The number of associations is growing. The ASAE reports nearly two million associations exist in the United States. While associations share a common purpose of coming together to produce positive results, there is still a need to differentiate and demonstrate their unique value to members. It’s why many associations are turning to Storytelling to stand out in the crowded market.
But even storytelling is evolving. We’re in a world where modern day storytelling goes way beyond creating a video and now focuses on immersing prospects in your story. As you build your storyboard, use the two key sources below to find your association’s best stories and create meaningful experiences for your audience.
Capitalize on Leadership and Association Expertise
Are you telling the story of your association using the technology you already have in place? Your association’s Learning Management System can be used for immersive storytelling in addition to providing online education to members. An integrated LMS that provides webinars, courses, and conferences can be used as a modern marketing tool for your association and demonstrate your team’s expertise in remarkable ways.
- Webinars: You’re in the business of making meaningful connections for your members. Highlight these connections through monthly webinars, where you share member success stories and the impact the association has on members. Record your webinars for future use on your website on one or more pages: About Us, Member Resources, Member Benefits.
- Workshops: Your top tier leadership team has combined experience that covers many topics important to your members. Identify the greatest challenges for your members, and turn to the leadership team to develop real solutions. In a series of webinars or one workshop, address the challenges for members. Online education like this demonstrates the expertise of your leadership team and reaffirms your members’ decision to join the association. Recordings of these presentations can be used as a Value Add for future members, or as a component in the new member package.
- Online Visitors Center: Tourism destinations have them, nonprofit foundations have them, and so should associations. It’s a visitors center. While your association’s website serves as an information hub for your association, does it offer a visitors center experience? Use your LMS system to create a visitors center that houses the resources members and prospective members need. Use it to create tactile experiences where members can participate and engage with others. Integrate videos, pictures and presentations to create an empathetic experience that shows the intrinsic value of membership.
Show Real Results from Your Programs and Service Offerings
The most important step in promoting your association’s service offerings is sharing the results. The quantity of programs offered isn’t nearly as important as the quality and the return on member investment.
Begin by asking your members for the results they’ve had from participating in your educational programs. Educational programs have goals – what can members expect from participating in the program? Measure these goals against the results association members are seeing. Host an online discussion or chat where you invite members to join you and share about their experience and the results they are seeing. Most importantly, give prospective members in your audience the opportunity to ask questions and chat with existing members. Third-party member endorsement is as valuable as word-of-mouth marketing.
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