Raise your hand if you feel like your member engagement tactics aren’t working well with your association members. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re living in a time when people are inundated with messages and content from a variety of channels 24/7. Can you count all the channels, blogs, newsletters, etc. you’re subscribed to? It’s overwhelming just to even think about!
Although it’s become more challenging to capture your members’ attention, it’s not impossible. You just must be willing to step back and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and maintain an open mind about reaching members in new and different ways.
So, what are some ways member-based organizations can break through all the noise? Here are two ways you might want to consider:
(The following is an excerpt from The Essential Guide to 2017 Association Management Trends.)
Conferences get technical.
Your members expect value from professional conferences. Speakers, breakout sessions and a happy hour have become baseline expectations. Reinvent the tired, predictable conference experience by using readily available technology which draws members into the conference experience, holds their attention and provides learning and networking opportunities which continue after they return home.
Here are some ideas for engaging conference attendees:
- Create a “surprise and delight” moment as soon as attendees land at the airport with a digital welcome sign. This message can be placed on airport marquees as they exit their gate and in baggage claim areas.
- Include both pre- and post-conference live video sessions to go deeper into a hot topic. If you present a post-conference wrap-up session, consider opening it to non-attendees too, so you can attract more members to next year’s conference.
- During the conference, make sure you’re engaging with attendees on social media. Encourage live blogging and Twitter feeds, and display them during general sessions and happy hours.
- Offer online forums to increase attendee interaction before the show begins. Attendees can download presentation notes and provide feedback to eliminate print costs for handouts.
- Make the help desk a live, interactive text number attendees can utilize from anywhere using their mobile devices. This saves them a trip across the convention center and standing in line to get help with a question.
With the rise of content marketing, your members and prospective members are inundated constantly with messaging, from email to websites and social media.
Rise above the clutter by incorporating visual storytelling, including videos and infographics, in your website and marketing materials. It will grab your members’ attention!
Video: Website visitors remain engaged longer on pages which contain video, and sometimes you can convey information more effectively in a minute or two of video than a carefully written article. Video is entertaining and helps your association stick in the minds of prospective members.
Infographics: Infographics are a great way to convey a lot of information in a short amount of time. They are especially effective for telling stories which involve statistics, for example, survey responses or industry trends. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the growth of infographic usage on websites has been incredible, increasing to 67% during 2016, and their effectiveness grew from 50% in 2015 to 58% in 2016.
These are just two effective ways you can boost member engagement at your association. How will you use them?