Gabrielle Perham, MBA, is director of marketing for AccuData Integrated Marketing in Fort Myers, Florida.
Could your association’s digital marketing use a refresh? Use these three strategies to expand your reach for membership, nondues revenue, and more.
What defines success for your association? Increased membership? Rising nondues revenue? Providing value to professionals in your field?
For most associations, it’s a combination of all three. In an easier world, creating great content and providing high-value experiences would be enough to accomplish them all. But in reality, providing rich educational and networking opportunities does little good if industry professionals don’t know about them.
We’ve seen firsthand here at AccuData Integrated Marketing how digital marketing can help organizations stay relevant in the modern marketplace and reach new audiences. Let’s cover three digital marketing strategies—data-driven email marketing, IP and location-based marketing, and targeted social media advertisements—and how you can take them to the next level to expand your association’s reach.
Your association is likely using email already, whether that’s a regular newsletter, topic-specific updates (e.g., job board listings), or industry-related information.
These are all great strategies to spread the word, but they falter in one regard in terms of reach: you’re only able to share opportunities with professionals who have already interacted with your association.
You put hard work into creating valuable experiences for your members, so it’s important that current and prospective members are well of the opportunities available to them.
Consider using marketing lists to overcome this challenge. This guide defines marketing lists as lists of prospective customers—or prospective members—that you can use to increase brand awareness through online and offline outreach. Essentially, the process is as follows:
From there, prospect emails are deployed from a platform that’s set up for prospect emailing. When individuals respond to the email in some way, whether emailing back or clicking on a link, their contact information can be added to your association management software and used for future communications.
If you’ve ever received a digital advertisement on a website you frequently visit from a business that recently opened in your area, you may have encountered IP targeting.
As this guide outlines, IP targeting is a type of location-based marketing through which online advertisements are sent to prospective members using the IP addresses of their home or business routers. An IP address is a small line of information that all internet networks are equipped with as an identifier.
Another option is location-based targeting, which uses geofencing technology to serve advertisements to specified locations. With location-based targeting, you can send digital advertisements to the mobile devices of professionals who may be interested in your offerings based on their location.
For example, you can send targeted ads to individuals within a 5-mile radius of an event you’re hosting in an effort to increase turnout at the next event. Or you can serve ads to conference attendees who might be interested in joining your organization.
A third option is to use targeted social media advertisements to reach new members of your association. With paid social media ads, you can target your advertisements with specific parameters such as age, interests, location, and more.
From there, success relies on the strength of your advertisements. Here are a few tips to elevate your social media efforts:
The goal is to find your social media sweet spot—both the ads that perform best and the audiences most likely to respond to them.
You put hard work into creating valuable experiences for your members, so it’s important that current and prospective members are well of the opportunities available to them. With data-driven email marketing, IP and location-based marketing, and targeted social media advertisements, you can elevate your association’s reach.