Topics That Struck a Chord with the Association Community in 2023

Reviewing our social media analytics for the past year, several blog posts obviously struck a chord with our followers. If you’re taking a few days off for staycation or want to pass the time with something good to read, here’s a recap of the topics and blog posts that earned the most clicks from the association community.

TopClass LMS posts that hit it big with the association community in 2023

Along with our eight most popular posts on social media, you’ll also find related posts for deeper exploration. If this is your first time here, you’ll notice we only pitch ideas and solutions in our posts, not our (excellent) LMS. We’re all about lifelong learning, as we guess you are too.

Gain a Competitive Edge: The Essential Elements of an Engaging Online Learning Experience

What’s more important than providing an enjoyable and effective learning experience? With increasing competition from for-profit and higher ed, your association’s online courses must stand out in the crowded marketplace. But it’s tough to compete just on content alone. This post describes essential elements to build into your live and on-demand programs

Associations are rising above the competition by also offering: 

•    Coaching services as part of a course or cohort package
•    Digital badges and microcredentials, especially popular with younger generations
•    Peer-to-peer learning programs

We also published helpful posts this year on increasing the value of:

•    Asynchronous courses
•    Microlearning programs
•    Webinars

How to Use ChatGPT to Manage and Market Your Association’s Education Programs

No surprise, ChatGPT prompted lots of clicks. This post explains how association professionals can save time using ChatGPT to manage and market education programs. “Think of ChatGPT as an inexperienced virtual assistant who writes like a high school student and comes up with interesting ideas but is a bit of a BS artist. You can’t completely trust their work.” But its work can serve as a starting point for many tasks. 

A follow-up post three months later also scored high with our audience. It described how association and education professionals were actually using ChatGPT

How to Sell Education to Hard-to-Reach Employees of Member Companies

Having worked ten years in trade associations, I know how frustrating it is when your association is only connected with a small percentage of employees at member companies. In this post, we suggest ways to find your target audience at industry employers and introduce them to your association and education programs. 

Another way to expand your audience is by offering corporate learning concierge services to member companies.

A Justification Toolkit Helps Persuade Employers to Pay for Learning

Let’s say you spark the interest of an employee, but their boss isn’t willing to pay—a common scenario these days. A justification toolkit helps prospective learners make a case for attending your programs. In this post, we describe what goes into one of those persuasive toolkits.

One way to prove the value of your education programs to an employer is by offering some of them to members for free. Or offering programs to help supplier members make the most of their membership.

best blog posts in 2023 per the association community

How to Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Marketing Your Education

Practical content is always popular—as long as its intended audience can find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) gives wings to your website content so prospective learners and attendees can find it when searching for information about the topics on their mind. This post explains the basics of SEO so you can get Google to do more marketing for you.

Email marketing requires copywriting skills and knowing how to put emotional marketing triggers to work. 

7 Business Model Strategies to Steal from For-Profit Online Learning Providers 

You can tell associations are more willing to shake things up when a post like this gets lots of clicks. It describes the seven business model strategies that for-profit learning platforms, like Coursera and EdX, use to make money. The corporate market is a growing profit center for them—and could be for your association too. 

While we’re talking money, you definitely want to recession-proof your learning business.

Buh Bye Bronze, Silver & Gold, We’re Adopting a New Year-Round Approach

We published this post two years ago, but it’s a golden oldie still getting a lot of hits. In it, we shared ideas inspired by sponsorship consultant Bruce Rosenthal and education consultant Tracy King for a fresh approach to sponsorship. Instead of focusing on events, this strategy allows sponsors to meet their marketing goals while contributing valuable information and education to your members and market throughout the year.

Bruce, along with sponsorship consultant Lori Zoss Kraska, inspired another post on offering sponsored education programs that focus on the sponsor’s (and your association’s) corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals.

Management Training Programs Help Fill the Leadership Pipeline for Member Companies 

The best education programs solve both industry employer and association problems. This one’s for you if member employers have trouble attracting and keeping staff. Offer management training programs for industry professionals—an especially valuable program when so many companies have cut back on in-house training. By educating the next generation of industry leaders, you’ll fill your association’s leadership pipeline too. 

We also wrote about expanding the target audience for leadership training programs to volunteers—again, to fill the leadership pipeline. 

In 2023, our posts suggested a few other ways to help both associations and employers achieve their goals, such as grassroots advocacy education, industry awareness weeks, and workforce development websites.
TopClass LMS/WBT Systems has an extensive library of blog posts for the association community. When I started writing weekly posts for WBT in May 2017, there were already a few years of posts in the archive. If you’re exploring a new idea, looking for advice, or seeking solutions, we hope you’ll remember to search our blog, not only Google—just look up to the right corner for the magnifying glass icon. 

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