Associations and their online business directories are a trusted and valued resource for those seeking reputable businesses in their industries and communities. Think about the number of referrals you provide to members every month. Now imagine how that number would grow if you were to intuitively configure your directory’s settings to the unique needs of your unique members.
Identifying ways to help members of every level stand out within your directory will create more valuable memberships, engage your surrounding community and attract prospective members. We’ve identified 4 areas to look at:
Consider giving every business in your community the opportunity to create a basic company name and URL listing. This shows that you’re an inclusive association that supports all businesses in your industry, no matter their membership status. Then, determine what every association member gets on top of that at the bare minimum – for example company name, URL, contact information and a short description. Audit your directory to ensure that this minimum is being met for every member.
Develop different levels of listings that members can upgrade to depending on their investment in your association. Level I will be the standard as outlined above, with each higher level adding more features to make listings stand out and be easily found. Some of these extras can be…
The details page is another great place to build member value. This page can be viewed as a members’ own mini website within your website with access to certain features being commensurate with investment/listing level as well. Encourage members who have complete access to use their details page to its fullest extent, with videos, social buttons, a full description, a contact form, a map and more.
You know Internet users are searching online for businesses and services like the ones listed in your directory. Help drive them to find your members’ listings on your website by making sure that your category descriptions include the right keywords. One simple way to do this is to think about what words you would enter into Google when looking for businesses within these categories, and finding ways to incorporate those words into descriptions.
Stephanie Adams, Director of Member Services with The Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, has taken directory configuration to a whole other level. Check out what she has to say about her experience generating non-dues revenue using their WebLink Local Directory –
“The Power Player program is one we have used to sell bulk advertising and other exclusive opportunities to our members who make certain event sponsorships commitment. By creating exclusivity for these package holders (a value that lasts for a full 12 months) I have had some VERY positive results and renewal rates.
For the third year in a row, our Power Player program is sold out, and has generated over $28,000 in print/digital advertising revenue. That does not include the event sponsorship dollars they are committed to, or any print/digital advertising we sell to members independently. I’m very pleased to share that we are on track to hit $40,000 this year alone in advertising revenue.
Without WebLink’s online features like priority listings, added directory logos and other enhancements, I’m sure the program would not have been as successful. The user training I attended in the fall of 2015, the WebLink Summit, really helped me see how every ‘impression’ an association makes for a sponsor creates value. Once we started tracking & promoting those little things as something worth investing in, the suppliers understood and were eager to participate.”
Interested in learning about how WebLink Connect™ can bring more value to your membership, beyond directory capabilities? Schedule your personal demo.
WebLink Connect™ users, log in to the WebLink Help Center to view articles and detailed training on your WebLink Local Directory!