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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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It's all about the blog

Posted by Sarah Hill

There are all kinds of blogs out there, from the incredibly personal one-man blog to the highly-trafficked industry blog with dozens, maybe even a hundred, contributors. There is a lot of value to having a blog for your association. It keeps your members and prospective members informed, establishes a regular presence on a webspace (which, with frequent updates, has a good shot of boosting the all-important SEO) and offers a good bit of transparency into the inner-workings of your association which, in this day and age of oversharing, is valuable.

But who should be writing your blog and how often should a post go up in order to make the most of your time and effort?

Blog blog who's got the blog?

One committed staff writer for your blog (depending on the traffic that comes to your site) is usually enough. More than enough if you only update your blog once or twice a week. The trick is choosing a blogger who understands the issues and news that are important to your members and the rest of your audience. A highly-involved volunteer or a staff member who has the time would be perfect.

Another option is inviting collaborators. It can be incredibly valuable to get differing points of view about many relevant topics from different voices. It keeps your blog fresh and interesting and can increase the possibility for more hits. However organizing collaborators can be complicated and somewhat tiresome. It can be a full time job just to solicit content from your volunteers, and then once you have it you need to be sure that it is posted regularly and not in a flood of posts one month, then nothing the next.

Don’t forget to consider other types of content besides what’s going on with your association's activities. While all that personality is great for your PR efforts, you may want to consider sharing some of your mission statement with the world. For example, if your association focuses on woodworking, a brief photo-tutorial of a DIY project would be great, and likely highly circulated, content. Show off that common thread that brought your association together in the first place.

To sum up, when you’re tackling your blog keep the following things in mind at all times:

Frequency: post regularly and often enough to boost your SEO and keep subscribers interested

Content: post a variety of both visual and text-based content to engage all types of people

Collaboration: reaching out to several people within your association to write can give your blog depth and variety

Happy Blogging!

Topics: association management, small staff association

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