Building Better Bonds: Boosting Engagement through Community

Regardless of industry, one thing is clear: true marketing success lies beyond the simple promotion of products or services–it involves the creation of a thriving community.

This, of course, is also true of associations. When you weave connections between your organization and its members, you create a sense of belonging. Member engagement is key to success!

Today, we’ll be looking at 5 ways to enhance your member engagement by building a flourishing, healthy community with your members:

1. Discussion Boards

The impact of a space that allows members to build relationships, talk experience, and engage meaningfully should never be discounted. And where better to foster this space than on discussion boards?

Forums can be organized to cater to your different courses, categories, events, career stages, and other interests. You aren’t only creating a hub of knowledge for your members–you’re creating a place for everyone to connect and collaborate.

(Don’t forget to moderate your boards, though; you want posts to stay appropriate and on-topic!)

2. User Reviews

It’s said that word of mouth is one of the most powerful methods of engagement and marketing; take advantage of this by encouraging members to share their experiences by posting reviews. Positive testimonials shared by members can help influence the purchasing decision of fellow peers.

If you’re having trouble getting people to take part, you can try encouraging members to submit feedback by offering discounts (or other rewards) for their participation.

Make sure to keep it authentic: you want to keep your members’ trust. Showcase the positive reviews, but make sure to address any issues that are shared. You want to demonstrate a genuine commitment to improving the member experience!

3. Course Descriptions

When it comes to writing a course description, keep in mind that you’re trying to catch the attention of your members. Try to create a compelling narrative that highlights the value of each course and clearly outlines what it teaches.

Remember to include any learning objectives and key features that your continuing education course covers. You’re offering members a taste of what they’ll get if they buy the full thing, so make it enticing!

4. How-to Guides

You want your members to be able to navigate your platform with ease, and the best way to accomplish this is with how-to guides.

Whether you use step-by-step picture and text tutorials or video demonstrations, make sure your instructions are clear. Make sure you cover platform navigation, course enrollment, and resource access.

Regardless of format, the use of visual aids will make it easy for members to learn and go–breaking down any barriers to entry they may face and allowing them to get the most out of your platform.

Don’t forget to keep your tutorials in a visible place (like a main tab or your front page) so that members can review them at any time!

5. Member Discounts

Show your community how much your association cares by offering exclusive discounts and perks. Member benefits (like course discounts) are valuable incentives to keep members coming back year after year.

You want to make sure these discounts are easy to find and use; try incorporating them into your marketing campaigns and newsletters to really show off the value membership provides. Attract new members and reward loyal members with a single step!


Weaving these strategies into your marketing plan won’t only help drive sales, but help you build a loyal community of enriched, engaged members. By prioritizing the experience of members and helping them connect (both to each other and your association), you can cultivate a welcoming, valuable environment. After all–the more the merrier!