Many chamber of commerce websites are underutilized. I understand it’s a challenge since chambers have multiple marketing goals at the same time – you have to promote members, engage members, and provide valuable information to & about your community. Yet another marketing goal that many don’t seem to get around to is attracting potential members.
Fortunately, there is some overlap with creating content that benefits your members and potential members – particularly with content marketing. Content marketing is basically any type of marketing where you create content – like social media, blogging, video, etc.
The below marketing tactics are not limited to content marketing, though it’s one of my favorites as it can continue to benefit you for a longer time frame.
Entice with a Freebie
Like any business, one of the simplest and most effective methods is to offer something as an incentive for signing up. Don’t worry, you won’t have to buy anything for this. If you take the time once to create a digital offering, you can use it as a free lead magnet for an infinite number of people.
A good idea is to offer a free information product like an eBook or video course that doesn’t cost you anything (other than staff time) to make. People love to get something for free and it offers a taste of your expertise.
Recommended: Lead Magnet Ideas for Chamber Websites
Start a Blog
Create a blog to drive traffic to your chamber’s website. Write about topics related to your members’ or target audience’s concerns, industry, etc. When you can, tie in membership benefits or other examples related to your chamber. Generally these will be informative posts followed by a call to action, like joining the chamber or signing up for one of your lead magnets.
Utilize On-Page SEO
For best results on your website, I recommend working in any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tasks you can, as often as possible. This isn’t just for blog posts – it’s for any webpage on your chamber’s website that you want to show up in Google.
Create short videos and post them on YouTube (and/or social media platforms). In each video, take one member problem or question and address it. Offer a solution and tell people they can find more information on your membership site or at an upcoming event.
Recommended: YouTube for Chambers of Commerce
Be Active on Social Media
Build an active following on social media. Key word: active. Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Create helpful content and build relationships through genuine interactions.
In your profile, include a link to your membership site. Most of your social media content should be based on helping people, but sometimes tell them about your site as well.
Start a Referral Program
Give your members an incentive for helping grow your organization. You might give them a percentage of sales, but you could also put them in a raffle for gift cards, or give them a free upgrade that costs you nothing – like a free month of banner ads on the chamber website.
Offer Free Educational Opportunities
Offer free webinars or seminars where you teach something related to your site’s topic and answer questions. This can be a good way to get in front of others interested in the topic but may not necessarily know about the chamber. While the event is focused on a specific topic and helping your participants solve their problems, mention your membership and tell people what benefits they can get from joining.
Offer a Free Trial
Give people a chance to see what your membership site offers for free for a limited time. This is the best way to drive home its benefits because prospective members can actually experience it firsthand. While there are a few chambers out there that actually offer a free level of membership, this can also be inviting newcomers to a networking event without the pressure to join yet.
The best way to drive traffic to your chamber’s website and boost membership is to use a mix of the above methods that work well for your target market. Try out each and see which ones get results. You can use feedback from your efforts to decide which methods to focus on.