Trade associations all around the country need to build, maintain, and sustain intense marketing campaigns. New members must come in to replace those who drop away. And with growth comes more power and more influence.
Traditional marketing campaigns involve things like newspapers, magazines, billboards, and television ads. Newer methods involve influencer marketing and user-generated content.
Which methods should you pick?
We'll define what the new models mean so you can stay up-to-date on marketing techniques. Then, we'll explain why those newer models could be a better choice for your next trade association marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing involves building a relationship between a brand, an online personality, and that person's digital audience. The content created is shared on social media and often nowhere else.
A typical influencer marketing campaign is built with these steps:
Some trade associations have natural influencers within them. For example, cosmetics-based trade associations can reach out to makeup artists or beauticians. Carpenter associations can tap celebrity home builders. Restaurant trade associations can highlight their celebrity bakers and chefs. The list goes on.
Anything created by a user, not a member of your marketing team, can be defined as user-generated content. That means social media comments, product reviews, and even likes on your social posts are technically part of the user-generated content (UGC) realm.
But when we're talking about trade association marketing campaigns and UGC, we're typically discussing a few very specific types of assets, such as:
Many forms of user-generated content aren’t designed to drive sales. The specific campaigns outlined above are different.
They are made to differentiate your trade association from the rest. Your members help you make the case.
Outsiders might be able to explain your trade association's benefits better than you can. But clearly, there are deep differences between UGC and influencer marketing.
Your goals, your members, and your audience should drive your format decision. But as you ponder your choices, focus on:
In general, trade associations with a low budget and a high need for control do best with user-generated content campaigns. So do trade associations that don't have a natural influencer fit.
But if you do have an influencer who speaks to a group you can't reach, and your budget allows for a connection, it could be a good option to explore.
Remember, you can always combine strategies for the most impact. Choosing one shouldn't eliminate your ability to use the other if it seems worthwhile to you.
Many trade association marketing teams balk at the idea of turning over tasks to amateurs. You've trained long and hard for your position, and it seems unwise to let someone else take over.
It's understandable. But it could be smart to push back the fear and let your members help. Content that is created by real people comes with benefits traditional marketing can't touch, including:
Traditional marketing campaigns can help you gather up new members and more influence. But clearly, content created by real users could be helpful too.
Crafting an effective video campaign for your trade association takes a bit of planning.
Start with these three steps:
Use our platform, and complete all of these steps quickly. Gather content from people who matter most, check each entry for accuracy and branding, and share it in a click or two.
We've helped hundreds of trade associations spread the word about their work, and we'd love to help you too.
What Is Influencer Marketing and How Can Marketers Use It Effectively? (November 2017). Forbes.
What Is User-Generated Content and How Is It Relevant? (March 2019). Business 2 Community.
How to Use User-Generated Content to Drive Sales. (October 2016). Content Marketing Institute.
User-Generated Content on Instagram More Likely to Influence Consumers Than Twitter or YouTube. (July 2020). PR Newswire.
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