While blog posts are one of the most popular types of content for membership sites, you may want to consider adding some variety to your site. Mixing things up from time to time keeps your members engaged, excited, and more likely to return/renew while enticing visitors to become paying members for more of the good stuff.
Aside from increasing retention and conversion rates, using fresh types of content is one of the easiest ways to market yourself. When you consistently deliver fresh and innovative content, your members and viewers are more likely to share it with their extended networks and bring more traffic to your site.
In this post we’ll go through 10 popular types of content, some of their best applications, and give you a few pointers along the way.
1. How-to posts
How-to posts are among the most common types of content. The best thing you can do for a member or reader is teach them how to solve a problem they have. Identify the problem, present a solution, then open the door for questions/discussion. Be as thorough as possible and try to include photos, videos, diagrams, and other visual aids alongside your written instructions.
Numbered lists are another highly popular form of content. Your list can be about literally any topic – just make sure it’s as detailed as possible. Some ideas to consider are resource lists, trend lists, tip lists, and more.
3. Excerpts from existing content
If you’ve created an ebook, a list-building carrot, or some other type of product, you can most definitely use excerpts from it as content for your site. Post the excerpt, add an intro, and be sure to include a link to the full version!
4. Case studies
A case study is a closer look at exactly what your product or service is and a real life example of how it helped a client. Case studies are a great way to showcase what you do, how you do it, and the real time results that clients can expect.
Some points to hit in your case study include:
- Who the client is
- What their problem was
- How your product/service provided a successful solution
- A direct quote from the client
- A call to action (e.g. sign up for our newsletter, check out our complete list of services, contact us, etc.)
While most of us try to keep our content fairly unbiased, it never hurts to throw in the odd highly opinionated piece. A great instance to offer your first-person viewpoint is when a big change happens in your industry. If your sphere is buzzing about a topic, it’s a good idea to jump in and offer your take on it. Just remember to always include a disclaimer that the post is more opinionated than your readers are used to.
Whether you’re reviewing a book, a product, a service, an app, an article, or what have you – reviews are a great way to build up readership. A review helps establish your authority as an expert in your field who is keeping up with recent launches in your sphere. Not to mention, you are offering your members and readers valuable insight and information on things they might be considering purchasing, which is always useful.
Whether you are interviewing an industry giant or just a peer, interviews are the best way to bring the expertise of someone else to your readership. If you’ve already got a good following online, you'll be surprised how many people are more than willing to do an interview with you for the exposure on your site. Whether you choose to record audio/video for your interview or just post a written transcription, be sure to properly introduce your interviewee and provide links for more information on him/her.
An infographic is exactly what it sounds like: information in graphic form. Infographics are great for communicating data, research, statistics, processes/systems, work flows and more as they take something complex and make it easier to visually comprehend. Good infographics are more highly shared on social media and can be a great marketing tool for your site. If you aren’t a designer yourself, check out Piktochart for hundreds of easy-to-customize infographic templates.
Just like your favorite radio shows, podcasts are a great way to deliver information while building up your brand. Podcasts are also more ‘portable' than written content in the sense that people can listen to them while driving to work or at the gym. Most podcasts are also on a subscription service, making it easy for you to track just how successful this specific effort is. But don’t forget to always promote your episodes on your own website and social media platforms too!
If you’re ready to take your content to the next level, consider making videos. Your video can incorporate any of the above mentioned ideas or it could be something completely different. Some great ideas specifically for a membership site are an introduction video or a pricing/features tour video.
It’s no secret that video content has become the most popular and most shareable type of content in recent years. And while you might think that creating videos is insanely expensive, it doesn’t have to be. You could hire an entire team of writers, directors, cameramen, actors, editors, and more… but you could also film the entire thing on your laptop and edit it in Final Cut Pro or iMovie. Examine your budget, come up with a concept, and shop around to find the right people to make your vision come to life.
A few closing tips:
- Don’t try to implement ALL of these. Definitely experiment to see what kinds of content come most easily to you, which ones fit your brand/message, and which ones your visitors respond best to, but try to limit yourself to just a handful of these or your readers will feel completely overwhelmed.
- This is NOT a complete list of types of content. There are many more types out there, and more than that, the options to mix-and-match are endless. You could just as easily create a podcast interview or a video review as you could any one of these pieces alone. Consider every post as an idea first and then think about the best vehicle for delivering that idea.
- After some trial and error, I encourage you to pick one type of innovative content and put it in your editorial content on repeat. If you create a mini-series out of it and can deliver on that promise to your members/readers, it builds trust and reliability for your business and brand.
What types of content are you guys experimenting with? Drop it in the comments! We always love to hear from you.