The 7Cs of Your Remarkable Nonprofit Content Marketing Strategy

In this series on nonprofit content marketing, I’ve gone over a lot of concepts: the importance of your mission statement, email basics, the benefits of blogging, how to improve website content, and ideas from marketing gurus to make your message remarkable.

But content marketing is not just about writing well, executing marketing tasks, or selling the remarkable benefits of your programs and services.

It’s also about strategy. About the goals you want to achieve and the map you need to get there.

Here are the 7C’s of a nonprofit content marketing strategy that sum up everything we’ve learned and gives you a handy framework to make your content marketing–and your nonprofit–remarkable.

Contact = Knowledge of your audience

You can’t create content without knowing who you’re talking to.

Imagine two people: An avid golfer in his 60s whose children have left the nest and a 34-year-old mom who’s a gardening nut.

Do you think these two people have the same worries and problems? Or the same desires?

The 60-year-old golfer might be worried about whether his retirement savings will last.

The 34-old-mom may empathize with kids in the world who don’t have great opportunities in life.

Your “contact” with these two kinds of people will work best if your content reflects their realities.

Connection = Relevant to your audience

Once you know your audience, you can start connecting to them through relevant content that speaks to their problems, worries and desires.

Marketing gurus talk a lot about being “donor-centric,” which is of course much better than always talking about yourself.

But the extreme side of being donor-centric is that you take yourself out of the equation altogether, which won’t help your marketing either.

To get off this big pendulum, picture a wide circle with all of your nonprofit’s needs on one side and a second circle with all of your donors’ needs on the other.

Your content should shoot for that sweet spot in the middle where your interests collide.

Camaraderie = An audience community

One goal of your content should be to create a community.

To create that community, you need to think of your donors as your best friends.

Ask yourself: how can you create content that doesn’t like corporate robot-speak?

How can you give it personality and character, as though it came from a dear pal?

The more camaraderie you instill in your audience, the more you’ll become their favourite charity.

Clarity = Audience understanding

A key component of content creation is being so crystal clear that people know exactly what what you’re offering.

This means that every piece of content needs to be easy-to-read and well-structured.

And you have to clearly spell out what they’re getting out of their relationship with you..

Your audience won’t necessarily connect your dots, so make sure you do it for them.

Cycle = Ongoing audience attention

Ccontent marketing shouldn’t have “Prepared on” and “Best before” dates.

It’s on ongoing process that you constantly optimize.

Although “campaigns” are a part of your marketing, a cycle “approach” is a better way to tackle your content marketing.

A constant content machine is more likely to attract people then a big spurt of content followed by radio silence.

And a big plus for your online content: a content cycle attracts search engines too.

Commitment = Audience action

Content can fill multiple roles: educate people, welcome them, invite them to volunteer or get them to donate.

The main thing is to include some call-to-action.

Because once your content gets donor attention, you want to capitalize on that attention.

Even if it’s something small: Like your page, give you a Twitter shout-out, or sign up for your newsletter.

These little commitments all add up when it comes to asking for money or support.

Change = Audience transformation

Nonprofits don’t sell the latest and greatest gadget. You are selling an intangible.

To sell an intangible, you have to take your audience members on a journey to become better versions of themselves.

Through you, they want to be better people, a good example for their children, or a pillar in the community.

Whatever ultimate benefit you promise, it has to involve this kind of change for your audience, or they won’t feel the benefit of supporting you.

Remember the C’s

Keep these 7C’s handy when creating any kind of content, such blog posts, email campaigns, newsletters, or social media updates.

They’ll keep you focused and make your content marketing that much easier.

I also have a printable worksheet you can keep by your desk: Get the 7C’s of your nonprofit content marketing strategy.


Next article: A Quick Study of Nonprofit Content Types

Back to Nonprofit Content Marketing Series