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How To Drive New Website Memberships

Building an interactive website is only half the battle. One of the toughest challenges when launching a new site is to get new users to "sign up" and tell their friends. Here are the main tactics companies use to "spread the word" and get new users to register:

  • Contests that require users to register on your site.
  • Advertising that appears on (other) sites frequented by your target audience.
  • Sponsored listings targeting Google searches done by your target audience.
  • Offering a Viral Video (Something funny that bored office workers send to their friends.)
  • Publishing "How to" articles of interest to your target audience. (Remind them of the benefits of registering on your site. While every reader will not register, you get some new registrations.)

Case Study: Using "How to" Articles to Attract New Website Sign-Ups

For an online popularity contest aimed at college-age males, the site owner wanted to get college students to register as a member of the site and avoid the high costs of an extensive advertising campaign.

As a solution, I identified target groups most likely to sign up as a member of the web system, which were any popular college student who had "supporters" or "Fans" locally, on their campus. Then I identified topics each group searched Google for and managed writers who wrote these "how to" articles. I placed calls to action strategically in the body of each article.

Target Groups included:

  • Personal Fitness Trainers
  • Bartenders
  • Bar and Club promoters
  • Varsity Athletes
  • Spring Break Reps
  • Fraternity members
  • Aspiring Musicians and singers
  • Night club Doormen
  • Guys who lift weights

Articles to Attract Each Target Group

The campaign resulted in hundreds of highly targeted articles. To target varsity athletes, I engaged a sports trainer write a baseball workout, published the article on the site and promoted it. The article eventually ranked #8 on the Google rankings for "Baseball workout."

To target males who were members of a band, we published an article titled "How to Promote a Band."

For other categories, I added articles titled "Become a personal trainer," "Become a Club Promoter" and added an entire weightlifting tips section.

Results

While these articles did not produce sign-ups as fast as a well-funded pay-per-click campaign, the articles will always steadily attract new sign-ups for the site, at no additional cost. While a pay-per-click campaign ends, these articles will keep promoting the site forever.

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