Eighty percent of non-profits have a content marketing strategy in place. While content creation can be time-consuming, it’s economical for non-profits to intrigue, engage, and retain a target audience. If your non-profit wants to launch or amplify its content marketing efforts, here’s a look at what content marketing is, its benefits, and a checklist to ensure your tactics are effective. Here are our tips to implement for content marketing for non-profits.
Content marketing defined
When you hear the word “content,” you might assume it means written items like a blog, but it encompasses all kinds of mediums. From videos, podcasts, and pictures to graphics, blogs, and GIFs, content marketing uses these pieces of collateral to engage a target audience.
With this content, your brand works to inform, educate, and entertain. While a subtle product endorsement may be woven into the content, the goal is to help customers, not make a quick sale.
What are the benefits of content marketing for non-profits?
It takes time and resources to plan, create, and share content, and most non-profits are strapped for both, so is content marketing worth it? Simply put, yes. The benefits of content marketing include:
- Collecting contact information of new donors
- Educating the public about your cause
- Consistently presenting your non-profit to drive brand recall
- Increasing visibility
- Demonstrating authority in the niche
- Sharing your impact with those unfamiliar with your organization
- Driving fundraising efforts
Content marketing checklist for non-profits to improve results
Content marketing can help your organization reach more donors, educate the public, and boost fundraising efforts, but it’s not as simple as sharing a few blogs and videos. As with any successful marketing effort, you need a plan.
To help, run through this checklist to ensure your content efforts net the best results:
Identify your audience
Who is your target audience? If you’re targeting donors, for example, what does your ideal donor look like? Create a donor profile and identify the audience that you’re trying to attract and retain. Ideally, you can pull data from a CRM and other dashboards to help you create a well-defined audience.
Consider the types of content that your audience will respond to
What kind of content do you think will work best? It varies widely, driven most by a non-profit’s niche and target audience. A non-profit that collects and delivers food for the elderly, for example, will create different content than a non-profit that runs a teen shelter.
The food service might lean on large-print infographics shared on Facebook, while the teen shelter might rely on short-form videos that are best for TikTok.
Make a list of the types of content you plan to create.
Craft a content strategy and put it on paper
Considering your audience and the type of content you want to create, it’s a good time to flesh out your strategy on paper. Just 40% of brands have a documented content strategy, according to Content Marketing Institute, and it’s those with a solid plan who fare best.
Your plan should list your:
- Content purpose
- Target audience
- Content types
- Content creation process and calendar
- Distribution plan
- KPIs that you’ll regularly evaluate
It might sound daunting to document your strategy, but it’s simply meant to serve as a framework that you can reference to keep your efforts on track.
Lay out your content creation process, complete with a calendar
Successful content marketing is consistently created and distributed, which requires a plan of action. Think about:
- Who on your team will create content along with their availability and strengths
- What type of content you plan to create, and the time needed to do so
- Content cadence on each channel
- The content approval process
- Who’s in charge of monitoring content
- Whether or not you need to hire freelancers to look into fully managed content production services
Next, create an editorial calendar and share it with your team. List assignments, block off time for content creation, and set deadlines. If a manager should approve content, add it to the schedule. List publication dates and factor in time to repurpose content, too.
Share your content on social media channels+
Once content is created, use your social media channels to drive traffic. For ease of operations, you can use a social media scheduler and share links to new content the same day it goes live.
While you should leverage your social channels to publicize new content, consider other distribution channels. Consider collaborating with an influencer who can promote the content or ask a partner or supporter to share it on their social channels.
Measure and adjust
To make sure your efforts are effective, monitor your metrics. You can’t underestimate the importance of data in content marketing.
Task a person with this job and add it to your content calendar so it’s not overlooked.
See which blog articles get the most clicks, for example, or check social dashboards for videos that garnered the most engagement. Use the data to guide your future content plans.
Content marketing can help non-profits engage with their target audience, but it takes time and an actionable plan to see results.