The five best words you can hear a member say are, "That's interesting. Tell me more."
When you get a member to say, "That's interesting. Tell me more," you have captured their attention. They are listening and responding. They are having a conversation, and this is powerful.
Conversations make your brand sticky!
Every association has an opportunity to engage its members in conversation, and it's wildly effective. A conversation is a powerful marketing tool because it's how you form relationships with your members.
Conversations Lead to Relationships
Human connections are becoming even more valuable as the association market shifts. Across North America, associations are facing a seismic shift, and it's generational. Baby boomers join associations, millennials join communities.
Trying to engage the next generation with traditional value propositions and campaigns is losing relevance. Instead, build bridges with conversations.
A conversation is one of the most human ways to form a relationship. It helps transition your brand from a stranger to a friend to a member. And that two-way dialogue accelerates the process by helping you get to know one another. This makes your brand more likable.
Even better, conversations work across every generation.
Use Brand Storylines to Spark Conversations
It gets pretty boring if all you talk about is yourself. The same is true for associations. Engage your members with Brand Storylines.
A Brand Storyline is a communication device to engage your members in a conversation.
Brand Storylines are unique because they are not just conversations about the weather or sports, nor are they one-sided pitches promoting your brand. They are conversations carefully crafted to engage your marketplace and keep your brand top of mind.
Brand Storylines are effective marketing tools because they are crafted to connect conversations to your brand.
A Brand Storyline has three fundamental elements:
- Expertise: It's a topic that you and your team know well, and it draws from your association's core expertise.
- Strong Opinions: It's a topic your association and your members are passionate about. You can take a stance and boldly share your opinions.
- Point of Sharing: The topic resonates with both members and non-members alike, and it encourages others to participate in the conversation.
The three elements function as a three-legged stool. A Brand Storyline is unsustainable if any one of the elements is missing. For example, Strong Opinions without Expertise is a rant. Expertise without Strong Opinions is boring. And without a Point of Sharing you're talking to yourself.
Get Members to Say, "That's Interesting. Tell Me More."
You know your Brand Storylines are working when you hear members say, "That's interesting. Tell me more."
Those five words reveal so much. You can see the storyline is resonating. It transitions the member from being a passive receiver of marketing messages to an active participant. It engages them with your brand, and it motivates them to ask questions.
Conversations lead to relationships. Any time you get a member to say, "That's interesting. Tell me more," you have an opportunity to grow the relationship. And with each interaction you reinforce your association's brand and make it more likable.
Jeremy Miller is a brand strategist, keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Sticky Branding. Jeremy helps companies develop brilliant strategies to market their businesses and grow their brands. He is an inspirational keynote speaker. His blend of humor, stories, and actionable ideas will inspire you to innovate and grow a Sticky Brand. For more information visit www.stickybranding.com.
Jeremy's CSAE National Conference 2017 session, Spark Engagement: Conversations Makes Brands Sticky, is on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. He talks about what organizations need to do to get their audiences to engage successfully with their brand identity.