Thursday Buzz: Find Out if Your Idea Is a Good One
Your organization has no shortage of membership growth ideas. But do you know how to pick the best ones? Also: If your website is underperforming, it may be time to take a second look at your content.
Associations are constantly brainstorming about how to grow membership. A few ideas turn into action, while other potentially effective proposals end up on the cutting-room floor. How can you better determine which ideas are worth acting on?
Start with research. “Some of us are afraid to do this research beforehand because we fear the answer will be that it won’t work,” writes Mike Morrison in a recent post for The Membership Guys. “We feel better working on something that we hope will succeed.”
Once you’re past the research stage, test the market. “It’s validating the market need and willingness to pay for your idea before you spend the time creating it,” says Morrison. Do not follow the Field of Dreams philosophy of “If you build it, they will come.”
If you can get a few people to buy your idea, put those buyers in a small focus group to gather information you can use in development. A simple Facebook group will do.
“You can get their help shaping what your membership will become,” Morrison writes.
If your website isn’t performing as well as you’d like, it may be time for a redesign, including a refresh of your content strategy.
“Most of the time the reason a website ‘stops working’ is content,” a Tanzen Consulting blog post explains. “Bringing in a content strategist to help with a diagnosis could save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more over the life of your website.”
Before you redesign your site, a content strategist can help your organization do a qualitative and quantitative content audit, train staff writers in how to write for the web, and provide SEO support. After the redesign, content strategists can optimize your publishing process, create a style guide of governance policies, and consult on hiring an editorial team.
Other Links of Note
New complications in global travel are creating sticky situations for corporate travel managers. The New York Times reports on how companies are handling employees’ travel concerns.
Data technology is changing the world. The MicroEdge blog shares how prescriptive analytics can optimize the way we work.
Social learning is an important part of most membership-based associations. The Tagoras blog shares tips for designing a social learning program.