When charging a monthly payment for access to your membership site, member engagement is key.
It’s not enough to have static content that never changes, as once that’s been consumed by your members they’ll have very little reason to stick around.
Many membership site owners set out with the intention of continuously adding new courses and premium content to their site; however this typically proves easier said than done, and often the logistics of doing so can be too great an undertaking.
Fortunately there are a number of types of content you can produce that will add value to your membership site and give your members something to get their teeth into without requiring a huge amount of effort on your part
If your membership site includes a forum or Facebook group, or is structured in such a way that there’s a lot of smaller content items (i.e lessons, member blog posts etc) being released every day, then chances are that even the most active and engaged members won’t be able to keep up with everything that is going on.
This is where roundup posts can be very useful.
Creating a weekly screencast video whereby you go through a selection of blog posts, content items or Facebook group topics from that week, summarising what’s been discussed and providing tidbits of insight is something that is simple and easy to produce, as well as something which can provide useful – and in some cases vital – to your members.
Not only do they help people stay engaged and up to date with what’s going, you can find that members whose posts are highlighted in your roundups appreciate being singled out in a positive way.
It’s also a great advertisement for how active your community is, which can encourage people to join in and take part.
If creating a video is a hurdle for you producing these regularly, then you could consider just doing it as an email or a standard text and image article.
Whatever your niche or your product, your members will be drawn to what you’re offering because they’re looking to accomplish a goal of some sort; and as such the more you’re able to provide them with the results they seek, the more engaged and invested they’ll be in your membership site on an ongoing basis.
Monthly challenges are a great way of providing focus for your members, setting goals for them to achieve, and providing the motivation and accountability that helps them to get results.
Running regular challenges can require little more than coming up with an idea, laying out some basic guidance, and providing a platform for your members to record their progress and make themselves ‘publically’ accountable to you and fellow members – something easily done with a community forum or even a Facebook group.
There’s value to be had in running informal, free-flowing sessions where you’re not necessarily teaching something or providing a focused message; but instead you’re “hanging out” with your members, perhaps answering questions (either in real-time, or ones which have been sent in advance), giving insight into what you’re working on, telling stories and just shooting the breeze.
This type of content can help to get your personality across, which can sometimes be the defining factor of why someone remains a member and engages with you and your brand.
A member hangout is perhaps one of the easiest ways of producing ongoing content with minimal preparation; and as tools such as YouTube Live (formerly Google Hangouts) continue to grow they’re increasingly easy to conduct from a technical perspective too.
Live training/coaching calls
Rather than spending countless hours labouring over epic courses with dozens of modules and countless lessons, you could consider running live training sessions for your members.
Admittedly these will take more work than, say, a roundup post or a member hangout; however they’ll also certainly require less work than a fully-fledged course would – enabling you to deliver premium content far more easily.
Running live training sessions (essentially member webinars) of 60-90 minutes in length means that you can zone in on very specific aspects of your subject – focusing on individual techniques or issues that perhaps would be lost or skipped over in a larger, broader course.
Delivering these sessions live means less messing around fine-tuning and getting everything perfect in advance, and your members will forgive and even expect things to be a little rougher around the edges in a live format.
Recording and adding these sessions to an archive on your site means you’re continuously building the value proposition of your site too.
In the early days of your membership site it might be possible to interact with each member on a one-to-one basis; however as your business grows it simply won’t be feasible to keep this up.
As the expert figure within your community, demand for your attention and input will be high, so having a means to provide direct member feedback without it taking too heavy a toll on your time can be crucial – not just for your own sanity, but also for keeping members happy and engaged.
The manner of doing this will, of course, depend on the nature of your product and of your community.
Some membership site owners include a specific number of feedback opportunities that their members have – for example a site for small business marketing which offers a review and feedback on 2 pieces of marketing material for each member, per month.
You could simply set up a section of your forum, if your site has one, whereby people can post requests for feedback, and then once per week you spend a bit of time responding to those requests (or even going a step further a recording a video of your feedback).
If you implement boundaries and set expectations for your members in terms of the nature and the degree of feedback they have access to then this can be a great way to interact with your members and keep them engaged with your site.
Whether you implement just one of these content ideas or all of them; having means to maintain engagement and publish valuable content for your members with relatively minimal effort will help to improve your churn rate and ensure you retain happy, engaged members.
Perhaps you have an idea not mentioned here which has worked for you?
Related articles about membership content and engagement:
- How to use Gamification to Improve Member Engagement
- How to Increase Member Engagement within your Membership Site
- 4 Ways to Ensure Members Stick Around
- Perfect your Membership Content Strategy with these 7 Podcast Episodes
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