By Evan Hendershot – Digital Marketing Manager
When your members need information, advice or resources about your focus area, where do they turn?
Naturally, you hope and expect that they’ll turn to you—through your website or social media channels or their established connections with other members. But if they encounter friction in getting to your site or finding the information they need across all those locations, they may go elsewhere. Each time that happens, the link to their valuable membership is weakened.
Fortunately, you may already have a tool for reducing member disconnects and keeping your association top of mind every day. And it’s right in your pocket.
In-person Connections Have Gone Virtual
When you want information about your favorite brand, you probably pull out your phone to find it. If you’re a real fan, you may have downloaded that brand’s app.
That easy brand connection is something many associations are often missing.
Over the past year, associations quickly adapted to the reality that in-person connections needed to go virtual. You likely moved all your events to a virtual platform. A Protech Mobile event app could have been a central part of that experience, helping users register, access the event, navigate the agenda, network and even attend sessions—all from their phones.
But once the event was over, what happened to that app?
For your members, checking their phones for social and professional updates is an everyday habit. A mobile app is a golden opportunity to ensure your association remains their go-to for information, networking and connections to the solutions they need.
Easy Ways to Make the Most of Your Mobile App
Our favorite apps provide content in multiple ways to engage us on many levels. For association members, an app can provide personalized and easy access to the benefits they value most.
Establish a centralized, searchable information hub
Associations have a lot of great information. Maybe too much, especially when it’s housed in multiple locations across the website, on social media, in PDFs and in brochures. It’s hard for people to know which direction to turn for the information they’re seeking.
A mobile app lets you put all your news, announcements and resources in one location. And simple tools help you make all that information easy to find—organized for intuitive navigation.
Featured links and custom lists can contain any kind of content, enabling members to:
- Search your member directory for people, view profile information and contact each other with a tap
- Access and download resources including articles, documents and other media
TIP: Use a calendar function to highlight upcoming events, including descriptions, costs, maps and registration links.
Simplify member connections
Social media networks have trained users to stay connected to each other—and to conversations—through scrollable threads. The Connect feature in your Protech Mobile app works much the same way.
In the Connect feed, members can see others who use the app, establish a connection and see profile information they have shared with the community. Members can send messages, invite people to meetings and put those meetings on their calendars.
And unlike a social media wall, your association app doesn’t pull any outside ad sources, so all the posts are relevant to your organization.
TIP: If you like, you can incorporate other social media integrations to enable members to go directly to your association’s social accounts on those sites.
Enable sponsorship and drive ongoing revenue throughout the year
Just as important as member connections to each other are the connections you can provide sponsors. The sponsor or exhibitor ads your members see in your app are relevant to their interests and needs, and you can provide additional information and validation through sponsor profiles. This also provides a new source of non-dues revenue for your next virtual or hybrid meeting.
You can demonstrate ROI to sponsors by showing them the engagement those ads generate. Because your app includes an automatic data sync with your AMS, you can easily capture engagement stats and generate reports for your sponsors.
TIP: Include calendar scheduling links (such as Calendly) to automate connections with sponsors.
Bonus: Attract NEW members
When people are exploring a career or looking for a professional connection, one of the key places they look is in their app store. It’s expected that an app is available.
For people who are interested in your topic area but not yet members, an app can provide an initial attraction to your organization. Having a branded app with your logo front and center improves your online presence, creates validity for your organization and positions you as a center of thought leadership.
TIP: Including open-access content in your app can enable non-members to see the value you provide—and encourage them to become members.
But Who Has the Time and Skills to Manage an App? YOU DO.
Of course, information on your app isn’t meant to be static. It’s essential that your app is easy to set up and change as often as needed.
Protech Mobile apps are enabled by Guidebook, app management software that is incredibly easy to understand and use. You don’t have to know how to code or have any specialized tech skills. You simply drag and drop app elements using a dashboard.
You can make updates in real time—and they go out to your app users in real time as well.
You can also add notifications that show up in users’ phone home screens, in their inbox and in their social wall. That way, even if you have a last-minute update, change or event cancellation, users can find out about it instantly. You can also pre-schedule notifications to send out reminders and deadlines.
You can even create in-app surveys to get information back from your members—and ensure you’re meeting their needs.
Ready to give it a try? Talk to your relationship manager about adding Protech Mobile. Or, if you’re not a Protech customer, request a demo to learn more about Protech Mobile and the rest of our product suite – built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. You’ll see how easy it is to create a consistent experience and brand loyalty that helps members build a healthy habit of engagement with your association.