According to the 2017 Association Communications Benchmarking Report published by Association Advisors and Naylor Association Solutions, associations are communicating more frequently, and with a wider variety of tools, but not more effectively. Many associations say the #1 communications challenge is their struggle to relay their membership value proposition.
Here are some takeaways that might help you relay value better. It’s a process.
- Commit to every piece of communication delivering value. Showcase your specialty, and unique deliverables.
- Every outbound communication should reinforce membership is a great idea or look at what I’m missing by not being engaged in this organization.
- Evaluate your communication inventory. How did each piece deliver value or reinforce the association’s position as a great place to be? If it isn’t moving the ball down the field consistently, address the issue right away.
Let me break down the approach at our shop:
We’re a small company – 12 people total. Two of us generate the entirety of our content and we’ve developed a process that works for us. I promise you, if we can do it, you can do it at your organization – and, the effort has been a game changer.
Communications Director Kim Gilliam and I begin with an idea and I typically run with it on Facebook Live. We’ll take the Facebook Live video – upload it to our YouTube channel and link it back to our website. We then promote it through our social media platform to cast an even wider net.
- From the Facebook Live video, we create a blog based on that content and post it on social. The blog is then featured in our e-newsletter, JP Moery’s Top 5 Association Plays of the Week.
- The blog then evolves into a podcast. We’ve produced more than 100 podcasts, which have been downloaded more than 8,000 times.
- We will take a particularly popular piece of content and develop a webinar, which can draw between 25 and 35 participants. Through webinars, you can reach your audience in a more personal way, interact, and really push your personal authority.
- From there, we’ll take the webinar content and create an Ebook, which is promoted from our website featuring an opt-in mechanism. The Ebooks garner valuable emails for prospecting.
This methodology fuels our marketing strategy – but first and foremost I am trying to develop as much information and insights as possible for people that want to learn from our experiences.
Although Kim and I are leading the effort, our entire staff is fully engaged. Each team member is posting, sharing, & tweeting our content to broaden our reach. It is a winning effort.
Since implementing this approach in May 2016, Google Analytics has shown we’ve increased website engagement by 65% (which reflects a combined increase in site users, page views, sessions, and organic searches). Our dedication to communicating valuable information in a consistent way has moved the needle for us big time – in sales and brand awareness.
Associations – my message to you is “Jump in, focus on what you do best, and stay disciplined in your efforts. Keep giving it away. You will gain more attention by doing so. And that attention turns into more members.” I’m rooting for you.
If communications development and social strategy are areas in which you could benefit from some individualized consulting, check out my 1:1 Association Consulting Program and connect with me. Would love to help.