Content is the essence of a membership site. It’s what members pay for, and you want to deliver everything you promise and more, if possible. It doesn’t matter how good your site looks if the content doesn’t supply what members need.
Creating your content is the most time-consuming part of building your membership site. It’s easy to focus on building your site and underestimate how much time you’ll need to create the content. You do not want to end up rushing the last minute to get your content finished in time. It’s the best recipe for disaster!
The best thing is to work out how much time you think you’ll need and then double it. And if you finish earlier, then you have extra time to dedicate to marketing! This article will go through several types of content, and things to consider when creating your content. Let’s get started!
Downloadable Content Resources
How many times do you look for templates online when you need to create a new professional workbook? I do this all the time! Downloadable resources don’t always refer to templates and forms, but those are some of the most classic examples as the one below.
Do you sell digital downloads? You can convert any of the content, under this umbrella, into downloadable resources for your audience. Ebooks and infographics, also qualify as resources. Women in the U.S. read slightly more than men; 68 percent of male respondents started reading at least one book in the previous 12 months. 77 percent of female respondents that said the same.
Guides and worksheets are common flagships for downloadable resources on membership sites. As for what topics to cover, look at your target audience and figure out what topics resonate with them. You can add checklists or workbooks to help them track their progress.
Do you offer business consultations? Consider creating an editable spreadsheet for members to input their data and run through crucial metrics. If you sell copywriting courses, offer a related swipe file to your members. Focus on offering your audience added value with easy-to-make extras that enhance the overall product.
Mini-Courses and Tutorials
Speaking of being helpful, is there anything better than a step-by-step guide that backs its advice with data? Probably, but I’m biased about data; it’s my thing. My mentor, Julie Stoian, is a master at creating perfect valued-content.
If you want to learn how to create the perfect offer, I highly recommend you to get Offer Cure. It will be the best $37 you have spent on your life.
Luckily, mini-courses and tutorials do not always take lot of time to create. They can be as simple as screen share videos where you walk members through a specific series of activities.
However, for the best results, include video as much as you can. Most people prefer video learning because it allows for on-demand training, and it enhances learners’ retention rate. It’s also more mobile-friendly than a wall of text. This is essential because 64% of learners find accessing their training content from a mobile device essential.
MarketingProfs also uses tutorials and video training as the mainstream of their membership content. If MarketingProfs, a two-time best-seller, and marketing mastermind is doing it, then you’re on the right track.
You can create your walkthroughs and tutorials with the same resources you use to create other contents. My favorite tool to record is Loom. They have a generous free plan if your budget is tight. I have been using Loom for about 4 years, and have a business plan.
The major drawback with downloadable resources and mini courses is that they’re inherently passive. No matter how charming you are, they are still inert material where the user’s interaction is mainly through observation. It can become dull for members, especially if they’ve signed up for a lifetime membership. In addition, it adds more responsibility to you as a creator to create more in-depth content.
What’s the solution? Liven things up with interactive content like quizzes, surveys, and polls. This is one of the best membership site tips. 88% of marketers say interactive content sets them apart from other businesses.
While other sites offer the standard blog posts and guides, your site will stand out when you provide unique options. This is great for boosting membership retention. However, unlike other materials, avoid being too scholastic with interactive content.
Quiz inside a course can be very helpful. However, your audience chose a self-paced course for a reason. They don’t have the free time to emulate a more traditional classroom, even if they want to. So, try to keep your interactive content on the light side, like the examples below.
My favorite tool to create quizzes is Involve.me. It’s super easy to use, and has lots of incredible features such as logic jumps, multiple outcomes, etc.
Webinars – Masterclasses
Live webinars are another form of interactive content you can create for your membership. This consists of material you’ll share and explain in real-time. However, you can prepare it days or weeks before the webinar date. Live webinars are great for monthly masterclasses as they will reinforce you authority, and engagement with your tribe.
My dream membership site has regular masterclasses to keep my knowledge up-to-date.
Audio Files and Podcasts content
Podcasts can have an interactive element as well as download elements. The primary benefit is that a podcast is monetization-ready content that is easy to create. All you need is a microphone and a plan, while having the highest engagement factors. In fact, 80% of people who listen to a podcast listen all the way through. This is far better than blog posts that average a 37-second read time, no matter their length.
Audio files, such as pre-recorded voice-overs and weekly podcasts, can be uploaded as recordings. You can opt to monetize them for other site owners. These were the key growth factor behind Jackson’s success; they have been so instrumental that he’s now helping other creators venture into offering podcasts.
To make the best use of audio files and podcasts, keep members entertained by inviting experts and industry speakers. Always discuss relevant topics and latest trends in your niche, and offer actionable advice for listeners.
Arranging interviews with industry leaders or experts in your niche will offer value to your members. It’s a wonderful way to set your membership apart from the competition.
Those interviews enable you to offer expert content without to become a Jake of all trades.
You can use interviews for both your member content and your public content marketing too. One way of promoting your membership is to publish publicly a short resume, then monetize the full content access.
Audio files and podcasts are profitable pieces of content that you can create for your membership site in advance. Because of their popularity with most audiences, they’re worth adding to your membership.
Creating video content gives you the ability to use YouTube to drive traffic to your membership site. You can use videos to persuade website visitors to become paying members.
Remember, your video content can take many forms:
- Brand Films to acquaint your audience with your values, visions and ultimately the core of your brand.
- Educational Videos.
- 360° Experience Videos.
- Product Videos.
- Company Culture Videos.
- FAQ Videos.
- And so much more.
It doesn’t matter your video production skills, access to equipment, and time constraints; you should be able to use video content to improve your membership site.
Spreadsheeto, an online training membership, is an example of a membership site that uses free video content to let prospects experience the quality of their content before signing up. If you want to take your membership site to the next level, consider making videos. Some great ideas for a membership site include creating an introductory video or a pricing/features tour video.
It’s no secret that video content is the most popular and shareable content. In addition, creating a video is not as expensive as you may think. You can opt to film the whole thing on your laptop or smartphone. Then, you can edit the video with free tool such as Final Cut Pro or iMovie. Come up with a concept and shop around to find the right people to create what you envisioned.
Running a newsletter alongside your membership site can have many benefits:
- Help you connect with more customers.
- Increase your business’s credibility and authority.
- Low-risk and high-reward.
- Boost your content marketing strategy.
- Newsletters are customizable for stronger engagement.
- Enhance your analytics.
- It’s a long term marketing strategy.
You can add any form of content in your email newsletters. For instance, you can send out short emails each time you add new content to your membership site. You may also consider delivering more in-depth email newsletters too. Email newsletters can help you keep members informed and updated. Email reminders can also encourage members to renew their subscription, attend a member only event, complete a VIP survey, etc.
Online courses are among the most popular forms of content in membership sites.
Courses with specific learning goals, begin/end points, and well-defined outcomes are definitively the perfect magnet for your site.
You can create short courses or long courses to helps your audience achieve their goals. However, quality of quantity will attract new members and boost your profit.
A member Q&A call is another form of content that can work extremely well. These calls can be weekly or monthly. They’ll help you get to know your members personally. Talking with your tribe enables you to come up with better solutions based on their needs.
You can ask questions about their struggles and offer actionable tips to help them overcome their problems. Member calls can help highlight your audience’s success stories. The stories can include their challenges and how the membership site helped them. This’ll serve as a confidence booster for the rest of the members. Also, you can use the calls as marketing materials to attract new members.
There is a good deal of software you can use to make these calls highly engaging, including Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook group room, and Messenger; all these allow members to speak to you live and even appear on camera.
The downside of live content is that it’s real-time and you must attend live to get the most from it. To counter this, you should record the live sessions and add them to an “archive” in your membership site. This’ll make sure that those who miss the live session don’t lose out.
As time goes, you’ll be building a valuable back catalog of material. It will give you the opportunity to bring more value to any new member who joins. Consequently, you can increase your prices!
Articles and Blog Posts
Not every piece of material should be a full-blown course or a live session.
Standalone articles, blog posts, or how-to articles have a ton of value too. If you are solving specific problems, an individual article should be enough. It helps your SEO, your authority, and get new leads. Be as thorough as possible and include diagrams, photos, videos, and other visual aid alongside your written content.
Depending on your audience or niche, a library of standalone articles or blog posts can have significant value to members. Plus, sometimes you can use individual articles to supplement broader courses with more in-depth supporting material. When created, articles will require little work from you, except for keeping them up to date.
For many membership sites, blog posts make up the central part of their content strategy. Blog posts are ideal for building a relationship with your members, and they can help you with audience nurturing.
So, keeping a consistent blog with frequent, high-quality posts can help you offer value to your audience, and nurture it.
One of the most valuable types of content is the case study.
Case studies are customer stories. They show how your membership program or business has helped a specific client achieve their goals. You can use case studies to highlight specific features or uses for your services or products.
When you create this form of content, members will love it because it helps them to understand how your membership program can add value to their businesses.
Real-life examples are more valuable as it helps your membership to build trust with new members.
If you want to use case studies as part of your content, it’s crucial you carefully consider which of your members should serve as the case study example. Choose those members who have received significant results from your membership or services.
Always work with members who have proof and statistics that show how your membership program has helped them succeed.
Per example, one of my clients received a national award due to the work we did together on her business:
Where necessary, it’s an incredible idea to offer a variety of content formats to accommodate member’s different learning styles. This can be as simple as offering a transcript alongside a video, for those who prefer text. An audio version of your video can appeal to members who want to listen on the go. However, your focus should be on creating the main content. You can consider and choose ways to repurpose it later.
The most successful membership sites have a mix of all sorts of content we’ve discussed above. However, it’s important to find the right balance. While you want to offer a wide variety of items, you don’t want to overwhelm people with too many options. When people get overwhelmed or confused, learning and progress usually, slow down. Focus on the problem you’re solving and showing the best ways to deliver the solution.
- Don’t implement all these content formats at once. Test to see what comes easily for you, what fits your brand, and what your members respond best to.
- Limit yourself to a handful of content type to avoid overwhelming your audience.
- Considerer each new idea first, and then think about the best vehicle for delivering it to your audience.
- After trial and error, pick one type of content and use it consistently. If you can produce a mini-series that deliver on your promises, you’ll build trust and reliability for your business.
- Always have a plan in place because it takes longer than you think to create content.
- Your plan must show what you need to create, what you’ll do, when, and how you’ll do it. And make sure you have a little leeway before you launch your site.
- Finally, don’t be a perfectionist! Trying to make it perfect from the get-go is a sure way to end up falling behind and stressing out.
- Done is better than perfect! You can always polish things later if you want to.
Consider trying these tips on your membership site. Once you start creating your content, you’ll find a routine and style that works best for you. However, it’s important to make sure that your content meets your members’ needs, including their delivery preferences.
Don’t miss the whole mini-series: Profitables Membership Blueprint.
- One: Is A Membership Right For You And Your Business?
- Two: What Type Of Membership Should You Consider To Create?
- Three: Content Creation: The lifeblood Of Your Membership Site
- Four: Membership Pricing Models and Delivery Methods
If you feel like you could use some help? (at least to start …) Book a free discovery call.
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