Association Marketing: 3 Ways to Reach Your Members
AMR Management Services
May 24, 2023
Your association has likely spent plenty of time and resources to attract talented and qualified members for your organization. However, your work is far from over! Once you’ve turned prospects into members of your organization, you need to do everything possible to keep them interested, engaged, and eager to renew their membership.
This is where a strong marketing strategy comes into play. By marketing your events, membership tiers and associated benefits, and opportunities for growth, you can remind members of all the perks of your organization and confirm that they made a great choice by choosing your association.
To effectively reach your members with your messaging, you’ll need the right tools and strategies. Leverage these resources to keep members up to date and connected at all times with your association:
- Your Website
- Social Media
- Email Newsletter
By consistently reaching out to members with your exciting opportunities, you’ll be in great shape to build long term partnerships and create a sustainable, growing membership base. Let’s begin.
Your website is the foundation of your association’s digital presence, so it’s important you create updated content that keeps members in the loop of what’s going on at your organization—from your upcoming annual conference to your virtual mentorship opportunities.
If you’re new to web design or simply need to revamp your digital presence, Morweb’s guide to membership website builders recommends working with an association-specific CMS (content management system) with all the tools you’ll need, like custom member portals, community forums, and a built-in accessibility widget. This way, you’ll have a full suite of solutions under one roof, rather than trying to piecemeal different third-party apps and plug-ins into your site, which often requires technical expertise and can eat up a lot of your team’s time.
Armed with a comprehensive website builder for associations, you’ll be well-prepared to add the following elements into your website and strengthen your digital marketing:
- Event landing pages. Provide members with everything they need to know and ramp up registration numbers for your events by creating dedicated landing pages. An event landing page acts as a one stop shop for your event, allowing you to effectively market your event details and boost excitement for your upcoming conference, workshop, or other opportunity. Include logistical details like your event’s date, time, and location as well as any perks of attendance, like food or live entertainment.
- Blog. Your blog is a great place to keep members up to date on industry trends and news, association-wide updates, and upcoming events. The best organization websites stick to a consistent posting schedule so your blog content is always fresh and conveying the most accurate information. This communicates professionalism to your members and establishes your organization as a thought leader in your respective industry.
- Members-only resources. To grant members access to exclusive content and resources, work with your website builder to create custom member portals. Here, you can share private discussion threads, recordings of past workshops or speaker events, and learning materials. Valuable members-only resources like these help your member base stay tapped into your organization and readily access your membership benefits. Create a call-to-action on your site that directs existing members to the members-only login page so they can easily access these materials.
As you update your website content, leverage your CMS to actively track data metrics like page views, time spent on page, and conversion rate. This will help you identify where your website strategy is performing well and where you can optimize it for greater engagement results. Your website can also be a strong tool in attracting new members to your organization, so it’s essential to maintain a well-organized, professional, and informative digital presence.
Social media is an innovative tool that can help your association grow its following and effectively reach members with your upcoming events and opportunities. There are many platforms at your disposal, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. However, rather than spreading yourself too thin and generating content on every existing social media platform, choose the ones where your target audience is most likely to see your content.
For instance, if you’re an association of seasoned medical professionals, it would make more sense to create marketing content on LinkedIn or Facebook rather than TikTok, which appeals to a younger audience and has a much more informal content style.
Once you’ve decided on your social media channels, you’ll need to create a variety of content that will encourage member involvement and make members eager to sign up for your upcoming events. Your content should include:
- Photos. Share photos of your members attending your latest conference, headshots of your upcoming event’s speakers, or pictures of your members participating in your annual workshop. Pictures are great at highlighting the value and appeal of attending your events, which can help encourage more registrations.
- Graphic designs. Graphic designs like infographics can help your association illuminate statistics about its membership body or its industry impact. For instance, you could share an infographic at the end of the year that highlights the number of members that attended your workshops, the number of online presentations that were viewed, the number of core professional skills your association helped teach, and any other relevant metrics that can help show off your association’s value.
- Videos. According to Tectonic Video’s guide to video marketing, there are several types of marketing videos your association could create, such as educational videos that touch on industry insights, organizational videos that overview your association for new or prospective members, and testimonial videos featuring your staff or existing members. Videos are easily digestible and grab your followers’ attention, so leverage this opportunity to market your upcoming events, membership tier upgrades, and other relevant insights to keep members engaged.
As you develop your social media presence, remember to respond to members’ comments and join in on conversations related to your association. This interaction can help members develop a stronger relationship with your association and feel seen.
Your association members are always scanning through their emails. In fact, 19% of email users check their email as soon as they hit their inbox. To reach your members directly with your marketing messages, create a weekly or monthly email newsletter. Here, you can cover all the highlights that members should know about, from upcoming networking opportunities to the latest virtual learning tools available in their members-only portal.
When designing your email newsletters, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use a template. Email templates help you create an organized and visually appealing email. Work with an email software solution that provides plenty of options so you can choose a theme that makes the most sense for your association. Plus, you should be able to easily add in custom elements, like your association’s fonts and color scheme.
- Choose a catchy subject line. To ensure your email stands out from the rest of your members’ incoming messages, use an attention-grabbing subject line that expresses the relevance and value of your content. Stick to concise language and express urgency to drive high open rates. For instance, a subject line that says “Don’t Miss Out: Register for Our Annual Conference Now” is eye-catching and lets recipients know exactly what your email content is about.
- Create compelling CTAs. Calls to action (CTAs) direct members to their intended next step. If you’re discussing your upcoming conference, display a large CTA above the content that hyperlinks to your registration page. This way, members can easily take action once inspired.
Remember to break up your email content with images and videos. This will help you keep your members’ attention and allow them to visualize what your upcoming event or opportunity will be like if they attend.
As you execute your marketing strategy, remember to keep your audience in mind and tailor your content to their interests. This focus will make it more likely that your members will view and take the intended next step, whether that’s upgrading their membership tier, registering for your next event, or renewing their membership at the end of the year.
AMR is an accredited association management company (AMC) providing a wide range of services including strategic leadership support, financial management, event planning, member relations, marketing, communications, program management, information technology services and general administration. Looking for help with your association? Get In Touch With Us Today!
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