Football is more popular than… well… any other sport in the world. The number of football fans is estimated at 3.5 billion supporters around the globe; making the 2018 world cup one the most followed events ever.
Every four years, players and millions of fans from different countries and cultures assemble around just the biggest sports’ gathering in the world.
The world cup.
Whether you’re a football fan or not, the hype around the 2018 world cup is fatally going to get to you. That’s why we’ve decided to make the 2018 world cup amusing and rewarding for everyone out there, not just to football lovers.
You must be asking yourself how does football relate to my business and specifically to membership sites?
Well, let me ask you a question. Wouldn’t it be great to have as much excitement and hype around your business as the 2018 world cup?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours building an excellent membership site only to find that no one cares that much. Yet, it happens.
It’s important to note that the world cup and membership sites intersect in one core feature: building a community. Both of them would be futile without a strong and active community.
So before we dive into the five lessons we can learn from the 2018 world cup, let’s explore the role of community building for both the world cup and membership sites.
We All Want to Be Part of Something Big
Think about it.
Sometimes, all we want to do is sit back and socialize, share experiences, and bond with people who think like us. People who have similar tastes, interests, and passions.
It’s only natural to be inclined towards people with similar goals and aspirations.
And the best membership sites acknowledge and use that. Behind every well-performing site a strong and tight community where members are active and especially proud to be part of it.
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to build your membership site. But that’s only half the equation. If you want to create a successful membership site, you need to build something people want to be part of.
Unifying people is what the World Cup does the best. Giving people a common cause to join and gather around. So here are five lessons we can learn from the 2018 world cup when building membership sites.
Lesson #1: Build Along Your Brand
Even if you’re not a football fan, you’re not safe from the infectious excitement that accompanies the event.
Football lovers make up the majority of the World Cup community. Every time the World Cup approaches, there’s so much talk and discussion that rise around it. That builds up anticipation and excitement around the event, which also helps promote and grow even more interest in it.
And the results are phenomenal.
In 2014 alone, 3,429,873 fans attended all the 64 games in Brazil, and 3.2 billion others watched the event from home.
Wondering how that applies to you?
“Your brand is what other people say when you are not in the room.” Jeff Bezos.
Your brand is how your customers feel every time they interact with you, your product, or even your name.
So, how do you get people to say good things about you and your brand?
It’s simple. Build a loyal and devoted follower base. Nurture your customers’ needs and aspirations to the point where they become your brand ambassadors.
Reach the Delight stage in the buyer journey. Don’t limit yourself to your core service/product. Make sure your customer happy and satisfied during the whole experience.
Your customers should be proud to know and talk about your brand. Just like the world cup, make your brand the cool thing to follow and talk about.
Positive word of mouth publicity is one of the most significant benefits you will get from having a strong brand within a community. Engaged and committed community members, who have a sense of belonging, will always go out of their way to spread the word about your community.
Lesson #2: Pull the Scarcity Card
Familiarity breeds contempt.
Every year, there are tons of football tournaments which that don’t get the huge following the World Cup does. My mom passionately follows the world cup but barely knows what the Champion’s league is; yet, a local team is playing in both.
Most people express a peculiar fascination and enthusiasm for the world cup. Wondering why?
Mostly because it doesn’t happen every year.
The World Cup happens once every four years, featuring only 32 countries from all over the world. And that makes people go crazy. The event is selective and occasional which makes it more appealing and scarce.
You may watch better games in other football tournaments, but nothing beats the prestige that comes with watching the World Cup.
People attach more value to things and events that are rarely available.
Once we start thinking that something will not be available to us anymore, we’re more likely to jump on it. Urgency has a fascinating power to make people act on the spot. As opposed to offers that we know will always be available for a long time.
Watch this video if you want an extra hack on how to grow scarcity in your content.
And that’s something you can use for your membership site. Creating a sense of urgency for subscription is vital. But not only that, find out what makes your site unique and scarce and highlight that. Let people know that they’re missing out if they don’t subscribe.
The Copyblogger Authority, for instance, knows how to create the feeling of scarcity. Their site subscription closes after a specific period. All you’re left to do if you miss it is to enter your email to know when it opens for new members.
Lesson #3: Be as Emotional as the 2018 World Cup
If you’re watching a 2018 World Cup match of a team that you fancy, you’re very likely going to deal with each of these emotions:
Anticipation while you wait for the game to begin, or while the commentators are giving a breakdown of the upcoming game. Joy when you see your favorite team coming to the pitch. At that moment you officially ignore everything else and settle down to watch.
Depending on what is happening in the game, you’ll either burn with rage because the referee issued a penalty kick against your favorite team. Or be extremely happy because your team made an impossible save.
Do you think you can get your community members to react the same way towards your site?
Ideally, you’d want them to be happy with their decision to join your membership site. Because that will give them a reason to stay and listen to what you and other community members have to say.
You also want to create some emotional engagement within your community.
For example, some communities have threads that encourage self-disclosure from members. Sharing their ideas and experiences helps them bond because they feel understood and accepted. Founders of such communities want people to connect with other members and nurture a sense of belonging.
Sounds like a simple idea, and still, most people forget that and thus, fail to grow a loyal follower base.
If you can’t develop a sense of belonging and some emotional connection, people will still join, stay around for a short time, but then leave. When they lack something to bond over or a channel to share their experiences on, they either stay mute or bounce.
Don’t let that happen to your membership site.
Lesson #4: Adapt and Grow
Every four years, FIFA has been partnering with other brands and lately embraced digital media to promote the World Cup through advertisements.
Thanks to those significant partnerships, the ads go widely viral, and people keep watching them over and over again to get a ‘feeling fix.’ As a result, more people show up to attend the events or watch them on their screens.
You need to do the same when building your membership site.
If you don’t own a strong following base in your niche, you may want to form strategic partnerships with other industry leaders who do. This will help you spur the growth of your membership site through promoting your brand to their followers. Remember to lead with value before asking for anything from them.
You also need to ride the wave and keep up with the change and development of your audience. Your community members needs will change over time. And to keep them engaged, you need to continually update your approaches to keep up with any new trends or changes.
If, for instance, you know that they’re busy and rarely get time to read long in-depth blog posts, consider converting your content into podcasts which they can listen to when going to work.
Do that, and people will come back for more. Sometimes not even for what you teach, but rather for how you address their needs. Remember that the medium is the message.
Lesson #5: Be Inclusive
The tournament’s goal isn’t to bring a few good teams from around the world, put them on a pitch and give the winner a trophy.
No. It’s more than just the game.
The world cup is about bringing different people from different cultures with different beliefs together around the same cause and passion.
It’s about emphasizing the values we all share no matter where we come from: respect, gender equality, and getting rid of all forms of gender, racial, sexual orientation, or religious discrimination.
Build a similar community.
A community that embraces people from different parts of the world with different beliefs. Then, make your members feel safe to express themselves without fear of being judged or discriminated against.
So by now, you should know that your job is more than just building membership sites.
Somewhere along the way, business owners got the idea that a membership site is all they needed to have a thriving community.
However, that’s not true.
Your real job is to build membership sites that people want to be part of, that are engaging, unique, and especially inclusive.
The 2018 World Cup has done it. Can you?
Stop wasting time. Start building your membership site with Kyvio today. Trust me, one year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.