The Top Conversion Goals for Association Marketing Leaders

Emily Lutz
December 2, 2022

Starting any new marketing leadership role is intimidating—transitioning to a new team with new faces, learning industry-specific policies, and familiarizing yourself with the overall goals of your new organization takes time and effort. And that’s only for a “traditional” marketing role.

So-called traditional marketing focuses on attracting customers to a brand and increasing revenue through clever messaging. Association marketing, on the other hand, focuses on an entirely different set of conversion goals.

Associations can have a variety of conversions they want to accomplish—this variety requires multiple advertising campaigns with their own unique messaging and design. With this level of effort required, it’s tough to decide which conversion goals your association should invest in.

When it’s time to plan your new marketing budget, consider the importance of each of the following conversions and measure how well they match up with your association’s goals before budgeting accordingly.

Membership Conversions

Memberships are the top priority for most associations. This is because members will bring in noteworthy revenue and lead to other smaller conversions, like course purchases, certifications, and event registrations.

Since memberships are a major focus of association marketing, creating a holistic ad strategy that places membership-targeted ads and campaigns on every platform is fundamental to success.

You can do this through targeted search ads on Google and Microsoft Search for people searching for associations related to your field.

You can also use prospecting and remarketing Display and YouTube campaigns to keep your association’s name in front of the right audience, which could lead to future membership conversions.

A prospecting strategy—or reaching out to people who have not been to your website before—is crucial for this conversion. Remarketing, which involves reaching out to people who have been to your site but not converted, is essential as well.

Remarketing keeps your association top of mind for prospective customers and allows you to offer new information and benefits that could lead to conversions.

Resource Conversions

Many associations offer multiple types of purchases on their websites outside of membership costs. These often include:

  • Online courses
  • In-person courses
  • Continuing education
  • Certifications
  • Accreditations
  • Content resources

These resources may be required for employment in a field and could be offered at a discount for members.

To best convert for these important revenue streams, associations must focus their advertising efforts on awareness. Making sure your audience is aware these resources are valuable to their career is all it takes to get a purchase.

Platforms that are valuable for promoting awareness include Google Display and YouTube, Microsoft Display, and social media campaigns. These types of campaigns have a low cost-per-click but usually a high return.

Event Conversions

Another common conversion for associations is event registrations.

Most associations hold annual conferences, expos, or other in-person or online events to network, sell products, and present industry research. These events also act as a major source of both revenue and memberships, given that they offer members a meaningful discount on registrations.

Facebook has several effective advertising tools for events, including promoting sign-ups on the platform itself and doing more traditional advertising directing traffic to a website page.

Google Display and YouTube are also effective platforms for events, given that you can target an email list or custom audience. Plus, these platforms allow you to show ads multiple times to a large audience while on a lean budget.

The most important strategy for event conversion is using eye-catching images or videos. Be sure to highlight any essential information and dates in the ad copy. To create urgency, you can run “Early Bird Registration” ads. Or, ads that notify the audience that registration is closing soon so they better hurry.

Education and Public Awareness Conversions

One final conversion that an association may need to focus on is public education campaigns.

Associations love to educate the public about their organization, industry, or members. This could entail getting visits to a website, disseminating content or videos, or even getting business for current members.

For instance, a medical association may run campaigns to make the public aware that it’s time for their annual check-up. The campaign could then direct the public to a search tool on the association’s website that will help users find an accredited member near them.

Social media, Display, and YouTube are very effective platforms for these campaigns because you can target a large audience and show your ads frequently for a relatively small budget.

Emily Lutz
Director of Strategy

Emily Lutz is from Kalispell, Montana and has been camping more times than she can count. She geeks out over musicals and the TV show Firefly (yes, she’s on some chat sites). Before joining Perfect Search, Emily was a zookeeper for ten years.

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