Marketing Executive, Pedalo Web Design
Increasing member engagement has been pinpointed by the sector as the top goal for 2017, according to the Digital Excellence Report published by MemberWise. If built correctly, your website can be an ideal platform to help you boost engagement. It can be designed so that it is easy to access at any time and from any device, it can allow for maximum personalisation, and it can pose endless possibilities for reaching out to your members and encouraging participation (many of which can be automised to reduce workload). Here are 3 ways to increase member engagement on your website, based on three general member needs.
People have a need to belong and when they feel strongly connected to an organisation they tend to be more likely to engage. Therefore the first step to increasing engagement is creating a narrative that your members can connect to. Your story should evoke the right emotion within your membership base. Your narrative should be apparent from the first glance on your homepage, and it should be weaved throughout your website. Your imagery, language and content should all reflect the chosen narrative. It should also form the core for your website’s user journey.
Relevant, unique and innovative content is a major way to draw in members, as many come to your organisation to learn. There should always be new content in the pipeline, and the content should evolve along with your member base. Your content could be in the form of guides, reports, expert round-ups, e-learning courses, news or live event coverage. You could create podcasts, videos, infographics or blog posts or ideally a mix of these. But creating the content is not enough. It is important to also think of how this content will be accessed and consumed. Your content should be:
- Easy to find via your website search tool
- Regularly promoted via newsletters, social media etc
- Proceeded by bite-size snippets, leading to the full piece
- Regularly updated and added
- Road-mapped so that members know what is coming up
- Connected to what is currently happening offline (events, courses etc)
- Exclusive and unique (for example a Q&A session with a special guest expert)
- Deliver ongoing value
There is great value in being a part of a community that revolves around a point of commonality. People are increasingly becoming used to connecting online via internal communities (those that are a part of your website) and external communities (for example on Facebook, LinkedIn or even WhatsApp). Creating a thriving online community is no easy task, but here are a couple of ideas to help you get started:
- Choose your platform and invest in it
- Send regular email updates highlighting important conversations or unanswered questions
- Take an active part in the community, raise questions and share relevant articles or events
- Find ways of thanking active members (whether explicitly or by giving them special rewards)
- Send gentle reminders to members who have been inactive for a certain amount of time
- Find ways to make the community an integral part of your membership (refer people there for assistance, encourage public exchanges of information and member-to-member mentoring)
- Ask your community for their feedback on new ideas or existing services
- Make changes accordingly and communicate these back to the community
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but if you found this information useful, we invite you to read more about increasing member engagement here.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the wealth of information building up in MemberWise’s Member Engagement Hub.
Pedalo is a MemberWise Recognised Supplier. You can find out more here…