Non-profit organizations operate on tight budgets. That means some departments have to get by on the little they get. And, marketing falls into this category. Unlike their counterparts in private companies, the teams have to be a bit creative.
Whatever they do must be cost-effective or require zero spend. But, it should in no way compromise the results.
Online marketing for non-profits has provided a lifeline though. There are tons of opportunities for free advertising today. Even the cost for paid platforms is not prohibitive, like in the case of analogue media.
The avenues available include email marketing, social media, and content marketing. The teams can use such to attract donors, raise awareness, and build credibility.
Our article will focus on content marketing and share some insights on how to do it right.
1. Establish Clear Goals
Marketing for non-profits must follow the same template as any other organization. Establishing clear goals is critical. What does the non-profit digital marketing team hope to achieve with content marketing? Is it to raise awareness or increase donor and volunteer support?
The content marketing strategy cannot be different from the organization’s goals. So, aligning the objectives is critical.
Remember the basic tenets of developing goals. The SMART principle is a fantastic guide. This means they should be:-
2. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
The mission, purpose, and goals are critical components in the content marketing strategy. But there is more. You must:-
- Define the target audience. A tip is to prioritize who you need to reach with your messaging. If your goal is to increase donor support, then donors must take top priority. But, it does not mean you neglect the other stakeholders. It is a delicate balancing act that requires proper strategizing.
- Come up with content messaging.
- Decide on the content format. It could be articles, videos, newsletters, white papers, emails, or even podcasts.
- Establish roles and responsibilities. The marketing team should strive to include every department within the organization. Let everyone have a voice so that they can share their insights and experiences. The result will be richer, more meaningful content.
- Decide on the metrics that will help measure performance. Tools like Google Analytics can provide helpful insights. These include which content audiences interact with the most. You can then do away with what is not bringing any traction.
3. Be Relevant and Consistent
Let’s start by saying developing content is not a simple task. Whatever you put out must be relevant. That means identifying gaps or areas of need that you can respond to.
Content development follows some specific steps. These include:-
- Start by having a good understanding of what your audiences need. The teams can gather information by asking for direct feedback. They could also use tools like Google Analytics to see what kind of content audiences interact with the most. Taking a look at what other organizations have on their sites can also help.
- Create a list of topics from the insights above. Invite input from everyone in the organization as well. Non-marketing team members could have some fantastic content to share. That field worker can be a great source of information.
- Create a content calendar to help with the scheduling of posts. Be realistic about timelines. Don’t start with a new post every two days then dwindle to once per month. It is better to start with one article every month and stick to that schedule. That way, audiences know when to expect new content. It also makes the process more manageable for the team.
- Write the articles, focusing on search engine optimization. So take note of factors like keywords, word count, relevance, and readability.
Here is a tip to consider. You can increase engagement by asking audiences about the content they want to see.
Take it a step further by encouraging people to contribute articles for publication. The volunteers could have experiences they may want to share. The same applies to donors and other stakeholders. It may surprise you how much feedback you could get.
4. Tell Stories Instead of Outlining Hard Facts
Content marketing for non-profits should incorporate plenty of stories. Yes, donors and management may want to see statistics and figures. So if they are your top priority, go ahead and use that medium.
But, if your target is a wider audience, engage with stories. Bring life to the work you are doing. Let people walk the journey with you through the narrations. Use plenty of video content to showcase success stories.
53% of marketers have seen positive results of video content in awareness creation. 52% say such content increases trust levels with customers. 49% realized better audience engagement with video content.
Take advantage of platforms like YouTube for non-profits. Other impactful sites are Facebook, and Instagram to share videos. Social media is a powerful tool that can connect the non-profit to millions of audiences.
And please, don’t forget to include sound bites from beneficiaries. Think of your audiences much like you would a typical customer. They will research the non-profit organization before donating or supporting your activities.
Who doesn’t love seeing positive impacts? And, the feedback is like a testimonial or positive customer review. You see them all over eCommerce sites, so do the same on your non-profit site.
Communicating with stories increases engagement.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for non-profit organizations. There is a lot of flexibility with the kind of media you can use. These include blogs, video content, webinars, and white papers.
The teams can also use many platforms like the website and social media. Links to high authority websites can help establish credibility and raise awareness.
The non-profit digital marketing team must have clarity on some key issues. It starts with a good understanding of the mission and purpose of the organization.
Next, define the content marketing goals, target audience, and modes of communication.
Stories and video content are impactful. They also provide a less formal way of showcasing what the organization is doing.
And finally, relevance and consistency are critical. Working with a calendar will help with scheduling posts.