrals.

  10. Guest Blogging and Content Syndication: Write guest blog posts for relevant publications or websites in your industry. Include a call-to-action in your author bio or within the article itself, inviting readers to join your email list to receive more valuable content.

Social Media Marketing

Reach: 4

Engagement: 1

Technical: 1

Cost: 1

Scalability: 4

Ease of Use: 5

Social media offers access to a wide range of audiences, direct communication, brand visibility, and member engagement opportunities.

With the widespread use of social media platforms, nursing associations can leverage these channels to share valuable content, promote events and initiatives, and facilitate conversations around important healthcare topics.

But don't forget that social media is a long-term strategy. A Hubspot study found that the majority of marketers, 59%, are using social media for 6 hours or more a week; 33% are dedicating 11 or more hours weekly. On the higher end, nearly 15% spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.

Furthermore, quitting but not deleting a social media platform can have adverse consequences such as negative brand image, appeal, and trust. Be sure to give yourself time to research and plan your launch on a new platform as well as account for the ongoing maintenance and time needed to execute the strategy well.

By developing a strategic social media marketing plan, you can effectively communicate your mission, showcase your expertise, and establish yourselves as a trusted authority in the nursing and healthcare industry.

A social media strategy for the long haul

Here is a step-by-step process to help you create an effective social media strategy:

1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives:

Define what you want to achieve with your social media efforts. Examples of goals could be increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or fostering community engagement. Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

If you're thinking, 'Why not all of them?' I challenge you to consider how you use different marketing channels to target different goals and objectives along the member or customer journey (i.e. awareness, traffic, leads, community).

2. Identify Your Target Audience:

Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. This will help you tailor your social media content and messaging to resonate with your intended audience. This means going beyond simply targeting 'nurses' and instead defining their pain points and decision-making processes.

3. Choose Relevant Social Media Platforms:

Determine which social media platforms align with your target audience and business objectives. But also consider which platform will be the most natural fit for you and your brand voice. Common platforms include LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube - all having different uses and audiences.

4. Create a Content Strategy:

Develop a content strategy that aligns with your goals and target audience. Identify content themes, formats (e.g., articles, images, videos), and a content calendar to maintain consistency and timely delivery. Ensure your content provides value, educates, entertains, or solves problems for your audience.

Because social media is a long-term marketing strategy, it can be helpful to visualize your social media posts as part of a series. This allows you to frame the posts as a story related to your goals and objectives.

5. Engage and Interact:

Social media is a two-way communication channel. Respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions. Engage with your audience by asking questions, encouraging discussions, and sharing user-generated content. Building relationships and fostering conversations will help establish a strong social media presence.

7. Measure and Analyze Performance:

Regularly monitor your social media metrics to evaluate the success of your strategy. Key performance indicators (KPIs) may include reach, engagement, click-through rates, conversions, and follower growth. Analyze data to identify trends, insights, and areas for improvement.

8. Optimize and Iterate:

Based on your performance analysis, optimize your social media strategy. Make adjustments to your content, posting frequency, and targeting. Experiment with different content formats, hashtags, and advertising options to find what resonates best with your audience.

Remember, each social media platform has its own best practices and features, so tailor your strategy accordingly. Additionally, ensure your social media activities align with your overall brand identity and messaging across all channels for a cohesive and integrated marketing approach.

Must-know best practices to elevate your social media game

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, it's important not to get distracted by every new trend that emerges. Instead, focus on timeless principles of engagement such as building authentic connections, providing valuable content, and fostering meaningful interactions and long-term relationships.

Here are some additional best practices for managing your social media accounts:

  • Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding across your social media platforms by using consistent visuals, logos, color schemes, and tone of voice. This helps create a cohesive brand image and promotes recognition and trust.

  • Engaging with People: Actively engage with different communities by connecting, commenting, messaging, and mentioning people in a timely and authentic manner. Encourage conversations, ask questions, and show appreciation for their engagement. Building relationships with new people demonstrates that you value their opinions and feedback. Spend 15-30 minutes daily commenting and engaging with people YOU follow. You get what you give!

  • Content Variety: Provide a variety of content to keep your social media presence engaging. Share a mix of informative, entertaining, and promotional content. Experiment with different formats, such as videos, images, and interactive posts, to cater to different preferences. Do all this but be sure to remember point #1.

  • Monitoring Trends: Stay updated with industry trends and current events relevant to your members. Incorporate trending topics, hashtags, or challenges into your content strategy when appropriate. This demonstrates your organization's relevance and keeps your social media presence fresh and engaging.

Essential metrics for social media marketing

Utilize social media analytics to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts and gain valuable insights. Key metrics to consider include:

  • Engagement Metrics: Track likes, comments, shares, and retweets to gauge the level of engagement with your content.

  • Follower Growth: Monitor the growth of your social media followers over time to assess the effectiveness of your content strategy and engagement efforts.

  • Reach and Impressions: Measure the number of people who have seen your posts (reach) and the total number of times your posts have been viewed (impressions) to understand the visibility and reach of your content.

  • Click-through Rates (CTR): Measure the percentage of users who click on links or call-to-action buttons in your social media posts to assess their effectiveness in driving traffic to your website or landing pages.

  • Conversion Tracking: Set up conversion tracking to measure the impact of social media campaigns on specific goals, such as event registrations or lead generation.

Regularly analyze these metrics to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Use the insights gained to refine your content strategy, optimize your campaigns, and better engage with your members on social media platforms.

Just be sure you don't fall into the trap of vanity metrics...

Best tools for social media management

I've found many tools in the market often fail to deliver on their promise of time-saving convenience because they frequently require you to reconnect your social media accounts. This causes frustration when posts don't go out during a launch or timely call to action.

Instead, I advocate for tools that can offer more comprehensive and detailed reports on social media metrics:

  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a robust social media management platform that offers advanced reporting capabilities. It provides in-depth analytics on various metrics, such as engagement, audience demographics, content performance, and social media ROI. The platform also allows for customizable reports, making it easy to create comprehensive and detailed reports tailored to your specific needs.

  • Buffer: Buffer is a popular social media scheduling and analytics tool that provides reporting features to measure and analyze social media performance. With Buffer's reporting functionality, you can track engagement metrics, post reach, follower growth, and other key performance indicators. The tool also offers customizable reports, enabling you to create detailed reports based on specific metrics and timeframes.

  • Google Analytics: While primarily known for website analytics, Google Analytics can also be used to track social media metrics. By setting up specific campaign tracking parameters and linking your social media accounts to Google Analytics, you can gain insights into how social media drives traffic, conversions, and overall website engagement. The platform provides comprehensive reporting capabilities, allowing you to generate detailed reports on social media-driven website metrics.

Content Marketing

Reach: 5

Engagement: 2

Technical: 3

Cost: 5

Scalability: 3

Ease of Use: 3

Content marketing is of significant importance in today's digital landscape. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. It serves as a strategic approach to create and distribute valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a targeted audience.

By providing valuable information, content marketing establishes your nursing association's authority, credibility, and thought leadership in its industry. It helps build trust with your audiences, nurtures relationships, and drives advocacy actions.

Content marketing also plays a vital role in improving search engine visibility and organic traffic. By consistently producing high-quality and optimized content, you can enhance their website's ranking in search engine results, driving more organic traffic and potential members to your digital assets.

Captivate audiences with diverse content

Deciding on the appropriate content marketing formats requires considering various factors, including your target audience, marketing goals, brand identity, and available resources.

However, be sure to consider the long-term input and management of the content formats provided below, including development time, publishing needs, and other additional work.

Here are 12 types of content formats for nursing associations:

  • Blog Posts: Written articles or essays published on your website or blog.

  • Infographics: Visual representations of information or data.

  • Videos: Recorded or live-action videos that can be educational, entertaining, or promotional.

  • Ebooks/Guides: In-depth, longer-form content presented in a downloadable PDF format.

  • Case Studies: Detailed analyses of how your product or service has helped customers solve a problem or achieve success.

  • Whitepapers: Comprehensive reports or guides that provide in-depth information on a specific topic.

  • Webinars: Online seminars or presentations that allow for live interaction and knowledge sharing.

  • Checklists/Templates: Practical and actionable lists or templates that help users accomplish specific tasks.

  • Interviews: Conversations with industry experts or thought leaders to share their insights and expertise.

  • Assessments: Interactive content that engages users and provides personalized results or recommendations.

  • Memes/GIFs: Visual content pieces that use humor or popular culture references to convey a message or evoke emotions.

  • User-Generated Content: Content created by your audience, such as testimonials, reviews, or user-submitted photos.

Crafting and executing a results-driven content strategy

To effectively execute a content marketing strategy, it's essential to have a well-defined process in place.

This process outlines the step-by-step approach to creating, optimizing, and distributing content that aligns with your target audience's needs and preferences. From research and planning to creation, distribution, and analysis, a structured content marketing process ensures that your efforts are focused, efficient, and ultimately drive the desired outcomes.

1. Define Content Marketing Goals:

Clearly define the goals of your content marketing efforts, such as increasing brand awareness, educating your audience, or driving conversions, whether that is new membership, advocacy actions or joining a waitlist.

2. Identify Target Audience and Personas:

Identify your target audience and create buyer personas to understand their needs, interests, and pain points. This will help you create targeted and relevant content. And while the exercise of creating personas seems inefficient at times with conflicting priorities, these personas will ultimately save you time growing your reach and traffic.

3. Conduct Content Research:

Conduct research to identify relevant topics, keywords, and trends that resonate with your target audience. Use tools like keyword research, social listening, and industry research to gather insights. Example tools listed below.

4. Plan Content Strategy:

Develop a content strategy that aligns with your goals and audience preferences. Determine the types of content you will create, such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, or podcasts, and the platforms where you will distribute them. Determine the frequency you can realistically produce each form of content.

5. Create High-Quality Content:

Develop high-quality and valuable content that addresses your audience's needs and provides solutions. Craft engaging headlines, use storytelling techniques, and incorporate multimedia elements to enhance engagement. Note that this may include several editing cycles which can drastically increase time to publish.

6. Optimize Content for Search Engines:

Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your content to improve search engine visibility. Optimize meta tags, headings, and URLs to enhance the discoverability of your content. More on this under Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

7. Promote and Distribute Content:

Develop a distribution plan to reach your target audience through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, industry publications, and partnerships. Use content promotion techniques such as content chunking and repurposing and targeted media lists to amplify your reach.

8. Engage with Your Audience:

Encourage audience engagement by inviting comments, feedback, and social shares. Respond to comments and inquiries promptly to foster a sense of community and build relationships.

9. Measure and Analyze Content Performance:

Track key metrics, such as website traffic, engagement, conversions, and social shares, to measure the performance of your content. Use analytics tools to gain insights and refine your content strategy.

10. Iterate and Improve:

Continuously evaluate the performance of your content marketing efforts and gather feedback from your audience. Use data and insights to refine your content strategy, experiment with new formats, and optimize for better results.

Understanding the true impact of your content marketing

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can track using analytics tools. Some common content marketing KPIs include:

  • Website Traffic: Monitor the number of visitors to your website and track the traffic sources to understand how your content is driving audience engagement.

  • Page Views: Measure the number of views each piece of content receives to gauge its popularity and effectiveness in attracting and retaining readers.

  • Time on Page: Analyze how much time users spend on each page of your content to assess the level of engagement and the quality of your content.

  • Bounce Rate: Track the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate that your content is not engaging or relevant to your target audience.

  • Conversion Rate: Measure the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a resource, or making a purchase. This helps assess the effectiveness of your content in driving conversions.

  • Social Shares and Engagement: Monitor the number of social shares, likes, comments, and mentions your content receives on various social media platforms to gauge its reach and engagement level.

  • Backlinks: Keep track of the number and quality of backlinks your content earns from other websites. Backlinks (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one-way links”) are links from one website to a page on another website through an anchor text. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page thus indicating relevance, quality, and authority to the web page.

  • Email Subscriptions: Measure the growth and engagement of your email subscriber list, tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Analytics tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and HubSpot provide various metrics and reports to track these content marketing KPIs. By regularly monitoring these KPIs, you can evaluate the performance of your content marketing efforts, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your content strategy.

Tools to take your content marketing to the next level

There are several tools and tool types available that can enhance your content marketing efforts and streamline various aspects of the process. Here are some popular tools for content marketing:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Platforms like WordPress, Drupal, or HubSpot CMS allow you to create, manage, and publish your content easily.

  • Keyword Research Tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer help you identify relevant keywords and phrases to optimize your content for search engines.

  • Content Planning and Organization Tools: Tools like Trello, Asana, or Airtable can help you plan and organize your content calendar, collaborate with team members, and track progress.

  • Content Creation and Editing Tools: Tools like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud can assist you in creating visually appealing graphics, editing written content, and ensuring grammatical accuracy.

  • Content Distribution Tools: Social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social help you schedule and automate content distribution across various social media platforms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Reach: 5

Engagement: 3

Technical: 5

Cost: 3

Scalability: 5

Ease of Use: 1

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in the online visibility and success of a nursing association. In a digital landscape where users heavily rely on search engines to find information, it is essential for nursing associations to optimize their websites and content to appear prominently in search engine results.

By implementing effective SEO strategies, you can attract more targeted traffic, increase its online presence, and reach a wider audience. This, in turn, can lead to improved brand awareness, member engagement, and ultimately, support your association's mission and goals.

In my own experience and in research on national nursing associations' marketing efforts, organic traffic accounts for nearly 50% of a nursing association's total website traffic.

In the following outline, we will delve into the step-by-step process of optimizing a nursing association's website and content for search engines to grow your organic traffic.

Transform your website's performance with SEO strategies

1. Perform Keyword Research:

Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience uses to search for information related to your nursing association, your campaigns, or legislation. Use keyword research tools to identify search volume, competition, and user intent.

2. Optimize On-Page Elements:

Optimize your website's on-page elements, including titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content. Incorporate target keywords naturally while ensuring readability and relevance to increase rank and credibility.

3. Create High-Quality and Optimized Content:

Develop high-quality, informative, and engaging content that aligns with your target audience's needs and interests. Optimize content with relevant keywords, headers, and internal linking. Use SEO tools that help you optimize content such as Grammarly, SEMRush,, etc.

4. Improve Website Structure and Navigation:

Ensure that your website has a clear and logical structure, with intuitive navigation and internal linking. This helps search engines understand and index your content effectively.

5. Build High-Quality Backlinks:

Develop a strategy to acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites. This can be achieved through outreach, guest blogging, or content partnerships.

6. Optimize for Mobile and Page Speed:

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for fast page loading. Mobile responsiveness and page speed are important ranking factors and contribute to a positive user experience.

7. Implement Technical SEO:

Address technical aspects of SEO, such as crawlability, site speed optimization, XML sitemap creation, and robots.txt optimization. Regularly monitor and fix any technical issues that may impact your website's performance.

8. Track and Analyze SEO Performance:

Use SEO analytics tools to monitor key metrics, such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and click-through rates. Analyze the data to identify opportunities for improvement and refine your SEO strategy.

9. Stay Updated with SEO Trends:

Stay informed about the latest trends and updates in SEO, as search engine algorithms continuously evolve. Stay ahead by adapting your SEO strategies to align with best practices and algorithm changes.

10. Monitor Competitors:

Keep an eye on your competitors' SEO strategies and performance. Analyze their keywords, backlink profiles, and content strategies to identify opportunities and refine your own approach.

Decoding SEO metrics that matter

There are several key analytics metrics to track and analyze for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These metrics provide insights into the performance and effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Here are some important analytics for SEO:

  • Organic Traffic: Measure the amount of traffic coming to your website from organic search results. Organic traffic indicates the visibility and ranking of your website in search engines such s Google, Bing, and others.

  • Keyword Rankings: Track the positions of your target keywords in search engine results pages (SERPs). Monitor changes in rankings over time to assess the impact of your SEO efforts.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of users who click on your website's link in search results. A high CTR indicates that your title and meta description is compelling and relevant to users' search queries.

  • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate that your website's content or user experience needs improvement.

  • Conversion Rate: Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as becoming a member, filling out a form, RSVPing to an event, or subscribing to a newsletter. Tracking conversion rate helps assess the effectiveness of your SEO in driving desired outcomes.

  • Page Load Time: Page load time is the time it takes for your web pages to fully load. Faster-loading pages improve user experience and can positively impact search engine rankings.

  • Backlinks: Analyze the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your website. Backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites can improve your website's authority and search rankings.

  • Crawling and Indexing: Monitor how search engine crawlers access and index your website. Identify any crawl errors or indexing issues that may hinder your website's visibility.

  • On-Page Engagement: Analyze user behavior metrics such as time on page, pages per session, and scroll depth. These metrics provide insights into how users engage with your website and content.

  • Mobile Performance: With the increasing importance of mobile optimization, track metrics related to mobile traffic, mobile user experience, and mobile-specific issues like mobile-friendly design and responsive layout.

By regularly monitoring and analyzing these key SEO analytics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your SEO strategy, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to enhance your website's visibility and organic search rankings.

Tools for SEO tracking and optimization

There are various tools available to track and monitor your SEO performance. In fact, many of the following offer a suite of tools to help you with market research, profile management, optimization and more.

Here are some popular tools for your SEO efforts:

  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google that helps you track website traffic, user behavior, conversions, and other important metrics. It provides valuable insights into organic search traffic, keyword performance, and user engagement on your website.

  • Google Search Console: Google Search Console is another free tool offered by Google. It allows you to monitor and optimize your website's presence in Google search results. You can track keyword rankings, submit sitemaps, identify indexing issues, and analyze search performance data.

  • Google Tag Manager: Google Tag Manager is a powerful tool that allows marketers to easily manage and deploy various tracking tags and scripts on their website without the need for manual coding. It streamlines the process of implementing tracking codes for SEO tracking and analytics tools like Google Analytics, SEMRush, Moz, and others, providing a centralized platform for efficient data collection and analysis.

  • SEMrush: SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides keyword research, competitive analysis, backlink analysis, and more. It offers insights into organic traffic, rankings, and site audits to help you optimize your SEO strategy.

  • Moz: Moz is a well-known SEO software suite that offers a range of tools for keyword research, link building, rank tracking, and site audits. It provides valuable insights into website performance, on-page optimization, and competitor analysis.

  • Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool that offers features such as keyword research, backlink analysis, content explorer, and rank tracking. It provides comprehensive data to help you analyze your website's SEO performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that helps optimize your website's content for search engines. It offers features like on-page analysis, XML sitemap generation, and content readability checks. It helps you optimize individual pages and blog posts for better search engine visibility.

These tools provide valuable insights, data, and recommendations to help you track and optimize your SEO efforts. Depending on your specific needs and budget, you can choose the tool that best suits your requirements.

Implementing effective SEO strategies is crucial for your nursing association to enhance its online visibility and reach target audiences. By optimizing your website and content for search engines, nursing associations can experience a significant increase in organic traffic.

Appearing prominently in search engine results allows nursing associations to establish strong brand awareness and engage with their members effectively.

And while it may take months to see results, continuous optimization and monitoring of SEO efforts are essential for long-term success in the digital landscape, helping you fulfill your mission and goals with greater impact.

Public Relations (PR) and Media

Reach: 5

Engagement: 5

Technical: 2

Cost: 5

Scalability: 1

Ease of Use: 3

Public relations (PR) is essential for organizations to build brand awareness and maintain a positive image.

PR involves strategic communication to establish and nurture relationships with stakeholders, including the media, members, elected officials and the public. It plays a crucial role in crafting compelling stories and messages to increase visibility and generate media coverage.

PR professionals proactively manage and protect the organization's reputation, monitor media coverage, and respond to inquiries and crises. They also enhance credibility, establish thought leadership, and foster relationships with influencers through media relations, community engagement, and partnerships.

Your path to amplified brand awareness

1. Define PR Goals:

Clearly define your PR goals, such as increasing brand visibility, building credibility, or managing reputation during crises. Defining your goal will help you identify your target audience.

2. Identify Target Audience:

Identify the target audience for your PR efforts, including journalists, influencers, industry experts, and the general public. You could also target by the type of nurse you're hoping to reach like bedside nurses, new nurses, or nurse leaders. Understand their preferences, interests, and preferred media channels by engaging with their content on social media, in newsletters, and live events when possible.

3. Develop a PR Strategy:

Develop a comprehensive PR strategy that aligns with your goals. Determine the key messages you want to communicate and the target media outlets you want to engage with.

In addition to national, regional, and local media outlets, the nursing and healthcare industry has a robust list of speciality and topic specific media brands. Consider how your PR Goals and Target Audience align with the audiences of different media outlets.

4. Create Compelling Story Angles:

First, develop compelling story angles and narratives that resonate with your target audience and align with current trends or newsworthy topics.

Here is a list of compelling story angles for nursing associations:

  • Human Interest Stories: Sharing personal narratives and experiences of individuals within the nursing association, highlighting their triumphs, challenges, and contributions to the field.

  • Impactful Research: Showcasing groundbreaking research conducted by the nursing association, emphasizing its relevance and potential to improve patient outcomes and advance the nursing profession.

  • Success Stories: Highlighting success stories of nursing association members, featuring their achievements, leadership roles, and contributions to the healthcare community.

  • Advocacy Efforts: Sharing stories that shed light on the nursing association's advocacy initiatives, focusing on important issues, policy changes, and their impact on the nursing profession and healthcare system.

  • Community Engagement: Showcasing the nursing association's involvement in community outreach programs, volunteer efforts, and partnerships with other organizations to make a positive difference in the local community.

  • Innovation and Technology: Highlighting how the nursing association embraces and integrates innovative technologies and practices to improve patient care, enhance nursing education, and advance the profession.

  • Collaborative Partnerships: Sharing stories that emphasize the nursing association's collaborations with healthcare institutions, academic organizations, and industry partners to drive positive change and address critical healthcare challenges.

  • Education and Training: Showcasing the nursing association's educational initiatives, certifications, workshops, and professional development opportunities that empower nurses to excel in their careers and provide high-quality patient care.

  • Thought Leadership: Positioning the nursing association's leaders and experts as thought leaders in the industry by sharing their insights, opinions, and expertise on relevant healthcare topics through articles, interviews, and speaking engagements.

  • Industry Recognition and Awards: Celebrating and sharing stories of nursing association members who have received prestigious awards, honors, or recognition for their outstanding contributions to the nursing profession.

Then, craft a media kit to support your PR efforts. A press media kit is a comprehensive package of information designed to provide journalists and media professionals with essential resources about your nursing association.

Your nursing association's media kit should include the following key components:

  1. Press Release: An updated press release highlighting recent news, events, or noteworthy achievements of your nursing association.

  2. About the Nursing Association: A concise overview of your association, including its mission, history, key initiatives, and notable accomplishments. This section should provide a clear understanding of your association's purpose and impact. This is typically included in the press release.

  3. Key Spokespeople: Bios and high-resolution headshots of key spokespeople within your nursing association, such as the executive director, president, or other influential members. These materials should highlight their expertise, credentials, and notable contributions to the nursing profession.

  4. Media Contact Information: Contact details for the designated media contact person within your nursing association. Include their name, title, phone number, email address, and any preferred method of communication. This information allows journalists to easily reach out for interviews, information, or further inquiries.

  5. Fact Sheets and Statistics: Provide fact sheets or infographics with key statistics, data, and relevant information about your nursing association. This can include membership numbers, geographical reach, notable programs, and other relevant metrics that demonstrate your association's impact and significance.

  6. High-Resolution Images and Logos: Include a selection of high-quality images and logos that represent your nursing association. These visuals can be used by journalists for articles, features, or any media coverage related to the association.

  7. Past Press Coverage: Compile a list or excerpts of significant media coverage or press releases about your nursing association. This section showcases your association's media presence and helps journalists gauge previous topics of interest.

  8. Testimonials and Success Stories: Include testimonials or success stories from association members, partners, or stakeholders that highlight the positive impact of your nursing association. These narratives can provide valuable insights and human interest angles for media coverage.

  9. Additional Resources: Depending on the specific needs and goals of your nursing association, you may include any additional relevant resources, such as white papers, research studies, brochures, or multimedia materials like videos or podcasts.

By providing journalists with a comprehensive press media kit, the nursing association can streamline the process of media coverage, ensure accurate and consistent information, and effectively communicate its key messages and values to the public.

5. Build Media Relationships:

Cultivate relationships with journalists, editors, and influencers in your industry. Engage with them through personalized pitches, networking events, and social media interactions, or simply ask them to a coffee virtual or otherwise.

Be consistent with your pitches and continue your engagement with their content online to develop a longterm relationship. And occasionally email them when you don't need anything, just to say you liked a story they published - it will set you apart from the rest.

6. Conduct Media Outreach:

Reach out to media outlets and journalists with tailored pitches and press releases. Personalize your outreach and highlight the relevance and value of your story to their audience.

7. Monitor Media Coverage:

Track media coverage and mentions of your nursing association. Set up alerts, use media monitoring tools, and regularly review relevant publications to stay informed about your brand's presence in the media.

8. Respond to Media Inquiries:

Promptly respond to media inquiries and requests for information. Provide accurate and timely responses to maintain positive relationships with journalists and secure media opportunities.

Best practices include responding within 45 minutes regardless if you're speaker or representative is ready. Thank them for their outreach and that you will be in touch with them very soon.

9. Leverage Thought Leadership Opportunities:

Position key members of your nursing association as thought leaders in the industry. Seek opportunities to contribute guest articles, speak at industry conferences, or participate in panel discussions.

When building your short list, be sure to include a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, roles, and positions. Different story angles means different voices, and having a name and contact information readily available will make you look good, both by your member and the journalist.

10. Measure PR Impact:

Measure the impact of your PR efforts by tracking media coverage, sentiment analysis, website traffic, social media engagement, and brand mentions. Use these insights to evaluate the effectiveness of your PR strategies and make data-driven improvements.

Some PR tools will include return on investment (ROI) figures in their reports but if you are engaging in fewer opportunities I'd suggest reviewing average ROI numbers based on content type and other data included in Nielsen's 2022 ROI Report.

Rise above the noise with game-changing PR tools

Monitoring media coverage and tracking PR efforts is crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of public relations strategies and understanding the impact of media engagements. It allows organizations to assess the reach and sentiment of media mentions, identify emerging trends, and make data-driven decisions to refine their PR approaches.

By keeping a pulse on media coverage, organizations can identify potential reputation risks, respond timely to media inquiries, and capitalize on positive opportunities for brand promotion.

Several tools are available to help monitor media coverage and track PR efforts effectively:

  • Media Monitoring Platforms: Tools like Meltwater, Cision, and Mention provide comprehensive media monitoring services, allowing organizations to track mentions across various online and offline sources, including news articles, social media, blogs, TV, newspapers and forums.

  • Google Alerts: A free tool from Google, Google Alerts, enables users to receive email notifications whenever specific keywords or phrases are mentioned online. Organizations can set up alerts for their brand name, key executives, or relevant industry topics to stay informed about media coverage.

  • Social Listening Tools: Platforms such as Brandwatch, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite offer social media monitoring and listening features. These tools enable organizations to track mentions and sentiment on social media platforms, identify trends, and engage with their audience effectively.

  • PR Analytics Platforms: Solutions like TrendKite (now part of Cision), PR Newswire, and PRWeb provide analytics and reporting capabilities to measure PR campaign performance, track media mentions, and generate detailed reports for stakeholders.

These tools help organizations gain valuable insights into their media coverage, understand the impact of their PR efforts, and make informed decisions to enhance their brand reputation and engagement with the public.

Get noticed and amplify your message with PR tips

In this 'best practices' section, you will explore proven strategies and approaches that can help you maximize the effectiveness of your PR and media efforts. These best practices are designed to provide guidance and insights based on industry experience and successful campaigns.

Consider the following tips from both the PR professional's and journalist's perspective:

  • Research and Personalize: Journalists can smell blanket pitches from amile away. Take the time to research the journalist's work, beats, and interests so you can personalize your pitches and communications to show that you understand their coverage area and why your story is relevant to their audience.

  • Respect Their Time: Journalists have busy schedules and deadlines to meet. Be concise and respectful in your communications, delivering key information upfront. Avoid unnecessary fluff or lengthy emails that can be overwhelming.

  • Provide Value: Tailor your pitches to provide valuable content or unique angles that align with the journalist's beat. Show how your story can resonate with their readers and add value to their publication.

  • Build Relationships: PR is about cultivating long-term relationships. Take the time to connect with journalists outside of pitch-related interactions. Engage with their work, share their articles, and attend industry events to establish rapport and trust.

  • Be Responsive and Reliable: Journalists appreciate timely responses and reliable sources. Be available for interviews, fact-checking, and additional information. Establish yourself as a reliable source of accurate information, and journalists will value your input.

  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Journalists appreciate honesty and transparency. Avoid exaggerations, misleading statements, or making claims you can't back up. Be straightforward about the limitations or scope of your story, and journalists will respect your integrity.

  • Follow-Up Respectfully: Journalists receive numerous pitches and emails daily, so a polite and timely follow-up can help your story stay on their radar. However, avoid excessive follow-ups or pestering, as this can be off-putting.

  • Respect Their Expertise: Journalists are professionals in their field. Avoid trying to control the narrative or dictate how they should cover your story. Provide the necessary information and context, but let them exercise their journalistic judgment.

  • Offer Exclusive Content: Journalists love exclusive stories or access to unique content. Consider offering them an exclusive angle or interview opportunity to incentivize their interest and engagement.

  • Show Appreciation: A simple thank-you goes a long way. Express your gratitude for any coverage or attention given to your story. Building a culture of appreciation helps foster positive relationships with journalists.

By adhering to these PR best practices, you can establish meaningful connections with journalists, improve your chances of getting coverage, and maintain a positive reputation within the media industry.

Event Marketing

Reach: 3

Engagement: 3

Technical: 2

Cost: 3

Ease of Use: 4

Events play a vital role in member engagement, networking, and revenue generation for associations. According to Splash, 52% of marketers think event marketing drives the best ROI.

They provide a platform for your members to actively participate, learn, and connect with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community and strengthening relationships. Networking opportunities at events allow your members to expand their professional networks, establish valuable connections, and access resources and insights.

Events can also serve as a significant revenue channel through registration fees, sponsorships, and exhibitor fees, supporting the financial sustainability of your organization. Successful events attract sponsors, affiliates and participants, contributing to the association's mission and funding new initiatives.

A blueprint for engaging events

1. Set Event Objectives:

Clearly define the objectives of your event, such as generating leads, increasing brand visibility, or fostering community engagement. While I understand the business you are in is to advocate, there still needs to be a business objective or goal attached to these actions.

2. Identify Target Audience:

Identify the target audience for your event based on demographics, interests, and relevance to your nursing association. Understand their motivations for attending events and their preferred event formats.

3. Plan Event Logistics:

Determine the event format (virtual or in-person), location, date, and duration. Secure suitable venues, vendors, and permits if necessary. If this is a Continuing Education (CE) provided event, gather event objectives and speaker information.

4. Develop Event Branding and Messaging:

Create a cohesive and compelling event brand that aligns with your nursing association's brand identity, including clever or creative names for webinar series, programs, or in-person events. Develop consistent messaging and visuals to promote each event through various channels.

5. Create Event Marketing Plan:

Develop a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates various channels, such as email marketing, social media, and content marketing. Tailor your messaging and tactics to reach your target audience effectively.

To benchmark your efforts, pre-determine the minimum number of emails, social posts, content, etc. you will need to reach your goals.

6. Implement Ticketing and Registration:

Set up a user-friendly ticketing and registration system to streamline the event registration process. Collect necessary attendee information and communicate event details. Look to minimize the number of steps and clicks to register to improve conversion rates.

7. Engage with Attendees:

Foster pre-event engagement by providing relevant information, updates, and incentives to registered attendees. Encourage social media discussions, conduct contests, start a group or share exclusive content to build excitement.

8. Explore Sponsorship Opportunities:

Identify potential sponsors that align with your nursing association's values and target audience. Develop sponsorship packages that offer valuable benefits to sponsors while supporting your event.

9. Execute Event Marketing Tactics:

Execute your event marketing plan by promoting the event through targeted email campaigns, social media posts, content creation, online advertising, and partnerships with relevant industry influencers or organizations.

10. Evaluate Event Success:

Measure the success of your event by tracking metrics such as attendance, participant satisfaction surveys, lead generation, media coverage, and social media engagement. Gather feedback from attendees and sponsors to identify areas for improvement and refine your future event marketing strategies.

Effective promotion strategies that work

Promoting events effectively requires a well-rounded marketing strategy that utilizes various channels and tactics to reach the target audience. Here is an outline of strategies for promoting events:

Email Campaigns:
  • Create a compelling event announcement email that highlights key details, benefits, and registration information.

  • Segment your email list based on relevant criteria, such as member interests, previous engagements, or geographic location.

  • Schedule a series of email reminders leading up to the event to maintain engagement and encourage registration.

  • Personalize email content and subject lines to increase open rates and click-through rates.

Social Media Promotion:
  • Create a dedicated event hashtag and consistently use it across social media platforms to build buzz and encourage engagement.

  • Craft engaging social media posts that highlight event features, speakers, or special activities.

  • Utilize visual content, such as images and videos, to attract attention and generate interest.

  • Leverage social media advertising to reach a broader audience and target specific demographics or interests.

  • Collaborate with industry influencers, relevant organizations, or sponsors to co-promote the event.

  • Explore cross-promotion opportunities, such as guest blog posts, social media takeovers, or joint webinars.

  • Offer partnership incentives, such as discounted registrations or exclusive access, to encourage collaboration.

  • Utilize partner networks to extend the reach of event promotion and tap into their existing audience.

By implementing these strategies, associations can effectively promote their events, increase visibility, and attract a larger audience, resulting in a successful and well-attended event.

Effective event management functions

Attendee registration, ticketing, and post-event follow-up require smooth processes to create a successful event. Here are some best practices highlighting their importance:

Attendee Registration:
  • Efficient and streamlined registration processes are essential for a positive attendee experience and to encourage participation.

  • Clear and user-friendly registration forms with essential information collection help capture accurate attendee details.

  • Proper registration tracking allows event organizers to manage capacity, plan resources, and communicate important updates.

  • Implementing a reliable ticketing system enables secure transactions and simplifies the ticket purchase process for attendees.

  • Ticketing facilitates revenue generation, allowing organizers to track ticket sales, set pricing, and manage financial aspects of the event.

  • Different ticket types, such as early bird or VIP tickets, can be offered to incentivize early registrations or provide enhanced experiences.

Post-Event Follow-up:
  • Engaging with attendees after the event helps foster long-term relationships and encourages future participation.

  • Sending post-event surveys or feedback forms allows organizers to gather valuable insights and make improvements for future events.

  • Follow-up communications, such as thank-you emails, event highlights, or post-event resources, enhance attendee satisfaction and provide additional value.

By prioritizing attendee registration, ticketing, and post-event follow-up, event organizers can ensure a smooth registration process, maximize attendee engagement, gather valuable feedback, and nurture long-term relationships with attendees, ultimately contributing to the overall success and growth of their events.


Download the Nursing Association Content Operating System

The Nursing Association Content Operating System is a powerful framework I designed to streamline and optimize your association's content creation process.

With its three main components—the Never-Ending Ideas Matrix, Content Calendar, and Content Chunking Process—you'll have the tools to generate endless content ideas, organize and schedule your content effectively, and efficiently create and repurpose content for maximum impact.

Download the file by clicking the attachment below.

Nursing Association Content Operating System (v2.0)
Download XLSX • 76KB



  • Website Management & Optimization

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Marketing Automations

  • Market Research & Data Collection

  • Reporting & Analytics

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