There ain’t no party like an engagement strategy party.
It’s your first day as an engagement strategist for a national organization and you need a plan. You need to think about some of the best ways to prioritize your research, so you’re working smarter and not harder. Here’s some of the things you might want to consider.
Your research methods should go far and wide but with focused intent. Start with the organization itself. Start interviewing local members and chapter presidents. They’ll be able to give you information you couldn’t find on the organizations’ website.
Ask questions regarding what the primary mission of the organization has been, where it’s going and what specific things might make it more seductive. Find out what the overt benefits of membership are and how you can make them more appetizing.
And you’re going to want to talk to non members who represent the core target demographic. Are they musicians, designers or engineers? The more you know about this demographic, the better chance you have of attracting them. For these people, you’ll want to know what might get them to join and what kind of organizational personality might speak to them (fun, irreverent, benefits or a mix of all 3).
What are potential members looking for? What turns them off? What information will make outreach programs more engaging? What information should you leave out? How can you anticipate objections to new membership offers? What can you do to combat objections?
You could also jump into online research of white papers, toolkits and online community forms dealing specifically with engagement strategies. What are other organizations doing? How are they getting it right? How could you plan something that would have similar measurable success, but do it in a way reflective of the organization’s personality.
And you would definitely want to map out the journey from a person with interest to a paying dues member and all points in between. Where does the journey lose people and how can you make those points stronger? And in which spaces or markets could those journey points shine the brightest?
You’ll want to consider looking at things like membership fees and establish what a 10% increase in membership would look like in dollars and cents. You could investigate which tactics could reliably and consistently lead to boosting that level of engagement.
You’ll want to bring this all together in a digestible format. It could be in the form of an executive summary or slide deck. For additional impact, the findings could include infographics highlighting both short and long term opportunities you uncovered in your research. A more in depth study could be handy should people want to dig in deeper.
You might also want to start a dialogue with your marketing team to see what preliminary brand marketing tactics might make sense. This is where you need to keep in mind budgets. For example, X budget won’t go very far with radio, but the same budget could go a long way with digital and print advertising.
If you can build a case on how you would boost membership engagement by 10% or more, chances are, you will be considered as a valuable partner. If you can deliver what you say you will, you’ll earn the trust an engagement strategist deserves.
Now all you have to do is develop an integrated branding campaign. Since you’ve already mapped out the key opportunities, you’re half way there.