7 Things To Do Before You Publish Your Next Piece Of Membership Content
Most membership sites include some form of premium content locked away behind a paywall.
But locking your membership content down is a double-edged sword.
You could have the most incredible content in the world, but if the only people who know about it are your paying members then you’re missing on an opportunity to get so much more bang for your buck.
So before you hit ‘publish’ on your next piece of membership content, try implementing these 7 tactics:
Treat new membership content like a product launch
Product launches are exciting.
There’s an undeniable amount of buzz, excitement and curiosity that comes any time you bring something new to market.
But with a membership, you’re only going to do that once.
Unless you’re following the open-close launch cycle strategy, but don’t even get me started on that…
However you can recapture some of that hype and excitement by treating your new content releases as mini-launches.
Set a date for release, build anticipation by promoting the new content well in advance, and make huge amounts of noise leading up to and immediately after the new content is added to your site.
You might even run special webinars or things like contests and giveaways to coincide with your content release.
Focusing promotions around individual pieces of content helps your marketing to stay fresh, as you’re not just constantly pushing the same product in the same way.
Show your planning & production process
People love a glimpse behind the scenes, and thanks to the rise of platforms like Facebook Live, Snapchat and Instagram Stories it’s now easier and more compelling than ever to pull back the curtain.
Take pictures of your notepad or whiteboard when doing initial brainstorming for that next course, tutorial or other content.
Do a time-lapse recording of you flicking through your slides, or designing your workbooks; outtakes from recording video or audio.
You could even solicit feedback from your wider audience on specific aspects of the content you’re creating, or get them involved in choosing things like a title for your new course.
Doing this sort of thing on a consistent basis is a great slow-build way of raising anticipation amongst your existing members as well as creating awareness with your non-members about what you’re actually offering inside your membership on a regular basis.
Update links and calls to action throughout your existing content
Once you’ve published content – whether free or paid – it’s easy to forget about it and move onto the next thing.
However you should be making a conscious effort to continuously review and update past blog posts, membership content or anything else that’s out there in the wild as you continue to publish new stuff.
See what we did there?
With every piece of membership content you add to your site, you should be going back through your free and paid archives and looking for opportunities to update links or even add calls to action in any related items.
Back when you wrote that blog post about the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow, you may not have yet had an ‘Avian Air-Speed’ workshop inside your membership; but now that you do then you should go back and add mentions of that workshop to your original blog post.
Repurpose a sample as free content
We’re big advocates of using content marketing to grow your membership site.
For most memberships this effectively turns you into a content business.
Some of your content is free – in the form of blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos; and some of it is paid for – in the form of courses and other deliverables offered inside your membership.
However they shouldn’t be treated as two separate things – instead you should take the opportunity to derive your free content directly from your paid content.
If you’re adding a new course to your membership that consists of 20 lessons; it’s not going to diminish the value of that course if you take 2-3 of those lessons and give them away as free content.
Publishing the videos on YouTube, or stripping the audio and using it in your podcast.
It's a strategy we use very successfully:
This is the perfect way to position your membership as the organic ‘next step’ from your free content – because it literally IS the next step when using this approach.
And if you co-ordinate the release of the new membership content with the publication of a sample of that content on your blog and other channels then it turns it into more of an ‘event’ style promotion that ties in with the idea of treating new content releases like a product launch.
Schedule evergreen social promotion
Every new item of content you add to your membership should be promoted across the most popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can use tools like Canva to create simple, reusable templates for social images – maybe even themeing them according to the content type (i.e. one style for new courses, one style for new live member workshops etc)
But it doesn’t stop there.
Not only should you have an initial flurry of social media promotion; you want to periodically shine a light on that content again and again in the coming months and years.
The easiest way to do this is with a tool like CoSchedule or MeetEdgar. These tools enable you to add pre-written social media posts into a ‘library’ of sorts, and then automatically pick something out from that library several times a day to be posted on your social channels.
This ensures that your membership content will continue to be promoted on an evergreen basis.
Email your members AND non-members
The running theme here is that you not only need to make a lot of noise with every new content release; but that you should also be putting as much effort into letting non-members know about new stuff as you do notifying your existing members.
Very few membership owners actually do this.
Different aspects of your membership will appeal to different people; and you can’t assume everyone knows what your membership actually consists of.
Most people promote their membership in broad strokes, trying to find different ways of summarising the features and benefits of the whole offering.
However zeroing in on specific content increases the chance of striking a chord with different people based on their individual needs or interests.
You never know what’s going to tip the balance and persuade someone to join. So ensure that as well as sending out a notice to existing members to let them know what’s new, you’re also sending a separate email to your general list promoting the latest content.
Think way bigger
Much of what we’ve covered simply involves thinking a little smarter and putting more effort into getting the absolute most from any new content you add to your membership.
You should always be looking to creative ways to get as much mileage out of content releases as possible.
Perhaps you could partner up with the guest expert you’ve brought in for your latest webinar and run a joint promotion to their audience.
Maybe you could use Facebook retargeting to show ads for your latest course to people who have previously read specific, relevant articles about the specific area that course addresses.
You could make your new course free for 48 hours as a twist on the idea of a traditional trial or freemium model.
The possibilities are endless.
The important thing is that you think bigger and more creatively about ways to make as much noise and get as much bang for your buck from any new content that’s added to your membership; rather than simply hitting ‘publish’ and moving onto the next thing.