Many nonprofit organizations are unaware of the impact content marketing can have on enhancing awareness, creating brand loyalty and generating revenue. However, it is impossible to overestimate the impact of high-quality content and well-thought-out content strategy on the image of the organization and the overall level of engagement. Here are some tips on how to craft a successful content marketing strategy.
1. Document your strategy
The key to creating a compelling story about your organization is developing a content marketing plan. A captivating story alone is not enough to make a long-term impact on your audience.
You need a solid content strategy and it should include your objectives, your target audience, content types and topics, a publishing schedule and how you plan to promote your content and measure success.
2. Define your target audience
Defining your target audience is vital to creating an effective content marketing strategy. Every nonprofit is different, but a good place to start is to look at:
- Strategic partners
Each of these groups has a different reason for engaging with your organization—find out what those reasons are! One of the most important factors in making content successful is its relevance to the audience.
For instance, engaging and motivating volunteers to support your cause could include video testimonials from other volunteers and the sense of purpose they felt when volunteering. Another example would be writing a compelling post showing how much you value the contribution and help of your existing partners.
3. Build a team
Most nonprofit organizations don’t have the financial means to employ a full content marketing team. However, it does help to have one person designated to manage the content marketing initiative. The manager can draw in people within the organization to create useful content. For example, managers at EssayOnTime always give their staff the ability and freedom to publish content.
Another option is to recruit and train volunteers who are passionate about your cause to help create content. Some aspects of content creation could be outsourced to experts and guest bloggers.
Nonprofits have the advantage of a strong sense of purpose that can be translated into effective stories. The issues nonprofits are trying to solve are conducive to engaging content.
4. Use different types of content
Infographics, videos, charts, photos, blog posts and podcasts are just a handful of content avenues that can be used as part of an effective content marketing strategy.
Video is more popular than ever because people—especially young people—would rather watch a video than read a blog post. Big Brothers Big Sisters has leveraged video successfully to emphasize the impact “bigs” have on “littles.” Make-a-Wish uses heartwarming personal stories to provide material for great video content that it distributes on social media.
Using interactive content, such as polls, surveys, and quizzes, could enrich the perspective of your nonprofit and help to fuel more relevant content.
Don’t underestimate the value of user-generated content. The Invisible Dogs Campaign with its goal of finding a home for every pet, utilizes user-generated content featuring adoption photos, videos, and messages to mobilize those who are passionate about their cause.
5. Promote your content effectively
You can’t just post an article on your website and hope it generates lots of traffic. You need a strategic plan to share your content with relevant audiences across all channels. A regular publishing schedule is necessary for success.
The main channels that drive content distribution are search engine optimization, social media and email marketing. By creating SEO optimized content, you’re telling search engines like Google the focus of your content, which helps them rank and sort it so it’s more easily found by your intended readership.
The top three social media platforms used by nonprofits are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Those who are most effective are consistently using these social channels to promote content. The three important budget areas when it comes to content marketing are mobile marketing, content marketing and display ads.
Collaborating with strategic partners can optimize the value of your content. Create an ebook, podcast or article together to make your marketing efforts more affordable and gain wider reach through cross-promoting. You can benefit from your strategic partner’s audience, too!
6. Use marketing technologies
Using marketing technologies, such as marketing analytics, automation, email marketing and CRM software enable you to assess the success or failure of your strategies by giving you relevant statistics. In fact, over 30% of nonprofits have already implemented marketing automation software, and over 60% of organizations are increasing their budget for automation tools.
With video analytics, you can find out exactly how viewers are engaging with your content. If you can measure engagement, you can work on improving it.
Automated marketing tools can help you to segment your audience and deliver different content to different segments.
For instance, segmentation allows you to separate those who have already made a donation from those who have expressed an interest in donating and tailor your content accordingly. You could even offer premium content to recurring monthly donors.
7. Repurpose your content
It takes time to create quality content. Repurposing and revitalizing content helps maximize its value. Think about how you can use content in different formats and mediums.
For instance, the content of a whitepaper could be turned into an infographic to share on social media. By doing so, you can extend your reach and lower your content production costs.
Nonprofits have the advantage of strong missions to enable you to create inspiring, motivational content. If you have a proper strategy, multiple ways to promote your content and tools to help you analyze your efforts, the sky is the limit for driving awareness and support.