Apr 19, 2023
Read Time: 3 min
Keeping members engaged is a priority for all associations, so it's not surprising that "how do you engage members of an association?" is a question that organizations frequently ask. Engagement is essential because it drives growth and retention, attracting new members to your association and motivating existing members to return year after year.
With over 80% of associations offering professional development and training programs, most organizations clearly recognize the importance of ongoing learning to their members.
Creating unique and rewarding educational programs is one of the best ways that you can increase member engagement. From professional certifications to online courses, your association's learning program can help members acquire the skills that they need to advance in a competitive workplace.
This article explores how associations can design unique and rewarding learning activities to drive member engagement.
Your association's LMS isn't simply a platform for hosting online courses; it's a powerful tool for engaging members with learning activities. E-learning has become a mainstay of association learning programs, so choosing an LMS is a crucial decision.
Taking full advantage of your LMS to make learning content easily accessible to your members means it'll become their point of reference when they want to polish their skills or learn something new. As your association's dedicated online hub for learning, the LMS is home to your e-learning courses and webinars, making it possible for you to reach your members twenty-four hours a day, across devices, wherever they happen to be in the world.
Once your learning program is up and running, you can use it to gather valuable data about your members. Within the LMS, you can track, monitor, and analyze data to determine the most popular courses and what's working and what's not.
You can also use this information to tailor courses to meet your members' needs and make changes to improve engagement.
While speaking engagements featuring subject matter experts will always have a role in your association's educational program, if every learning activity revolves around a deep dive into the granular details of a topic, association members' interest is likely to wane.
Theory is important, but remember, your members want to learn things that are applicable to their daily lives. Prioritizing this type of learning content is essential to keeping them engaged. An easy way to do this is by keeping your members’ preferences in mind when developing educational activities. Ask yourself if a busy professional would have time to commit to an in-depth course or if they would prefer microlearning, where they can complete learning activities in short bursts, making it easier for them to fit into their schedules.
More isn't always better when creating a course. It's often better to cut the fluff and ensure that it provides members with innovative ideas, adds new information, and enables them to apply the knowledge that they've acquired in real-life scenarios.
Associations should always prioritize the action of doing instead of telling when creating learning materials for members, which will go a long way toward keeping them engaged.
According to Marketing General's survey of association members, networking with others in their field is the top reason that they join associations. Although the bulk of your educational program may be online, be sure to give members opportunities to connect with one another by including a social element in your learning activities.
Through social learning, you can foster interaction and collaboration among members, enhancing their educational experience. One way to do this is by encouraging learners to work together within their online courses by sharing ideas, questions, and hypotheses.
For example, add a discussion forum in your LMS to give members a place to gather to talk about assignments or ask questions. You can take this a step further by assigning collaborative tasks that require members to team up to complete a project or review each other's work and provide feedback. Hosting live chats with experts in your field and allowing members to ask questions can also motivate them and keep them engaged with your learning program.
Finally, incorporating gamification techniques to encourage friendly competition among members, letting them earn badges as they progress through the learning program, is an effective way to improve member engagement.
When thinking about the question, "how do you engage members of an association?" you should ensure that every member of your organization can use the content that you produce. Going the extra mile to make your educational content accessible to everyone will help keep your members engaged and participating in your learning program.
You can make your content accessible in several ways, including providing content in multiple formats, enabling closed captioning on videos, and using live transcripts during presentations.
Associations should also aim to personalize the educational experience with adaptive learning, which tailors content to a member's knowledge level and learning style. Organizing an on-demand content library in which members can access learning material and review it at their own pace is another way to increase the accessibility of your association's content.
When associations implement these measures, they ensure that all members have access to engaging content, making it easier for them to participate and learn.
Member engagement is vital to the success of any association, which is why answering the question, "how do you engage members of an association?" is a priority. When associations think about members' wants and needs when designing activities, the result is more engaging and effective learning programs.
Here at Cadmium, we make it easy for association educators to deliver personalized learning to members to keep them better engaged and improve content satisfaction. To see how we can help you better engage your association members, reach out to our expert team today!