Membership value is realized through four pillars: cause, community, communications, and content. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many associations substantially changed their content pillar, adopting virtual formats, eliminating membership access requirements, and reducing fees. Notably, virtual education and virtual conferences were commonly available to registrants for no charge.
Intentional changes to the membership content pillar brought unintentional changes to the value of association membership. To support associations facing content-related revenue setbacks, we developed a Roadmap to Recovery white paper with guidance for a route through this time of great change.
Our research shows that 84% of associations opened previously-protected research to the public during the pandemic, with valuable education and web resources suddenly provided for free and important revenue streams eliminated.
These eight content strategy markers can help guide your journey:
- Agility: Encourage the entrepreneurial culture developed during the pandemic.
- Mission: Use mission as a guidepost when adapting content to expanded audiences.
- Proposition: Understand content needs of new audiences through analytics and research.
- Potential: Identify high-value content by measuring popular products and services.
- Virtualization: Revisit virtual technologies and processes made under pressing deadlines.
- Messages: Update repetitive messages, especially automated and transactional emails.
- Paywall: Update paywall strategy after reviewing recent COVID-related paywall exceptions.
- Pricing: Review content pricing, especially virtual events and online education in high demand.
Our eight-point guide shares our full content roadmap context and details for all of our content strategy points. While the road ahead remains unpredictable, associations have the power to transform through innovation. With rich content, associations have the opportunity to meet member needs and fortify their business models with enduring value.