Guest Contributor: Kristin Savage
Growing your associations’ membership is often among the top priorities. You’re aiming to make each new prospect a member and have them on board. Strategizing on how to do this should be your number one concern, followed by the question of retaining those members.
While it’s not easy to get people to join your association and continue to increase the association membership, it’s far from impossible. What you have to do is think of some fresh ideas to get more people to sign up and engage. The best way to do it is to think like a member. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 6 practical ways to engage more members and make sure they become a loyal member of your association.
Let’s get started.
Use Social Media
We’ve got to start somewhere, and social media might just be the best means of communicating with potential and current members.
With more than 3 billion active users worldwide, social media has seriously changed the way we advertise our associations.
To make sure you’re doing the right thing, you need to:
- be active on social media
- run social media campaigns
- advertise your projects
- communicate with your members
Remember, your social media platform needs to include multiple channels. Identify the platforms that are most suitable for your business.
Consider LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube as the best platforms for advertising a business.
Associations often host events with the goal to showcase their strengths, professionalism, and collaboration with other experts.
These events are a great way to attract new members and offer something unique to existing ones.
This is why it’s a great idea to host events that will:
- offer fresh perspectives on trending topics
- gather respected speakers from all over
- shed new light on your industry
- give you credibility
- give you a chance to present your association and invite people to join it
Hosting events will get you the publicity and exposure you need to shine and show them what you’ve got.
Don’t forget to advertise your event and work on that event marketing like crazy. You have to ensure people hear about it and register in time.
Similar to the events mentioned above, webinars too can be a great way to engage with your members and an effective tool for retaining them.
It’s important that your association offers:
- a chance for professional growth
- new sources of information
- constant self-improvement opportunities
This is why webinars can serve as a tool for giving your members a chance to engage with your association, learn from one another, and raise their skills and knowledge to a whole new level.
“Webinars are a must when it comes to associations. There’s no easier and better way to include all your members into something valuable, important, and beneficial,” says Maya Pearson, a psychologist and a writer at Writing Judge.
Work on Your Digital Marketing
While social media is an extremely important segment of your digital marketing strategy, it’s still just one piece of the puzzle. To ensure more and more people keep discovering your association and becoming its member, you have to work on a stronger digital marketing strategy.
Here’s what your association needs to cover:
Producing content is the foundation of every digital marketing strategy. However, some associations make the mistake of creating content purely to announce seminars, webinars, and other events.
While this type of content is interesting to your members, it soon becomes forgotten.
Therefore, focus on creating content that people are going to want to read at any moment in time, and that provides valuable information about things outside of your association.
- Email Marketing
Communicating with your members via email is a must.
Come up with email marketing strategies to communicate with your current and potential members better, and make sure they move down the buyer’s journey the way you intended.
- Run Ad Campaigns
When you’re analyzing the success of your content, you’ll notice how much traffic does it get you. If the traffic is low, you should consider running paid ads.
These ads will help you get more people to your website and convert them into members.
A complex digital marketing strategy will improve your chances of increasing your membership rate and making sure it stays that way.
What is a better source of information about your association than from the very members you already have?
To keep things running smoothly, or resolve the burning issues, you need to be aware of how your members feel. This is the only way for you to retain them and attract new ones.
Collecting feedback from your current members will tell you:
- what membership benefits they like the most
- what they feel is missing
- what they feel needs improvement
- what would make them consider dropping off
- what makes them stay your member
Conduct a survey at least once a year and ask the right questions to get the accurate results. Use that data and insight to improve your members’ membership benefits and provide what they expect from you.
Improve Your Recruitment Strategies
Finally, there’s one last thing you definitely have to work on, to improve your membership rate and make sure it keeps growing. You have to work on employing different, effective recruitment strategies.
The best way to think of recruitment is as a multichannel process. You shouldn’t rely solely on one type of recruitment strategy since it will only work for a certain group of people.
Instead, combine different strategies for maximum success:
- make the process of joining your association easy
- encourage current members to recruit new ones by offering benefits
- offer exclusive one-time offers for new members
- advertise on different platforms
- create separate recruitment strategies for different target groups
This will ensure you are simultaneously covering different fields, and you’re recruiting people of various profiles.
The most practical way to engage with your members and retain them is to create a pleasant and smooth experience within your association. Listen to what they have to say, be active in responding to their requests, and offer them the benefits they need.
The practical tips listed above will help you engage with your members and create a positive atmosphere within your association that they’ll enjoy being a part of.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She’s a versatile writer and a freelance blogger. She covers various topics, from digital marketing, to launching startups. She works as a writer at Trust My Paper and Grab My Essay. She’s also a skilled editor working for Studicus and Best Essay Education.