Richard Broughton, Director
Welcome back to our rundown of top tips for tackling the marketing challenges faced by member-based organisations. If you haven’t already, check out part 1, where we explore the 1) value of knowing your purpose, 2) understanding the different stages of engagement, and 3)maximising your website’s potential. We continue with part 2.
4. Inform, educate and excite
Drive your engagement though the creation of regular, well-designed communications, filled with well-written and relevant content that informs, educates and excites your members. Try using a mix of news, features, case studies and white papers to demonstrate your purpose. This can be delivered through public relations, email communications, social media channels and your website – ideally working together in a considered content strategy that is tied to your objectives. In addition to awareness activity, all printed materials should religiously follow your brand guidelines and be visually appealing, whilst providing members the information they want and need.
5. Get conversing
As highlighted previously, engaging with your members and prospects is essential. Modern websites and social media provides an incredible opportunity to interact, to initiate discussion and to seek feedback. Use each social network for what it’s best at. LinkedIn has incredible groups – join them and start to contribute. Post your own content and respond to comments. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook work best with daily posting and direct two-way communication with your audience. Ask questions, seek their opinions and take their comments seriously.
6. Deliver a unique offer
The survival and prosperity of a member-based organisation is intrinsically linked to the products and services it provides to its members. To thrive you must continually adapt, innovate and maintain your relevance. By understanding your members better you should already know what they want and how they want it. As important as the products and services you offer are, how you deliver those products and services is equally critical. When developing new member benefits or updating existing ones, take the time to consider how you can meet your member’s preferences. Is it printed material, is it customisable membership levels, a mobile optimised website with a bespoke member ‘dashboard’, is it video training tools or interactive learning tools? Also remember that different audience groups want to digest the same information in different ways.
7. The future is personalised
The advanced levels of integration available through the latest CRM (customer relationship management) and CMSs (content management systems) present a huge opportunity for member organisation to deliver real personalisation. If a member logs in to your site, you can track their journey and content choices and deliver recommendations based on past visits. You can even develop a personalised landing screen for every member, with his or her content preferences automatically front and centre. These are just two of countless ways personalisation can be used to deepen the bond between you and your members.
8. Stay fresh
Your brand is your literal face to the world. If it looks tired and dated, so do you. Developing an effective brand image is central to establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with members. More than that it defines how all your stakeholders view you. You brand is much more than simply a logo; it should communicate purpose and permeate through your products, services and activity. Your members can be your biggest advocates so you want them to be proud to be a part of the organisation; a carefully considered and well-defined brand is a big part of achieving that.
9. Make sure you are seen and heard
Ensuring your members hear about your activity is an important objective for any member organisation. The best way to achieve this to create detailed strategies for how you plan to promote your activity, before during and after it has taken place. That should include content and activity calendars, developing strong relationships with media professionals or a PR agency and through regular outbound communications, such as email, social media and your website. If you take the time to promote your successes effectively, you will reap the rewards.
There is much more to maximising your success than we can fit into a single article so if you have further questions or would simply like an informal chat about how The MTM Agency can help you build a closer bond with your members and achieve your marketing objectives, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
The MTM Agency is an integrated marketing communications agency, delivering world class solutions that drive our client’s membership growth, increase revenue and provide outstanding return on investment. For more details visit: The MTM Agency