Your association offers big member value. But to attract and engage with more members, you must let that value shine through multiple channels.
We’re not just talking about communications channels here (although they’re important, too!). We’re also talking about multi-channel marketing, or using various approaches for your association marketing, including:
- Understanding what your members value most
- Reaching out to members in a variety of ways that attract and engage them
- Giving members new opportunities to grow professionally
Taking a multi-channel approach to your marketing will ultimately help you to grow and retain your association membership.
Let’s look at some high-impact ways to attract and engage members using a multi-channel marketing approach:
1. Understand your audiences better.
Effective member marketing and engagement starts with understanding your audiences. It’s important to know who you’re communicating with so that you can use the right content, tone, length, offers, and channels to reach them.
Start by looking at the data you have in your association management software (AMS). Use the reporting and data analytics tools in your AMS to understand member interests, behaviors, career stages, and trends. This will give you deeper insights into what communications and information are most relevant for your members’ needs.
Another way to know your audiences better is to develop personas. Personas are fictional, generalized characters that represent your audience’s various needs, goals, and challenges. They can help you think of your members as groups of people with similar characteristics so you can design content for and market to them in ways that grab their attention.
Use what you know about your members to create these fictional characters that each type of member (and prospective member) you’re communicating with. Have a persona in mind (just as you would think of a friend as you write a letter to him or her) as you develop offerings, content, and communications for the group each persona represents.
2. Use personalized approaches to deliver greater member value.
The 2023 Association Trends Study indicates that members value targeted content from their association. Findings also show that members consistently place high value on job opportunities and help with advancing their careers. And, as mentioned, members value various types of content to different degrees in different stages of their careers.
So, how can you provide a more personalized experience to attract and engage members? An effective approach is to make sure you have the right technologies in place to deliver a personalized experience – giving members the resources they need at each career stage.
For example, using job board software built for associations, you can build a robust online career center that provides job opportunities and career development resources that help members as their careers evolve. Using association job board software like YM Careers, you can deliver job alerts, personalized job searches, job recommendations, and relevant career resources – allowing you to deliver benefits your members seek in a more personalized way.
TIP: YM Careers offers job board marketing services to help you showcase your job board to employers and job seekers. The services use a combination of traditional marketing methods (print collateral and display ads) and digital media (email, website, and social media) as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Learn more about the power of an online job board for your association.
Read the guide, Top Questions Answered About Association Job Boards… Answered!
3. Think “tech integrations”.
A multi-channel approach to attracting and engaging members includes which technologies you use as well as how you use them together to reach members. For example, use your technologies together to optimize your job board for visibility and limited access to non-members – in effect, using the job board to drive membership.
One way you can achieve this is by integrating your job board with AMS. For example, YM Careers online job board software integrates with Aptify, NetForum, Nimble, and YourMembership AMS solutions by Community Brands. With this type of integration, non-members who visit your job board and sign up as job seekers via job alerts or account registration can be automatically delivered to your AMS as a list of new member prospects for your use in member marketing and acquisition efforts.
Another strategy is to integrate your job board with your learning management system (LMS). For example, YM Careers job board software integrates with Crowd Wisdom LMS by Community Brands to help you combine an online career center with your professional education program. Together, they give you the ability to showcase career development opportunities alongside personalized learning paths that help members attain the education and certifications they need to be qualified candidates. This approach helps you to deliver more of the career-building resources your members want in a personalized way.
4. Offer career support in other ways.
As your members look to grow their careers, you can go beyond your association’s online career center to engage and support them. For example, host virtual or in-person networking happy hours so that members and invited non-members can connect with peers in their profession in an informal environment. Another idea: Host a career fair that’s open to all professionals in your industry (not just members). Extending your reach in this way can help you to attract non-members to join your association while providing added value to members.