Cliff Notes on Member-Created Content and Creating Champions for Your Association

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April 27, 2022

After being stuck behind a computer screen for so many months, it’s been freeing to be back among peers again. While webinars and virtual events serve a purpose, even for a millennial like me, I appreciate having personal, face-to-face interactions and human connections. Every conversation is an opportunity to cultivate a real, lasting relationship.

Just this week, I had the opportunity to gather with the local association community at DFWAE’s Association Day and speak in one of the concurrent sessions. It was energizing to be in a room full of dialed-in leaders, eager to learn and grow. My session was Content By Members, For Members – a topic I’m very passionate about as it relates to member engagement. Through the open dialogue and interactive discussion we had as a group, I thought it would be a benefit to your organization to share this information with you.


The demand for associations to produce high-quality engaging content is high. With limited time and resources, on top of the infinite amount of information available on the internet, associations need to stand out and keep members coming back for more. A seemingly impossible task, but it can be done – all with minimal effort and no cost!


Your members are an untapped resource of unique experiences, stories, and insights that brings authenticity, valuable insights, and individual perspectives to your association. Every day they are producing and publicly sharing content in the form of pictures, videos, blogs, social media posts and so much more. This valuable content resonates more deeply since people like to read and engage with real content from real people they know and trust. When used by your association as part of its communications, member-created content can have a powerful, lasting effect on your membership by creating a sense of community and belonging, while at the same time boosting your association’s credibility.


It's human nature to want to share our lives with others. And because we live in a culture that makes it so easy through social media, your association will always have an abundance of member-created content to take advantage of. The challenge will be determining what content to use, but we’ll discuss that in the next section!

To find member-created content, there are really two ways to go about it. The first is to pay attention to who among your members is producing content and on what channels. Getting familiar with the various platforms and how your members are using and engaging with them is important. The second, and probably the best way to curate content, is to simply ask. By reaching out directly to your members, you’re taking an interest in them and what they care about. Most will be more than happy to share. Who knows, perhaps it will lead them to become long-time contributors and champions for your association.


Once you’ve identified pieces of content from members should you immediately share them? No. Just because a member actively posts on social media or writes an article, doesn’t mean that content is relevant or even valuable to the rest of your members.

To determine what content to distribute, you must know the goals and motivations of your members. This starts with looking at your member demographics. Characteristics such as age, interests, member category, preferred communication channels, and many other factors play a role in how each of your members works, communicates, and socializes. In turn, these differences should influence the way your association engages and connects with them. It’s important to tailor your content marketing, whether member-created or self-produced, to fit the needs and interests of a multigenerational membership population. This approach can help ensure effective communication and sustained growth in the future.


Content By Members, For Members Workbook

MicrosoftTeams-image (5)If your association is looking to amplify its content marketing strategy, we've created a workbook to help your team assess your membership communications and identify areas of opportunity. Download the workbook today to start turning your members into champions of your organization for years to come.



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