According to Marketing General’s 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, annual association membership growth was slowly on the rise for 42% of organizations earlier this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in many organizations’ plans. To counteract the negative impact of the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, it’s time to come up with a game plan to attract and retain your members.
As a nonprofit marketing professional, you understand that the marketing world is dynamic and ever-changing. Technology and tactics are never stagnant, which means that it is crucial for associations to keep up with new developments in their industry and adjust their strategies accordingly. The future of associations depends on their ability to modernize rapidly and maintain relevance among members, and these efforts are becoming increasingly digital.
An association’s online presence contributes significantly to people’s perceptions of the organization, so it’s important for marketers like yourself to prioritize this in your promotional strategies.
With so many digital platforms available at your fingertips, it can be difficult to select the ones to prioritize. To help, we’ve narrowed it down to three modern tactics that help associations connect with their current members and prospects in ways that resonate.
As you rethink your marketing strategies, hone in on these digital strategies to maximize your reach:
Forming a comprehensive digital strategy is crucial for every association, no matter its size. Ready to learn how to make a lasting impression on prospects and boost membership numbers? Let’s kick things off by discussing how to optimize your association’s website.
Your website is the foundation of your association’s digital marketing strategy. It gives you an outlet to display your work, connect with members, and deliver a more impactful supporter experience. Prospects navigate to your website when they’re looking to learn more about your cause and connect with like-minded individuals, so it’s essential to start optimizing your digital marketing efforts here.
As discussed in Morweb’s guide to building a membership website, your association’s website should house valuable marketing content, such as:
No matter what information you include, make sure you’re first equipped with a powerful content management system (CMS) to bring your vision to life.
As discussed in this guide, you’ll want to select one that’s built specifically for associations, because these come equipped with vital tools for engaging members that more generic website builders don’t offer. For instance, a CMS with an intranet portal and private pages will empower you to develop a compelling members-only area.
Humans are visual communicators. Your members don’t just want to hear about their impact; they want to see the difference your cause (and their contributions) are making. Video marketing is a powerful way to make that connection.
Prospects of all ages watch videos on a consistent basis. In fact, Promo conducted a study which found that 49% of surveyed users watch over five videos per day, while 10% of all respondents watch “too many videos to count” every day. It’s up to your marketing team to determine what types of content will stick out to your audience and resonate with them.
Deliver impactful video content by following these best practices:
Once you’ve developed content that effectively communicates your vision, share your high-quality videos across various digital channels such as email, social media, and blog posts. Then, pay attention to what types of video content your users engage with the most, whether you gauge that through social media likes, comments, and shares or through email open and click-through rates.
By mastering video marketing, you’ll effectively establish trust, communicate your brand, and deliver important messages more effectively than you would through other mediums. Videos provide an opportunity for prospects to connect with your association on a deeper level.
Chances are, your marketing team has already created a few social media pages to connect with younger generations of supporters. However, if your association wants to expand its digital presence, you need to put a solid plan in place for maximizing your social media presence.
An established social media presence allows you to connect with your professional community, leverage your supporters’ social networks, build your brand, and increase member acquisition. It’s an essential part of any modern communication strategy, so make sure your team is prepared to implement strategies like the following:
Social media is a foundation-building tool for associations looking to stay ahead of the game. Prior to refining your social media strategy, take time to discuss the goals your team wants to achieve the most, whether that’s recruiting prospects, increasing current members’ engagement, driving traffic to your website, or boosting event attendance.
By setting quantifiable and achievable goals, your team can organize its time and resources to make the most of the association’s online presence.
In an increasingly digital world, associations like yours recognize the need to connect with members online. Start by optimizing your association’s website design to include everything a new member would need to know. Then, jump to other methods such as video marketing to deliver impactful narratives and social media to connect with younger generations of supporters.
With an ever-growing list of marketing platforms, it’s easy for association professionals to get caught up in producing an abundance of appeals for several outlets. However, you’ll need to narrow it down to spend sufficient time creating impactful outreach. These three digital tactics are essential for a modern marketing strategy.
Backed by a well-designed website, captivating videos, and a strong social media presence, you’ll be prepared to deliver an exceptional member experience.