How Nonprofit Content Marketing Makes You Remarkable
In February 2014, a California couple went out for their daily jaunt with their dog.
This ordinary event, on an ordinary day, ended up in an extraordinary find when they noticed a old, rusty tin at the base of a tree on their property.
To their surprise, the tin ended up containing about $10 million worth of 19th-century US gold coins.
I love this type of remarkable discovery, because it illustrates what you’re trying to do with your nonprofit content marketing: help your donors find your precious and valuable cause in the ordinary, everyday world around them.
Content Marketing: The Key to Your Remarkable Nonprofit
Twenty-first-century fundraising is complicated. Different demographics have different needs. Gen-Yers and Millenials are online 24/7, while boomers and matures still respond to direct mail.
You have to be online savvy to nurture future supporters while catering to the people who have money to donate to you right now.
So how do you make a dent in all the content, both offline and on?
How do people get your messages? How can you communicate why you’re so special, without being pushy and salesy?
My approach to all of this is through content marketing.
Content marketing is not just a way for you to “get the word out” or “stay top of mind,” as this type of marketing brings plenty more benefits.
Below are five ways that content marketing–with a clear strategy–lets you become remarkable and create remarkable content that gets prospective donors excited about supporting you.
1. You have a solid knife to cut through the noise
The digital universe is growing exponentially. This article estimates that, by 2020, there will be as many digital bits as there are stars in the sky.
As the Internet expands and the bits get bigger, we all get better at tuning it all out.
Despite the doomsday stories about how it’s impossible to get people’s attention, this just isn’t true.
No matter how much information is out there, we still have a choice about where to focus our attention.
Content marketing creates a foundation for people to find your cause and creates a connection. Maybe they like your newsletter full of health information. Maybe they laugh at your weekly comic strip on Facebook. Maybe they use your Twitter feed as a source of authoritative information.
That content connection will cut through any wave of content, messages or information that your donor is exposed to.
2. You can relax–by focusing your action and energy
Instead of flitting around the web like a beheaded chicken, you can focus on the content that has the best ROI for your mission.
Instead of marketing whenever or to whomever, you can get very focused on what you want your content to do.
Because you don’t really need to go to the extreme and produce a billion pounds of content. Content marketing is just as much about selecting the types of content that you want to produce.
Maybe your blog gets you traffic but doesn’t really end of in more donations. Maybe your Twitter feed has zillions of followers but no one really wants to tweet your stuff.
A good content marketing strategy will put all those fancy social ducks in a straight row.
3. You have a GPS versus directions written on the back of a napkin
When you start your marketing efforts with all of the content you want to produce. That means you start with the goal, plan the steps, and see all the small roads you need to take to get to your goal.
This type of marketing is haphazard and ineffective.
Content marketing done right means implementing a strategy.
For example, you can picture the person you want reading your blog, the action you want them to take, and track whether you’re meeting your goal.
This is the difference between wandering your way blindly in the woods versus having night vision goggles.
4. You can make love, not war
Marketing is littered with terms inspired by the field of battle.
“Campaign,” “strategy,” “deployment,” “domination” are what we’re left with, but content marketing is not about these things.
Violent metaphors may work for the for-profit jet set, but in the nonprofit space, we have to be more lovey-dovey.
You’re marketing is now about value, benefits and relationships.
Break out the chocolate hearts!
5. You think like a bestselling author
In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King said “I write for myself and my ideal reader and no one else.”
King’s idea relates a lot to content marketing (beyond the fact that this philosophy has earned the Kingster massive book sales! Let us all reap the same rewards!)
Take a page from King’s book and start looking at how your needs and your audience’s needs intersect.
So don’t think just about what you want to write. Think about what you have to say matches what your audience wants to hear.
Inspire people to change the world
Most of all, content marketing is about inspiring people to take action and get up off their butts.
Newspapers have always and will always bemoan the lethargy of the public, how the youth today are lazy and good-for-nothing, and that we are all going to H-E double hockey sticks in a handbasket.
But you and I know that nothing could be further from the truth.
Most people want to feel like they’re making a difference in the world.
Your content can reach them, connect to them, and give them a reason to fight on for what they believe in.