If you want to create a really engaged community within your membership website, then it pays to go above and beyond with your content.
At the most basic level, you should be aware of different learning styles and content consumption preferences, and ensure that your membership site has a good mix of written, video, and audio content.
But how can you step it up?
Encouraging member participation is one of the most challenging parts of running a membership website, and one really effective way to do that is by mixing up the content that you’re providing, and baking in the opportunity for engagement right from the start.
Here are five different types of content to help you keep your membership website content fresh and engaging:
Most of you will have started your membership site to share your knowledge and expertise, and I’d hazard a guess that how to’s and tutorials already make up the bulk of your content. If this is the case for you, good job! Bear in mind the comment above regarding different learning styles, and try to give your members a few different options for consuming the information. If you’re not currently doing tutorials, if your site is a magazine site, for example, then I highly recommend adding them into your content mix – they’re a fantastic jumping off point for community participation and engagement.
Checklists are amazing content – they’re quick and easy to create, and yet supremely valuable for your members. Checklists can be as simple as a list of basic yoga equipment for starting a home practice, or as complicated as a list of steps to take when planning a large project such as a website or a wedding. You could even sell downloadable checklists in your online shop.
Member challenges are a brilliant way to get your members actively involved with your content and bond a group together. Again, these can be as basic or as complicated as you like – photo challenges on Instagram work really well (and can be a great marketing tool too), with written prompts available to members only. A more complex challenge could be ‘lose 10lb in 10 weeks’ for a weight-loss membership website, or ‘write 500 words every day in June’ for a writing membership site. Keep it simple, and plan how you will keep people motivated throughout the challenge – a short (1-2 minute) video once a week with words of encouragement, for example.
Ebooks are so versatile. Not only can you create them for your members, you can also use them as a freebie to build your mailing list, or sell them in your online shop. You could even upload them to Kindle and use them as a tool to expose you to a completely new market. Ebooks give you the opportunity to go deep into one particular area of your membership site’s subject matter, and really show off your expertise. You can also easily turn an ebook into an online course, by breaking down the chapters into modules and recording some accompanying videos. If you’re not creating ebooks, you really are missing out!
Quizzes are another great way to encourage member engagement, and are also a brilliant marketing tool. Keep them fun and simple (no more than ten questions), and use them to direct your members to meatier content. You can create fun personality-style quizzes, or have members take a quiz to see if they pass or fail a particular module of content. Be creative and experiment to see what works best for your members.
Over to you
Have you had particular successes using a variety of content forms in your membership website? Do drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook and let us know what’s worked for you. Or you could come on over to our Facebook Group and join in the discussion.