Content marketing is king. Does this sound familiar to you? I’m sure it does! You have heard this expression so many times because it is true. Let me show you why content is even more valuable for nonprofits. Unlike businesses, nonprofits have a purpose, a reason for existing other than selling something for the sake of making money. Simon Sinek famously said “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Your mission is the “why”.
Nonprofits have the key elements to create cause-based stories that trigger emotions, attract people to your organization and drive donations. In this article, you will find 4 basic content tactics your nonprofit should be using to boost your marketing efforts. But first, let’s take a look at the current nonprofit content marketing landscape.
Nonprofit Content Marketing Key Trends
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive action.”
Consider the following findings of The Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016 Survey:
- 76% of nonprofit marketers use content marketing, compared to 61% on the previous year.
- Nonprofit marketers’ most important goals are engagement (82%), brand awareness (79%), and client retention and loyalty (74%).
- 84% say increased fundraising is an important content marketing metric, while 30% say it is the most important metric.
- 25% have a documented content marketing strategy.
- 53% of nonprofits find challenging to produce engaging content.
In addition, the Donor Loyalty Study conducted by Abila found that “nearly 75% of respondents might stop donating to an organization based on poor content. This includes vague content, dull content, irrelevant content, and inconvenient formatting.”
Without question, content marketing matters.
By creating shareable content that emphasizes the good that you are doing, you can engage your audience, increase traffic to your website, and drive your supporters to take action.
Tactics to include in your content marketing strategy
- Blog Regularly
A nonprofit blog is essential to building awareness and increasing traffic to your website. Writing blog posts allows you to share information and update your donors about the advancements in your mission. When you attain a new goal write a blog post about it to let your current and potential supporters know. Donors want to be informed about what you achieved as an organization and how their support is making an impact.
Blog posts are a perfect content source to share on social media and include in your newsletter. Sharing your own blog posts on social media is a way to drive more traffic to your website. The percentage of posts you share should be higher for your own content.
Additionally, blog posts are great for SEO. Strategically write about topics that appeal to your potential donors and target certain keywords and phrases. This way, your site can escalate positions on Google search. This requires some work. You will need to do research to learn what your potential donors are typing when they search for your cause. Include them in your blog posts and on your website as well.
- Create a Monthly e-Newsletter
69% of nonprofit marketers surveyed say that e-newsletters are the third most effective tactic, just behind in-person events and illustrations and photos. Newsletters are a transformational tool worth investing in. They have the power to inspire, build awareness, convert prospects, and retain current donors. They represent a gateway to your nonprofit’s website for people who have already shown their interest in your cause. This is exactly what your nonprofit needs. Well, not exactly, what your organization really needs is to get them to complete a certain call to action on your site.
In general, your emails should provide valuable and relevant content that engage your subscribers and summarize what’s happened in the organization since the last update. However, you have to create this content in a way that is visually attractive to your readers. Good design is key to increase the chances of drawing people in. For example, including big and powerful images is one of the best practices that will help you tug on your supporter’s heartstrings. Here is a link to an article about nonprofit emails best practices that will help you build your e-newsletter.
- Get Visual
Visual content has proven to be one of the most effective ways to communicate a message. It complements the information you are presenting to your audience. The idea is to make your message easy to understand, digest and share. Research has shown that when people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. Now you understand why you need to put your most important takeaways in a visual, right?
Content forms such as infographics, posters, and videos are visually appealing and easy to process and remember. These pieces of content are perfect for nonprofits. Your mission is a story to tell the world – tell it using images, photos, and graphics! And, don’t forget about your annual reports. This is a document you want your audience to read and remember, so make sure yours contains graphics and big and bold imagery.
Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, and according to Mass Planner, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. Real photos of your staff working to achieve your mission, your volunteers, people your nonprofit is helping will help your audience to see the difference your cause makes on an everyday basis. The idea is to be transparent and generous with your supporters. Show them how important your cause is, in a way that draws their attention and triggers their emotions.
- Promote on Social Media
Social media is a basic element of any nonprofit’s marketing campaign to reach out to communities, potential supporters, and volunteers. In fact, 71% of nonprofits worldwide agree that social media is effective for online fundraising and 25% of donors say that social media is the communication tool that most inspires them to give. In addition, 80% say that social media is effective for recruiting volunteers and 78% for event attendees.
With this in mind, it is obvious that the content you create is to be promoted across all your social media channels. Start conversations about the content pieces you post and encourage your community members to share. If you did well and included powerful visuals in your posts that lead to your website, your reach and your website traffic will increase dramatically thanks to the shares of your followers.
Ultimately, promoting your content on social media is crucial to raising online brand awareness, creating social change, recruiting volunteers and event attendees, and boosting online fundraising.
Now you have a clear picture of the state of content marketing and what it means for nonprofits. By creating valuable content that resonates with your audience you will be able to effectively communicate with your supporters in a way that triggers their emotions and inspire them to take action. So what are you waiting for? Start telling your nonprofit story in your blog, maintain your supporters, inform the public through your newsletter, create powerful images, and promote all this content on social media.