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Keeping a Member Portal Alive With Captivating Content

by Siv Rauv

11 Oct 2019

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Engage your audience with regular updates delivered conveniently on the member portal

Secure web portal solutions are the go-to place for members to access your services, check account information like bill payments and self-service functions like address changes and notification settings, but they are also a very useful channel for delivering informative content like news and practical advice.

A member portal with content delivered in interesting and interactive ways will not only keep visitors engaged, but prevent them from searching for news and other information from other sources.

What’s possible with member portal content?

Today’s web content management systems enable the delivery of highly interactive and content rich portals with many features for easy publishing, access control, account management and communication. Here are just a few ways your members can interact with your organisation.

  • Notices and alerts. Members engaged via your portal are a captive audience for pop up notices which will be read. Notices on a portal are authoritative, can be relevant to the moment and used to convey any type of content.
  • Bulletins. A bulletin or news feed can be the focal point of portal content and used to aggregate news, blog posts, announcements, reviews, changes to products or services, useful how to guides, and all kinds of useful material your audiences will appreciate receiving in a neat package.
  • News and announcements. Like alerts, company announcements pushed through a portal reach a vetted audience and are a good way to communicate offers and new products or services. In the case of news relevant public news items can also be pushed through the portal as well making it even more engaging.

Content personalisation strategies can also be applied on portals in order to deliver content relevant to different types of visitors. For your members who login use their data to understand interests as well as previous interactions, which can also help to convert anonymous visitors to paying members.

User generated content with structured authoring

A good CMS portal solution will support structured authoring to manage content creation in a controlled way enabling more people to generate content while ensuring brand guidelines, layout and design are consistent along with approval workflows and where it gets published.

Staff don’t need to be trained on how to use the software to create and edit an article in the portal which opens up participation in content generation to a broader audience. For example, incident reports and customer support queries can be published in a way that allows readers to add comments and share the information with your members.

Thinking aggregation? Think integration

Content can be generated specifically for a member portal, but, more often than not, content will be aggregated from various sources and presented in a useful way to the members or used to promote the value the organisation delivers through public channels. This flexibility calls for integration with other applications.

Organisations are likely to have a number of content sources – from corporate news to community social feeds, new product information to details of current products purchased – which can be integrated into the portal and presented via membership dashboards. Consider what information is important to your members, what you produce that could add value and what you really need members to see. Look at how you can pull this data into a neat dashboard via APIs to give your members a great experience.

In the other direction: if content is being created for your existing membership and delivered via the portal, but potentially is also useful to generate new customers or members, your CMS should enable you to make this same information accessible without the need to login so you can use a range of distribution channels – social feeds, email and RSS to name a few – to drive your content marketing to new audiences, all from the one website.

Creating a content plan for each audience, your existing customers who login to your membership portal and potential new customers in the public domain, that offers a good mix of value-added information with a sprinkle of promotional material is the first step. Next, determine which are the most appropriate content distribution channels and applications for each audience so you can get their attention and convert this to action.

Whether your content is secured for members only or available for public consumption make good use of social channels, email marketing and on-site pop up notices to drive traffic, increase sales and deepen engagement.

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