Last week during a business conference, a senior team member of Association TV® had the opportunity to interview a Google employee who works in the area of marketing – and what he shared with our team member underscored every organization’s need for content.

The Google employee was attending the event with another gentleman who heads up a Google certified marketing agency and they were co-speakers of a general session. Before they took the stage, they agreed to an interview that our team member conducted.  Here they shared some very interesting insights.

Probably the biggest one for me was that now it takes up to 3 times as many touches to make a sale.  Back before the Internet, this number for touchpoints was generally agreed on as 8.

People don’t want to be sold to – they want to come to their own conclusions and buying decisions

Based on Google’s research, buyers will have up to 27 touch points with your organization before they buy into or complete a purchase. You read that right – 27 touch points. This begs the question… is your association serving up the right content (and amount of) that will lead your target audience further down your conversion funnel? If you don’t have content on your digital properties that answers their objections or questions about your product or services, then you’re missing a big opportunity. According to Google, the buying journey is no longer linear.

Content is now the business standard.

Gone are the days when people see an advertisement, and then immediately contact a sales person to seek more information and guidance. Today, it’s the content that MUST do an effective job of guiding the buyer. Technology has made content so conveniently accessible that when your audience is ready to learn about your organization, researching online has become more comfortable than picking up the phone and speaking with a representative.

As a takeaway for the association professionals, here’s a list of video topics and formats you should consider to ensure your website can guide prospective members from the ‘research’ stage through to ‘intent to buy’:

  • About the organization – an overview video of why you exist
  • What makes our community unique?
  • Member benefits that cannot be experienced anywhere else
  • What members are saying about us / member testimonials
  • Educational content and learning (so prospective members sample the benefits of membership). This is really important as less than 15% of members attend conferences and see your best content. Exposing this type of content to existing and potential new members, raises the likelihood of engagement
  • Message from the President / vision statement (so prospective members understand the strategic goals of your association)
  • How to get involved / become a member
  • Navigating membership – getting the most from your membership now that you have joined.

I know, this all sounds sensible, but our marketing department doesn’t have the budget to fund these videos

This is a very common objection, and with good reason. Many organizations simply have not realized how the marketing landscape has changed, and that’s why budgets for content development have not changed with the times. But according to Google, this is a top-down decision that needs to happen sooner rather than later for all the reasons stated above. As the expert so eloquently stated; “Content should NOT be assessed as an expense by solely the marketing department – content is now a cost of doing business.”

Content is now a cost of doing business.

In summary, recognize that times have changed.  Many of your audience members will not buy or join your organization the moment they hear about you – but they will come back to research, learn more about you, and assess how you compare to your competitors. In each of these instances, your website should be prepared with online content that satisfies their inquiries.

At the top of the content hierarchy is video. Smart associations are developing video heavy content strategies that align with their organization’s business objectives.

One more thing about the 27 touches.  This rule applies to your sponsors, advertisers and members too!

Do you have the content bandwidth to succeed based on 27 hits?

About the author.


Dan Stevens is president of WorkerBee.TV and father of Association TV®.

Association TV® by WorkerBee.TV is a proud partner of .OrgCommunity.

Association TV® is a strategy, platform and best practice that allows an association to strategically leverage the power of video and audio to enhance member value, achieve association goals and drive non-dues revenue.  Inform, Educate and Inspire your members while growing your revenues with Association TV®