Look closely at your metrics. How well did your trade association marketing campaigns for 2019 perform? If you’re hoping to do better in 2020, we have some ideas to share with you.
Video is among the best free marketing tools for trade and professional associations. And you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive lighting to make it work. In fact, anyone in your association can make a video that helps you shine. Share those videos, and you could see your influence grow.
Here’s how (and why) to make it happen.
The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) says there are more than 66,000 trade and professional associations at work in the United States. Every year, more groups apply for recognition from the IRS to do work as a nonprofit association.
These groups range from the infamous to the unknown. Here are some examples:
Every one of these organizations should work as a representative for the industry they represent, says the Property Care Association. That’s what trade associations do. They speak on behalf of members to government officials, members of the media, and more.
And people join trade associations to gain access to power, says CompTIA. Without the work of these groups, industries might be subject to increased scrutiny or government interference. The work trade associations do can insulate members so they can carry on uninterrupted.
Officials often have multiple associations to choose from, each with a slightly different angle. An engineer, for example, could choose from a baffling list of associations that fills up an entire computer screen. Which one is best? Which one serves an engineer with specific goals and needs?
Marketing plans answer those questions.
Imagine that you’re looking for a way to draw people into your trade association. You could use billboards, print ads, blogs, and more. But if you’re eliminating video, you could be missing out.
Experts explain that trade associations need to provide just-in-time information to their members. It’s not enough to hold an annual meeting and entice new members to join you. Instead, you need to show people value every day with content that is timely, real, and compelling.
Video is uniquely qualified to fit this need. Video is:
As part of your trade association marketing plan, you’ll need to determine what makes your association different from your competition. That means you’ll need a clear understanding of both your mission and your brand.
Your association’s mission defines who you are and why you exist. That can change over time. ASAE explains that associations built to last 100 years often have to explore new ideas and rethink who belongs within the organization. Consider:
Your mission statement can bleed into a vision statement. Here, you define how you will help your members. Experts say finding this key point can be as easy as filling in this formula: “Our vision is a space in which [the problem you fix no longer exists].”
With your mission and vision defined, it’s time to consider your brand. An association brand, experts say, can be established by answering three questions:
You may already have a brand and vision defined. But it’s worthwhile to reexamine those documents regularly, so you ensure you’re on track. And if you don’t have them defined, it’s time to pull together your leadership team and get those documents codified.
With your vision and brand defined, you’re well on the way to exceptional association marketing videos. Incorporating those elements into the perfect video is really easy.
Think of videos as conversations. You’re speaking into the camera, and your words are reaching the perfect person who nods with approval. Who is this person? To ensure that you get nods (not frowns), it pays to consider your audience.
Membership surveys give you the opportunity to learn more about who finds value in your membership. Incorporating a few important questions can help to guide your association marketing plan. Ask about:
Dig deep into the data you get back. Questions about who you are and what you do can help you create a video that clarifies your position in the industry. Questions about where your members spend time can help you hone your sharing strategy.
If your current members have an overwhelming preference for one social media site or research site, your video should absolutely appear there. If they found out about you through an industry-specific site that’s still relevant, a share there makes sense too.
Your current members can’t speak for the people you want but haven’t reached quite yet. But the data you get in a survey could help you understand where to start your marketing efforts.
Gather Voices makes video easy. We help you collect videos created by your community, which you can then post on your own website. You can also use our platform to share your videos far and wide, so everyone knows about the work you do and what makes you different. Reach out today for a free demo.
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