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Online Community Posts

4 Tips for Generating More Non-Dues Revenue from Advertising

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 19, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 7 minute read

If you’re from the Midwest, you probably know someone who loves pickling anything and everything. (Or maybe you’re that person?)

The picklers I know are all about pickling – from eggs to cukes to fruits. (Come to think of it, it might not just be a Midwestern thing – Portlandia’s “We Can Pickle That,” anyone?) There’s always a waste to prevent or a profit to be made or a gift to be given when you know how to pickle.

And, it’s not too hard to do: If you’ve got pots and jars, something to pickle, stick to the process, and invite a few taste testers, then you’re golden.

You’re now totally confused about why we’re talking about pickling in an advertising post. Well, maybe preserving food or other perishable items in brine isn’t your thing, but is extra profit for your organization your thing? Sure it is, so you can apply these same principles (the principles of pickling) to advertising at your organization.

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Topics: Engagement, Marketing, Member Communities, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

The Importance of Creating an Online Customer Portal with a Sense of Community

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 8 minute read

Have you ever spent time with a toddler who is discovering their independence? The moment a growing tyke learns how to do something new, they feel the need to try and do it themselves. There is a certain level of excitability that comes with their newfound independence and fierce determination – not to mention, a common distaste for being told ‘no.’ Sound relatable?

As grown adults in the modern age of tech booms, DIY-everything, and continuously rising customer service expectations, I don’t think we’re that far removed from the demands of a toddler who wants to be in the driver’s seat of their own experiences (and I’m not surprised).

Did you know that 89 percent of U.S. consumers expect brands or organizations to have an online self-service support portal?

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Online Community

Your 5-Step Guide to a Streamlined Member Communications Schedule

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 12, 2019 at 7:58 AM | 4 minute read

Picture this: Last month, your marketing department sent five emails to members promoting your annual event, while your membership department called members three times about the event. On top of this, your events team sent out two reminder emails. But everyone thought everyone else was on top of reminding members about the upcoming advocacy initiative, so no one sent them anything about it.

Sound familiar? If so, interdepartmental silos might be keeping you from an effective member communications schedule.

Member communications often hover between extremes like this - too much and too little, or both. The best place to be is just right (Goldilocks’ porridge, anyone?). But too often, departmental silos and lack of communication tip the balance toward extremes.

Getting over this interdepartmental communication hurdle is key to achieving the ultimate goal for a member communications schedule: increasing engagement by personalizing content for each member, based on their needs and interests.

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Topics: Communications, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What is an Online Community? The Basics & Benefits

Written by Hunter Montgomery | on March 7, 2019 at 11:25 AM | 6 minute read

In the fast-paced world of modern technology, many leadership executives and organizations understand that building online communities for their customers or members to learn, share, and collaborate is critical for increasing growth and relevancy.

They know that successful online communities can help them engage and inspire their audience, creating the unique and individual experiences that improve the overall customer experience (CX). Focusing on CX in tandem with your online community is incredibly valuable in terms of driving loyalty, by the way.

Research from the Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to gain, on average, an additional $775 million over 3 years of investing in customer experience (with SaaS companies standing to earn the most, at $1 billion).

For those who are still learning or want to brush up on their knowledge, we’re here to offer some clarity on what a successful online community is and how it can benefit organizational growth by helping you deliver value to your customers, partners, members, or prospects.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community

4 Steps to Create Your Omnichannel Engagement Strategy

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 6, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 5 minute read

Most people like being “regulars.” When you walk into your favorite coffee shop, and the barista greets you warmly, starts preparing the usual for you, and asks how your daughter’s big soccer tournament went, doesn’t it make you feel good? The feeling of being known and cared for is universally appreciated, even if it’s on a small level.

Many membership organizations are facing a challenge right now. And it comes down to making members feel like regulars in a quickly-evolving digital world.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

How Engagement Tools Improve Association Event Management

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 28, 2019 at 12:20 PM | 5 minute read

Interested in filling more chairs at your next event? Achieving this goal is easier said than done without effective tools, but it’s a common core objective among associations (for good reason).

It is incredibly gratifying for associations to see a spike in event attendance, as participation plays a valuable role in their impact, but poor event management can cause your members to disengage.

Exploring new ways to keep your members engaged and informed about your events can increase overall member satisfaction and translate to a boost in event attendance.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Continuing Education Offerings: 5 Engagement Strategies

Written by Amber Bovenmyer on February 26, 2019 at 12:46 PM | 7 minute read

When I was a kid, I always thought that once I had graduated from high school or college, my days of taking classes would be over. What I didn't realize then was that education never really ends. My teachers tried to impress the importance of always learning upon my classmates and me, but it didn’t sink in before I entered the workforce.

Now, I’ve found that everywhere I look in the professional world, individuals continue to learn until they retire, and sometimes even after that. Continuing education is key to professional development, and some professions even mandate it, like the healthcare and teaching industries.

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Topics: Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

Measure What Matters: KPIs For Online Community Success

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 21, 2019 at 1:34 PM | 5 minute read

Trying to figure out how to measure the success of your online community? There's no one size fits all approach for picking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). That shouldn't come as a surprise – all communities are different, so how you measure the success of an internal community within an organization may differ from that of an external association or customer support community. At any rate, there are some key principles to guide all KPI development.

Your approach to measuring the success of your online community needs to grow from how you measure success for your organization as a whole. What is the shared purpose and value of your online community for the organization and the community members?

Your approach should also reflect community maturity because as it grows and evolves, the way you define success should change and adapt as well.

Let’s boil it down to five quick tips.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

5-Step Guide to Calculating Your Member Retention Rate

Written by Elizabeth Bell on February 19, 2019 at 9:16 AM | 5 minute read

Ah, member retention. When it’s good, it’s great, but when it’s bad, we worry.

In fact, 46 percent of associations reported that increasing member retention is one of their top membership goals, according to the Membership Marketing Benchmark Report.

If you’re worrying about member retention, the first place to start is to find out how you’re doing on paper. Once you have your membership retention numbers on hand, calculating your member retention rate is simple (don’t worry, math-haters, we’ll help you get there with a step-by-step guide).

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Topics: Associations, Member Retention, Online Community

Does Your Community Throw Love at the World? (Time to Start)

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 14, 2019 at 2:58 PM | 8 minute read

So, I’m sitting here amid three monitors reveling at my flourishing desk plants, surrounded by my fellow marketers and community builders, as the sound coming through my earbuds drowns out their faint keyboard clicks and nearby sneezes, when it hits me: some of y’all aren’t showing your community enough love... and it shows.

I’m listening to the ever-so-delightful Jonathan Van Ness, of Netflix’s Emmy-winning show Queer Eye, chat with Reese Witherspoon about lady entrepreneurship on his podcast Getting Curious. As if their charming and gracious voices streaming into my ears wasn’t enough, their conversation is topical and genuine… and Reese just said something low-key amazing:

“I think the most profound thing you can do if you are an artist or a community builder is just throw love at the world, in any capacity you can.”

-Reese Witherspoon

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Topics: Engagement, Member Retention, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Customer Retention, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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