Online membership engagement is becoming the number one KPI (key performance indicator) of a successful association website. The truth is, your website is your most powerful marketing tool. Your association spends months planning and creating resources, events, and forums for your members. You work hard to provide them with relevant information, engaging content, and above all, a reason to keep coming back.
Your objective is to become the go-to resource for your specialty and build a place where your members can network, discuss, and engage with others in their industry. But how do you hit your membership and marketing goals out of the park, and ensure that your website is fostering the kind of engagement your association needs?
Use these 4 tips to drive membership engagement on your site:
1. Make your members’ voice heard
Your members are constantly giving you feedback on their needs, wants, and uses for your website. They know what they’re looking for, and they won’t hesitate to tell you. This is a huge opportunity to start listening to their collective voice. Do you know what your members want from your website? Do you know how you want them to interact on your web platform? Have you founds a way to merge these two viewpoints together?
Outline the main objectives and goals for your site, and you will have something to measure your efforts against in the future. These benchmarks can help you demonstrate and determine your success. They’ll also help you focus your web efforts once you start getting into the more complex parts of online association marketing.
2. Make your members’ needs more visible
Once you have successfully identified the goals of your website and how you’d like to add value to your members’ experiences, you’re ready to start connecting your objectives with your association’s goals. This is done by building a bridge between your members’ data and your website.
Integrate your platforms by connecting your association management system (AMS) to your content management system (CMS). Integration gives you the ability to present custom content to your members. Once both systems are connected, your CMS will be able to provide you the tools to customize your web content based on specific member data. This gives you the ability to enhance your member's experiences and in turn, their online engagement.
3. Make your members’ experience more personal
When you think about it, the most successful conversations with your members occur when you have something in common. Your best responses come about when your conversations are relevant, intriguing, and most importantly, unique to an individual members’ needs. These conversations can be initiated with members on your website.
Wouldn’t it be great if each member was presented with information that interested him or her? Wouldn’t it be nice if some of the content on your site was dedicated to reminding an individual member of events, resources, and products that most interested them?
This can happen with personalization.
Web personalization is presenting unique content to different individuals on what you know about them. Personalized content driven by member data skyrockets the chances of your members engaging with your website, products, and resources since the practice is driven by the data and information they provide you.
4. Measure your success. Start the process over again
The key to really nailing this marketing strategy on the head is to be dedicated to the process. It’s not enough to just start and hope for the best. Personalization requires a proactive process that is constantly improved upon. Look at your web analytics, association management system, and social media for guidance. These platforms can help you track and improve your efforts.
Success on your website comes from making connection points with your members and demonstrating your value to them. Your association website should work for both you and your members. It should be capable of fulfilling all of your members’ needs, while also providing an enhanced online experience.
To learn more about best practices as it relates to your association’s website, download our Infographic.