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Membership Engagement

For the most part, engagement is the driving force of membership organisations. If your members aren't engaged with your content, they'll fail to see the value in being a member. That being said, there's a fine line between keeping your members engaged with the organisation, and driving them away with content overload or information that's not relevant to them. People get saturated with copious amounts of content on a daily basis and it’s never easy to cut through the noise. This is why we decided to share some engagement tips we’ve picked up along the way in dealing with membership organisations.

Firstly, what is membership engagement?

Unfortunately, the answer is not straight forward as engagement is different for every organisation. From a marketing perspective, engagement can be anything from customer emails, to website traffic, to likes on your Facebook page. Although it's true that all these aspects are important, there's more to it when it comes to membership organisations, especially when it comes to managing and interacting with your members. 

This is where a good Content Management System (CMS) comes in. A CMS is a one stop shop where you can manage your database, accept new members and payments, open a line of communication with members via email and newsletter, organise events, and have extensible functionality to cater for specific business needs. Nonetheless, having a good management platform will be of no use to an organisation if it's out of touch with its members.

Know your members:

Different demographics and age groups react differently to the type of content that is provided to them. For example, millennials are more inclined to respond or act on content that is presented in infographics. If an organisation is only targeting millennials this is great, but what if it needs to target multiple types of members?

One popular practice that a lot of organisations find useful, is to have community personas to define your different types of members. This is usually done based on age, motivations, background and circumstances. Its an easy way to categorise your current members, or outline the type of new members you want to attract. Then you can create your content targeting the different personas you've established. 

Keep it fresh:

It's pretty simple. If a user doesn’t have a reason to go to your website, they won't go to your website. You have to keep your content fresh and do so on a regular basis. Relevance is almost always a must but sometimes keeping your content light and funny is just as important. Setting a tone for your organisation can go a long way and knowing your audience can help you with that. 

Time vs. Content

Perhaps the hardest obstacle to tackle when creating content is time! As mentioned before, people are saturated with information throughout the day. Eye-catchy content can really affect the number of people who will view the information that's been sent. Infographics, tables, and graphs are a good way of keeping information concise and are a good way of drawing your members in.

Retention Vs. Acquisition:

As an organisation, you should have a fine balance between the two. If your organisation finds it easy to acquire new members, but hard to retain them, this can point to a need to incentivise membership renewal. On the other hand, if you find it hard to acquire new members perhaps you should be looking at defining your target audience better. When it comes to retention, member and achievement recognition can be a great way to create a sense of community among your members. It can also be a good way of creating a more human feel for your website and a way to connect your members with one another.

Track and Trace:

Having the ability to track your website is highly valuable for an organisation. It can indicate your websites drawing power as well as your pain points. You can create all the content in the world but it will be of little use to you if you are unable to track who is engaging with it. With web applications such as Google Analytics businesses can now track the performance of their website for free and make informed business decisions based on real numbers. However, as a membership organisation, there are other aspects of engagement that are just as important. Managing members can be a tedious task if you do not have a centralised platform where you can perform all your 'business as usual' tasks in one place.

One final tip before we sign off:

If your organisation doesn't already have a LinkedIn page, it would be a good idea to create one. It's common knowledge that good word-of-mouth is some of the best marketing an organisation can hope for. Facebook is a great tool for this, but for some membership organisations, LinkedIn could be the 'go to' platform as it enables business-to-business connections.


In conclusion, know your members, keep your content fresh and on schedule, and make your life easier by having a centralised platform to manage all your members. We hope you've found at least some of these tips useful and are on your way to developing the right engagement strategy for your organisation.  

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