I’ve always felt member organisations and associations should have – by a long stretch – the best content marketing programs in existence. I get that there are budget issues and legacy problems, I do, but the strengths of what they offer far outweigh the negatives in getting effective content experiences to their members.

It almost makes me jealous. Associations literally rely on content opportunities to attract members and subscribers. Events, magazines, workshops, research, insights – all of them offer the opportunity to collectively slow down that which is considered the scourge of the industry: member churn.

Getting new members? Great but costly. Keeping existing members so happy that they attract new members for you? Now we’re talking. Of course, the bigger opportunity is to truly create a destination for your audience – a place that becomes their community.

Check out these member and stakeholder driven organisations that do a great job of it already.

NewsGP – Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

I for one feel a little bit better about the people who keep us healthy knowing that this platform exists. They’re an influential bunch that we rely on each and every day, and their association is ensuring they are truly informed about what’s going on in their industry and in the lives of their patients.

It says on the newsGP website that “newsGP reports general practice news as it happens – it does not chase clicks, it deals in facts”. An authoritative, timely place where GPs can get what they need to know from a clinical and current affairs perspective.

It even broadly spells out its content strategy on its website: “Reporting under three broad categories – professional, clinical and RACGP – newsGP combines clinical articles directly relating to the treatment of patients with professional articles on policy, procedures or managing a practice. It also covers all of the latest news from the RACGP, explaining position statements, advocacy efforts and recently released college resources.”

The lesson: Authority, advocacy, every day.

AARP – American Association of Retired Persons

They’re a powerhouse with over 35 million members but don’t let the name fool you, retirement doesn’t mean tired to the AARP. And that’s reflected in their content marketing. From their print magazine to their insanely big website packed with super relevant content and reasons for their audience to stay a little bit longer, the AARP understands the power of holding attention with a content strategy that connects deeply with its audience’s needs, wants and interests.

The lesson: Make them stay. You already did the hard work in getting them there, ensure your content offering helps them spend time with you.

Now those are front covers.

AARP Magazine

The Brisbane Report – Brisbane Marketing

Brisbane Marketing’s thought leadership platform gives business leaders from Brisbane and further afield the opportunity to show their expertise, opinions and insights not just about doing business in Brisbane, but what it takes to be a new world city and to develop Australia’s nearest major capital to the powerhouse economies throughout Asia.

By focusing on specific industry topics The Brisbane Report attracts valuable eyeballs from the city’s business community and tells the stories behind Brisbane’s incredible decade of transformation. It’s more than just news to its member base. It’s news in the context of its member base. They get to see the transformation of Brisbane through the individuals and companies doing it.

The lesson: Tap your audience for topics and content creation – their knowledge can take your content further.

HRM – Australian Human Resources Institute

The news site of the Australian HR Institute is epic. The topics are awesome (“The consequences of sucking up to the boss”, for example) but the real greatness here lies in the multi-channel strategy that sees its content work hard for the money. The content hub spells out all the insights and knowledge HR professionals encounter but the tone of voice takes it to a new level.

The lesson: Your audience is human – speak to them that way. Stuffy, confected copy will not do.