With the evolving web world, associations have come a long way. They now take a hard look at the strategies and tools they leverage. And, the effectiveness of online communities on business growth has been incredible.
Now that most brands rely on online communities, it has become even more crucial to stand out from the rest. The problem is, many other brands offer similar value propositions. So, you lose the edge that will convince your members to join and stay with your community.
This is where membership communities enter the picture.
Through membership communities, you can enable your members with exclusive benefits and keep them hooked. Let’s find out how membership communities work better than other communities!
Membership Communities: 101
As the name suggests, a membership community is a gated community exclusively accessible to its registered members only. Membership can be offered for a nominal fee or other eligibility criteria that suits the brand’s needs. While an exclusive community offers valuable information and content, members also play a vital role by expressing active participation. So, the basic idea behind a membership-based community is the mutual-benefit model.
Take Octo Members, an app-based membership community as an example. It is exclusively built for UK-based fintech professionals where they can sign up for free for exclusive, finance-related ideas, tips, and more. This member-led community majorly relies on UGC. Even though the community is free of cost, members need to download and register on this dedicated app to gain access to exclusive content.
4 Reasons Why Membership-Based Communities Work?
Now that we’ve touched base on how membership communities encompass exclusivity, let’s deep dive into why these communities work-
1. Offer Limited But Quality Member Engagement
The reason members join associations is to access activities or resources that aren’t available anywhere else. Naturally, members want to participate in the initiatives created exclusively for them. And, that’s where you leverage your membership-based community. Not only does it act as a forefront for communication but also offers an abundance of information. That information may not reach a large audience, but it will reach the right audience. You can deliver useful and exclusive information like the latest association news or upcoming events to your members. Or, offer them instant support through your community. Give them the benefit of VIP members.
2. Empower Members With Control Over their Experience
Gone are the days when members used to sit around and wait to receive information. Members, today, want to be in control of their membership experience by obtaining the information themselves. Traditional brand communication was about sending out a monthly newsletter. But today, members login into the community when they want answers or information. And, a membership community allows members to be proactive by asking questions, seeking advice, and sharing best practices.
3. Create Peer-to-Peer Connection
Members can share their personal experiences, opinions, and feedbacks, with their peers in the member community by creating their member profiles. It may seem redundant to have another platform to network online, but this is different from a Facebook group or where people come together for a shared interest. Facebook groups are a part of their social media regime, and people tend to forget about the existence of the group as time passes. Whereas a dedicated community is something they joined for a particular purpose. And, that community allows them to ask for support and advice or just communicate with people they relate to. People love the idea of connecting with their peers, no surprise there. The reason? It is convenient and yields a higher sense of community.
4. Increase Member Retention and ROI
Membership communities not only stir up engagement but can also increase revenue. For instance, if you’re hosting an exclusive event, you can promote it in your community. Exclusive information will keep your members hooked in your community, resulting in better member retention. Meanwhile, the influx of information will not only capture member interest but will also promote registration. As a result, you create a buzz in your community and get more registrations. But keep in mind, exclusivity is the key. When members get VIP treatment, they tend to take more interest.
Membership communities can bolster interaction between your members and you. But, you can’t achieve it overnight, You’ll have to start solid but steady. Initial setup can be intensive so focus on laying the groundwork by adding value to your members. Once your membership community becomes a part of your members’ routine, you’ll see higher member engagement and retention.
Wish to Create Vibrant Communities That Deliver Stellar CX? Talk to Us!
We, at Grazitti, focus on building robust cutting-edge communities backed with robust features that improve business growth and ROI. To know more about our CMaaS expertise, drop us a line at [email protected], and we’ll take it from there.
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