Many i3 Digital clients rely heavily on the website engagement of their membership/online communities, and constantly strive to increase the number of leads, consumers and partners within their community or network. We therefore thought it appropriate to suggest a few ideas on how organisations can establish and cultivate engagement with groups through their websites.
Engagement is a massive buzzword at the moment, but it often means different things to different people. Some refer it to what extent an individual is interested in and involved with you online, and associate lots of website visits, page views, email opens, and social media mentions with high levels of engagement. There’s no doubt that establishing and maintaining a healthy online community is vital, but this is just part of the engagement equation for membership organisations.
For non-profit associations, societies, clubs and other membership organisations, getting and keeping members truly engaged is not just a bonus for their Marketing departments, but critical for survival. The best ways to actually engage your members/audience depends on their own preferences for communicating with your organisation, in addition to their online habits.
At i3 Digital, we build websites and apps, and based on recent feedback from our clients, we do both of these things rather brilliantly. While social media, SEO, PPC, online communities and so many other parts of the “online space” are all important to companies and organisations, your website is without doubt the single-most important promotional tool you have. It is your online shop window to the world and the first port of call when you’re being considered as a potential membership organisation or partner. It’s where your members go for information, where they participate in your online community, where they register for events, manage their own membership profile and carry out (or at least learn where else they can undertake) just about any online task.
For membership organisations AND commercial businesses, it’s essential to provide value with each visit, build relationships online, and (vitally) encourage action with every website visit. To increase your chances of providing this, fresh and relevant content is essential! In today’s world where we have so much choice, both in terms of membership organisations and suppliers, relevancy is key. Once any organisation becomes irrelevant, it becomes obsolete.
Considering the key goal for any (or certainly most) membership website is to bring members to the site and keep them coming back for more, offering fresh, recent, and relevant content that’s targeted to your audience is crucial. It’s one of the only ways to keep your members engaged and to make them feel that their membership is delivering value to them – something organisations and businesses of all kinds can take on board.