Sarah Andrus
Sarah Andrus
Business Development Manager, Wiley

181557373_232994400_232994402_256224451 (1).jpgWith the ongoing pressure societies and membership organizations face to retain and recruit new members, it’s very important to stand out from the crowd. In a previous blog ‘Meeting the eLearning needs of Generation Y’ my colleague, Trina Cody, highlighted the significance of Millennials and how without acknowledging the learning preferences of this largest generational group within the workforce, societies are in serious jeopardy.

In addition, robust learning strategies and solutions enable societies to establish themselves as the authority on training and development in their specialist areas. So, an eLearning platform is a great way to engage your members and enhance their perception of your society as a learning provider. With all this in mind, it’s vitally important to truly incorporate your eLearning offering into your brand, and here’s why…

1. Easily recognizable accreditation

Members and potential members get to know your society from whatever you do already, be it publications, events, policy making, grants or benevolent funds. So, as long as all your learning courses and modules are branded, you’ll have at least one added string to your bow, and a substantial one at that - easily, recognizable accreditation-which will only add value and strength to your brand.

2. It adds prestige

And, of course, if you want to reward your members, make sure any certification is also on brand. Once they have passed a module or achieved a qualification, they will want and expect some recognition. Anything they download from your platform should be consistent with your brand. This will present an authoritative society, adding kudos to the individual and the organization. But also, there is a bigger picture here. For friends and colleagues of those successfully accredited, it will encourage an ‘I want one’ mentality, which can only be good for recruiting and retaining members.

3. It breeds familiarity

If you get the look and feel of your eLearning platform right, and when I say right, I mean recognizably from your society-i.e. a seamless extension of your primary website, consistent in tone, length and style-you’ll portray a consistent brand. Members love familiarity – don’t lead them off the path.

4. Finally, it’s a great story to tell

All of this can be maximized on social media, plus any fora or blogs your society makes use of. This brings me back to the beginning of this piece and the rise of the Millennials. Younger generations will appreciate a strong social media presence, and it may be the only way they keep up with what you are doing. So be sure to use social media to publicize what you have done with eLearning, and draw members to your platform whenever you can.

Societies are often complex – it can take a while for a member to be aware of everything you do, so make it easy for them. Increase awareness, to increase membership, to increase revenue. Branding is fundamental to all of this. How your platform looks, feels and engages with everything else you offer is vital.

To find out more on how Millennials value learning as a member benefit, download this infographic.

Image Credit/Source:denphumi/iStockphoto