Engaging younger members is a high priority for most associations, but it is easier said than done. Highly connected young professionals are used to seeking help online from a variety of sources and can sometimes overlook the value of an association membership. You know your membership has value, you just have to demonstrate it to them! Here are some tips we compiled to help you engage and communicate with your next generation of members.
1. Develop and Promote Appealing Benefits for the Audience
You will want to start by understanding what younger members are looking for in a membership and the types of benefits they view as valuable. For instance, according to a 2022 Associations Trends Study by Community Brands, members who are starting out in their careers are most likely focused on job opportunities, career advancements, training, and certification. So, if your association has these benefits, market them! Here are a few examples of benefits you may want to launch or start promoting more:
- An online career center – connecting members with job openings or career coaches that help with career preparation for interviews, resumes, personal brand, etc.
- Educational resources – offering in-person or online courses, holding webinars, and providing certificates of completion through membership portals.
- Professional resources – mentoring programs and/or networking events.
- Scholarship opportunities – offering scholarships for members only.
- An online community – social accounts and/or Facebook groups.
2. Provide Opportunities to Lead
As an association you want to offer your members leadership opportunities. Why? Well, younger members want to be certain there’s room for growth and advancement; they want to know that they can make an impact as a member. By offering leadership opportunities, your association can help new members achieve the return on investment they are looking for. Examples could include emerging leaders committees, mentor/mentee programs, or special sessions at conferences focused on the young member perspective.
3. Embrace Technology
With a society that mainly relies on digital tools and devices, younger audiences tend to be attracted to convenient and user-friendly digital experiences. So, utilizing digital marketing and technology to market your member benefits is a key strategy for recruiting.
Some examples of using technology include making sure your content is mobile-friendly, utilizing all your association’s social platforms, creating video content, and using the latest in marketing and membership management platforms. There are unlimited ways to advance your association’s brand through the use of technology, so don’t limit your association to the old way of doing things, start looking for new technologies to build value for you and your members!
Why Does This Matter?
Each generation in the workforce comes with a different set of skills, ideas, and viewpoints, which are all important for growth. By encouraging fresh perspectives and staying up to date with what your younger members find valuable, you will develop loyalty and lasting connections with the next group of industry leaders!