Imagine for a minute, you’re on a desolate island and your only goal daily was to find your way off of the island. The movie “Cast Away” comes to mind, with Tom Hanks stranded after a plane crash. The only resource you have is an internet connection and 1% of battery life left on the device. How would you best use your time to reach your goal?
Common sense might tell you that some form of emergency service website would be your fastest and best bet toward getting rescued. What if you Googled and landed on the website page you needed but you couldn’t find what you’re looking for on the page? In this case, it would have been a way to reach out – a contact us link, an email us button, or call-us link. Five minutes pass, your device is dead and your opportunity is lost.
In this event of an emergency, the website did not do what it needed to do for its audience – provide access to emergency service. Perhaps easy access to a pop-up chat window with an emergency specialist would have done the job, or large bold text “if you are in an emergency, click here” could have provided quicker access to much-needed help.
Membership marketers must think about their own members: what they need, and how they need it delivered to them. Of course, not all situations need to be fast and emergency-driven like our example. But isn’t it nice when you visit a website page or glance at a brochure and find what you need right away instead of having to search?
“When creating content, be empathetic above all else. Try to live the lives of your audience.”
– Rand Fishkin, Founder at Moz
For chambers and associations, the first step to kicking off an initiative to reorganize your messaging is to assess what your current state is. Try doing an audit of your website and print materials and decide which items are clear, concise and valid, and which materials need fine-tuning.
Once your content is sifted out and organized, set up a simple calendar. Take inventory of all the different communication channels and use your calendar to map out the topics you plan to cover.
Before you put out any content on behalf of your organization, put on your member hat and make sure your pieces are speaking to your audiences in a way that is organized, clear, and concise.