Marketers are storytellers, and gone are the days when it was a straight-up sales pitch, and customers would flock and buy. The narratives have changed from a long, tedious, lengthy detail list of features to quick, catchy, and compelling short messages that spark curiosity and enhance emotions. Apple did this when it launched Macintosh into this world in 1984, and the rest is history.

Associations aren’t big tech; they are driven by members from a specific industry or profession. As an association, when you write a marketing message for members or industry peers, the aim is to get them to act, i.e., to become a member, volunteer or sponsor and support their association events.

Writing a story that resonates with your audience, there are a few steps that you as an association or your marketing team can take to include in your campaigns.

Who is my Audience? 

Every association must know their audience. Who is the audience they intend to speak to? Knowing what your audience likes, their interests, etc., helps you write the most compelling marketing messages for them.

The saying “one for all, all for none” portrays that one message for everyone will no longer get results. To see results, we need to not only write compelling messages on the channel we are marketing on but also need to cater to the specific audience it is being written for. This can only be done if you know your audience and which channel they consume the most. Are they on Instagram or TikTok, or do they belong to the category that reads a printed newspaper and watches television ads?

Designing your message

When studying strategic communication, my instructor introduced us to Simon Sinek’s golden circle. In short, Simon explains how this is important and helps with compelling message writing and delivery. In this video, Simon presents the why, how, and what. While most companies end up focussing on the top layer -i.e., the “what.” It is essential for companies to focus on the core, that being the “why.”

Suppose you go and speak to your members about “why they trust you” and “why they are a part of your association.” You will find the same answer, expressed in different words, they trust and believe in not just what the association does but also why and how they do what they do for the industry.  

What’s your Story?

Lastly, find out what your story is. Every company has a story; marketers usually call this the voice or the heart of the company. This story defines what and how you speak to your audience. Knowing the story is crucial for companies to write compelling narratives that help your audience take the desired action but also help you attract new audiences to your association, which in return drives new memberships for the associations.

Customer is King

The service industry is known to follow a golden rule – the customer is king. For associations, it is essential to start valuing their inputs. For example, consider seriously if a member, client, or customer responds and leaves a comment on your post on social media. This member has given you a free insight that most marketers would pay agencies to find such insights for you.

The bigger question is, how do you do this? You could include them in your messages. Members and association volunteers like to see real people speaking to them. They don’t want actors; they want to see and hear their peers. Real-life situations, people in the messaging.

Everyone loves a good story, and if it is spoken and presented by real people along with compelling messaging, the connection becomes that much stronger. It results in higher and positive word of mouth, new member engagement, and sign-up.

To know more about associations and increasing new members, read here.