During my long-time career at a full-fledged marketing firm, and now as a freelance content writer here at WriterAccess, one industry I tremendously enjoy working with is non-profits. I love it when non-profits see a need and marshal their resources to fix it. I don’t have enough time or money to help all of them achieve their goals, but one thing I can do is help them find other people who do. One thing that makes this job easier is that non-profits can now take advantage of content marketing to spread the word to a world-wide audience.
The feeling of the holidays, the wildly successful #GivingTuesday, and GoFundMe pages to raise money for specific purposes are great new tools in the non-profit marketing arsenal. A lot of success can be realized in a very short time, but what happens after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve and another year of fundraising begins? That’s where the beauty of non-profit content marketing makes all the difference.
Non-Profit Content Marketing News
Content marketing means that non-profit organizations create relevant and compelling content that appeals to their target audience. It is then placed strategically through internet communication portals to educate and start the donation wheels turning. The content may be in the form of website pages, blog articles, YouTube videos, social media updates, or email and e-newsletter communications. It can be a single item or event, or a year-long campaign to build brand awareness.
When crafted properly, this content can propel the non-profit to the top of search engine results, or might even spread virally throughout the internet. Ann Gynn of the Content Marketing Institute recognized the particular benefits and challenges to the industry in her article, “Nonprofit Marketing in 2017: Challenges, Strategies, and Examples.” Some strategies she recommends include:
- Have a documented content marketing strategy and use it: Get your thoughts down in advance, and there won’t be huge drama deciding what to do next.
- Give it a budget: Because it is seen as “free,” some non-profit marketers think they don’t have to direct real dollars towards it. Instead of just bringing in an inexperienced intern from the local college, though, a better strategy is to hire non-profit writers who specialize in this work and are more likely to get results.
- Make it a priority: Many non-profit boards agree that content marketing would be a good idea, but it gets lost in the translation to the director and staff. It should be on the agenda at every board meeting with somebody in charge of content marketing providing a complete report.
What’s New With Non-Profit Writing
If your non-profit organization is thinking of implementing a dynamic content marketing strategy, here are some great resources you can use:
- The Content Marketing Institute: The site is full of educational information and research on attracting and retaining a client base through content marketing.
- The Non-Profit Times: The leading publication for non-profit business management.
- The 2017 Digital Outlook Report – “Advance Your Non-Profit’s Game to the Next Level: This is a collaborative research project from the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEN), Care2, hjc, and The Resource Alliance. The report found that a stunning 63% of non-profit organizations from around the world still have no digital marketing plan in place. Those that do are using very basic programs at best.
- Hootsuite: Use this to organize your outbound content marketing strategy. It connects your content with over 35 social networks, and facilitates the entire online process.
- Top Non-Profit Websites and Blogs: Follow this list to learn from others who do it best.
- Google Trends: Learn how people search cause-related phrases that pertain to your organization.
Non-Profit Content Marketing Success Stories
Here are some terrific examples of non-profit content marketing success strategies from the Capterra Nonprofit Technology Blog:
- March of Dimes: The organization used the internet to let its audience to follow the life of one of its national ambassadors through a blog, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and Twitter announcements. The campaign raised awareness and generated funds to promote their mission.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: This organization built upon its content marketing strategy by combining it with social media to keep potential donors informed about their work. The Start Something Web Series uses video to share the stories of big/little success stories, generating over 5,000 views for almost every episode.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation: Because of its fundraising success in the U.S., the Foundation is able to grant a new child’s wish every 40 minutes. The organization shares video wishes on their YouTube channel, publishes granted wishes on their website, and shares content on Facebook and Twitter.
Non-Profit Writing Tips
If your non-profit doesn’t have the time or resources to implement an effective content marketing strategy, then you need to hire non-profit writers to get the ball rolling for you. Use your content to:
- Tell your story: The fastest way to connect with potential donors is to provide definitive proof that their donations do make a difference. Share the results of your good work, and include testimonials from those who have benefited.
- Create a visual impression: Pictures and videos are a vital component of the storytelling process. Use them to catch attention, and draw readers in to your story.
- Motivate sharing: Ask for donations of time or money for a specific purpose. Suggest simple ways to get involved.
- Inspire action: Tell them how good they’ll feel for reaching out and helping others.
- Make it easy to do something: Make sure your website is mobile-ready, easy-to-navigate, and motivational. Don’t make visitors jump through hoops to help your cause.
- Keep it coming: Once you’ve established momentum, keep it up with a constant stream of new stories and positive results.
The goal is to create great content that engages readers and keeps them coming back for more. Non-profits have a great opportunity to utilize the advantages of content marketing to help make this world just a little bit better.
Kathy R has thirty years of experience in the marketing, advertising and communications fields and has written everything from a thirty-second television spot to full-blown client presentations. If there is something that needs to be written, she uses her in-depth knowledge and experience to get the job done and get it done right.