Did you know that 54% of Non-Profit professionals don’t have a documented content marketing strategy, citing lack of time and budget constraints as the biggest challenges to content marketing?
Given that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound techniques and generates 3 times more visitors, it’s high time that non-profits pay more attention to using content to increase awareness about their organization and activities.
Here are 7 ways Non-Profits can develop and execute a content marketing strategy, in a short amount of time and at low cost.
1. Develop messaging and brand guidelines
Ensure that you develop your messaging and brand guidelines upfront to provide a consistent look and feel across all touch points for your organization – whether it is your website, blog, emails, or social media profiles. This should include tone, voice, format of social media posts, usage of colors, logo, policies, roles and responsibilities.
This way you’ll have a standard content development procedure in place, that won’t be affected every time volunteer involvement fluctuates, or staff grows or changes, or goals & initiatives vary. Also, you’ll save a lot of time and resources training and educating your volunteers.
2. Create a content calendar around your offline events
Your offline activities such as in-person events, fundraising campaign cycle, international conferences and events provide a lot of opportunities to develop highly specific content that you can promote during these events. You can build marketing campaigns that lead up to these events throughout the year. For example, if you’re an organization focusing on Alzheimer’s awareness and research, then planning a marketing campaign for September, observed as World Alzheimer’s month, will help you gain more visibility when people pay more attention to the cause.
3. Focus on Holiday season
Increase your content marketing efforts during the holiday season (Oct-Dec), when people are more willing to give gifts and donations. You’ll also benefit from end-of-the-year contributions from people donating before the next tax season, for tax deductions.
4. Tell great stories
One of the most effective ways to increase awareness about your organization is to tell stories that appeal to your target audience. Ask your volunteers, donors and beneficiaries to share stories of how they’re involved with your non-profit as blog posts, articles, photos or videos. This will:
- Help you develop a lot of engaging content with minimal resources.
- Expose your organization to a wider audience who may get inspired to join your cause.
- Provide content that you can share on your website, and other marketing channels such as social media platforms, online forums, new site and online publications.
- Encourage creative folks like writers, designers, photographers and videographers who support your cause to become volunteers. They can help develop marketing materials for your organization, which, in turn, will help develop their own creative portfolios. For example, they can cover in-person events for your organization and use the content for future event promotion.
5. Reach out to supporters
Ask your supporters if they would like to share their experience with your non-profit, on their personal websites or blogs. Explain to them that it will benefit your organization by driving site traffic and improving search rankings. If they’re pressed for time, you can also write guest posts that they can publish on their website or blog.
1. Build an email list
Save money on print advertising and direct marketing by building an email contact list. Add email subscription forms on your website, blog, and social media platforms. Drive website visitors, event attendees, and other supporters to your subscription forms and ask them to sign up for regular updates about your cause.
Building a mailing list will allow you to employ email marketing techniques to promote your content through email newsletters, as well as receive donations by adding a ‘contribute’ button to your emails. You can also add a volunteer signup form in your emails to grow membership. The key is to build a list of email contacts. Tools like MailChimp and Aweber make it really easy to add subscription forms, collect emails and store them in easy-to-download lists.
2. Leverage live-video
Today, live video streaming has become one of the most popular ways to reach your target audience and meaningfully engage them. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, almost every social media platform provide the ability to create and share live videos for free.
Host live video events, such as webinars and discussions, for your volunteers and donors. Ask them to invite at least a couple of their friends, family members or colleagues to join. Use this opportunity to ask people to share their volunteering experience or talk about their pet causes, and invite them to ask questions. Also encourage people to pitch ideas that can help promote your cause.
Social Media Marketing
No matter how you produce your content (via blog, articles, photos, or videos) ensure that you promote them regularly and repeatedly on all major social media platforms.
Add simple social media widgets on your website, blogs and fundraising platforms so that interested donors, volunteers and supporters can spread the word and drive more support for your cause.
Also, if you don’t have dedicated staff to keep your non-profit’s social media profiles active with the latest stories about your organization and its initiatives, then ask your volunteers to help you manage it. For example, you can ask each volunteer to simply post 1 Facebook update (as a photo or video) everyday they are out there working. Also, ask them to share updates posted by other volunteers. This alone will help you generate a lot of content and accumulate tons of followers.
Wrapping it up
These creative tactics will help you generate a lot of highly engaging content about your non-profit, its activities and causes at a low cost and in a short time. The key is to use content to tell great stories that engage and inspire your audience, and promote it through various social media channels.