Wondering how your association can gain more meaningful exposure?
In a world where racking up likes and followers seems paramount, upping the quality of your exposure is often overlooked. As an association, you probably already have a sense of who your most experienced, engaged members are and how they came to join you. But how can you continue to draw in new, highly active members? Here are 3 strategies to put on the table at your next meeting to fuel the discussion of high quality exposure.
1. Know the detailed technological behavior of your members
Understanding this runs deeper than just knowing the types of channels your base uses. You need to pinpoint how potential members interact with different platforms and social media on both a personal and professional level. Research and discuss how individuals are influenced by certain channels and the outcomes that may come from choosing to engage more actively with one over another. Keep in mind that daily time spent on a site does not always equate to the level of influence or conversion power it has. Bring secondary research along with any primary information you’ve collected about users to the table and hold a brainstorm on ways that you can improve your online presence with their specific tech behaviors in mind.
2. Understand inbound marketing and how to implement it
Inbound marketing continues to be bolstered by advances in technology and society’s ever increasing consumption of digital content. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it is the practice of attracting your target audience with high quality pieces of content such as blogs, social media and SEO in order to convert them into specific channels and ultimately lead them to engaging in some form of commerce.
As opposed to traditional methods of forcing advertising on an individual you assume is interested, inbound marketing attracts the individual by appealing to their interests and provides routes for them to initially engage with you.
There are many big players in the inbound marketing game that provide a range of platforms and a la carte services. Some of the biggest are Hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot. The cost of using one of these dedicated companies range from 50 to thousands of dollars on a monthly basis.
Investigate how your association could benefit from implementing one of these streamlined platforms, or, simply get the ball rolling by dedicating yourself to building out a more focused, comprehensive content strategy. Inbound marketing is only as good as the content you provide, and even if you don’t feel ready to commit to a full inbound marketing campaign, you should at least begin to strengthen your association’s online presence with frequent, high quality content.
3. Join forces with complementary associations
While some associations are quite niche, there are many that complement (and at times, even overlap with) each other. Gain a clear understanding of this potential overlap by discussing which other associations you think your members could benefit from interacting with.
Other associations that may have a macro or micro set of members interested in both associations. For example, an association of mothers aimed at ending teen drunk driving may also have several members interested in an association that deals with ending teen drinking and drug use, and vice versa. Figure out which, if any, are out there for your association
Next, discuss how you could build an informal partnership and/or working relationship with them.
Make sure that each ssociation can benefit from the other’s resources. The process should be done in a way that doesn’t step on any toes, but rather creates a balanced and mutually beneficial process. This could be anything from curating content from one another on a regular basis to gain relevant exposure, to co-hosting events together. Make sure you align yourself with associations whose focus not only correlates with yours, but whose philosophies and work ethics are in line with where you want to be.
Relationships like this can be a one time experiment, seasonal, or long term. Regardless, be open to exploring how you can leverage larger association’s experiences and also help underdog associations find their footing while simultaneously strengthening your own network.
The key to all these strategies is to constantly give value to members. In the big wide world of the internet, there are thousands of potential places your members can go to consume content; as an association, you need to leverage your brand strength to constantly deliver the highest quality out ther.
Written by Christian Britto
We created rasa.io because we fundamentally believe that up to now, the approach most associations take to online community building has been far too narrow. Networking, resource sharing, and Q/A are just a part of the online community experience, so we created a platform the puts member engagement where it should be - at the heart of your association’s community.