Providing online value to your membership cannot be achieved overnight. But by applying the following eight steps – and, just as importantly, sticking to them – you will soon have a member community feeling more valued and engaged.
- Think like your members – You simply have to think like them. Many organisations are still making the crucial mistake of structuring the website and its content to suit internal and departmental structures. Communications are sent by multiple departments, bombarding the member with multiple emails when a single email would suffice. In order to start delivering value, services and content must be delivered to suit the member – and NOT the organisation.
- Communicate your values and benefits – Every organisation has value to offer; the secret is communicating that value in the best way. Remind your members about taking advantage of the benefits. The online expectation of your members is absolutely no different to yours. They want easy to understand, personalised content that is both relevant and provides value. Specifically, the millennials want career development, knowledge resources, networking opportunities and the sense of belonging to a community.
- Focus on content and audience – Don’t let technology drive the strategy. Content and audience go together. It is impossible for one to survive, or work, without the other. Technology strategy and choice should be dictated by content and audience demands, and not the other way around. Aim for all services and content to be available (especially with the Millennials) at any time, on any channel, and on any device. That is the expectation
- Segment your audience – You have to understand your audience. If you have a CRM and are using it regularly to capture individual interactions, you can group and segment your audience. If you don’t have a CRM or a method of segmenting your audience and understanding different personas, now is the time to begin.
- Deliver great content – Once you have segmented your audience, design the content strategy to fit. Your aim is to make your website and social channels a resource for your members. Invest in good, engaging content, boasting quality imagery and video. Tag content based on the audience and their interests, ensuring each visit to your website is a positive experience. Content is still very much king!
- Put the ‘R’ back into CRM – This is the relationship between the CRM user and the member. This relationship relies upon quality data and how you can better understand the interactions between every member and every user.
- Think before you integrate – Before you start that integration project of CMS / CRM/ email / Finance and any other internal systems, think about the expected outcome. Ask yourself this: How will it benefit the membership and the organisation? There was a very interesting finding in the recent Harnessing the Web report from Memberwise. They found that just over half of membership organisations that integrated their CMS and CRM were left underwhelmed. Reasons why can be varied, including suppliers over selling and not managing expectations correctly. But experience also tells me that technology is only as good as the planning that went into it, the adoption internally, and the information put into it. So it’s critical to spend the time planning the integration and managing the expectations, both internally and externally.
- Mobile first – In 2015 mobile overtook desktop for visits to retail sites. It’s not too hard to imagine this will soon be true of your website. After all, the trend is there. A simple way to check this, if you use Google Analytics (GA), is to study your mobile overview which can be found in the Audience section of GA. This breaks down how users accessed your website – by either desktop, tablet or mobile. Almost certainly if your website is not optimised for mobile, your bounce rates are higher by those users who accessed by tablet and mobile. Mobile is undoubtedly the preferred device of the Millennials and, increasing, swiftly across the board for everyone.
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For more information on understanding your member needs, please call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email email@example.com
Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners. Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.