Air Force Association
Digital Discovery & Strategy
Website Design & Development
EXCEL Awards: Bronze, Website Excellence
Rebuilding the Connected Air Force Community on Digital Grounds
The Air Force Association has grown to be a connected military community for airmen, their families, and civilians, but was challenged with modernizing its diverse membership.
AFA partnered with Beyond Definition to transform its website presence. Understanding that AFA is rich with content and member resources, our team re-positioned AFA’s website as a member-first hub for all communications using Adobe Experience Manager (AEM).
Unresponsive, stale and dated, AFA wanted to reposition its website as a member-acquisition tool for the next generation of Airmen. At the time, AFA’s average member was 70 years old. And while AFA still welcomes these older members, it was challenged by combating the common misperception that AFA is exclusive to senior officers and pilots.
Airmen, their families, and civilians are the heartbeat of AFA and its purpose for delivering a new website they can connect on. Following the completion of AFA.org, regional chapters leveraged AEM to create their own chapter websites. AEM offers AFA the ability to create stronger engagement with users.
The new AFA website is keeping the reader’s attention longer, a testament to the strong content strategy that drove this redesign. Over time, AFA’s website will continuously evolve and grow with the association.
In one year, the average website session increased by 20.3 percent.
The average time spent on each page jumped from 45 seconds in 2018 to over 90 seconds in 2019. That’s a 106 percent increase.
“In working with Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative), I can speak directly to their capabilities, professionalism, and delivery of a fantastic project. Our site redesign had several goals, including to increase our membership, generate more revenue through ad sales or sponsorships, and to target a younger audience. We faced several internal organizational obstacles during the course of the project as well, the Beyond Definition team was able to problem solve, think creatively, and help bring our teams into alignment.”
Beyond Definition embarked on a full-scale digital journey with AFA: research, content strategy, design, and development. Working hand-in-hand, we aided AFA in its exploration of how AEM’s content management system can be scaled to align with the association’s goals. AEM’s power to personalize, integrate, and customize content met AFA’s drive to attract a younger demographic while engaging its current membership.
At the core of AFA’s member acquisition strategy was content that would speak to the challenges, goals, behaviors, and necessities of AFA’s multi-generational members. We transitioned AFA from using an organization-first approach to a member-first content strategy approach to further share its commitment to its community.
The content-first strategy served as the benchmark for AFA’s new website design. The final visual experience is a hybrid of sophistication and edge to satisfy AFA’s expansive membership range.