In a time where a new social media platform seems to explode every month, and business professionals spend more time on their smartphones than on their desktop computers, associations need to step up their game if they plan on being top contenders for membership.
And because we’re all about multi-tasking and getting to the bottom line, here’s a short, sweet and to-the-point list of four membership marketing trends associations can’t afford to ignore:
YouTube is the second highest search engine (under Google) and whether you use that, Vimeo or another online video application, this is a marketing trend that associations should seriously consider. In fact, Cisco Systems estimates that 90% of Web traffic will be driven by video by the end of 2013.
So what are the benefits to video marketing? It’s engaging, it’s trackable and it’s shareable. You’re able to provide information where your members are most likely to view it, where it’s easy to see who’s watching and it’s even easier for them to click “share” and expand your online reach. And, video content represents higher-order objects when indexing web pages so it provides great SEO (search engine optimization) for your organization.
If you’re as addicted to your smartphone as I am, then you know some type of mobile marketing, whether it’s an app, a text message or a mobile-friendly website, is the best way to get your attention. Your members are looking for the easiest way to engage with and learn about your organization. Provide them with mobile tools to access your association’s information.
Mobile marketing provides you with an opportunity to extend your association’s conversation through traditional channels (such as newsletters or magazines) and with it, provide a way to track your results. Think QR codes or text-to-win type of campaigns. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips from Digital Marketers United.
3. Social media
No more excuses that your members aren’t using social media. They are. It doesn’t matter what demographic they fit into (I guarantee, if my 91-year-old grandmother is on Facebook, which she is, then your members are also there).
However, that doesn’t mean you should jump on every social media channel you can think of.
Choose your platforms wisely. Do your research and put on your ears before deciding where you’ll focus your social media efforts. Establish goals and ways to measure results. And whatever you do, be meaningful and conversational in your posts. Engage in conversations with your members, not at them.
What do you gain with integrating social media into your membership marketing plan? For starters, how about increased exposure and increased traffic to your website, blog or social media channels? According to Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 85% of those surveyed indicated their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their organization.
4. Content marketing
No matter what tool you choose to use, your association’s content should be relevant, timely and conversational. Gone are the days of push marketing. We are all content providers, no matter the type of organization we belong to, and it is our job to provide the information our members and constituents want.
Think about content marketing as a way to solve your members’ problems. To provide them with the information they’re looking for. To be seen as an expert and a resource in your industry.
What do you think? Is your association providing a variety of ways to communicate your message and engage with membership? Are you convinced that video, mobile, social media and content marketing are membership marketing trends you can’t afford to miss?
You know my take. What’s yours?