How to Recruit for Your Membership-Based Organization Online

April 3, 2024 0 Comments

As a major source of your recruitment income, sourcing and securing new members for your organization is a top priority. Marketing campaigns dedicated to membership recruitment can help you build brand recognition, reach the right audience, and grow your networking opportunities — increasing your membership’s value in the process. 

Marketing is all about meeting your target audience where they are, meaning there’s no better place to launch your marketing efforts than online. In this guide, we’ll review how you can harness the power of digital marketing to promote your membership-based organization.

Whether you’re recruiting for a professional association or a union, these tech-savvy tactics can put your organization on the map and push your recruitment goals across the finish line. As we discuss these methods, consider your current approach to recruitment marketing and which of these strategies would complement it well.

Understand Digital Engagement Metrics

Before you launch your digital recruitment marketing campaign, you need to understand how digital engagement works so you can fine-tune your strategies accordingly. You’ll likely encounter these important marketing metrics, which you can use to gauge success:

  • Click-through rate, which is the percentage of people who receive your content and interact with it by clicking on links
  • Conversion rate, which is the percentage of people who take a desired action after viewing your content, such as registering for an event.
  • Cost per acquisition, which is the cost of attaining each member via marketing materials
  • The volume of social interactions, which is the total interactions you get on social media (e.g. likes, comments, shares, and impressions)
  • Bounce rate, which is the percentage of site visitors who leave your site soon after clicking on it
  • Engagements per type of device, which measures how many engagements come from desktop versus mobile apps

The best metrics for your organization to track will be ones that make sense for the marketing channels you use. For example, tracking the volume of social interactions only works on social media, whereas bounce rate helps you determine if your email or membership information website is capturing users’ attention. 

As for choosing new recruitment channels, start with the ones your target audience prefers. Ask current members which digital spaces they and their colleagues frequent and conduct a feasibility study to determine if it would be a good addition to your strategy.

Enhance Your Membership Website

As the digital hub for your membership-based organization, optimizing your membership information page is the best way to spread awareness about your programs online. Take the following steps to improve your website and make it more appealing to prospective members:

  • Highlight your value proposition. Does your union offer member-facing software that simplifies dues payments? Maybe your association hosts fun, members-only appreciation events? Whatever you have that other organizations don’t, highlight it front and center on your website.
  • Audit for accessibility. Ensuring your website is accessible to all web visitors increases the amount of potential members who can view your content. Use a tool like Lighthouse to audit your site for color contrast, alt text on images, subtitles for videos, straightforward site navigation, and other accessibility elements.

Before pushing changes to your membership website live, ask current members to take a look and provide suggestions. After all, they have unique perspectives and can point out blind spots that your team may have missed.

Leverage Search Ads

On average, every person makes at least one Google search each day. If you occupy the top spot on a relevant Google search results page, you can funnel that immense viewership to your membership marketing content. 

Plus, you can guarantee your spot with Google’s search ads, which allow your websites to sit atop the search engine results page. You can leverage search ads by:

  • Paying for ad space. If your membership-based organization has the funds, you can purchase ad space for specific keywords, but it can get expensive.
  • Leveraging Google Ad Grants. Eligible 501(c)(3) organizations can capitalize on this incredible digital marketing opportunity for free by applying for Google Ad Grants. The program, which gives organizations up to $10,000 a month in free search ads, allows you to reach your target audience based on relevant keywords. 

Search ads’ unbeatable return on investment makes it an ideal addition to your recruitment marketing plan. Getting Attention recommends working with a Google Ad Grants agency so you can see the best results.

Collaborate with Influencers in Your Niche

With the rise of social media, popular creators (or “influencers”) have, in some cases, become bona fide celebrities — and with their stardom comes a valuable marketing opportunity for your organization. Though mega-influencers can be challenging to forge a relationship and partnership with, there are still ways you can get into influencer marketing:

  • Start small. Unless you have an established connection with an A-List star, it will be very challenging to get them on board. However, nano- and micro-influencers (users with between 1,000-50,000 followers) can make even better partners. After all, they’re easier to get a hold of, are often more connected with their followers, and likely already operate in your organization’s niche. For instance, if you represent a union, you could ask a well-known organizer in your local area to join your marketing campaign.
  • Collaborate creatively. Remember, your influencers built their platform by posting content that resonates with their supporters. Content that’s created collaboratively between you and your influencer partner will feel more genuine to their followers and is more likely to convert them. Meet regularly to make marketing content that highlights your organization while complimenting the influencer’s style.
  • Communicate benefits. Be sure to sell your organization in your initial pitch. Mention benefits such as an increased audience from cross-promotion, connections with your network, positive branding from being associated with a nonprofit, and financial perks.

To start recruiting social media partners, assess your current connections in the space—you’re more likely to get results by working with someone you already have a relationship with. Stay aligned on what success means for your campaign by tracking and sharing engagement metrics with them.