Communicating With Your Members through a Multi-channel Strategy
For associations, effective communication with your association members should involve a multi-channel strategy.
Over the years, social media has changed the way that communication is done online and is now a major influence in the lives of most professionals.
As a result, counting on a weekly newsletter as your only outreach tool means that you aren’t reaching the majority of your members, especially the younger ones.
It’s Not Only about Email
According to a 2013 Yahoo Content Marketing Ingestion Study, 45% of millennial respondents reported that they don’t usually find content marketing compelling enough to share. In addition, if your members don’t open your emails right away, the chances that they will be opened later on are slim to none.
A study done by GetResponse found that 23.8% of all email opens occur during the first hour of delivery. After 24 hours of delivery, the chances of opening an email drops below 1%.
To reach your audience effectively, you need to use all of the major online communication channels.
Here is how you can leverage a multi-channel approach to connect with your members:
Social media offers the best opportunities to communicate with your members. With more than 1.5 billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media network.
While Facebook has been actively working to decrease the organic reach of the content posted to Facebook pages, Facebook Ads has exploded as a reliable method to reach Facebook users of specific demographics.
According to Statistia, most people log into Facebook in order to share content and connect with friends. Visual content, answers to questions, and fun posts generally do best on Facebook.
Tip! When placing a text on an image, make sure it doesn’t cover more than 20% of the image; otherwise it won’t be approved as a sponsored post.
In general, best hours to post on Facebook would be from 1-4 PM.
However, there is an optimal day and time for each target audience, and you should test your Facebook ads to see what works best.
Although, some retailers have reported that their best days for posting Facebook ads were Mondays.
Twitter has 316 million monthly users and has become the de facto news source for users, influencers, and even journalists. In fact, brands post more frequently on Twitter than any other on any other social media platform.
Twitter can be a very effective outreach channel for your association if you use it to post trending content.
On Twitter, the types of content that tend to perform the best are real-time news events and trending conversations with influencers. According to research from Buffer, tweets receive the most clicks in the morning hours.
However, tweets receive the most favorites and retweets in the evening and late at night. For every major time zone, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. is the most popular time to tweet.
A HubSpot study also found that LinkedIn referral traffic to businesses converts at a rate of 2.74%, as compared to Facebook and Twitter referral traffic, which converted at less than 1%.
To reach your members on LinkedIn, you should post industry insights and association news.
According to numbers from LinkedIn, 60% of LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights. In addition, company news appeals to 53% of LinkedIn users. Finally, new products and services are considered as the third most popular type of content on LinkedIn with 43% of users who are interested in these kinds of updates.
LinkedIn has also found that the best time to post is in the late afternoon on weekdays. Business hours generally have the largest reach for LinkedIn content.
By taking these important differences into account, associations can use social media to drive engagement. Association can also post their own news and vendors’ news to create a wide array of interesting content.
As a bonus tip, all of your association emails should include share options so that your members can share your on social media themselves or forward the emails to other members and non-members.
According to GetResponse, emails that include social sharing buttons have an average click-through-rate (CTR) that is 115% higher than emails that do not.
4. Association Website
To create a comprehensive strategy, your website should be the center of your efforts with all of the content that you post leading back to your website.
By creating a 24/7 updated news site dedicated to the association and industry news, you can track your readers in order to learn how, where, and by whom your content is being consume.
Without this important data, you won’t be able to develop your online strategy in order learn and improve.
5. News App
The final component of your multi-channel strategy should involve creating a news app.
Using a news app to reach your members is guaranteed to increase engagement since at least 60% of your readers are already using mobile to read the news.
While having a mobile version of your website is helpful, an app is more useful because you can send push notifications and it is installed on your members’ devices.
InLoop Helps Connect All Channels
Marketers already understand the importance of a multi-channel strategy. However, many associations find this approach difficult to implement.
A 2014 multi-country survey done by SAP found that 74% of businesses were able to increase sales with a multi-channel strategy. An additional 64% of businesses increased consumer loyalty/acquisition and 57% reported better customer experience.
While it is somewhat time-consuming and challenging to build a multi-channel approach to your association outreach on your own, InLoop makes multi-channel communication easy.
We build smart news websites for associations with 24/7 aggregated news from the association’s corporate members, industry blogs & magazines and other reliable sources.
We offer the same for a news app. In addition to supplying a targeted newsletter, your association can view the most highly ranked news items and share them easily through the system to their social media accounts.
The most amazing feature that InLoop offers to complete your strategy is our analytic tools. All news items come from and will lead back to your website. With this feature, your association will have deeper insights into who are your readers, their location and demographics.
You can also find out what the trending topics are for your industry at any given time, what types of content your members tend to share, and a whole lot more.
And, this is just the tip of the iceberg… We specialize in delivering analytics and statistics to present only the most valuable data to help your association attract and retain members.