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  • Writer's pictureEva Bracciale

Ten Steps for Stellar Association Marketing (in GIFs)

Marketing for associations (and non-profits, in general) involves quite a few unique challenges that can intimidate even the most seasoned of marketers. So it is not surprising that many association professionals find themselves sweating bullets when they are asked to launch an effective marketing campaign. Whether you're a seasoned professional or brand new to marketing for associations, these 10 steps for stellar association marketing will position your non-profit brand for success!

1. Define your goals.

Before you dedicate time and resources to a particular activity, determine what it is you are after. Do you need to engage your members? Are you trying to sell products or conference registrations? Without these questions answered, your marketing efforts will be haphazard and may not be very effective at all.

2. Define your target market.

Your answers to the previous questions will guide you in determining who you should try to reach with your marketing efforts. For example, if your organization only ships product domestically, you may elect to direct your marketing efforts to domestic customers. Or, if your organization serves professionals from a particular industry, ensure your marketing pieces are circulated primarily within that group.

3. Pick your channels.

Your goals and target market will lead you to the ideal selection of marketing channels. The question to ask is this: “Where are members of my target market present, attentive, and impressionable?” For example, different generational cohorts prefer different social media platforms.

4. Craft your message.

Once you know what you need to accomplish, who is involved in that accomplishment, and where you can reach them, you will need to decide what to say to them to win them over. Your message should be clear [free of clutter], consistent [authentic to your brand], and compelling [calling the prospect to take action.]

5. Design your image.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Presentation and design add context to recruitment efforts, helping the prospect see themselves as a member of your organization. Retention efforts are strengthened when a member that is due for renewal sees a photo of last year’s annual meeting and is reminded of the value of the experience. Images engage the heart and mind, adding purpose to engagement. Consider what your designs are conveying to those you are targeting, and how the message you are sending affects the accomplishment of your goals.

6. Leverage social media.

Social media can be extremely effective for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Social media marketing is especially useful to the non-profit because it is scalable, allowing small organizations to invest the time and resources that are available to them at the moment. If any of your goals include establishing general brand awareness (and they should), social media should be on your list of channels.

7. Consider paid advertising.

For as little as a dollar a day, you can boost the effectiveness of your social media posts, reaching hundreds, if not thousands, of viable prospects. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make highly-targeted advertising affordable and flexible for everyone.

8. Review the results.

Most marketing channels provide some form of performance analytics. Review the results of your efforts from time to time (we review results with our clients monthly and quarterly, depending on the organization.) If you use a platform like Hootsuite, this is a breeze. The goal of this review is to determine what is working and what is not working. Pay attention to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to your organization.

9. Pivot.

Don’t be afraid to switch gears when analytics reveal a need for change. If something is working well for your organization, consider greater investment in that channel/market/platform. If something is not working, consider revising your approach or reducing your investment. Remain flexible.

10. Celebrate the wins.

Acknowledge and celebrate the strides you make in your marketing efforts. Share progress with your team and regularly report on key metrics that benefit your organization. Not only does this elevate the morale of your hardworking team-members, but it also justifies continued investment in the project, demonstrating ROI quantitatively and qualitatively.

To learn more about AMC Source's commitment to partnering with our clients in this area, speak with someone from our team today. If you're interested in implementing an Association Management System but don't know where to start, contact us! We'd love to assist.

This post is the sixth in AMC Source's "Quick Tips for Association Management" series, highlighting 10 quick tips for various functional areas within association management. Be sure to take a look at the other posts in this series today!


Marketing Specialist

As AMC Source's Marketing Specialist, Eva leads marketing strategy and initiatives for AMC Source marketing, as well as for the marketing needs of AMC Source clients. She is highly skilled at leading marketing and social media management efforts including social media strategy formulation, brand image management, advertising, social media engagement , graphic design & content creation. Eva also works with the finance team to optimize client finance processes and provides general financial administration. Learn more about Eva and the amazing AMC Source team on the Our Team page of our website.


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