Membership is down. Budgets are tighter. Members expect more. Remain relevant as the source of current information at a fraction of the cost. In most cases FREE. I am serious, FREE. Association staff may need to be retrained on innovative marketing methods, integrated systems, and powerful tools to market their services to their members.
Here are my 7 ways to do it:
RSS. Email is becoming less relevant due to the number of SPAM messages that people receive on an hourly basis. Give your members the ability to receive the information that they want to know about in a way that they want to receive it. RSS is a way for people to subscribe to knowledge either by receiving emails or using a RSS reader. Google and Yahoo both have a RSS reader. New content that is typed and distributed using RSS will appear automatically on the homepages of these sites when you log in. Subscribe to new education classes. Subscribe to new policy changes. Subscribe to new municipal ordinance changes. Subscribe to association events. It all happens automically for FREE. Go to www.Feedburner.com to promote your content that your members will be willing to receive instead of jamming their email inboxes.
Google Docs. Create budgets, marketing materials, presentations, statistics and agendas for FREE using Google Docs. Each file publishes a new website that can be visible to everyone or selected parties. Invite other members, staff, or leadership to collaborate on editing these documents to ensure accuracy and how the information will be distributed. Each document is provided with its own unique hyperlink that can be used in email marketing, blogs, and own website.
Google Calendar. Promote all of your events on Google Calendar for FREE. These events include where, when, and a detailed description of what is happening. Invite others by sending an email that includes event info and a direct link to save directly to their Microsoft Outlook calendar. This saves both association staff time with registration of events, entering data on multiple sites and attendees time and mistakes saving the information to their calendar.0
Blog. Frequently asked questions take up too much time on the phone. If they were answered on a blog, members would know where to go to receive this data. Anytime a FAQ (frequently asked question) is asked, then staff should post the answer to the blog which creates a unique web page. Next, email the web page to the student in the form of a hyperlink. If the same question is asked by another member then forward the web page the same way.
Online newsletters. Most members check their email on a daily basis. Set up a schedule of twice a month or once a month that is loaded full of web links, not descriptions, to inform members of new changes, events, and activities for the association. www.iContact.com and www.ConstantContact.com are two great email marketing type software to choose from.
TV Channel. Live events can be shared with the members for FREE. Buy a Flip Video camera www.FlipVideo.com and record live classes, events, testimonials, and association activities and post them to www.YouTube.com. Create a detailed YouTube profile, custom YouTube players, favorite videos and allow your members to subscribe to receiving the latest videos produced by email or RSS.
Podcasting. Pick the best talkers in your bunch to go live with your own REALTOR Association podcast for FREE. Hot topics, local market statistics, and new changes can be address by the Association Executive or current President. Also, record members’ experiences as being a REALTOR, expertise in a certain area, or award winners. Interview local politicians, utility companies, and service providers to give their expertise that has value to all the membership.
There are more to be discussed soon…