How to deliver the content your members value most

by Michelle Schweitz

Here’s how to focus your association staff’s efforts to deliver greater member value. 

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager

By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Director, Community Brands

It’s not always easy to know if you’re delivering the benefits members value most.  

Here’s an example: In the 2021 Association Trends Study by Community Brands, members of professional membership organizations who responded to the study’s survey (Members) rate the importance of a list of key member benefits. “Targeted, valuable content” ranks in the top most important benefits. However, when those who work at professional membership organizations (Pros) were asked a similar question about what they think members value most, they overvalue “targeted, valuable content”. 

Top 12 most important benefits

Why the disconnect? A couple of things might be at play here.  

First, Pros might be mistaking the day-to-day operational task of content sharing with what members truly value – thereby overstating the importance of sharing content. 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the gap suggests an opportunity for Pros to focus the content they share with members more on what members really seek versus what Pros think they want. 

How to give members the content they value most 

So, how can you create and deliver the content that your members truly want? Here are two ideas: 

Look to the other benefits members value most. 
Look back at the list of top most important benefits from the 2021 Association Trends Study to see the other benefits that Members place high on their list of valued benefits and focus your content on those topics. For example:

  • Industry news and information – Be sure you’re providing your members with the latest news, research, and reports for your industry or profession. 
  • Training – Take time to increase the quality of your professional learning opportunities, giving members a wider variety of ways to attain the education they need to fulfill requirements and further their careers. 
  • Advocacy – Let members know how they can further the causes that impact your profession or industry.
  • Raising awareness of the profession/industry – Similarly, let members know how your organization is helping to raise awareness of their profession/industry and what they can do to help.
  • Code of ethics – Let members know about the standards you help to set for their profession/industry and the importance of a code of ethics. Share any updates to your code of ethics, and make sure your members know the violation procedures for your organization’s code of ethics.

Seek member input.
Here at YourMembership, we talk a lot about getting member feedback. And for good reason: There’s no better way to know what your members truly want than to ask them. 

Send a periodic survey to gather your members’ thoughts and ideas about the content your organization provides them. Read what they’re saying in your online community (if you don’t have one already, read The Small Association’s Guide to Getting Started with an Online Community), and participate in the conversations to spark more feedback. YourMembership AMS makes it easier to gather member feedback, with survey and online community functionality built right into the product. 

You can also host focus groups with diverse audiences of members to find out more about their needs and how you can deliver greater value for many years to come.

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