Add the Ding (Sidebar) section onto a page (usually the student dashboard, but it can be used on any page)
Change the colors and style options you would like to use
Add Announcement posts to either be posted right away or to be scheduled to be shown on a certain date.
Configure the Announcement post to be show to certain users based on enrollment status
Important Usage Notes
The Ding button will not appear unless there is a visible post
The Ding messages will always appear in Publish date order with the most recent publish date appearing first
Do not add more than one "Ding Sidebar" to a page
To try this out before making it live for your members, add the Ding Sidebar section to a private custom page. Then when you are ready, you can copy that section over to the page your members will see.
You can place Ding on both private and public pages - each one will have it's own message list and are not shared.
👀 For those who like to read: Quickstart Guide Transcript
All right. So now that you've installed, ding, let's show you how to use your new superpower. As a quick reminder, Ding allows you to provide some smart messaging inside of your member space on your Thinkific site.
You can let your members know of all the new content events, announcements, all of the new stuff that's going on inside of your Thinkific site and your member portal. And it's a great retention strategy because everybody loves new content and new things that you're providing. It reminds them of all the value that you're providing and how great you are.
So let's go ahead and show you how to use it. It's super intuitive and you'll be up and running in a matter of no time. First, you should have Thinkific account and you should have Ding installed. Go ahead and check the apps and make sure it's inside there.
After verifying that Ding App is installed, head into Site Builder.
Ding can technically be installed on any page inside of your site, but I recommend that you install it inside of the student dashboard, because that is the page that people will see for the very first time after they log in.
Click default pages and go into student dashboard. Then let's add add a new section called Ding. Cick Add section and just type in Ding and you'll see the Ding power up and the Ding of Sidebar section. Go ahead and add that section to your page.
You'll see a new section added to your student dashboard. However, you won't see the Ding notification button here until we add what's called an announcement posts.
Adding your first announcement
Let's go ahead inside of Ding Sidebar, and we're going to click on, Add an announcement. This is where you're going to add messages and announcements for your members, and we'll get into all the details of what these messages are.
As soon as you add that, you'll see the Ding button now appear in the lower right hand corner.
So let's go ahead and click save, so we can preview this on the student dashboard. After you click save, then if we go into our member space, you're going to now see the Ding What's New button.
When you click on it, you'll see the actual announcement posts. So every new announcement post will contain the type of post it is when it was posted. Heading some texts. And also if you have a link in here, it'll also be linked as well. You can include rich media like an image or a video, and there are many options that you can explore inside of the documentation.
Changing the style of the Ding Button
The first thing that you may want to do is to change the style of the button. Right inside of the button settings you can change what the text is on the button, what the color is going to be used on the button as well as what icon is to be used. There are several that have been made available to you, and you can also do a custom one and pick any icon that's available from Font. Awesome.
Now, let's talk about post types. This is a nice, convenient way for you to label the different types of posts with color coding for each type of posts that you want to share. This is useful because it reminds your members what you're providing. Maybe you have some content, maybe you have some events, maybe there's general announcements, maybe you're teasing early access to content. So this is really a nice way to conveniently remind people of what the different types of posts are and there's color coding associated with them.
A look at announcement post settings
Okay. Now that's the basic settings, which apply to all posts, but the details are in the announcement post. This is where you're going to configure the content that will be included in the announcement post. The first thing is to decide if you want to use any media, you can choose not to and just have a text only post. You can also include a video as well. Try changing the default post to a video. You can use a video from your video library, and then you'll get the benefits of all the engagement metrics associated with that.
After saving the settings and refreshing the page, we'll now see that we have a video on the Ding sidebar. It's super convenient for your members without them having to work very hard to consume your content.
The heading and description for the post has what's called smart text. We like to do this inside of our PowerUps because personalization really has lots of value to create a deep connection with your members. Anytime you put in the smart text [NAME], the person's name will be injected into the post. You can use the SmartText inside of the heading and description of the announcement post.
Using rich text
Rich text can include bullet lists and things like that. Definitely suggest that you stick to some basic formatting: bolding , italics, links, colors. Since the editor accepts modifying the underlying code, you may end up breaking the page. So just be careful on what you put in the, or just stick to the basic formatting.
Setting a publish date
There is some really powerful features on the post in terms of when you'd like the post to be displayed to your members. You can configure a publish date and set this date it to be in the future, and it will only be shown on or after that date, you can also decide to hide that particular post on a particular date.
Using a Call to Action
Let's say you have a call to action where you want to encourage your members to click a button and go somewhere. All you need to do is configure some text for the link, say, Click me and then select your page. You can enter a custom URL or even directly link to another course page or checkout link.
Using Post Labels
If you want to change the type of color that's used for that particular post, you can choose one of the post types. There are 5 different post types you can set both a color and a text label. You would first setup the post types in the main settings and then choose the post types you want to use for the particular post announcement.
Targeting Specific Users
If you want to have posts that are targeted to certain levels of members all you need to do is decide which member you want to target. By default, it's going to show messages to everybody. And I recommend doing it that way, unless you're including a link, because it's always great to tease content. Even if you have multiple levels, it's great to kind of show everybody what's going on inside of your membership.
If you want the post to be displayed only to a certain set members, you would just select certain combinations of target settings. For example, you could could have posts only be shown to users who are enrolled in certain courses or bundles.
So that's how easy it is to use the Ding power up. Go ahead and make sure you make use of this, for sure. Everybody loves what's new. There's really high conversion rates for people and clicking this little what's new section. People always want to explore, but it's up to you to make sure that this is updated all the time. Okay. Maybe once a week or even more frequently than that, you have to kind of figure out what works for you. All right. So that's it. Go ahead and use your new super power.