Web 2.0 may be the most overused, and misunderstood, term of the decade. What it means, in a nutshell is providing a user driven website. Basically many membership marketing websites are Web 2.0, especially social networking sites. The users determine the content in the form of forums, blogs, article posting, reviews and so on. To further enhance the usability of your website and thus the benefit to your members, here are a some ideas to provide a few interactive extras or member benefits.
Training courses are an excellent tool to provide benefit to your members. There are multiple forms for delivering your courses. You could use email - text or html or both, pdf downloads, website content pages, streaming & downloadable videos and audios.
E-mail training courses - Getting your members to sign up for an e-mail training course that takes place over perhaps eight weeks, is a great way of keeping your members engaged with your site over a period of time. You could make this a free course, a paid course or both. Maybe give them a few lessons for free and ask them to pay for the rest of the course once they are into it.
However, to get maximum exposure giving away an entire course or even multiple courses of good quality for Free will really get people coming back to your site. We do this with some of our own membership sites including MembershipMillionaire.com.
Video tutorials - This is a very effective form of training as it is much easier to show your members what you are doing, rather than trying to explain it. It prevents your students becoming frustrated when they can't understand what you are explaining, and reduces misunderstanding.
You could do the videos yourself using software or you could hire experts in video creation if you are not comfortable using software or doing videos. You could do simple power point slideshows and narrate them or you could stand/sit in front of the camera and talk.
With many Internet users on broadband or ADSL nowadays and computer processors getting faster and faster videos are now going mainstream.
Teleclasses - Teleclasses are similar to conference calls and are conducted over the telephone. They are an excellent way for your members to take part in live learning, as well as having personal interaction with you and other members of your site.
There are many services out there that provide teleconference lines for you to use. Some are free and some have paid services, you should decide what is best for your business needs. You could even record your calls, have transcripts made and then sell that as another product in itself. To top that off you could offer reprint or resell rights to those calls and sell licenses.
Product reviews - Reviews posted by other members is a fantastic interactive medium. It could also engage heated discussions! Nothing gets traffic faster than controversy whether good or bad. Let your members speak their mind about products and services they've used. This will not only help other members and visitors out but it will add lots of content to your site that the search engines love. Sites such as Amazon.com, SureFireWealth.com and others do this on a regular basis.
Guest interviews - Guest interviews with a well known personality who is connected with your niche subject will add huge credibility to your site. Promote guest interviews on your website and in your newsletter. This is a quick way to get great content.
You could post the interview on your site as website content. Or you could have the streaming audio or video up and even let your members download the interviews. Let them post reviews and comments to the interviews and you've got even more content.
Forums - Forums are a type of virtual community and provide the opportunity for people with similar interests to talk to each other. Your members will already have a shared interest in your niche subject, so creating active discussion forums won't be too challenging.
Here's a tip, have good forum monitors and admin in place to keep things smooth. Having multiple monitors can help you get your new forum started as well as keep discussions ongoing. You could keep your forums open to everyone. That will be better for search engine traffic but it can also attract spammers and forum hackers. Having a private forum for your members only can keep things more secure and full of like minded individuals.
Competitions - Encourage your members to post on your forum or blog by running a competition. Award a prize each month to someone who has made the best post on your forum, and each individual posting would be an additional entry into the prize draw. Or maybe give a prize to the member who writes the most reviews or posts the most comments each month to your site.
Involving your members in polls and surveys
Member polls - Asking your members to answer a simple question relating to your niche subject is a simple and effective way to get them involved in the site. Have a regular monthly poll and publish the results of the previous month's poll above the question for the current month.
Surveys - Some niche subjects lend themselves well to surveys. If yours does not you could conduct a survey about your membership site itself. This gives your members the chance to express their views and let you know what changes they would like to see.
Getting feedback can also let you know where to take your membership site. By allowing your members to tell you what they want you can just simply give it to them. We've taken surveys ourselves over the years and they can be very insiteful. The poll or survey data you generate can be gold to your customer feedback system for the future of your business.
Newsletters - Newsletters may be used to highlight forum posts, questions that people have asked, blog posts and even case studies, survey results, success stories and more. Get your community involved in the content both online and in your newsletter. They'll be invested in the results. We'll get more in depth about newsletters in another article.
For now I hope these gave you some ideas to get going with.