Are your association’s branding efforts in need of a little spring cleaning? We tend to roll into each year with new objectives and strategies ready to be implemented. As exciting as that can be, if you don’t take the time to review and sunset old initiatives to make room for the new, it is virtually impossible to successfully reach your goals.
Your website is one of the most important components of your brand identity – it’s the virtual front door to your organization. Open 24/7, rain or shine, your members and prospects are far more likely to connect with you via your website than at any physical event you might host during the year.
Here are five ways your association’s website should be promoting your brand identity:
1. Tell Your Story in an Easily Understandable Way
If you watched any of the recent Super Bowl commercials you may have noticed that a number of advertisers skipped the gimmicks and crafted messages that were designed to humanize their companies. They wanted to create a personal connection with the viewer.
The content on your website should have the same goal. A mission statement on your home page is not enough to provide a solid understanding of your organization’s objective. Your association has a rich story to share with members, prospective members, and the public at large. Each piece of content on your home page should play a role in telling that story. If it’s not related to what you are doing today, it shouldn’t be there.
2. Don’t Live in the Past
Every association should conduct an annual inventory of its website content to ensure it is relevant and delivers value. Archiving dated content keeps the brand fresh. Using tools like Google Analytics help you determine if specific content is still being accessed, providing you the opportunity to prioritize new content based on what is popular. Remember, while your members can find virtually anything by searching Google, they’re counting on your association to be a content curator by providing access to information that is relevant to their careers.
3. Be in Action – Always
Associations should always be engaged in actions that serve the best interests of their constituents. However, that doesn’t mean you have to do all of the work. Your website should be a hub of interaction for any visitor. This is especially important with your home page. Calls to action should be strategically placed and easy to access. Want to register for an event, click here. Looking for a new career opportunity, click here. Searching for a professional to help you, click here. Providing visitors with one click interaction with your association drives greater engagement. Make those hot button items visible to anyone. Change them often. Keep it fresh.
4. Know Your Members
Technology surveys can play an important role in enhancing your association’s ability to engage members. It has never been more important to be “where your members live”. Understanding how members want to connect with you can help bolster your brand identity. There is no avoiding the reality that we work and live in an on-demand, mobile world. Allowing members to access your programs and services anytime they desire, via their device of choice, goes a long way to meeting expectations that are being shaped by the fast pace of changing technology.
5. Create Pathways to Future Success
The membership technology available to associations today makes it practical and affordable to add database capabilities to your website. It is true that data is king. Capturing, analyzing, and reporting on the data your members provide through their interactions on your website can provide your association with the business intelligence that will allow it to make strategic, evidence-based decisions. Being able to analyze the data you report on makes it easier to identify trends and opportunities to create more value for your members.
Want to learn more about enhancing your association’s brand? Register today for YM’s next CAE Thought Leadership webinar Boost Your Association’s Brand Through Storytelling: 6 Hacks to Improve Your Marketing with Willis Turner, CAE, CME, CSE. It will be presented February 18th at 12 noon EST.