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As organizations continually adapt to changes in their members’ behaviors, the line between traditional and digital marketing continues to blur. Channels and touchpoints are unlimited and consistently evolving. With all the options, it can be overwhelming to determine the right membership marketing strategy for your organization.

The latest CMO Spend Survey from Gartner confirms 2017 is the third consecutive year of increases to marketing budgets. This doesn’t just apply to B2C or B2B companies. It’s also true for nonprofits, unions and associations. Increased spend on marketing translates to increased competition. This results in more options for individuals to be choosey about which membership organization they decide to join.

With this post we provide insight into efficient membership marketing campaigns that can boost your inbound marketing and shrink your spend at the same time.

Begin by strictly defining who you are.

What is your value proposition in 30 seconds or less? This question establishes the main reason members should choose your organization over your competitors. Outline the core services you offer members and solutions you deliver that no one else does. Keep these concepts simple to create the most relevant brand driver that will be the foundation of all your messaging, making it memorable in the long run.

Conduct market research and get the data you need to make intelligent business decisions.

Google Analytics is a quick, accurate solution that gives you a lot of insight into your members’ online behaviors—for free. Based on the info, you can increase the number of users who find you by optimizing your content for search engines and launching search advertising campaigns. You can also build accurate member personas to inform your content marketing across channels and devices.

Go deep with social media.

Traditional channels still yield great ROI, but the mediums deliver one-way messages. Social media is a two-way street that moves very quickly. Not only can you interact with your audience directly, but in real time. 2017 Pew Research found 7 in 10 Americans are social media users. No organization can afford to skip out on all this communication, especially if you want to build brand loyalty.

You don’t need to post content all day on all networks, but you should choose the ones that make the most sense for your organization. Then develop a plan to reach your current goals that incorporates quality online conversations. While paid social ads have a place in certain strategies, nonprofits and membership organizations can benefit from social media at no cost other than spending time on it.

Your content must synchronize with your design.

Crafting a visual identity for your organization is equally as important as premium content. Do your organization’s logo, typography and colors reinforce your messaging? Researchers at the University of Surrey found 75% of web users associate a website’s credibility with the website design and aesthetic. There’s only so far you can get with stock photos and free tools. To succeed at communicating value, you should also invest in custom, quality design. Use it consistently across all messaging and channels.

Remember you’re never finished with membership marketing.

As you continue to grow, you’ll need to revisit your strategy—again and again. While your strategy should be built around your audience, don’t lose sight of your employees. A membership marketing program that doesn’t have the whole team in mind could do more harm than good. Marketing best practices show a successful strategy is effective internally as well as externally.

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