Acquiring members is a top priority for any organization. After all, they are the lifeblood of any association, club or group. Yet, amount doesn’t necessarily equal value. New member acquisition has traditionally served as a cornerstone for a successful growth strategy, but long-term member engagement is just as crucial to your association’s health and vitality. There's no clear-cut process when it comes to implementing a member-first strategy, but here are some places to start.
A Member-First Strategy Feeds on Fresh ContentConsidering today’s digital landscape, it's safe to assume that most member-focused organizations manage a website or social media page to serve as a membership hub. These days, though, just having a digital presence isn't really enough. Yes, your members might be able to find you, but are your interactions strong enough?
Consider the objectives of your members. Why did they join your organization? They likely wish to stay dialed into industry news and events, and also desire the opportunity to network and build relationships with other members and partners.So, apart from standard news and information, provide an event calendar, pertinent videos, member databases and contact lists for networking opportunities. Offer your community personalized content that speaks to their distinct needs and challenges. Create visually appealing documents, such as industry/annual reports and new legislations, and broadcast them to your target audience instantly. Collect imperative, standardized feedback from your members by creating surveys and other types of assessments.
Get the Right Information to the Right PeopleIt might be easy enough to grab someone’s attention with a few buzzwords or a bold, innovative design, but if you don’t offer specific, ongoing value, engagement will plummet. An essential step in creating a member-first strategy is understanding your target audience. Identify how they fit into your organization and how they communicate with you. Large associations may have different user tiers (position, stage of member life cycle, etc.), so segmenting your membership can help refine your goals. Consider the following questions:
- How do they get their information?
- What events do they attend?
- How often do they log in to your website or visit your social media page(s)?
- What content do they spend the most time on?
The aim for content development is two-fold:
- Build a library of material that offers specific value to its reader. Think timely, reliable and user-friendly.
- Keep it coming!
A format that offers familiar, practical features paired with preloaded, easy-to-read content can spark participation and foster collaboration. Keep the lines of communication open by sending push notifications and alerts that notify your users of new content and other updates in real time.