Rise Above the Noise: Tell Your Members a Better Value Story


association value

Do you feel like it's harder than ever to recruit and retain members? You're not alone.

Competition is fierce. Members used to see associations as the exclusive, trusted source of information and connection.  

Now, information is everywhere online. And it’s never been easier to access sources that appear authoritative (we’re looking at you, ChatGPT), but ultimately lack depth.  

The good news? There’s opportunity. If you can tell a clear, convincing story for why your association is worth the cost—and support that story with a modern website—you can rise above the noise.  

Once again, your association will be seen as the go-to source for insights, experience, and leadership no other online source can match. 

A good story is member-first, clear, and consistent

Associations leverage multiple channels to tell their story (both on and offline). But how often do you audit those channels to ensure your message is consistent, clear, and relevant to your audience? When was the last time you spoke at length with customers to understand what motivates them?  

It’s likely you need to revisit two core elements that comprise your brand story. 

Audience personas  

Interviewing members helps you understand the value they derive from your organization and what trends are influencing their behavior.  

If you collect the right insights, you’ll have what you need to craft a brand story that identifies what they truly want and how your association can help get them there. That enables you to craft a compelling narrative where your member is the hero, and you are the trusted guide. If they want to overcome their challenges and ultimately realize a better version of themselves, then they need what only you can provide. 

Through your persona development work, identify places on your website that really matter to your members and ensure the value proposition is strong.  

For example, an association that offers certifications should describe how earning accreditation can boost a member’s career. Or, if you’re an organization with a social-driven mission, make it clear how your members can participate and drive your mission forward. 

Brand messaging and visual guide  

Once you have a solid grasp of your audience, develop a brand guide. This guide will serve as the source of truth for all team members to share a story that resonates with members in a consistent and clear way—no matter the channel. 

Build the plot

It’s time to carry the brand guide’s core messaging across your website and communication channels.  

Remember, stories must always move the reader forward. How does that happen from a brand perspective? Three components must be present: great user experience (UX), user interface (UI), and information architecture (IA).  

Start with detailed user journey mapping. This will help you create a sitemap that informs your navigation, making it clear and easy for users to find the information they are looking for.   

Surfacing content that’s meaningful is another integral part of keeping visitors engaged. Fortunately, an AI tool such as Algolia Recommends, makes this easy by leveraging live site and user data to enable advanced search capabilities.  

Set up the sequel

Change is inevitable. How responsive your systems are to change makes all the difference when managing your association’s story.  

Unfortunately, most associations are locked into rigid and outdated content management systems (CMS). A traditional CMS inhibits content production and publishing workflows, often forcing teams to involve developers for even minor updates.  

Instead, look for a CMS that’s flexible, easy to adopt, and offers a highly crafted editor experience to simplify life for non-technical users.  

We recommend a headless CMS solution, which offers exceptional flexibility, performance, and security. An API-first solution such as Storyblok allows you to choose software solutions that are best suited for your association. It’s flexible and easy to connect your preferred AMS, LMS, marketing automation system, or other solutions, creating a truly integrated digital environment. 

Every good story has an editor

Distinguishing your association with an exceptional value story and modern website is complex.

Consulting with a trusted website and brand partner is key. Seek an experienced solution provider such as Refactored, who understands how to accentuate your unique value through an effective story and site.

Is it time to rediscover the story that captivates your members?

Start at the beginning. We'll help you find the plot.

Talk to Refactored