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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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3 Marketing Trends to Keep a Close Eye on in 2018

Posted by Callie Walker

2018 Marketing Trends

If there’s one constant in the marketing world, it’s change. Tactics, trends, and best practices are ALWAYS evolving, and we’ll be the first to admit, it can be hard to keep up!

So to help you out, here are three major marketing trends we expect to see more of in 2018:

1. Video will continue to skyrocket

Video has been popular for quite some time now, but get this: By 2019, video will account for about 78% of the world’s mobile data traffic.


But as popular as video in general is, it’s live streaming that’s really taking off. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter Live...they’re all booming!

So the question then becomes, how can your association capitalize on video? Here are a few tips:

  • Use the tools you have - People don’t expect live stream videos to be perfect. They’re happening in real time! That said, don’t feel like you have to put together a top-notch production to get in on this game. Your iPhone (or any mobile device, really) will do the trick!
  • Add sound with ease - A big pain point when it comes to video is sound. If people aren’t talking, what kind of musical overlay should you add? And where can you get that from - for a fairly affordable price? Well, Facebook now has a new video editing tool called Sound Collection that allows you to add music and/or sound effects FREE of charge. And bonus: All of the files are royalty free, so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement! (Whew!)
  • Incorporate text - Did you know that about 40% of people watch video with the sound turned off? For that reason, it’s best to include text somewhere in your video (so that 40% will still comprehend your key takeaways).

Not sure what to even make a video about? Check out our post, 15 Ideas for Easy, Shareable Video Content.

2. Voice search will become even more commonplace

“Alexa, can you…”

This phrase is becoming more popular by the day. In fact, last year, 20% of online searches were conducted through voice search (Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc.), and by 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50%.

What does that mean for your association? It means you need to start optimizing your content for search. A few tips:

  • First and foremost, your website MUST be mobile-friendly - Not only will Google penalize you if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, but if someone does find your site via a mobile voice search, and your site isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re likely to abandon it pretty quickly. (You have to adapt to what other people are using.)
  • Incorporate long-tail keywords - People don’t talk the way they type. They often expand upon things, meaning long-tail keywords will be of essence. What are long-tail keywords exactly? Well let’s say someone wants to do a search for summer vacation homes. Rather than just saying “summer vacation homes” (like they’d probably type), they’d probably say, “Siri, what are some affordable summer vacation homes near me?” So, “affordable summer vacation homes” would be a long-tail keyword that you’d want to include in your content.
  • Consider including more adjectives and adverbs - With voice search, people typically include more adjectives and adverbs. Go back to the example above: affordable summer vacation homes. With voice search, you’ll notice more terms like “best” and “nearest.” Try to incorporate those in your content pieces as well.

3. Instagram will dominate social media

2018 is the year of Instagram! Last year, the company announced that nearly 800,000 people use the social media platform each month. And not only that, but their latest tool, Instagram Stories, became more popular than Snapchat just one year after going live!

That’s a HUGE opportunity for your association - if your members and potential members are the Instagram-using type. (Every industry is different.) If you are looking to take your Instagram game up a notch, here are a few tips:

  • Optimize your profile - Include a nice branded photo, a short, informative bio, and a link back to your organization’s website. And tip: Don’t just use your association’s acronym in the bio section; use your full name. Not only does this help with SEO, but it helps users find your page. (They may be searching for your name, rather than your acronym.)
  • Make sure your account is public - This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many company pages are actually private. Double check that yours is public, especially if someone set up the account before you took over. (I say this from experience.)
  • Post both photo and video content - This is a platform where you really do want to have both. According to NewsWhip, photos on Instagram get 36% more likes than videos on Instagram, but videos typically get more comments than photos. So to have a nice balance of the two, play around with different media types.

Pretty interesting stuff, huh? We have a good feeling about marketing in 2018 - and beyond!

Need help with your association’s marketing efforts - email, your website, social media, etc.? Allow us to help! Check out our free eBook, The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing, below!

The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing  How to spread the word about your association Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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