As we've talked about in previous articles, the right tools and incentives are great for bringing new members into an industry association. However, if you want to keep those members active and enthusiastic, you need to focus on engagement. It's not enough to merely have full member rolls. You want to see your association members actively participating in projects, discussions, and otherwise contributing to the group.
By focusing on keeping your members engaged - and growing their engagement levels - you'll have a much easier time keeping your industry association on-track.
To Grow Engagement, You Need To Track Engagement
For starters: do you have a system in place for actually tracking and measuring engagement? If not, that's step one. You should be closely monitoring your online forums and other electronic outlets. How many members are contributing per day? Are some days more active than others? Are the overall engagement numbers going up or down over time?
Also, consider tracking members at an individual level. You may be able to make more targeted changes aimed at increasing engagement among the under-engaged, or reward members who are most active. However, be careful how you do this. If you're too heavy-handed about monitoring usage, it can come off as intrusive. Personalization is always a careful balancing act.
Personalizing Your Industry Association
Offering more personalized services and messages is a great way of increasing engagement. People today expect messages and services to be directly relevant to them, or to the groups they identify with. Leverage your knowledge of group demographics to craft more personalized messaging. Content and offers specific to certain demographic groups, geographic regions, or specific job roles can be highly successful in helping your association feel directly relevant to its members.
Don't be shy about sending out surveys either, as long as they're short and to the point. This can be a great way to get ideas about how your organization is seen, and what else members would like to see out of it. Plus, anyone who responds is almost certainly going to be among your most motivated members, so keep that in mind.
Finally, keep track of the success rates of your own messaging and offers. Measure response rates, and try different tactics. Do shorter or longer messages have more traction? Do members prefer formal or informal language. Experiment!
Some Other Suggestions For Engagement
Building engagement within an industry association isn't much different from building engagement in other online realms, such as YouTube or social media. Strategies from that side of online marketing will usually work. For example:
- Create some content which is shareable, since that increases engagement as well as serving as outreach for your association.
- End messages and offers with calls-to-action, just like on your website. Start discussions! Get people talking.
- Have plenty of different avenues of communication, from personal messages to community boards. Give people options in how they engage.
- Consider rewards, badges, or other "gamified" elements that give small rewards to members for participation in official activities.
- Offer perks to your most engaged members, so they continue to participate and inspire engagement in others.
- Host plenty of events, even if they're only online. Electronic seminars and training sessions are cheap to hold, but can have a lot of value to members.
In short, treat your industry association members like customers - customers whose loyalty you want to build.
Solutions for Industry Associations
Are you looking for a new way to bring your industry association together, while offering plenty of reasons for them to engage with the group on a regular basis? LogicBay's technology and services provide Industry Associations a dedicated environment to promote membership to a wider audience and collaborate and deliver value for their partners and members.
- Allow your members to establish a private environment leveraging powerful tools for engagement and collaboration and includes proprietary resources, tools and courseware.
- Promote your association to a targeted audience within your region or industry sector
- Enable tighter connections and collaborations among partners and members
- Elevate your value and drive results and new streams of revenue
Contact us to learn more.