May 11, 2018

3 Marketing Trends for Member Associations Keep a Close Eye on in 2018 and Beyond

Written by
Callie Walker
Tags: Marketing

If there’s one constant in the marketing world, it’s change. Tactics, trends, and best practices are ALWAYS evolving, and we’ll be the first to admit, it can be hard to keep up!

So to help you out, here are three major marketing trends we expect to see more of in 2018 (and beyond):

1. Video will continue to skyrocket

Video has been popular for quite some time now, but get this: By 2019, video will account for about 78 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic.

Woah.

But as popular as video in general is, it’s live streaming that’s really taking off. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter Live: they’re all booming!

So the question then becomes, how can your association capitalize on video? Here are a few tips:

  • Use the tools you have – People don’t expect live stream videos to be perfect. They’re happening in real time! That said, don’t feel like you have to put together a top-notch production to get in on this game. Your iPhone (or any mobile device, really) will do the trick!
  • Add sound with ease – A big pain point when it comes to video is sound. If people aren’t talking, what kind of musical overlay should you add? And where can you get that from – for a fairly affordable price? Well, Facebook now has a new video editing tool called Sound Collection that allows you to add music and/or sound effects FREE of charge. And bonus: All of the files are royalty free, so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement! (Whew!)
  • Incorporate text – Did you know that about 40 percent of people watch video with the sound turned off? For that reason, it’s best to include text somewhere in your video (so that 40 percent will still comprehend your key takeaways).

Not sure what to even make a video about? Check out this post, 15 Ideas for Easy, Shareable Video Content.

2. Voice search will become even more commonplace

“Alexa, can you…”

This phrase is becoming more popular by the day. In fact, last year, 20 percent of online searches were conducted through voice search (Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc.), and by 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50 percent.

What does that mean for your association? It means you need to start optimizing your content for search. A few tips:

  • First and foremost, your website MUST be mobile-friendly – Not only will Google penalize you if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, but if someone does find your site via a mobile voice search, and your site isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re likely to abandon it pretty quickly. You have to adapt to the format searchers use.
  • Incorporate long-tail keywords – People don’t talk the way they type. They often expand upon things, meaning long-tail keywords will be of essence. What are long-tail keywords exactly? Let’s say someone wants to do a search for summer vacation homes. Rather than just saying “summer vacation homes” (like they’d probably type), they’d probably say, “Siri, what are some affordable summer vacation homes near me?” So, “affordable summer vacation homes” would be a long-tail keyword that you’d want to include in your content.
  • Consider including more adjectives and adverbs – With voice search, people typically include more adjectives and adverbs. Go back to the example above: affordable summer vacation homes. With voice search, you’ll notice more terms like “best” and “nearest.” Try to incorporate those in your content pieces as well.

3. LinkedIn will grow in popularity

LinkedIn has been around since 2003, and believe it or not, continues to grow at two new members per second. In fact, in 2017, LinkedIn saw a growth of about 60 percent!

Why the sudden surge? Well as you may remember, LinkedIn rolled out an entire new user interface in 2017, making the platform much more user-friendly and extra appealing to advertisers.

With more and more people joining and using LinkedIn, this is a huge opportunity for your association. Those people are your members and potential members! That said, to maximize your time on the platform, here are a few tips:

  • Create a company page if you don’t already have one – Many people have a personal LinkedIn page, but lack a designated company page. This is a big mistake. People expect professional organizations to be active on THE professional social media site. It gives your organization credibility, and for that reason alone, having a company page is a must. Note: Having a LinkedIn company page is different than having a LinkedIn group. Groups are typically private, whereas pages are open and accessible to everyone – which you want for your non-members/prospects.
  • Share valuable, industry-related content – LinkedIn is the perfect platform for positioning your organization as a thought leader in the industry. Share blog posts, links to white papers and reports, new industry findings and statistics, etc. The more of this you’re able to do, the more people will turn to you as a resource (and ultimately, want to join).
  • Add jobs – LinkedIn is one of the first places people go when looking for a new job or career change. To attract the best talent, make sure your job openings and internships are listed. And make sure to keep those postings up-to-date. In other words, once a position is full, be sure to take it down. No sense in wasting people’s time–or getting their hopes up.

So there you have it. Marketing trends we expect to see more of in 2018 – and beyond.

Need help with marketing initiatives at your association (your website, email, social media, etc.)? Allow us to help! Check out the MemberClicks free eBook, The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing.

Callie Walker is the Senior Inbound Marketing Specialist at MemberClicks, a membership management software company located in Atlanta, Ga. She can be reached at callie@memberclicks.com.