During the past several years there has been much conversation and debate on how associations can continue to thrive in the face of increasing competition. The question is; with all of the outside “noise” influencing our stakeholders, how can these organizations cut through the clutter, and provide clear value? The sharing of knowledge is a critical component. How can associations build a learning platform that will meaningfully engage members while also monetizing education efforts?
Here are four strategies that will help you increase your knowledge presence and bottom line:
- Create the right mix of content.
Each type of content has a role and each role has a specific type of marketability. Offering the right balance will enhance your engagement and provide each member with ongoing value that matches their preferred learning style. Working together, each type will help formulate a robust and engaging presence for learning.
Live Online & Onsite Events: These are online courses, webinars and webcasts, virtual conferences, and in-person conferences. Think of these as the main pieces of furniture in a room. You need these pieces, but to properly decorate the room you need more.
Social Learning: Allow your members to connect with each other and share their personal knowledge. This can take place on live event forums, community integration, and other forms of idea sharing.
Formal Education: This includes SCORM courses, blended learning, learning paths and curriculum programs that provide your members with credits and ongoing credentialing.
Informal Learning: These are typically Podcasts, blogs, news feeds, and content libraries. These components allow participants to engage around a specific topic.
- Provide relevant learning experiences.
You have a substantial amount of information about your members and you should use that knowledge to your advantage in order to present relevant learning opportunities to each individual. Allow for searchable content based on interest and recommend learning based on their past interactions or role. Relevancy is key and each learner is unique.
- Effective branding and layout will make a significant difference.
The visual impact your learning presence has is a factor to not be minimized. Your offerings should be easy to use, offer simple navigation, and capitalize on your brand. You do not want to clutter the environment. Present the right balance of content and design that will connect with your participants.
- Be creative and bold with your pricing.
Associations are considering new pricing strategies for their education offerings. Differentiating your pricing structure can be key to attracting members. Subscription plans, couponing, and savings packs are emerging and allow associations to reach a broader member base, while ultimately increasing revenues.
It is important to leverage the special relationship you have with your community in planning your educational offerings. Use what you know to provide relevant and engaging programs and creative pricing strategies. Brand your platform to make it shine with just the right blend of content that incorporates just-in-time learning, community events and more sustainable training opportunities.