How Your Association Can Plan for Successful Marketing and PR in 2023: Part I

By Melinda Adamec • December 29, 2022

Marketing, across all industries, has become tricky in the digital age. Members, potential members, partners, event exhibitors, sponsors and industry professionals are inundated with marketing everywhere they flick their thumbs on their smartphones. No one is immune. Their attention is captured, and they get distracted from engaging with your association. It’s unfortunate to lose engagement opportunities. Your member and industry outreach has enough hurdles to begin with, let alone competing with every pop-up ad, spam email or social media influencer. But your association must stay in the fight and adapt to the changing world of digital marketing.

It can be an uphill battle at first. However, there are some savvy best practices you can plan to employ that will help your association reach your members effectively and further your mission. Here are seven aspects of marketing that your association can take advantage of for a more prosperous 2023.

Seven vital areas your association can incorporate for successful marketing in 2023

  1. Use an AMS or CRM to track and organize data. Staying organized with data is imperative. If you don’t have a place where you can store, sort and review insight into your members and their patterns of behavior, you’re missing out on truly knowing your audience and leveraging that data to your advantage.
  2. Use data to really understand your audience. Go beyond the basic demos to truly understand their interests, and reach your audience where they consume information. This requires a bit of research, however, when you can review data insights about your audience, you can make informed decisions that make your marketing far more relevant and effective.
  3. Short-form videos will continue to grow in 2023. Enterprise videos, videos for social media platforms and even curated YouTube content are all being consumed at unprecedented rates. The reality is that people want and love video content. Your members are no different. Take advantage of this by creating videos that cater to your members and their interests. Videos allow you to convey a lot of ideas in a short amount of time, but they need to have a professional look to convince your audience.
  4. Influencer marketing should be part of your plan. Featuring a high ROI, influencer marketing helps your association get the word out to a much broader audience. Influencers, for better or worse, hold enormous sway. Depending on who their audience is, they can make or break brands. And, for associations, they can spread your scope of influence to help get the word out about your mission.
  5. An effective SEO strategy is a MUST to attract and convert new leads and membership, paired with a solid content marketing strategy. A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is simply a must-have in 2023. There are approximately 4.58 billion website pages in existence, which means your website needs to incorporate SEO so that potential members can find you. SEO goes hand in hand with a content marketing strategy to help engage your audience and drive them to your website.
  6. Social media holds the highest ROI over every other marketing channel — websites, email marketing, search, etc. While Facebook is widely used and maintains a very high ROI, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are set to be the fastest-growing platforms in 2023. The use of social media DMs are also steadily on the rise for intrepid organizations. The big caveat is that your social media posts need to be meaningful, attractive and engaging.
  7. Marketing automation can make your job easier. With more work and less time in 2023, implementing marketing automation can help efficiently and effectively implement your marketing strategy, removing mundane and administrative tasks allowing you to focus on those tasks that are most impactful to your organization. Marketing automation may seem like a highly technical endeavor but with the right tools and guidance, it can be incredibly easy to implement.

Getting the word about your association through an informed marketing strategy helps you build your membership, augment your non-dues revenue, create deeper engagement and position you as an authoritative thought leader in your industry. It only makes sense to put your best marketing foot forward to accomplish your goals for the year ahead. Armed with these insights, you can set your association up for marketing success in 2023 and beyond. Stay tuned for part 2, where we discuss public relations best practices to give your association an advantage in 2023 — yes, PR and marketing are two very different things, but they are symbiotic!

If your association needs some insight or guidance on marketing best practices, reach out to our experienced and professional experts today!


About The Author

Melinda Adamec is senior vice president of marketing at Gabriel Marketing Group, leading GMG’s delivery of client services in market strategy consulting, digital marketing and advertising, SEO, marketing automation and content development. Reach her at [email protected].