In this part of our Strategies for a Successful New Year blog series, it’s time to get to planning our marketing for next year. With 2020 right around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything in place to set your goals, plan the year’s marketing efforts, and evaluate successes and failures along the way.

So lets take a look at the primary channels membership managers use to promote their organizations and review a few ideas and best practices you can use to get the most from them!

Get More from Email Marketing

Email is one of the oldest digital marketing channels, Email Marketing remains an extremely powerful channel for broadcasting marketing messages, and capturing value in return.

Membership managers are no strangers to email marketing. Applications, renewals, events – email plays a critical role in almost every major membership-management activity. In addition to brushing-up on email best practices, get the most from this channel in 2020 by making sure the software you use to manage your emails is built for membership-management.

Automating Emails

Most email automation platforms are developed for marketing purposes, but that doesn’t mean that the platform you’re used to is best for your purposes.

Any email automation platform can help you broadcast messaging to an email list. But true value from email automation (for membership managers) lets you also automate things like member application messaging, renewal campaigns, event reminders, payment confirmations, and more.

Moving into 2020, it’s important to measure the value of your email automation software beyond just opens and clicks, but also in terms of the hours it saves you from managing day-to-day messages.

Make Sense of SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a major priority for many member-driven organizations. The opportunity offered by organic search is exciting, but for many, difficult to access. SEO experts might claim the discipline is a science, but to those without expertise, it can seem like magic!

In addition to our article on a few SEO basics, enjoy success from SEO this year by acquainting yourself with the basics of SEO, starting with two of it’s most important concepts: ‘Relevance’ and ‘Authority’.

Relevance

Google wants to make sure that when a user inputs a search term, they are brought to relevant results as soon as possible. For most unfamiliar with SEO, ‘Relevance’ is a matter of including popular search terms in the page content.

Today, this is not the case. In fact, updates like Google Penguin have discouraged the practice of ‘keyword stuffing’ by penalizing websites that simply copy search terms.

Today, keywords are still important, but Google also assesses things like:

  • Keyword density
    • Include the same terms too many times in your content, and Penguin might flag the page as ‘keyword stuffed’ and penalize the page across SERP’s.
  • Content length
    • Google ranks long, in-depth content higher than shorter pieces. It wants to be confident it’s sending users to pages with all the information they might need.
  • Content type
    • Depending on what Google considers to be the intent of a searcher, it will decide what kind of content to serve them. If it thinks a searcher is looking for a particular product, it will prioritize product-pages over blogs. If it thinks they’re looking to learn something, it will serve videos, infographics, and blogs over sales and product-pages.

Authority

If Google thinks your content is perfectly ‘Relevant’, it’s still not the case your page will be ranked high. Google also wants to be confident that you’re an authority in whatever information searchers are looking to access.

To evaluate your ‘Authority’, Google evaluates how many websites link to yours, and ‘weighs’ those links according to the authority score of each website linking to yours. The more ‘authoritative’ a website is that links to yours, the more ‘authority’ it will provide your website.

Plenty of tools are available to assess the authority of your web pages. You can find a free one here!

Succeed at Social Media

The path to success from Social Media is a confusing one to many member-driven organizations. It’s easy to broadcast tweets, posts, and content – but difficult to receive a response – and even harder to capture value from it.

Generally, organizations unfamiliar to social media approach it as a broadcast medium. Like radio, they develop messaging campaigns and broadcast the message one-way.

This approach can work for social media campaigns but is far from optimal for regular posts. Understand the difference between these two approaches to social media to ensure you get the most from the channel in 2020!

Campaigns and Conversations

Social media campaigns are paid posts. They offer a range of options to target audiences, deliver content, and capture value. Like radio ads, ‘one-way’ messaging is appropriate for paid posts because audiences engage with them by taking a particular action, like clicking a button, providing information, etc.

Regular posts, on the other hand, are about conversation. Users use posts to invite, discover, and contribute to conversations around the subject matter they care about. Broadcasting a message about, for example, the value of membership in your organization isn’t inviting others to a conversation, nor about contributing to one that’s ongoing.

Writing for Social Audiences

When creating content for your social media posts, get in the practice of writing for conversation. One-way, ‘radio broadcast’ messaging comes more naturally to most, so it’s important to develop your ability to write for conversation to maximize the value you enjoy from social media.

To ensure your post messaging succeeds, make sure that each and every post you write starts with research into the issues your target audiences are concerned with, and ideally talking about on social media. Instead of initiating conversation, get in the practice of finding it, and find ways to contribute to it without trying to sell or shill your organization.

More Marketing for the New Year

Only the third in our Strategies for a Successful New Year article series, be sure to keep your eye on the Member365 blog for more than just insight into planning success for 2020. From forms to events, applications, renewals, and more – we’re always delivering new insights into how you can meet the goals of your organization and deliver value to your members. Use the form in the sidebar to receive updates when new content is posted!