archive

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 3: Marketing Assets

PART 3: Marketing Assets

This is the third post in our series 6 Ways to Help Your Association Thrive. If you missed our earlier posts, you can read about your cause and your marketing plan to catch up.

How to Attract Prospects and Members with Marketing Assets

People are more likely to engage with your brand in exchange for something tangible and beneficial. That’s why a good content-based digital marketing plan requires supporting assets to maximize outcomes.

What is a marketing asset?

A marketing asset, often referred to generally as “content,” can be almost anything from your association that offers value to your audience. Traditional marketing assets include whitepapers, infographics, how-to guides, e-books, webinars, videos, checklists, podcasts, survey results, industry reports, and many more. Thanks to new technology, marketing assets also include interactive content, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, chatbots, apps, and others.


What’s the right asset?

With so many types of marketing assets to choose from, how do you know which ones will work for your audience? The answer: the ones that give people what they need when they need it. Personalization is key to a successful content-based digital marketing campaign.

Here are a few considerations when determining your marketing assets:
  • Where are individuals in the customer journey? New prospects need different information than long-term members.
  • What’s going on in your industry? Tailor assets around current trends, technology, and industry events.
  • What are their goals? Offer tools that enable goals, help them develop professionally, or assist in planning for future growth and success.
  • What are their pain points? Provide information that will save them time and money, make their lives easier, or help them overcome obstacles.

How to personalize marketing assets

To effectively personalize your campaign, you may need to segment your list into two or three meaningful groups. For example, members, nonmembers, and sales reps. You can also use marketing automation to determine who gets what. For example, a workflow based on a series of if-then statements could trigger various marketing assets and follow-up communications depending on user behavior.

While personalization requires a little more work and forethought, the results are well worth your time. One research study from Experian showed that personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher clickthrough rates than generic emails. Personalized marketing improves customer experience, which ultimately drives membership, non-dues revenue, and member engagement.


When in doubt, go visual and be quick

While your audience will have its own preferences, the current trend in marketing assets is to lean heavily on visual components. Additionally, keep in mind that time is always a concern for your members. Resources that save people time and are quick to digest are the most likely to generate outcomes.


Gated or ungated?

Gated marketing assets are those you give away in exchange for an action, such as providing an email address or starting an account. Gated content is a great way to build your prospect list. However, people won’t hand over their email address to just anyone. First, they need to trust that you offer value and that you won’t just spam them with more time-consuming emails.

When you give away your marketing assets with no strings attached, that’s known as ungated content. Ungated marketing assets demonstrate to your audience that you’re here to help, that you offer credible resources, and that you’re worthy of their trust. A good strategy to is to give away ungated content initially and eventually gate content to capture contact info.


How to get started

To get started using marketing assets to attract prospects and members, take a look at your existing materials. You might already have a stash of articles, interviews, infographics, podcasts, and more that can be used as-is or repurposed to support your cause and your marketing plan. If you need to create new materials, be sure they’re aligned with your existing brand’s look and feel for consistency.

Need more ideas for marketing assets? Download the checklist for 50+ ideas.

Share this post in LinkedIn:

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 2: The Plan

READ MORE>

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 1: The Cause

READ MORE>

How to Implement Omnichannel Marketing

READ MORE>

NOT ANOTHER SNOOZELETTER.

SIGN UP. BE INSPIRED.

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 2: The Plan

Part 2: The Plan

This is the second post in our series 6 Ways to Help Your Association Thrive. We’re covering six key marketing elements to help you reach your goals. If you missed our last edition, check out Part 1: The Cause.

How to Create a Digital Marketing Plan

Save time and money while boosting your marketing results with a quick and painless plan

So you know your cause, and you want to tell the world about it. You’ve got resources to share plus events to promote and products to sell. It’s tempting to blast your members and prospects with all these valuable things at once. But hold on a second…


Why you need a marketing plan

Getting attention and moving people to act involves a balance of timing, frequency, relevancy, and format. You need to meet your audience where they are or they won’t engage. Even a simple marketing plan can help you achieve better results while saving you time, money, and effort. Before you launch another promotion, stop and sketch out a plan.


Why your plan needs digital

You can’t improve results if you keep doing the same old thing. Now is a great time to embrace digital tools. Digital advertising and email automation enable precise audience targeting and follow-up based on actual user behaviors. With digital, you can customize each user’s experience with your brand to improve outcomes.


How to create a digital marketing plan

Planning a year of marketing might seem daunting, but it takes just seven steps.

1. Establish goals.

Set specific goals. If you want more members or event attendees, how many? What is your non-dues revenue target? Other goals might include web visitors or social media followers, email performance metrics, or improved member satisfaction. As much as possible, express your goals in hard numbers and concrete terms.


2. Get to know your audience better.

Dig deeper into your audience to improve your marketing like never before.

Consider three categories of data:
  • Demographics: age, gender, household income/company revenues, geography, years in business or profession, political affiliation, hobbies or special interests, etc.
  • History with your association: past purchase history, events attended, years as a member, volunteer positions, etc.
  • Data gleaned from online behaviors: web pages visited, articles or e-books downloaded, email opens, clicks etc.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of data. With digital marketing, you will gain data as your campaigns progress. You can use what you learn to solidify and improve your efforts going forward.


3. Focus on value.

Go beyond networking, education, and certifications to focus on value. How will your association make people’s lives easier, save them money, or advance their careers? Brainstorm tangible benefits of your membership, events, products, and certifications. Calculate ROI whenever possible to prove you’re worth people’s time, money, and effort to engage.


4. Choose an engaging format.

Choose a format, platform, or channel based on your audience, goals, and budget. Some of the most effective strategies are email drip and nurture campaigns, social ads paired with helpful content (ex: whitepapers, e-books), and web retargeting. But you’ll need to test and track to see what works for your audience.


5. Create a marketing calendar.

Timing matters. Consider what else might be going on in your audience’s lives: holidays, industry events, competitor messages, other comms from your organization, etc. Schedule your promotions when they will have the least competition from other sources. Then make sure your team is aware of launches and prepared to field responses.


6. Execute.

Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis. At some point you have to put your best foot forward and launch your initiatives into the world.


7. Track performance.

You must track performance and analyze results to know if your plan is working. From there, you can make adjustments on the fly or learn from past efforts to improve in the future.

Your cause is the driving force behind your organization, but without a plan you can’t reach your full potential. Adding digital marketing to your plan can further improve your results while saving you time and money. Ready to get started on your marketing plan? Download the free Sample Marketing Plan below to guide your efforts.

Share this post in LinkedIn:

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 1: The Cause

READ MORE>

How to Implement Omnichannel Marketing

READ MORE>

What is Omnichannel Marketing and Why do You Need It?

READ MORE>

NOT ANOTHER SNOOZELETTER.

SIGN UP. BE INSPIRED.

6 Ways to Help your Association Thrive

Part 1: The Cause

Part 1: The Cause

So you need more members. And more non-dues revenues. And you’d like to boost engagement while you’re at it. To reach your goals and truly thrive, you’ll need more than a nice website or a great social campaign. You’ll need six key elements working in harmony: a cause, a plan, marketing assets, prospects, engagement, and non-dues revenues. In this six-part series, we’ll cover all these essential elements so you can get maximum results for your association. Part 1: The Cause.

How a Cause Helps your Association Thrive

Get attention in a world of endless spam, robocalls, and popup ads

Do you ever wish you received more email spam, robocalls, or popup ads? Of course not. And your members don’t either. We all get too many emails and phone calls. We’re sick of slick sales pitches and impersonal advertising. By now your audience is hardwired to ignore most marketing messages—even the ones that could benefit them.

Considering all this, how can you get attention and compel people to join, attend, renew, and engage?

You need a cause. Give people a reason to care. Help them feel like they’re making a difference. If you can engage people emotionally in your cause, there’s almost nothing they won’t do to support it. If they feel needed and valued within your community, they will stick around year after year to work for your cause and sustain your organization. They will look forward to your communications and tell others about your important work.

Before you even consider your next marketing message, campaign, or platform, you need to determine your cause.


What a cause is and isn’t

Your cause must be a simple, powerful idea your audience can relate to and rally around. It’s more than a marketing theme, campaign, or tagline. It’s more precise and tangible than your mission or vision statement.

A cause is not simply donating a portion of your proceeds to charity or organizing a food drive. These might be worthy undertakings that contribute to your cause, but they’re details and they’re short lived. A cause is a big-picture, long-term value proposition that explains why you do what you do, what drives your organization, and what you’re passionately willing to work hard and even fight for.

Examples of great causes
  • REI: Get more people outside.
  • ServiceMaster: Because your customers and employees deserve a clean, safe and healthy environment.
  • American Heart Association: Save and improve lives by fighting heart disease and stroke.
  • Apple: Enhance lives through innovative technology.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: Build better lives for Americans affected by mental illness.
  • National Association of Manufacturers: Support the more than 12.8 million men and women who make things in America.

How to determine your association’s cause

Determining your association’s cause boils down to just two considerations: who you help and how you help them. Explore specifically who your audience is—job titles, location, age, gender, years in the profession, company size, etc. Then think about their biggest pain points and ultimate goals. Brainstorm how you solve these pain points and how you enable those goals. What is the most powerful resource you can offer people? How do you make a difference in their lives? Don’t get too wrapped up in minutiae. Think about the big picture, the 10,000-foot view of your industry.

For help on this process, download our free guide: How to Determine Your Association’s Cause. By answering just five questions you’ll pin down your purpose and articulate your cause.


Do you really need a cause?

The other day at the grocery store, I walked down the cookie aisle looking for a snack. Thinking of maintaining my healthy diet, I left without purchasing anything. Then I got to the exit, where a group of adorable young ladies were selling Girl Scout Cookies. I bought five boxes to support their troop. That’s the power of a cause. It transcends logic and taps into emotions to compel people to act. Only when you know your cause can you craft an effective plan for the rest of your marketing. More on that next time.

Need help determining your association’s cause so you can get attention and rally people to action? Download this guide and answer just five questions to get started.

Share this post in LinkedIn:

How to Implement Omnichannel Marketing

READ MORE>

What is Omnichannel Marketing and Why do You Need It?

READ MORE>

Best Practices for Digital Marketing that Boosts Engagement

READ MORE>

NOT ANOTHER SNOOZELETTER.

SIGN UP. BE INSPIRED.